A Flashback to Flashdance

What do you get when you add shoulder pads, pink hair, plastic jewelry and elastic belts? This concoction creates an obvious fashion catastrophe which is commonly known as the 80’s. Widely perceived as a disastrous decade for fashion, the 80’s leave us with scarring memories of blue eye shadow, spandex and parachute pants. But why, after 20 years of recognizing the 80’s as an extended collection of clothing calamities, are designers bringing back footless leggings and cropped sweaters?

It may shock and even disturb you, but the big bad 80’s are back and coming to a clothing store near you. The thought of revisiting the 80’s may make you want to run for cover but relax, don’t do it. Just throw on some Madonna and let today’s hottest designers take you back as they put a 2006 spin on the 80’s look.

Skinny jeans were a huge 80’s trend and history is repeating itself because tight and tapered are definite do’s in the denim department. You can tuck tapered jeans into some knee-high boots for a more modern look, but if you want to go all out 80’s, pair them with pointy pumps and a loose-fitting sweater. If you’re feeling a little daring, you can even slip in some shoulder pads for a look that’s really retro.

Although the “I’m going to wear workout clothes even though I’m not going anywhere near the gym” look isn’t aerobisizing down the runway, Olivia Newton-John would be thrilled with this season’s styles. Spandex is once again a favorite, especially on college campuses. Tight, footless leggings are peeking out from underneath skirts and can be seen paired with boots and baggy sweaters. Probably not a style to try on a Saturday night if you’re looking to get physical, but these leggings will make for a funky class outfit.

Worried you can’t pull off leggings but like the look? Try some true 80’s tights in neon colors. Wear them under skirts with Uggs or dress them up with heels; however, be careful because this look can get very loud very quickly. When wearing bright tights, let them be the focus of your ensemble. If you try to clutter your outfit with a busy shirt or layers of jewelry, your look will go from trendy to tacky.

Put away the ultra low-rise pants; they were so 2005. Trade them in for some very 80’s high-waisted slacks and skirts. The high-waisted look is tailored and makes your waist look oh-so-tiny! Pair these pants and skirts with big belts to break up your look. Keep an eye out for bubble skirts, a very 80’s and very high-waisted trend that’s torpedoing into 2006.

What’s hot for on top? Cropped-off-the-shoulder sweatshirts made popular by the frisky femmes in Flashdance are all the rage. Wearing one with a long tank makes for a cute, comfy and slimming look. Chunky cropped sweaters in every color of the rainbow are fun and flirty. Keep it casual with flat boots and jeans or throw one of these sweaters on with dangerously tight denim and stilettos for a look that will make you want to shake it all night long.

All you girls who just wanna have fun will be thrilled to hear that the 80’s prom dress look is making a mild comeback. Dresses with full skirts, Madonna-style lace and even polka dots are popping up everywhere and are a nice change from last season’s serious styles.

At London Fashion Week, Basso and Brooke proved that the 80’s were too sexy when they had a model in a colorful frock with a larger-than-life pink tulle skirt do her little turn on the catwalk. This fabulously 80’s frock went perfectly with the rest of their collection, which featured neon colors and keyboard-print hats and leggings.

Last but not least, who could forget the over-the-top hair of the 80’s? Pick up some hairspray, some rollers and a rattail comb because big hair is a big deal. Curl it, spray it and tease it till it cries; you’ll love the va-va-voom vibe your hair will throw out there! Side ponytails are also blasting back from the past and look great whether your hair is curly or straight.

The 80’s may not have been fashion’s finest hour, but the retro trends of 2006 are a Material Girl’s dream. Don’t fear 80’s fashion; embrace it. Hit stores with your best shot and pick up pieces that will make your wardrobe 80’s fab.