A Guide To The 70s, 80s And 90s Trends Making A Comeback And How To Wear Them In 2017

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Maybe I’m just massively ignorant but given I only gained a fashion conscience post 2010, my knowledge on the fashion trends from decades gone by is a little rusty. Don’t get me wrong, I could tell you the basics – the 70s were all about suede, fringing and flares, 80s brought the infamous shoulder pads and the 90s introduced us to the world of tube tops – but if you wanted more detail than that, I’d be winging it. Maybe if you put the clothes in front of me and asked me to sort them into their respective decades I’d get away with some serious bluffing but for the most part while you stand there telling me that AW17, SS17 and AW18 are all about the retro trends, I’ll be standing there nodding along hoping you don’t notice how truly clueless I am.

Getting more and more paranoid about being caught out in my fashion lies, I’ve decided now is the time to brush up on my knowledge and get researching. So if like me, fashion from our parents heyday all blurs into one massive fashion faux pas, class is now in session. It’s time to raid their wardrobes for vintage gems and fork out a little dollar online in the name of looking fabulous.

The 70s

Ah, yes. What a time to be alive. It was the decade of the creativity, freedom and a lot of chilled (and possibly very unsure) vibes. Whimsical and unique, it’s a harder decade of fashion to pin down (possibly because to us millennials, it’s ancient history) but by no means should we allow that to underestimate its sartorial strengths. There was a little bit of everything – boho chic, glam rock, utilitarian/military styles and sport chic. It was the years of the mustard yellows just like the ones you’ve seen plastered all over Zara and that soft rusty red lipstick you’ve seen in Zara lookbooks? Yep, thank the 70s. It’s a shade that by some miracle, suits every skin tone, has inspired rails upon rails of red clothing and has gained popularity so significant that millennial pink soon may be all but silenced.

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The 80s

Let’s start the shoulder pads, let’s avoid the metallic leggings that went with them and let’s definitely start thinking about bringing roller discos back.

Balmain was all about the shoulder pads in the last few seasons, incorporating the trend into almost every runway look. While at first you might feel a lot like your granny, choose wisely and focus on the bigger picture. Skinny jeans, killer heels, perfectly balanced proportions and I’m telling you, you’ll be completely converted.

Oversized denim jackets? 80s written all over them. Bonus points if it actually does have the 80s written all over it because apparently the more graffiti, badges or patches decorating said denim jacket, the better.

White boots? 10/10. Add to basket. There’s nothing more to say.

Now, this may come as a shock but also may just reveal my severe lack of fashion knowledge BUT mirrored sunglasses are in fact a legacy of the 80s. In my defence every Tom, Dick and Harry (including myself) is wearing them these days so I mean, surely my mistake on this one can be justified. Plus there’s the whole argument that we’re a narcissistic generation and if we can use other people’s accessories to check ourselves out while feigning interest in a conversation not about ourselves, it wouldn’t surprise me if we tried to take credit for this trend.

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The 90s

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Ok so, realistically we should all understand 90s fashion. It was the years of Tom Ford at Gucci, the rise (or fall) of Kate Moss and the godly gift of Saint Laurent slip dresses. Charity shops were cool and Patricia Field brainwashed the nation with heavenly Carrie Bradshaw style as Sex and the City entered the world. Chokers made their first and apparently lasting impressions. Yes, dungarees were in but no Mum, you should never have let me fall so in love with my lime green pair . As for vintage sportswear, let’s be real, there’s a whole other blog post in there about that. Champion, Fila, Le Coq Sportif were all there and now we’re trawling every vintage store to reclaim them as our own.

Even the trends once dubbed as the huge fashion faux pas of the era have been welcomed back with open arms by us copycat 2017 fashionistas. She’s no Cindy Crawford but Kylie Jenner we’re looking at you for the lip liner comeback. Pant suits? That one’s on you, Hillary but the jury is still out on whether its time to hire or fire the stylist.

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On that note, who’s ready for a shopping break?

Class dismissed.

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Niamh ♥


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