Styles from the 1980s and ’90s that have come back as trendy wardrobe choices in 2024

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Styles from the 1980s and ’90s that have come back as trendy wardrobe choices in 2024

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Fashion trends have a way of coming back again years after they were originally popular. 

Often, it is celebrity sightings, pop culture mentions and runway moments that bring fashion trends back to life.

There are numerous fashion pieces you can pull out of the crates in your attic and add back into your closet because they are incorporated into many modern looks.

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Celebrities including Billie Eilish, Kendall Jenner and many more set fashion trends that many other people follow. (Koury Angelo/Getty Images for Apple; Kevin Mazur/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

’80s fashion trends

  1. Bright colors
  2. Oversized puffy jackets
  3. Puffy sleeves
  4. Oversized blazers
  5. Bodysuits
  6. Shoulder pads

’90s fashion trends

  1. Claw clips and thick headbands
  2. Biker shorts
  3. Fanny packs
  4. Overalls
  5. Wide-leg pants
  6. Bucket hats 

1. Bright colors

The ’80s were a colorful time, and neon had a major moment. Whether it was clothing or accessories such as jewelry and hairpieces — the brighter, the better. 

Today, bright colors are back after a pretty long neutral era. If you’re looking to incorporate bright colors into your wardrobe, start with something subtle like a pair of shoes or a small purse. 

As you get more comfortable, include larger items like a bigger bag or an entire ensemble of neons.

Fashion gurus are pairing numerous neon colors in their outfits. While they don’t necessarily match, they do flow well together as they’re all neon. 

A neutral colored outfit with a bright green purse

Bright colors can be subtly added to a neutral outfit, such as with a purse. (Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images)

You can also pair neon colors with black if you’re unsure how to match a variety of neon pieces.

2. Oversized puffy jackets

The coat of the ’80s was reintroduced by stars like Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Billie Eilish.

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You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style with this fashion trend, as the puffer jacket will keep you warm and cozy for hours. Choose a style that’s long and appears at your calves or ankles or select a cropped style. 

Oversized puffer vests are also in, so pick the style that suits you most and zip it all the way up, keep it unzipped or hang it off the shoulder.

3. Puffy sleeves 

Puffy sleeves were popular in the ’80s and famously featured in Princess Diana’s wedding gown. 

Now, puffy sleeves are back and seem to be here to stay. 

"Bridgerton" actress wearing puffy sleeves

Puffy sleeves are often part of beautiful dresses but can also be found in shirts and jackets. (Neil Mockford/WireImage)

Puffy sleeves add a bit of flare to any outfit. They are popular in dresses as well as tops and even jackets. 

4. Oversized blazers

The blazer became popular work wear for women in the ’80s. While it is still worn in a work environment, it is also seen universally styled as street wear. 

There’s no right or wrong way to wear an oversized blazer. It can be worn over a dress, paired with jeans, a skirt or shorts, styled with a bodysuit or top underneath, or even belted and cinched at the waist as a dress.

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Blazers, especially oversized ones, can get pretty pricey. 

There are sites and stores that have very reasonably priced options, so don’t let the initial cost deter you from experiencing this ’80s fashion moment.

5. Bodysuits 

Bodysuits are a great base for a layered outfit. 

Bodysuits make sense. They’re easy to throw on and offer a seamless look with pants, shorts or a skirt. 

Taylor Swift singing on stage

Numerous celebrities, like Taylor Swift, have worn bodysuits in recent years, helping bring the ’80s staple back.  (Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Clothing stores sell a variety of bodysuit types, including sleeveless, strapless, long-sleeved, puffy-sleeved and more.

6. Shoulder pads

Shoulder pads are back and seriously bigger than ever. Include them in any top that includes shoulders and add an extra element to your causal look.

Some shops sell shoulder pad inserts that you can include or remove from your tops. Adding a shoulder pad insert to a shirt that’s a little boring will immediately incorporate a chic detail to your outfit. 

Adding or removing shoulder pad inserts from an outfit can ultimately change the style for the next time it’s worn, especially if they’re pretty large inserts.

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If you’re unsure about incorporating shoulder pads into your look, start small and work your way up to larger ones as you become comfortable with the look.

1. Claw clips and thick headbands

Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber have been seen with the claw clip on many occasions.

The claw clip is an easy way to throw up your hair for a quick but stylish look. Style a big bun with a colorful claw clip or add one with a design or extra accessories like flowers to create a bolder look.

Use a claw clip after you’ve thrown up a ponytail to add volume and dimension to your hair.

Woman wearing thick headband

The thick headband is one hair accessory from the ’90s that is trendy again today.  (Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Thick headbands are also back again. 

These can be found in solid colors and with flashy designs. 

2. Biker shorts

Princess Diana is credited with having many memorable fashion moments. This includes the ever so simple biker shorts.

Princess Diana made the biker short a popular clothing item in the ’90s when she wore them with high socks, white kicks and oversized crew necks overtop.

The look has made its way back into today’s fashion as a workout staple and everyday wear. Biker shorts have come a long way and now include wild colors, styles, unique elements like extra fabrics or sequins and are worn in a number of interesting ways.

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Today, biker shorts are worn with crop tops and oversized dress shirts, T-shirts or even blazers, denim jackets and paired with heels or sneakers.

3. Fanny packs

Fanny packs are back, but with a change.

Fanny packs in the ‘80s and ’90s were worn around the waist and clipped from behind. While fanny packs are still worn this way today, they are most often worn across the body. They are also referred to more commonly as “crossbody bags,” but at the end of the day, they’re fanny packs, and they’re stylish again.

4. Overalls

Overalls were a popular clothing item often seen in ‘90s sitcoms like “Friends” and “Full House.” 

Although they went away for a time, they’re a staple for every season throughout the year. 

They’re found as shorts, skorts, dresses and pants.

A still from "Friends"

Many times, fashion comes from TV and movie characters. Denim, more specifically overalls, was often worn in the ’90s, a style that has made its way back into modern style. (Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

You can find overalls in denim for a tighter fit or cotton for a loose, comfortable feel. 

You can wear them with a tank top or a T-shirt underneath. 

5. Wide-leg pants

Denim wide-leg pants are quite popular again, but you’ll also find pants with flow in a number of other materials. 

Wide-leg pants aren’t just popular for adults, though. Babies and kids are wearing the pants, too.

Matching sets are found at well-known clothing shops around the world. You can shop online or in stores for a variety of wide-leg pants.

6. Bucket hats 

Bucket hats are a ’90s fashion item that can be worn any time of year, depending on the material. 

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Bucket hats are perfect for the beach or a day on the boat. 

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In the winter, opt for a fuzzy hat to keep your head toasty warm during the cold weather.

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