What ’80s Trends Would You Like to Bring Back or Leave Behind?

Published in: Just For Fun

Embracing the scrunchie and channeling 1988 and my inner seventh grader for a Halloween hair and makeup post

I was doing some window shopping at the mall last weekend when this pair of acid-washed cut-off jeans shorts at Urban Outfitters stopped me in my tracks!

I. Can’t.

Hello, ’80s revival! I felt like I was back in middle school when acid-washed jeans were all the rage.


They washed over my middle school like a mottled blue wave! — becoming our unofficial tween uniform. If this were 1986-89, you would have found me wearing one of several acid-washed outfits.

I had a skirt, a pair of overalls (worn with one strap up, and one strap down, of course), several pairs of jeans with the zippers near the ankles, AND matching denim jackets, which I even caught my mom wearing on occasion, oh, gawd!

I loved the look back in the day, but now I just can’t deal… It was one of those defining trends that had such a distinct look to it that when I got over it, I got over it. At least that’s how it was for me.

Now, 1980s hair accessories are a different story. My friend Jen texted me the other day to say that her 19-year-old cousin showed up at her house one day wearing a banana clip, and my first thought was, “WANT!! Where can I get one?”

I wore the heck out of banana clips in the ’80s because they were just so blasted practical.

I had thick, unruly hair, but I could quickly get it under control with a banana clip, so that’s a trend I’d like to see stage a full-fledged comeback.

Oh, and scrunchies? I have a major weakness for scrunchies, too.

Um…I know they’re like the Kardashians of the hair product world — totally controversial, and you either love ’em or don’t — but I keep a few around more because they make it so easy to put my hair up and don’t give me a headache light tight headbands can.

And you know how sometimes regular hair elastics can leave those funny bends on the hair shaft? I don’t get that with scrunchies, so if my hair’s straight, and I want to wear it up, I grab a scrunchie (they also don’t mess up my blowouts).

So, I’m dying to know, what ’80s trends would you like to bring back or leave behind?

Do you long for a leg warmer revival? Would you happily don big shoulder pads? How about on the makeup and beauty fronts? Mall hair? Spiral perms? Are there any throwback beauty trends you’d re-embrace with open arms?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Kimmwc03 says:

    I wear scrunchies everyday…I just don’t leave the house in them. I wish they’d come back as they are so practical. No big shoulder pads or acid washed jeans though.

  2. Ruchita says:

    Ah yes, I was a child of the 80s and I definitely had some acid washed jeans back in the day. I also folded up my jeans to show of my neon colored socks.

    Oh and my bangs! They had to be just perfect. I spent many an hour with my curling iron and hair spray to get them just right. πŸ™‚

    I wouldn’t mind big, voluminous hair coming back – not exactly crazy big perms, but wavy hair with volume at the roots.

    It’s so interesting to see how trends cycle around. I’m curious to see when the 90s will come back. I’ve still got pair of Doc Martens in the closet! πŸ™‚

  3. Waaaaah, you rock the 80s look! Seriously, you are the only person that can make the 80s look so good, hehe πŸ™‚ I was born in ’87 so I’m more of a 90’s child. There’s not really anything about the 80s that I’d like to bring back πŸ™‚

  4. Pamela says:

    I hope the MC Hammer pants don’t come back! I do dig the bright colours though. Nothing like a little neon to brighten up your day!

  5. Kim says:

    Oh, I am just too horrified about the 80s to want any of the trends coming back. I know you’re aware of all my 80s sins from previous conversations. HAHA! You know, there are still folks who wear jeans and a matching jean jacket. I have to look away. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and Happy Friday! 20 more minutes and I’ll be looking forward to 3 days off (in which to become current re The Walking Dead). I hope you have a GREAT Easter!

  6. Caroline says:

    I love the 80s:D
    For makeup trends I would say anything yellow! I’ve heard yellow blush was popular in the 80s and can’t wait for that yellow mascara by Chanel coming this summer =)))

  7. Nichole says:

    I was born in 1990 but my mom was in high school in the 80’s and from the pics I have of her, I love the acid washed shorts and jeans, I love the makeup, but not the bold blush. I would love high wasted acid washed pants to stay and hopefully we won’t see ppl wearing half of there blush palette. πŸ™‚

  8. Lorraine says:

    the one trend I would bring back is no-holds-barred MAKEUP! I remember when Grace Jones, David BOwie, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna used to spark a makeup trend with a single music video. Guys were allowed to experiment, and gals to load up on color, never any limits. I think there is way too much emphasis on makeup rules(ie, red lips dictate neutral face, or, smokey eye must have nude lip, etc) and neutral, naked eye makeup. ALl this sometimes borders on BORING! and discourages experimentation with color, which, IMHO, every face could use. Rules were made to be broken!

  9. NeenaJ says:

    Layered socks! My feet are always cold and I can rock some scrunchie socks.

    BTW, that purple liner looks amaaazing on you!

  10. Chris25 says:

    Off the shoulder shirts!

  11. Kim C. says:

    I love this post! I also used to sport the overalls with one strap up, one strap down. If the overalls were shorts, I would wear my spandex/lace leggings underneath them complete with my black and white Nike shoes (I think they were called Nike Doughboys?). I miss those shoes. I think they are in need of a comeback. I agree with you on acid wash, though. That needs to stay in the 80’s.

  12. Romantic Lily says:

    Karen! Your Lippie Combo is simply HEAVEN! Please cough up intel on name and brand! Much Appreciation!:)

  13. TrippyPixie says:

    I wasn’t alive in the ’80s, but I’d like for some aspects of the hair to come back. Since I have wavy/curly hair, I’d like for those haircuts to be all the rage, since it’d be easy for me to do. (I’m tired of seeing straight hair all the time where I live.) However, the frizz and height of ’80s hair is terrifying. I don’t want THAT coming back.

    On another note, it seems that ’70s patterns are coming back in clothing. Whenever I go shopping with my mom, she goes, “This stuff was ugly the first time around. Can’t they come up with anything new?”

  14. Kate Williamson says:

    I remember the brocade vest with the long white shirt underneath….ala Pretty In Pink. Also, the pearl brooch pinned at the neck!

  15. mn says:

    I was at Urban Outfitters a couple of wks ago and bought a banana clip. Yeah, I felt horrible but I did it anyway. It must be a coming trend as I saw multipacks of banana clips as Walmart.
    Can’t wait to pair it with electric blue colored mascara.

  16. Katherine G says:

    I think I’d want the acid washed jeans back, and the bright makeup (since I rock bright eyeliner from time to time). My hair is also very thick and unruly at times and banana clips would probably work for it.

  17. Michelle Teixeira says:

    I would bring back over the top makeup for any occasion. Going to school? You need acid green eye shadow from your lash line to your eyebrow. Have a doctor’s appointment? Don’t forget to wear lots of spandex with a slouchy sweater hanging off one shoulder. And, everyone needs color coordinating bright pastel workout clothing and terry cloth sweat hair bands. Yes, I could do all of that again.

  18. Kristy says:

    Were you in my 7th grade class?! I never stopped using scrunchies – come on, they are comfortable!!! I can do without resurrecting the sky-high bangs and the super blistery jelly shoes and the neon plastic bracelets (wearing 30 at a time!!). I could tolerate an acidwash comeback on the small scale, say, a skirt but that’s it. I would kill to wear my old Swatch watch or Reebok high tops just one last time, and I long for a day when stirrup pants are at the height of fashion again!

  19. Susan says:

    I was in college during the 86 to 89 era, so we got really crazy with the acid wash and the denim minis and scrunchy socks with lace up ankle boots or with keds, depending on how casual you felt that day πŸ™‚ I have to say, I could never do the acid wash denim jacket thing, though. I had a Levis jacket that’s still a classic 25+ years later (although it has a worn spot on the shoulder from my huge college backpack!). I still have a couple of banana clips in the hair accessories drawer, though. I have curly hair and that was always the best thing at keeping it up and out of my way! I haven’t used them in years, but may have to bust them out if they come back. Do you remember the ones that had ribbons wound through them so they looked like huge ribbon ruffles when you put them in your hair? I had several of those, but they have disappeared, thankfully πŸ™‚

  20. C'enna says:

    Two words: Big Bows! The bright and patterned ones that took over your whole head. Ive always adored bows but i feel like everything thinks its for little girls πŸ™

  21. Lisa S. says:

    I’d love the makeup and shoulder pads to come back. But the shoulder pads don’t need to be anywhere as big. Just enough for a really sharp, structured bit of shoulder. I see so many jackets and body types wearing said jackets that could use a bit of structure. (that includes me by the way!) Also polka dots and big bows!

  22. Tennyoceres says:

    I’d love for the extra bold blush to come back. Or just a strong architectural look for makeup. BIG cheeks, CHISELED jaws, HOT PINK lips. Yes, so glorious.

    My sister totally rocked the 80s lion mane/super teased hair. I still ask her how much ozone she destroyed when she made that hair.

  23. ritadebora says:

    The big hair so that my hair would be in style by its nature. Definitely not the big shoulder pads. I remember in those days my mom buying me bluses and the first thing I would do when we got home was to cut them off. I’ve always hated those.

  24. Maria says:

    OMG, I loved growing up in the 80s. I think I hated the florals (who wants to look like wallpaper?) and short hair the most. I loved the neons and any early 80s Madonna look. I also remember in grade school I owned a couple pairs of velvet knickers – those were so cool! I was in high school right at the end of the 80s and I loved Guess, the tight jeans and cute shirts. They had cool canvas bags that I used instead of a backpack, very progressive LOL! I loved LA Gear shoes for a minute too LOL!

  25. Stephanie says:

    I loved 80’s “New Wave” music and style. Bands like The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo and the Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, etc. were all so cool! Makes me want to break out the Doc Martins and Manic Panic hair dye!

  26. Sarah S. says:

    I have to third the big bows πŸ˜€

  27. Rachael says:

    I just bought a 3 pack of banana clips from Sally’s, I have no shame!

  28. Christina says:

    I wasn’t born til ’86, but I remember my mom rocking the hair, makeup, and acid jeans. I thought she was SO beautiful! I would like the big hair to come back, but not all the teasing because I think that made it look fried and dry. I do miss the ’90s! Not the brown lipliner though πŸ™‚

  29. Iris says:

    I was born in ’84 so I don’t remember much of the 80’s. I do remember my mother’s bright makeup items (bright red nail polish, bright blue eyeshadow, etc.) which I was forbidden to play with. I’d like to bring those bright colours back, but it seems they are making a bit of a comeback. πŸ™‚

  30. R'elle says:

    I wish every shirt was made to wear off the shoulder..lovee iit!

    And yes I am a hugh fan of wearing leg warmers for no reason at all. In the winter, spring, around the house, to the store, pretty much anytime and everywhere.

    I think every style can be hot but it has to be worn with confidence and ownership!

  31. Joanna says:

    Definite Rock!

  32. Cheryl says:

    Class of ’88 representin’! I was a mall goth back in the day, and I wouldn’t wish for that look to come back, like, ever. Except vampy lipstick, which never gets old. But I would love to see a return to full faces of makeup, because the sheer amount of color and self expression it would bring back would be such a breath of fresh air after all the faux natural highlighters and MLBB looks we’ve been seeing for ages now. Bring on the fuchsia blush and color gradient eyeshadow looks!

  33. Risa says:

    YES to big hair, big neon geometric earrings and outrageous makeup!! A big NO to socks worn over the jeans, turtlenecks under sweatshirts, jeans with cut outs down the side and any outfit featured in Heathers. I would rock a banana clip again though…

  34. Leticia says:

    I would also like big bows back – lace ones, like Madonna’s. I’d also love to see the bright, colorful makeup that ’80s pop stars used to wear. I sometimes look at colorful eyeliners and imagine Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes rocking them :). I’d love to see banana clips and those heavily flavored liquid lip glosses in a tube with a roller ball, like those Maybelline used to make! I would not like to see big shoulder pads back – didn’t like them back then and wouldn’t like them today.

  35. Cosmetic Fiends says:

    OMG, this is too funny, this trip down memory lane…I remember tight rolling my jeans so that you could see my 2 different (alternating) neon colored socks, that matched my shirt, of course. The “jellie” shoes, the jelly bracelets (I just googled it and I even spelled them right, what?!). Does anyone remember the jeans purses?
    I even did the mall hair, to an extent, I remember curling those bangs back and teasing them, and the wings! I also remember the brocade vest with the white shirt underneath that Kate mentioned and crushed velvet. Of course I had banana clips and scrunchies!
    I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup in the 80’s since I was in Jr high, but my 2 older sisters did and I also remember them getting the short haircut with the tail? or was that early 90’s?

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