Are The 80’s Making A Comeback?

By: Danny Olivares   &   Lucas Henkel | Arts & Entertainment Editors
February 2, 2017

Teased hair, shoulder pads, and poppy electronic tunes? Many would say that this is a description of the famous decade known as the 1980’s. However, from our view, this can be extended to present day. It’s apparent that most of today’s youth seem to follow an innumerable amount of trends, and surprise surprise, some of these trends seemed to be the result of retro nostalgia. Whether the kids are borrowing their mother’s vintage skirt or their dad’s leather jacket, or dancing and swaying to A Flock of Seagulls, they sure do look pretty cool.

So we thought it’d be fitting to put up our top list of things that prove that the aesthetic of the 1980’s is making a comeback in both entertainment and fashion. Are you like, totally ready?


First, the obvious: Movies.

It comes as no surprise that many movies from the 80’s are still highly respected today amongst younger audiences. Classics like The Breakfast ClubSixteen Candles, and Pretty In Pink are prime examples–to name a few–that many of us hold dear despite their age. It’s probably because of the fact that they’re still  relatable with their down-to-Earth high school situations: social anxiety, not fitting in with the crowd, and the crushing fear of what awaits for us in adulthood. But even if the movie doesn’t take place in a high school, there’s still that vintage charm and cheesy-but-awesome one-liners.

It’s understandable that many aspiring filmmakers are trying to appeal to that crowd nowadays. It’s kind of interesting to note though that the retro throwback style only started resurging fairly recently. Sure, there have been a handful of throwback movies from time to time, like the mediocre 2011 prequel to John’ Carpenter’s The Thing, or the surprisingly enjoyable “clichéd” 2014 horror movie It Follows, but there’s a major difference between now and then that we like to describe as “B.S.T.” and “A.S.T.”: Before & After Stranger Things.

Yes, I’m sure we’ve all heard of this show by now. Back in 2013, Netflix made the bold move of starting to release their own original content for viewers to enjoy. Over the years, the company began to expand further into that territory, and soon enough, in 2015, Netflix greenlit a pitch by the Duffer Brothers, which turned into Stranger Things and was released the following year. Obviously, the show was a huge hit. With season two already wrapped up now, Stranger Things is a pivotal show that revitalized the retro throwback style, with its synth-heavy soundtrack and aged look. It’s a love letter to the classics and it knows it.

As a result, we are all living currently in A.S.T. with Netflix giving the go ahead for more 80’s inspired shows such as Glow. With the success of Stranger Things, this trend will only continue to grow.

Another thing that we can’t miss whilst on the topic of entertainment is music.

80’s music is interesting to say the least. It’s incredibly distinct for the most part, usually due to the decade-defining synthesizers, keyboards, and drum machines, as well as the iconic vocals of stars like Kenny Loggins, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Madonna, and many more. Yes, the 80’s was truly the golden age for keyboard players, with bands like Human League, Pet Shop Boys, and New Order on the top of their game.

Of course, times change, and for a good while, hardly anyone touched an analog synthesizer–excluding bands that are still performing like Depeche Mode. That is up until recent years when E.D.M. (Electronic Dance Music) came into our lives. Or more accurately, back into our lives, since upon examination, EDM is really what many 80’s classics were at heart: synthesized pop music. With modern music artists like Chainsmokers, Daft Punk, and Calvin Harris, synthesizers are back in business with a fresh coat of paint!


Besides entertainment, fashion is just as big as a contender.

Although we all agree some things should stay in the 80’s, there are still many fashion trends that would look great- even today. Fashion archetypes such as Madonna and Cyndi Lauper are pretty much the best examples of how to dress. With their wild hair, chunky jewelry, fishnet stockings, and bubbly attitude that these girls have, millennials are certainly getting their kicks out of emulating them. Here is a list of the best comeback trends. 

Denim jackets: It seems that everybody has at least one denim jacket nowadays. Whether you scored one at a thrift shop or bought a brand new one at a store, a denim jacket is required for a teenager. In the 80’s, kids had to make their own cuts, distress their own jackets, sew on their patches , and so on.  Now, kids get these things premade. They sure do have it easy.

Crop tops: If you don’t know what they are, think of shirts that have been cut up towards the belly button area. Most kids cut their own shirts and even sweaters in this style, but it can now easily be found in trendy stores such as Forever 21 and H&M.

Neon jackets and Blazers: How can we talk about the 80’s without incorporating a little bit of neon? Modern kids take this to a new level. SCHS senior, Briejenn Kopelman explains how, “Modern teens know that these particular style of outwear are outdated and cheesy but they still like to find them in second hand stores and incorporate it their style. It gives them a quirky charm.” This is quite true, go to your nearby thrift shop and they for sure will have low stock on these jackets and blazers.

Fishnets: Whether you want to look like a punk rocker or just a girl who wants to have fun, fishnet stockings add a touch of edge to any outfit. In the 80’s, fishnets were usually worn on the arms and legs on both boys and girls, now modern kids prefer a simple pair of fishnet stockings to wear under their shorts or skirts. They also can make someone look undeniably seductive–although it might be best to save that for college.

Colorful Makeup: Makeup has always been relevant. But this form of style has recently blown up quite drastically and now everybody thinks they’re a beauty guru. Trendy makeup companies such as Sephora have been recently pushing for more colorful and vibrant makeup palettes which in turn inspires their customers to create a more wild face. This is a throwback to when teenagers in the 80’s messed around with their own makeup and created things such as rainbow eye shadow or cool geometric patterns on their face. SCHS Davey Mclure expresses how, “When it comes to 80’s, the makeup is my favorite part! There’s endless possibilities of what you can do.”

In the end, 2018 is definitely a time of artistic experiment. Fashion, music, movies, anything is up for grabs when it comes to emulating the spirit of the 1980’s. Are the things we listed seem relevant to your personal style? Tell us what you think, write in the comments below.

And remember: Never gonna give you up! Never gonna let you down!

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