An ’80s-inspired look – Layering Series #4 (part 1)

I read an article the other day about going against the idea of a capsule wardrobe, that is keeping stuff rather than discarding and minimising. The rationale behind the article was that fashion is cyclical, which means that what goes around comes around, so something that was in fashion last year might come back in 4.5 years’ time, or could be 20 microseasons away. With this thought in mind, I wonder: what if my mother had held on to certain pieces that she donned in the 70s and 80s, would they really be adequate or too literal-looking? What I am thinking about is whether it is indeed possible to  wear something that belonged to a certain period of time (what some would call vintage) or would that feel as though one were stuck in a time warp of sorts? (p.s. unless the piece in question is really worth it, like designer, a family heirloom, or anything of real value, then perhaps it is no use crying over spilt milk discarded clothes). Whilst we are in simulacra-mode harking back to the 80s and 90s (more of the former this season), it is apropos to point out that this reminiscence for a past decade (read: I lived that decade as a child so really, it is quite a bit of a literal nostalgia for me) is also playing itself out in a number of films, series, and other pop culture influences. But what came first, the production of such TV shows and films, or the fashion trend? Do the former influence the latter, as seen in the way cult movies like The Shining and 80s-set popular show Stranger Things brought back certain pieces out on the catwalk and in stores? (You will see more of this in an upcoming article for VIDA Magazine). Whatever it is, even if it looks like we are going back in time, in reality the trend is inspired, so thankfully we are still not reviving horrendous pieces of fashion, but giving them a more contemporary twist.


Which is where puffed sleeves (and oversized blazers – see next post) come in – love them or hate them? The jury is rather on the fence and still a bit out on this one, but I sort of tried it out via this top which comes in red, so that is more of a win for me (I still love this colour this season). In the 80s I do not really recall wearing puffed sleeves much, or maybe I did and I ‘obliviated’ my memory Harry Potter style to avoid embarrassment (I daresay my mum has always had a great demure sense of style so I do not think she would have dressed me in anything disastrous). Now, back to this top. Fun story: When I got it in the sale, from Mango, I had NO IDEA that the sleeves were this puffed. No, really, I just grabbed it because of its colour, its price, and because I figured the size would fit me (a. I did not feel like trying it on, and b. I was with someone so I had to make a snap decision). The result? I loved it as soon as I wore it, it is so soft and versatile despite its style. Next post: see how I layered it with another 80s-inspired piece, so keep an eye out.

p.s. If you are wearing an era-led piece, keep the rest contemporary or at least, not too literal. Ok, I pulled my hair up as we used to do in the 90s, with a tie-up band, and maybe the sock boots are a bit 90s also, but with that metallic heel you would know it is more 2018 than 1998.

photos – Marie Claire Portelli

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