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1980s make a hot return in fall fashions

It’s time to go back to the past when heading out to set up your wardrobe for fall

It’s time to go back to the past when heading out to set up your wardrobe for fall. According to a few local boutiques, what’s old is new again: the 1980s are making a triumphant return.

“Absolutely and coveted, like vintage tees, band tees, rocker tees. Those are huge,” emphasized Cerulean Boutique’s co-owner and head stylist Kelsey Bulmer. “A great, easy way to style them is to layer them underneath your polished professional blazer.”

Look for more signs of other times when you peruse through the jean racks and while you’re checking out what patterns are hot in tops. Jessica Adamson, operations manager at Sweet Boutique says denim will never fade in popularity but watch for easier slip-on cuts to make a comeback.

“Denim is in but with a wider leg. We're stepping away from the skinny. Not so jegging type ... now more of a straight leg or a flare and a nice boot cut,” she said, adding animal prints are also finding a resurgence in popularity.

“The biggest thing coming into the fall is animal prints: a lot of leopard in different tones and some zebra prints with warmer tones in that too. I personally love a wide leg and cheetah prints.”

Sweet Boutique already has a fine selection of animal prints in stock, kimonos included. The wider leg jeans haven’t totally chased off other cuts. There are still straight leg jeans plus work pants in a boot cut that are also towards the denim style with the wide leg.

Because the fall means that the sun starts to fade off earlier in the eve, the store has already brought in a selection of cosy knits too. Layering is in too, Adamson added.

Apart from styles and cuts, Bulmer said the biggest change Cerulean is seeing now in contrast to previous seasons is in the colour palette, which is having its biggest variations in neutrals and purples.

“We're seeing warmer tones. We're seeing browns, cognacs, bones, which are like a warm ivory tone. We're seeing brighter shades of pink like magenta and then what's taking over the trend of the millennial pink is millennial purple, which is like lavender. It is a pinky shade of purple but it's more lavender than it is that blush pink that we saw for eons.”

Some of the fashion trending seems like it might be going back a few decades farther than just the ’80s. Bulmer said to look for suiting (with either drop shoulders or exaggerated shoulders) to be huge with capes flaring dramatically in outerwear as well. Floral prints are very popular, along with plaid and those animal prints, reptile prints included. These are a nod to ultra-feminine “really girly” styles, she says, with ruffles, frills, buttons, and a little bit of cleavage showing up more fitted in the bodice. Skirts are getting the ultra feminine touch too, making them ultra flirty.

“Long coats ... we're seeing plaid and houndstooth. They call it exaggerated length or longer jacket ... so the car coat is still around, but it's more the elongated coat trend, meaning dusters or floor-length jackets. This is super ’80s,” she continued, noting a distinctive nod to the street style that loomed large two to three decades ago.

“We're not seeing athleisure. We're seeing this whole chill street vibe coming back and that's the nod to the ’90s with graphics: Levi's, Tommy Hilfiger, Club Monaco, Champion ... those vintage brands. My very favourite trend right now is the blazer and plaid. We're also seeing hair scrunchies making a huge, huge comeback.”

Fashion has always shown its inspirations from the new cycled with its homages to what’s older.

“Everything always shows up again. I feel that the second time around gives you another chance to do it better than the first time you did it,” she winked.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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