Actually, the ‘80s Dress Trend Is More Wearable Than You Think

Actually, the ‘80s Dress Trend Is More Wearable Than You Think

InStyle | Samantha Sutton

We’ve barely shaken the sand out of our beach bag and yet, everywhere we turn, there are signs that fall is around the corner. Stores are stocked with back-to-school supplies, Halloween costumes are already being sold, and, most importantly, we’ve started wondering what trends to fill our closet with ahead of next season. One of the first on our list? Poofy-sleeved, ruffled, Dynasty-inspired ’80s dresses.

It might sound questionable, but fashion houses like Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, and Alexandre Vauthier have convinced us that this throwback trend is back — and slightly better than before. This time around, options are more understated, and there are a million ways to style them. We’ve found 17 different outfit ideas to help you get started.

1. Add Some Tights

Saint Laurent proved that this is the perfect combination, especially for formal events and the holiday season.

2. Keep It Sweet

“Pilgrim” ’80s dresses were paired with sock and sandals on the Miu Miu runway.

3. Slip-On Statement Shoes

Dare to go the Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture route by finding over-the-top footwear to match those voluminous shoulders.

4. …Or Just a Pair of Sneakers

Kate Bosworth made the trend casual by styling her puff-sleeves with classic Reeboks.

5. Accentuate Your Waist

If your ’80s dress isn’t as form-fitting as you’d like, cinch it with a belt.

6. Grab Your Boots

Black slouchy boots make a ruffled, metallic dress seem very rock ‘n’ roll.

7. Think Outside the Box

Pull your mini dress over a pair of wide-leg pants for a fun, unexpected look.

8. Go With All-Black Everything

While the ’80s were big for bright colors, something darker — such as a ruffled LBD — is the perfect option for a night out. Wear it with black heels and a black bag like Nia Sioux.

9. Dress It Down

You can definitely rock a ruched and pleated gown during the day. Just keep your accessories to a minimum and add white booties.

10. Color Coordinate

Do as Nicky Hilton did and highlight a color in your dress with shoes of the same shade.

11. Don’t Go Overboard With Accessories

When your dress makes such a statement, classic hoops, like Rumer Willis’s gold pair, will balance things out.

12. Make It Date Night-Ready

Gabrielle Union wore this short and sexy style to the ESPYs, but it could easily work for a night out, too. She let the dress steal the spotlight by going with classic, metallic heeled sandals.

13. Have Fun With Layering

Wearing your ruffled dress over a turtleneck and jeans gives it a more daytime feel.

14. Pull On Knee-Highs

We love this schoolgirl meets ’80s-prom queen vibe.

15. Get Inspired By a Disney Princess

As in, add metallic shoes and a bedazzled, tiara-like clip, just like Beanie Feldstein.

16. Stick With Classics

Don’t stress. Your go-to black ankle boots will work with this outfit, too.

17. Keep the Rest Understated

When in doubt, try neutral heels or ones that are close to your skin tone to help elongate your legs.


This article was written by Samantha Sutton from InStyle and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to


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