A New 80s Generation

Trends are almost always cyclical. As an avid fashion lover and follower, I’ve learned that styles and trends can be in style one year, go out of style over the next few years, and then come back in full force a decade later. One trend that I’ve noticed in fashion, film, and people’s general lifestyles, is how it’s become cool to be super retro. Like, 1980s retro.

This train of thought was mainly sparked by a Netflix movie that I watched this past week, called To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. A charming coming-of-age rom com based on a best-selling book, this movie featured a main character that has odd interests. She watches Golden Girls, one of her favorite movies is Pretty in Pink, and at one point in the movie, she lets her beau put her hand in her back pocket as a sign of their relationship. Her favorite spot to go to is a retro diner, where she plays her mother’s favorite 80s hit on the jukebox — “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears.

But besides the movie, I began realizing that my summer was (somewhat unintentionally) saturated with this retro 80s aesthetic. I finally got around to seeing Oscar-nominated movie Call Me By Your Name, which came out a year ago but takes place in 1980s Italy, and whose visuals and vintage style were praised. I was online shopping and saw this terribly bright, neon, color-blocked long sleeve shirt that had likes in the double digits. Just being on campus for a week, I’ve seen an overwhelming amount of “dad shoes” — the stark white, clunky sneakers that only a small number of people can really pull off.

Maybe “retro” is becoming synonymous with “hipster” and “artsy.” Is repurposing something old a shortcut to style or to capturing a wider audience?

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