Bad girls and good boys on the run, rich kids from L.A., a Brooklyn babymama, and Otis Redding-loving geeks are the ’80s movie characters that we will be admiring here today. If your closet needs some shaking up, throw on some lace, a blazer, and some white creepers and pump up some ’80s jams on your boombox. LET’S DO IT.
Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) is one of the greatest fashion movies of the ’80s because not only was it a good display of Madonna’s game-changing style at the time, which was see-through black lace, layer upon layer of rosaries, and studded, high-heeled boots, but the plot revolved around a piece of clothing, the infamous pyramid jacket, and a pair of stolen Egyptian earrings. Am I sensing a theme here? There were actually replicas of the jacket made when the movie came out that are now collector’s items.You can also find reproductions like this one on Etsy. Unfortunately I don’t have a clever DIY for us to make our own just yet. In the meantime, follow Madonna’s lace-gloved lead and have fun accessorizing like a madwoman with stacked rubber bracelets and crosses, crosses, EVERYWHERE!
The characters in Pretty in Pink (1986) have some of the best ensembles in any ’80s movie, so it was hard to decide who to write about. We all know Molly Ringwald is an inspiration herself, and don’t get me started on her eclectic record-store boss and my own personal style icon, Iona, played by Annie Potts. But let’s all lay our cards on the table and look each other straight in the eyes here: the guy who takes the cake is DEFINITELY Andie’s sidekick/unrequited lover, Duckie. Take a gander at this scene, melt, collect yourself and continue with this article. OK, are we ready? Since Duckie is a master of pattern-worship, I think a Duckette would wear tons of wild prints and bright blazers and accessorize with cool, celestial-themed bolo ties and an assortment of brooches. Scour flea markets and Etsy to start your own collection of crazy pins and start a bad crush on yourself.
Less Than Zero (1987) is a tale of high school friends caught up in a seedy world of drugs and rich-people problems post-graduation. At least Jami Gertz’s character always looked pretty slammin’. She was sleek and professional in black blazers and pencil skirts, but added accessories like big earrings, bright red lipstick, and hot-pink handkerchiefs peeking out of pockets. Do the same in an all-black ensemble, like this black blazer from ASOS Curve and silk stockings from Hansel and Basel. Then add your hints of pink with your shoes and lipstick.
It wasn’t hard to see why young piano virtuoso Danny (River Phoenix), whose family was on the run from the law, fell hard for Lorna (Martha Plimpton) in Running on Empty (1988). (They dated in real life too!) Her style was mostly casual, but some outfits, like her cream-colored peasant dress and black boots, looked effortlessly stylish. I myself want these buckle boots from Romwe. Add one piece of statement jewelry, like this gold necklace or these earrings, both from Modcloth. God, River was so HOT in that movie…
In Do the Right Thing (1989) Rosie Perez played Tina, the girlfriend-slash-babymama of Mookie (Spike Lee), a pizza-delivery guy dealing with race battles in his Bed-Stuy neighborhood. In the opening credits we see Rosie busting some funky moves to Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power” in an all-red outfit. I love it when someone dresses like a walking crayon! I like how she has a thing for bows, too. All-gold jewelry is another key to dressing like Tina, and while you’re at it, put a nameplate necklace at the top of your wish list. I’m wearing my own “Marie” one right now. Pardon me while I put on my Pumas and start learning this routine.