fashion . Styling Tips

Stranger Style: How To Do The '80s Fashion Comeback Right

Throwback done right


Admit it. We weren't the only ones whose hearts literally almost stopped with delight when Cara Buono (a.k.a Mrs. Wheeler) started applying all her makeup without a care in the world on Stranger Things. Wrinkles be damned, Buono’s character was the epitome of ‘80s beauty, the chosen time period of the widely popular Netflix series, which is now on its third season.



Mrs. Wheeler’s beauty regimen had everything we loved about ‘80s style — bold, fun and the excessive use of purple eyeshadow. Watching the latest series, one can’t help but think that perhaps it’s time to bring back the ‘80s aesthetics. Sure, we hope there’s a more Earth-friendly option to the Farrah Fawcett hairstyle that needs lots of hairspray and that men had more hair choices than just a greasy mullet or a nerdy apple cut, but who doesn’t love a little fashion statement once in a while right? Also, aerobics.

So minus bombing your hair with Aqua Net or wearing kitten heels with your swimsuits, here are some of our tips from Stranger Things on how to do the ‘80s fashion comeback right.


Denim on denim 


Here’s a fashion lesson Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake could have taken during the 2001 American Music Awards — how to do a proper denim on denim look. Resident Stranger Things bad boy Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) showed us the proper way of pulling off the all-jeans attire and that’s strategic layering (looking at you Spears).


(Photo from: KatherineThivya)

Billy’s classic bad boy persona was highlighted by his sexy jeans ensemble, something all of us can actually do. Forego the all jean jumpsuits for now and opt for some strategic denim layering — find yourself some flattering jeans and pair it with a simple top before finishing off with some nice denim jacket.

Make sure that your bottoms have a darker shade than your top to balance your proportions. For the jacket, go wild with the ‘80s theme and find a nice classic denim version like Levi’s denim trucker jacket or Gap’s Color Icon denim. Adopt the ‘80s feel and find your pair in the men’s section — remember, the larger the better.


Bold Prints


Nothing spells “Girls just want to have fun” better than bold prints in your outfit. Even the late Lady Di let her hair loose a little by pairing a large polka dot blouse with electric blue skirt and a box hat for the 1986 Vancouver World Expo?  


(Photo from: paradeoflove)

Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven gave us a more streamlined version on Stranger Things by cleverly pairing a boxy printed top with some good ol' jeans. The same carefree style can be done by wearing loose button-down shirts from the menswear. Scared of prints? A cool, bold colour would do. It won’t hurt to look at Jim Hopper’s flashy tops in the series and adopt the prints for your own.

Don’t be scared of a perm


Nancy Wheeler’s (Natalia Dyer) short perm may have made her look old for her age but it doesn’t mean one should shy away from glorious curls. If you want to adopt a similar look, better hold off on a chemical assault and opt for a more natural do.


(Photo from: stylesiren)


The Facebook group Love Your Curls, which now has 31,000 members, was created back in 2016 to encourage women to love their natural waves instead of having it chemically straightened. Joining the group would not just give you pointers on what products to use (like BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Bb. Curl Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil or Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum) but the members would also inspire you to embrace your natural hairstyle.

Go high


No no, not that high. What we mean is going high-waisted on both jeans and shorts like Eleven and Max, which could give any outfit an instant artistic appeal. There’s something chic about emphasizing a woman’s waist and this is one fashion statement that could work from office to street or morning to night when paired with the right top, accessories and shoes. Not to mention, high waist jeans and shorts are both comfy and quite versatile.


(Photo from: shermaineinez)

Our favourites: Topshop Black Belt Loop Joni Jeans and Levi’s Wedgie High-Rise Jeans.

Purple power


You didn’t think we’d do an ‘80s comeback fashion without covering purple eyeshadow, did you? Because of course, we are. But we’re not talking about the purple shades Cindy Lauper seemed to have a penchant for back in the ‘80s. We’re talking about choosing the right shade of purple and using it to give your face a simple yet beautiful highlight.


(Photo from: GreenStory)

Glossier’s Lidstar in Lily, for example, gives wearers a subtle sheen that basically helps your peepers pop out especially when worn in the morning. Celebrity makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown suggested that beginners should choose a purple eyeshadow with a creamy formula. A shimmery shade such as the Fenty Match Stix in Unicorn could also help, creating the illusion of light bouncing off one’s eyelids — magical!

A piece of good advice: When you choose to wear purple, keep the rest of your makeup simple such as choosing a lighter shade of pink or something nude for your lips because you don’t want to overdo it.


(Cover photo from: KatherineThivya)