Back to school with an ’80s groove | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

At 22, I have little to no recollection of the ’80s. I was born in 1988, so it’s safe to assume I gained a certain consciousness of the world only in the ’90s.

If like me, you grew up with the Backstreet Boys, you’re not used to the era—save for maybe your dad’s Wham! cassette tape or your mom’s John Hughes DVD collection.

Fast forward to 2011. Teens wear fluorescent bike shorts underneath belly-baring cropped tops, jumpsuits, faded denim, sweat shirts, rainbow nails, and bright lipstick. “Summer fashion” is what the young call them; my dad sees things differently.

On a recent trip to Shanghai with the family, I wore my lipstick in the brightest shade of fuchsia, and paired it off with a teal tank top and my fluorescent pink skirt.

At the time, I thought I was cleverly “color-blocking” my outfit using my Stabilo highlighter palette, but upon seeing me, my dad blurted out: “So the ’80s are back!”

Mullets and stirrups

Unless I see mullets and stir-ups, I wouldn’t hastily declare that the ’80s are here again just yet, but it wouldn’t hurt to look back. Youtube Molly Ringwald movies or the old Filipino classic “Bagets,” and take cue from the ’80s for the upcoming school season.

1. Fluorescents

The ’80s scream fluorescents, and 2011 is brimming with this “hot” trend! Drop by any other store and you’ll definitely get hold of a glaringly fluorescent piece. For school, fluorescent accessories would spice up a simple outfit—a pop of color to brighten an otherwise drab day. Think: Necklace, bangles, socks, or even nail polish.

2. Integrating sportswear

I’ve always been fascinated with the sportswear trend. Upon looking at my dad’s old photos, I was overwhelmed by the amount of sport raglans, jackets, and sneakers he wore back in the day. Then I flipped through a few of my Chinese magazines and saw the latest Adidas Neo collection and thought it screamed “’80s.” The best thing about integrating sportswear is that it’s “school-friendly”; it allows you to move in utmost comfort.

3. Satchels

You need to lug around a bag that fits just about everything, from your books to gadgets. Thankfully, satchels are very “in” this season. Back in the ’80s, satchels were used by baby-boomers, with shoulder pads. Granted, satchels have been present since the days of yore (invented in the 17th century), but if you want to channel the fashionable ’80s outcast (think Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink”) and still maintain functionality, satchels are the way to go!

4. Denim

The ’80s proved to be the year of slashed denim, which carried over to the ’90s, of course. But denims will never go out of fashion. Denim and its multiple reincarnations are pretty “hot” and school-friendly. It leverages on comfort and functionality, without losing that casual vibe.

5. Comfortable shoes

In the past eras, comfortable shoes never went out of fashion. They also went well with school; flats and sneakers are practical, especially for students who are often on the go. Although wearing comfortable shoes is a given, it should be revisited.

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