If you consider yourself a “dress person,” you also know how difficult it is to let go of your favorite styles once fall rolls around. Luckily, you don’t have to, because there is a must-try for fall waiting for you: the ‘80s-inspired mini dress trend. While the “more is more” era is enjoying a resurgence in many sartorial ways (think: voluminous tops and strong-shouldered blazers), mini dresses with an ’80s flare are remarkably versatile for fall.
The '80s is the decade that typically errs on the side of maximalism, with taffeta ruffles and sequins serving as its star qualifiers. As such, the era's over-the-top dresses are typically associated with fancy parties and evening-wear. But fall’s take on the polarizing trend allows for breaking out ‘80s mini dresses (sequins included) during the daylight as well.
What makes these festive looks acceptable all day long is the intermixing of ‘80s trends like puff sleeves and animal print and modern fabrications. “This fall we’re loving 80s-inspired dresses,” says Heather Shimokawa, the Vice President of Fashion Direction: RTW, at Bloomingdale’s. “Inspiration can be seen in the puff sleeves and one-shoulder styles, which feel fierce.”
As Shimokawa explains, the retailer’s options translate beyond disco parties. “Bloomingdale’s has check and zebra-print styles that when paired with a blazer are great wear-to-work looks. Mini-dresses in colored sequins or lurex add a much needed glamour back into your wardrobe.”
Ahead, you’ll find a handful of different ways to style the fancy trend beyond the party scene, and a few ‘80s-inspired numbers to shop now to get your collection started.
Pretty In Pink
Looking for a sophisticated way to wear pink? A puff-sleeve ‘80s dress is your answer. The strong shoulders and cinched silhouette make the magenta number less Elle Woods and more Jackie O. Style with black tights for contrast that will keep you warm, too.
Mix an ‘80s silhouette, such as oversized sleeves, with an of-the-moment hue for a more sophisticated approach. Since all shades of green will continue to capture the fashion world's attention for months to come, it makes for a solid choice.
A metallic patchwork slip dress manages to channel a token of the era – a disco ball. Style with kitten heels and a cropped jacket to scale back the shimmer of the dress.
A Snakeskin Approach
Snakeskin accessories never fail to add an extra layer to an all black ensemble. For a similar take, pair a metallic mini dress with on-trend snakeskin ankle boots.
For a modern approach the glam frock trend, opt for a dress that has a 2019 twist, like zebra print. Add bedazzled hair clips for an extra glam effect.
Embrace the strong suiting that has resurged from the '80s for this fall and style an oversized blazer and skirt together for a polished alternative. Choose an extra-long blazer that barely hits the skirt's hem for a modern twist. Suit sets with graphic plaid or pleats feel just the right around of '80s boss without going overboard.
Sign Of The Times
Lean into retro fashion by pairing a sturdy-yet-feminine mini dress with chunky boots. The contrast of sweet high-volume sleeves and edgy footwear play well together.
A blazer dress is fall’s version of a one-and-done outfit. Look for a checkered pattern for a retro take on the piece. Style with workwear accessories to finish everything off.
While unequivocally glamorous, a strong-shouldered metallic mesh mini dress can be overwhelming. Tone down the alluring number with sporty sneakers that is equally as voluptuous.