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Given the recent popularity in homages to 1980s cinematography with the resurgence of the Star Wars film franchise and the science-fiction horror web series Stranger Things, it’s a no-brainer that the ‘80s is making its mark on the runways, streets, and wardrobes of Harrisites in 2017.
Just from one glance at the swarm of bustling students passing through the halls of Townsend Harris High School, it is almost guaranteed that you will spot the occasional pair of mom jeans this season. What was once considered unfashionable and unflattering, especially in the early 2000s when low-rise jeans reached popularity, mom jeans are now stealing the spotlight from the prominent skinny jeans.
Mom jeans are classically light wash blue without any fading or stone washing. They are typically made in a high-waist fit that sits above the belly button and are worn “pegged,” with the cuffs rolled up. Much of the resurgence of the trend today is due to the freedom of styling them in your own unique way, whether it’s pairing them with a go-to accent belt, DIYing rips and tears for a more grungy and distressed look, or adorning them with your favorite pins and patches for a pop of color and fun.
Not only are they cute and comfortable, they can be easily dressed up with a flowy peasant top and leather jacket, or dressed down with a cozy turtleneck or hoodie. Walk into any Urban Outfitters, Levi’s, Forever 21, or Topshop, and you’ll be sure to find pairs in an array of colors.
Junior Mandy Tan is particularly enthusiastic about these jeans. “You’re not trying to go for form fitting, but instead a very laid-back look. It’s incredibly comfortable and is pairable with all kinds of shoes.” She also mentioned going denim on denim. This is a look that should be worn preferably with two contrasting washes.
Sportswear brands, such as Nike and Adidas, have also been promoting retro-inspired looks through the athleisure trend, which embraces both comfort and style. Outerwear such as oversized vintage jackets and colorblock windbreakers all have designs influenced by those of past decades.
The varsity jacket is a personal favorite of junior Savannah Young. She emphasizes the versatility and charm of the jacket, and explains why it is a staple in her wardrobe. “You can pin anything on a varsity jacket—it doesn’t necessarily have to be your school logo. It makes the jacket unique and accentuates your personality.”
It is best to not wear too many things at once and to be minimalistic. Keep to simple pieces that complement each other instead. Avoid clashing bright colors and don’t feel obliged to wear vintage head to toe. Focusing on one piece gives you more freedom to dress in your own unique style.
Senior Amanda Lin also suggests, “Since retro clothing is typically a mix of both tight and loose fitting pieces, you should avoid wearing all baggy or all tight [things].”
Thrift stores are your best bet on finding the perfect vintage piece. Stores such as No Relation Vintage and Beacon’s Closet both have locations in Manhattan as well as Brooklyn, and are popular places to find fun, nostalgic clothing. This revival of retro-inspired looks from the ‘80s is a refreshing trend that adds color and personality to your outfit.