Acid Wash, Pegged Leg & High-Waisted! 80s Jeans Are Baaack

Collection Style Life

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The 80s is known as the best decade for music, and the worst for fashion — which makes it really strange that a lot of 80s trends are huge again. Oversized sweaters and tees, neon colors, bomber jackets, and now jeans from that era are hotter than ever. If there’s a pair in your mom’s closet, snag them and don’t give them back.

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Fashion trends come from either the runway or the street. Balmain showed 80s-influenced denim back in 2009. Karen Walker had acid wash denim, and Cheap Monday showed off baggy ripped denim (think Dexys Midnight Runners or Bananarama) on the catwalk in 2015. It just didn’t take off. It wasn’t until this past summer that the trend became hot thanks to hipsters. First “Mom Jeans” became a pop street trend, and now grabbing Bon Jour jeans circa 1983 is a thing.

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Hipsters started fighting with high schoolers on who could snag jeans that were born in the 80s in thrift stores. The shops that used to be bursting with them now have almost empty racks with skinny jeans from Paige, Joe Jeans, Rag & Bone are priced at $12 and under waiting for a new home. Who knew a day would come when pricey jeans would get passed up in favor of funky 80s jeans?

What made them trendy? After years of skinny low-rise jeans and their permutations: super skinny, super low, low-low, skinny skinny, you get bored. Looking for options, you’ll find yourself in a thrift store looking at (cheap) alternatives. And they were designed to show off your butt… always a good thing.

Image Credit: Pinterest    Jeans whose companies bit the dust years ago, brands like Bongo, Sassoon, Marithe + Francois Girbaud, Jou Jou, Z. Cavaricci, Zena, Jordache, Sergio Valente, Bon Jour, Sassoon, and Gitano are hot again. At least with the hipsters. Gloria Vanderbilt was once considered a premium brand, and is now usually found in budget fashion stores. Ironically, her jeans from the 80s which can be found in Etsy and Ebay have a much higher price tag.

A Brief History of 80s Jeans Styles

80s Jeans had four main trends: Acid wash, denim, ripped and baggy and double-dyed.

Image Credit: Pinterest Double-dyed was a jean in either fuchsia, turquoise-teal, blue, or acid green, then re-dyed black. The black dye settled in the creases of the fabric and softened the original shade of jeans.

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Baggy and ripped look exactly how they sound.

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Acid wash could make denim look like it had been iced with frosting. A lot of acid wash jeans were made with a pegged leg. The leg of the jean is becomes fuller after the butt, then tapers down towards the ankle. The jeans were meant to be worn cuffed, then pegged.

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Dark denim was considered the “dressy jean.” Worn with heels and a silk shirt, 20-somethings would slither into the disco in them. The big draw for these jeans was the emblem and embroidery on the back pocket. Sassoon was considered to be higher up on the food chain than say, Sergio Valente or Zena jeans.

How to Wear Them

The basic rule is to wear them like you’d wear any other jean that’s in your closet. They’re great with anything from cropped tops to fitted shirts. Because the jeans were designed to show off your waist and butt, you might want to invest in a few eye-catching belts. Other than that, have at it!

Where to Get Them

You may have to hip-check a hipster, but you can still find them in thrift stores. Prices there are usually under $20. Vintage shops, Etsy and eBay (as mentioned earlier) have ‘em, but the price tags are higher. 

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