Boomerang: How Fashion from the 80s and 90s has Made a Comeback Among Teens in 2018

Julia Steinberg, Staff Contributor

If one were to look around the halls of Windsor High School, they might find an abundance of scrunchies, a substantial amount of striped garments, and a great deal of high-waisted “mom jeans”. These trends are reminiscent of those of the 1980s and 1990s, so why are they making a comeback among teens living in 2018?

In the past couple of years, the clothes, accessories, and brands once popular two or three decades ago have made a resurgence in the repertoire of teen fashion.

Sophomore Ariana Waterhouse says she especially loves clothes from the 80s. In an interview, she explained that she likes “the versatility, simplicity, and comfortability” of the returning trends. She typically likes to dress in “mom jeans” and other pants that are loose at the bottom to cuff and distress. “I’m also obsessed with weird graphic t-shirts.” To top her outfits off, she likes to employ chunky shoes, sometimes referred to as “dad shoes”, small sunglasses, and windbreakers.

Styles similar to Waterhouse’s aren’t selective to just Windsor High School, though. Across the internet, retro items of clothing are popping back up, with a sizable popularity among teens. Seventeen-year-old YouTube star Emma Chamberlain posted a photo on her Instagram page with a pair of blocky, white sneakers in the foreground, the focus of the photo. The post, captioned “borrowed these shoes from my dad,” garnered over 1.4 million likes. So why are teens across the world so enamored with past styles?

Waterhouse thinks that teen influencers such as Chamberlain, people on social media with a large audience that promote brands they love, have something to do with it, inspiring their followers to try out new styles. “I find a lot of inspiration for hair, fashion, and makeup from different, bigger Instagram accounts with a similar style.”

While the items popular in teen fashion has changed, the ways of going about buying them have also changed. More and more, teens are choosing to go to stores such as Goodwill to shop for their clothes. It can be a great way to buy apparel for an inexpensive price tag, and every once in a while, one can discover designer deals marked deals marked down to an affordable price. Waterhouse thinks “thrifting” might be tied to the resurgence of trends of the 80s and 90s. She says, “the best way to get that style is to buy clothes from that actual time and thrift stores usually are filled with clothes donated that are from that time.” She says that 80% of her closet is made up of finds from thrift stores, turned into something unique, with Savers being her go to thrift location.