"When most people reflect on jewelry of the '80s, I think they'd reference all of the neon, lucite, rubber, and the like," Jill Heller, a fine jeweler, vintage expert, and collector, tells The Zoe Report. While the jewelry aficionado isn't wrong, she points out the more glamorous side to '80s jewelry trends, which she considers most relevant today. "When I think of '80s — jewels, sleek, shiny, sexy, yellow gold," she says, sighting gold tube necklaces, wide snake chains, oversize earrings, colorful gemstones, and diamonds. "They're timeless, and that's why they're fresh now." Tanika Wisdom, a buyer at MATCHESFASHION, also highlights pearls, drop earrings, and bold chain-links as must-try takes on '80s jewelry this season.
Whether an oversize necklace, big pair of earrings, or bold cocktail ring appeals to you, '80s-style jewelry can skew casually elegant or full-on glam — it all depends on the styling and how literal you want to get. "All of these pieces are evergreen staples in my book; they've become classic jewelry icons and should be styled as such," Heller says. She suggests jeans, neutral knitwear, and blazers to downplay the effects of bold '80s accents for the daytime. After hours, she's in favor of drama and having fun, pairing bold-but-polished baubles with slip dresses or party-ready silk satin. "[Eighties jewelry] is synonymous with celebration, letting loose, [and the idea of] the ultimate party girl. In a time that can feel very dull and sad, we'll take all the mood-lifting jewelry we can get!"
From necklaces to earrings and bracelets, keep scrolling to discover eight '80s jewelry trends that are back in a big way for fall/winter 2020, with additional insight from Heller and Wisdom. If you're ready to make a purchase, shop your favorites, ranging from affordable finds to splurge-worthy investments.
The '80s Jewelry Trend: Snake Chains
Snake or herringbone chains have surged in popularity in 2020, but it's a look that ruled in the '80s. With a necklace, Heller says a wider chain is vital for capturing an '80s tone: "You want big, not delicate." About 3 to 4 millimeters will be the most versatile for everyday wear, especially when layered with pendants and chain-links. Bracelets and earrings are another way to wear the trend, day or night.