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"Silk does for the body what diamonds do for the hand." - Oscar De La Renta

Dear Auntie Kiki: owning 80s redux

80s statement top styling

Lessons in feeling fabulous and not giving a fug from our resident stylist, Auntie Kiki

Dear Auntie Kiki,

I’m 30, flirty, and totally in love with fashion, but I’m having a turbulent time with 80s statement style. I’ve got a sporty frame and the era’s over accentuated curves leave me feeling like a less-than-fantastic Ru Paul runner-up. How do I own retro redux whilst still accentuating my fit frame?

Yours truly,

Buff in Berkshire.

Dear Buff in Berkshire,

Congrats on your rock solid silhouette, I’m sure I’m not the only one gritting my teeth with envy right now.

But, whilst your straight up-and-down body shape might be totally en vogue for today’s athleisure obsessed designer, the 80s celebrated the female form and all its ‘flaws’.

I use the prescribed single quotes because believe it or not, pinching an inch does not mean you need a juice cleanse.

I’ve seen Cindy Crawford up close and personal, and take it from me, that woman rocked a high leg bikini and still had a side of fries.

I have never been one to forfeit dessert in hope of a smaller stomach, thinner legs or less fat on my chicken wings but, hey, I’m actually one of the lucky few that got to live through the 80s – a time when you could squeeze all your lumps into lycra and then add some shoulder pads.

Thankfully, not all the souvenirs from that disco ball era befall us today. We owe our appreciation to designers like Saint Laurent and Isabel Marant for replaying the best of the 80s with an elegant allure – and leaving the worst in the trash heap of bad ideas (along with the fax and Banarama’s Greatest Hits).

Offering an evening refinement that’s all glitter and gold, accentuated shoulders, cinched waists and a feline confidence offers the night owl a taste of decadence with form-flattering cuts and eye-catching structural separates.

Ideal for any figure, whether you’ve got petite features or you’re hauling a wide load like Kim K, the beauty of this hot-off-the-catwalk trend is that you don’t need the booty to back up this figure fooling look. No boobs? No bother. Big thighs, small shoulders or whatever body part you’re worrying about, the 80s is the ideal way to hide your body hang-ups without dressing like a wallflower.

Working with what you’ve got couldn’t be easier with all the smoke and mirrors that adds to an authentic 80s style. Steering clear of the fancy dress neon colours and Flashdance leg warmers, high-luxe dressing pays tribute to the refinement of the 20s with handfuls of costume gems and more sequins than a circus ringmaster.

For the sporty figure, go for powerful peplum shapes with a modern twist. One trick that I saw this season was drama-induced layering, pairing a soft white shirt like VAUGHAN's Hepburn shirt with a beautiful bustier like this stunning ruffle top from Johanna Ortiz.

Styled over a form fitting shirt, this front row twist gives any figure extra wow factor (without having to stuff your bra). Styled with straight talking suit trousers that show off those lean, long legs, this outfit is all about striking a pose. Accessorise with a simple black pointed-toe heel and work some iridescent add-ons into the mix like this tropical sequin Valentino bag- and, of course, some classic clip-on earrings!

So, while you’re waiting for bikini season and a chance to flash those enviable abs, style the 80s with excess and take a chance on this trend wildcard with flashbulb theatrics and a figure fooling look that gives you all the curves without any of the carbs.

My advice, go on, eat the damn cake. You only live once, you know…


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