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Style / July 2021
Tara Gardner, Reebok Contributor

The ’80s Redux: Styles for Right Now

This season, footwear from the ’80s is making a comeback with a modern-retro approach.

With its bold, bright and fearless attitude, the ’80s are making a comeback, but with a fresh edge for a new generation. The hyper-color splashes, tie-dye effects, high-shine fabrics and blown-out proportions that made the ’80s the decade of decadence can be found in this season’s high-attitude sneakers, as well as apparel. But this time, ’80s nostalgia plays out in modern context, hitting fast-forward on the sartorial tape deck and bringing it firmly into the now. Neon is softened, mingling with pastel, power dressing goes street style and sneakers step out of the archives with high-tech updates. For a look that says ’80s rebel—with modern sensibilities—start here. 
 
 

The New Power Pieces

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Delivering major power strides with its bouncy soles, cherry-and-grey palette and archival details, the Classic Leather Legacy AZ leads the charge for your new empowered ensemble, offering big ’80s energy with a modern mood. Back in the day, you would have paired these kicks with a shoulder-padded blazer for that no-nonsense office-commuter look. Today, power dressing says more with less (sweatsuits anyone?), relaxing rigid angles into softer lines with way less structure. Take your Legacy AZ throwback and give it a 2021 power twist by pairing it perfectly with a pair of purple leggings for all the high-shine vibes. Style it out with a Cardi B crop top for a midriff-proud moment, then bring the look home with a shiny woven jacket on top. If you’re in the full ’80s zone, consider topping it all off with a quintessential oversized white blazer. 
 
 

Big Logo Moves

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In an era when more was more, the ’80s ushered in the idea of It pieces—logo-centric, branded hero styles that were oh-so-coveted and craved for their cool factor. Whether plastered with slogans or signature iconography, your favorite It pieces could be mixed and matched into one culture-clashing maximalist look. Today’s It pieces riff off heritage details with a future-forward vibe. Enter: Reebok’s CL AZ, the newest rendition of a sneaker classic that is instantly recognizable by its famed vector nubuck and textile uppers and iconic brand logo. Its trademark silhouette and gum outsole make it unmistakably retro, but the chalk, teal and alabaster colors bring fresh attitude. Such a statement piece demands the company of other brand staples: Work your pair with these classic cargo-style pants, then add a collegiate basketball-inspired logo t-shirt on the top. Complete the look with this retro-inspired track jacket and swap your tote for a functional backpack for all the ’80s-meets-modern moves. 
 
 

Color Rules

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A reaction to the earthy tones popular in the 1970s, the ’80s color palette featured an explosion of fluorescent shades and pastel hues. Coming of age in the ’80s meant a closet full of pinks, purples, yellows and aquas, along with neutral grays and buttery creams. Few kicks demo this array of colors better than the pretty in pink vibes of the Classics Leather Legacy AZ. Its soft palette is neutral enough to go with a multitude of looks, but with a nod to its ’80s roots, the shoe works perfectly with a clash of colors. Try partnering yours with the candy cute two-tone orange resort shorts and tie-dye top (tied in a knot at the waist, of course). Slip this Les Mills cropped sweatshirt over it for all the feels.
 
 

Sporty Proportions

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The ’80s did away with the structured tailoring of previous decades, bringing slouchy sweatshirts and T-shirts into play, along with flashes of midriff via cute bralettes and crop tops. These distinctively sporty proportions are channeled into the Classic Leather Legacy AZ sneaker, too. With its sweeping chunky sole culminating into an angular heel, Aztec II pattern details and signature treads, this shoe is the perfect fusion of archival and modern. Work that then/now style with these bike shorts in the ’80s signature leopard print. Add a crop top like this logo bra or if you want to do matchy-matchy, pair the bike shorts with a leopard-print medium impact bra. Top things off with Reebok’s colorful retro oversized hoodie. Just add gold hoop earrings and you’re good to go.
 
 

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Style / July 2021
Tara Gardner, Reebok Contributor
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