The phenomenon of Stranger Things
In the summer of 2016, the world turned upside down. On July 15, Netflix released a peculiar little show starring a cast of unknown kids and a couple of celebrities who got their start in the ‘80s. The show was called “Stranger Things,” and it was set in 1983.
With a predominantly younger cast and a plethora of nostalgic touchstones, the series immediately appealed to a broad range of demographics. The intriguing story, infused with equal parts sci-fi, horror and heart, quickly made “Stranger Things” a global phenomenon.
The most recent season debuted on Netflix over Memorial Day weekend. Nearly six full years since the first season, the show is more popular than ever, affecting fans’ taste in everything from music to fashion.
How film and TV affect fashion
The stories told in film and television have always depicted characters the audiences have always related to. Some characters represent potential, while others represent a reminder. Fans often emulate the characters they love as a way to empower their own life. The easiest way to step into the role of someone you admire is to adopt their fashion choices. Countless films, including “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Flashdance,” “Beetlejuice,” “Clueless” and more, have inspired fashion trends. Now, “Stranger Things” is in the spotlight as it nostalgizes the ‘80s and encourages fans to bring the fashions of yesterday to the forefront.
Key character fashions from Stranger Things
The ‘80s had a lot of different types of fashion. While everyone in the series wore their nostalgia well, these four characters had iconic ensembles that captured the decade flawlessly.
While the third season had Mike’s mom hanging out at the pool wearing large plastic baubles and colorful one-piece bathing suits, in season four, she sported the classic ‘80s fit look with a tracksuit and headband.
The new addition to the team this season has been a long-haired, scene-stealing Dungeon Master named Eddie Munson. He’s got that classic “bad boy” look from the ‘80s: denim jacket, T-shirt and pants with ripped knees.
If there’s a trademark accessory for Dustin, it’s his baseball cap. Beyond that, he represents a casual side of Hawkins. Throughout the series, Dustin wears comfortable outfits that revolve around t-shirts, shorts and knee-high socks. He often looks like he just stepped off the bus from summer camp in the ‘80s.
Nancy puts her own spin on intelligent fashion. She’s preppy, but in a subdued way, with softer colors and a style that reveals her maturity. She always seems to dress a little older than her years. Nancy takes the ‘80s concept of pretty and gives it a backbone of authority and respect with her classic, sensible outfits.
Popular ‘80s fashion pieces
If you like Max Mayfield’s taste in clothing from the third season, you need a scrunchie. This neon green offering is a perfect match. The soft and stretchy material is gentle on your hair. If neon green isn’t your favorite, there are 37 other color options from which to choose. Sold by Amazon
Karen Wheeler was always one step away from a workout in season four. This two-piece outfit lets you get into her groove. It includes high-waist running shorts and a seamless yoga sports bra. The retro styling will make you feel like it’s the ‘80s all over again. Sold by Amazon
You might not work out hard enough to sweat, but at least you’ll look great doing it. These soft, elastic headbands come in five colors and won’t slip or cause irritation while wearing. Sold by Amazon
It’s impossible to have a complete ‘80s workout experience if you don’t include leg warmers. This pair from Satinior is made from elastic fibers and comes in an eye-catching neon rainbow color. The versatile design lets you pull the leg warmers up to your thigh or gather them below your knee. If you prefer, you can also get these in green, pink or black. Sold by Amazon
In the ‘80s, polyester tracksuits weren’t for working out but were for casual fashion. This brightly colored, pink and blue outfit will let you fit right in at the skating rink. It features a short-sleeve, zippered jacket with an elastic gathered waistband and side pockets. Sold by Amazon
There’s a fantasy role-playing campaign tonight and an open spot for you to join, but only if you have the right outfit. Granted, you may have to rip the sleeves off to make Eddie Munson happy, but for any other occasion, this denim jacket is perfect as is. Sold by Amazon
If you want to hang with Nancy, you need the right belt. But why stop at one. This collection of five vintage cinch belts comes in red, black, camel, blue and beige, so you have one for every outfit. The retro chunky buckle will draw attention to your waist, and the elastic fit means you will always be comfortable and stylish. Sold by Amazon
Don’t have any retro clothing in your closet? All you really need is a pair of shoulder pads. These anti-slip shoulder push-up pads will instantly transport any top back to the ‘80s. There are two sets of pads in this offering, transparent and skin tone, so you can wear them with a wide variety of tops. These silicone pads conform to the shoulder so they won’t fall off. After wearing, just toss them in the wash so you can use them again. Sold by Amazon
In the third season of “Stranger Things,” El rocked those bright blue suspenders. And she was unstoppable. Wearing brightly colored suspenders might not actually give you superpowers, but they will make you look like a superhero. These suspenders have a strong adjustable clip and a “Y” design. They look stylish, feel comfortable and come in 52 colors so that you can find the perfect match for your inner El. Sold by Amazon
Jocks were big in the ‘80s. Sometimes they were heroes, other times, they were villains. However, no matter what role they played, they always dressed the same. This varsity letterman jacket is made with genuine cowhide leather and features a button closure. The polyester quilted lining will keep you warm all season long. Sold by Amazon
If you want to be where all the cool kids are, join the AV Club. Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will and Max were all members of the Hawkins Middle School AV Club. With this loose-fitting pullover, you can proudly proclaim your affiliation as well. This comfortable hoodie is available in a variety of colors and sizes. Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.