July 17, 2024

Fashion Design

Fashion Designs that Enlighten the Soul

Whitney Houston’s ’80s Fashion Will Always Be Timeless

4 min read

Though the most iconic part about her was her angelic voice, Whitney Houston’s ’80s fashion will always hold a special place on our mood boards. Houston stuck to a signature style and never shied away from sequined, printed, or embellished designs. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, some of her looks still hold up today.

Looking back at some of the star’s best looks from that decade, we realized they contained a handful of tips that would still come in handy today. From blazer and denim combos to bold prints and color coordinating with friends, we’ll always remember Whitney Houston as the songbird and trendsetter of her generation.

Below, find 10 Whitney Houston outfits from the ’80s that are worth keeping in mind—no matter what you’re dressing for.

Sequins From Head to Toe

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Mini dresses, gowns, jackets—as proven by Houston, it doesn’t hurt to choose something that contains a little (or a lot of) sparkle. The star embraced sequins both on stage and off, ensuring her outfits were not only fun but spotlight-stealing as well. To channel the power of this decorative detail, we suggest shopping Zara’s Multicolored Sequin Mini Dress.

Remember Classic Combos

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On multiple occasions, Houston styled structured jackets with blue jeans. Even today, this outfit is a good go-to, whether you’re heading to the office or going out for drinks. You can always switch it up by swapping out the bottom layer (a T-shirt, a turtleneck, or a sweater are great options) and completing the look with different shoe styles. One of our favorite structured jackets is this Banana Republic Siena Italian Wool Blazer.

Stick With a Scheme

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This six-time Grammy award winner was no stranger to monochromatic outfits, which, as we know, can be both sleek and simple. Houston always managed to find not-so-basic pieces to take her all-white look to the next level, whether it was a belted jacket or a hat. Come summer or winter, you can’t go wrong with this single-toned color palette.

Go With Bold Prints

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The Newark native wasn’t scared to opt for an audacious pattern—and she wasn’t afraid to mix them, either. She often sported different types of florals or stripes paired with polka dots, which look great when styled together. The patterns give the eye several places to rest without overwhelming us.

Coordinate With Loved Ones

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In the ’80s, whenever the songstress made an appearance with her mom, Cissy Houston, the two opted to color coordinate. We’re not saying you have to pull a matchy-matchy moment with your mom, spouse, or BFF, but hey—it’s cute and makes for some great photo ops.

Bring on the Pizazz

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Houston was clearly a fan of tiers, ruffles, and floral embellishment back in the day, and in many ways, ’80s fashion has returned. Go ahead and add that elaborate puff-sleeved top to your cart. It’s definitely a garment the style icon would approve of.

Try a Standout Shoulder

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Are you unsure what to wear to that wedding you were invited to? Find the happy medium between sweet and statement-making by opting for a design with an eye-catching shoulder detail, whether that’s beads, an oversized bow, or a sparkly embellishment.

Know That Simple Can Be Sexy

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Of course, Houston also knew that a simple, yet sexy, sheath or shift dress—we like the Halogen® Square Neck Sheath Dress—was all that was needed to command a room. A pair of drop earrings didn’t hurt, either.

Don’t Forget to Accessorize

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Forget less is more—more is more in terms of accessories. As Houston showed us with her ’80s fashion, sometimes it’s that final touch, like a headband or a scarf, that can give an outfit oomph and pull it all together. We’re fans of the Rosebud Bow Headband by Anthropologie, in case you’re interested.

Keep a Leather Layer Handy

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It’s hard to think of an outfit that wouldn’t be better when paired with a leather jacket. Houston relied on this outerwear choice for both dressy and casual occasions and invested in blazer-like and moto jackets to complete her looks.


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