Early ’80s Fashion Inspiration: The Americans and The Last Days of Disco

Last Days of Disco The Americans As readers of this blog, you may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for ‘80s nostalgia. Lately though, I’ve been inspired by early ‘80s fashion. This isn’t the big shoulder pads, larger-than-life fashion of the mid ‘80s, but that transitional period coming out of the ‘70s–specifically 1980-81. Maybe it’s because I’ve been hooked on The Americans on FX? Kerri Russell can sure rock a pair of Jordache’s, but her dresses and leather jackets are soooo drool-worthy. If the wardrobe department starts dressing her in prairie skirts though (shudder), I will have to drop the show like a hot potato.


Keri Russell in The Americans. Photo: Jeff Neira/FX

This royal blue dress is just simply gorgeous and on-trend for spring. The neckline reminded me of this Butterick 5314 pattern I have in my stash. Unfortunately it’s now out of print, but you can still find it on Etsy or Ebay.

Butterick 5314

Then, while I was home sick earlier this week, I watched The Last Days of Disco (set in 1980-81), not once, but twice on cable.  When I first saw the movie in the late ‘90s, I had just moved to Manhattan after college. And just like Alice (Chloe Sevigny) and Charlotte (Kate Beckinsale), I also hit the clubs and had my share of friendships made of necessity. The movie is a great snapshot of that transition immediately out of college—no matter the decade.

So while I enjoyed the story, the fashion fascinated me. Chloe Sevingy’s wardrobe? Amazing! I’m coveting her one-shouldered jersey dress and halter dress. Luckily, I found two Burda patterns that fit the bill. See below:

One-shouldered dress

I’m not a fan of the exposed zipper on this pattern, but I’m sure an invisible zipper will work nicely.

Burda 01/2011 One shoulder dress with side zipper

Halter dress

Chloe’s sparkly halter dress in the center

The neckline is not exactly like the dress in the movie, but the general silhouette is pretty spot-on.

Burda 7110

Also, can we stop to admire Kate’s hair? Really loving it. Hmmm…May need to grow out my bangs…

Love Kate Beckinsale’s (left) hair!

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