Today, April 22nd, the third season of "The Americans" comes to a close, and with it, our perpetual anxiety that tends to go along with every episode. (And who we are kidding: in one way or another, the season finale will completely destroy us.)
So to completely distract you from the fate of Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, we’ve chosen to use the season closer to sing the praises of various 1980s trends we tell ourselves came about from the show’s early-decade setting.
Keri Russell, if you’re reading this, this is for you.
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1. Off-The-Shoulder Blouses
Series’ costume designer Jenny Gering has been diligent in reminding us that :The Americans" is a show set at the start of the 1980s -- not during the shoulder pad-rich mids and/or later part of the decade. This is why Alessandra Rich’s S/S collection is such a solid reflection of the series’ sleek vibes. Relatively fitted tops tucked into tight, high-waisted jeans epitomize the era’s transition from the '70s onward -- before subtle details in tops gave way to over-the-top embellishments.
2. Blouses With Bows
Lest we forget that businesswear saw an onslaught of bows from the mid-'70s onward, so the early part of the next decade lived out the rest of the '40s-influenced dream. We see Elizabeth pair hers with fitted trousers, but to bring the style into 2015, you can channel Roberto Cavalli and wear the style looser, untucked, and paired with distressed jeans.
3. Statement Sweaters
Believe it or not, there’s a place for oversize sweaters this spring -- so now you can channel Elizabeth’s wide range of cardigans. Collections by Valentino, Celine, and especially Ermanno Scervino took the idea of sweaters this spring and ran, offering roomy, colourful pieces that sum up the decade -- but without seeming over-the-top.
4. Mix-And-Match Prints
As if Jenny Gering had curated it herself, the Altuzarra S/S 2015 line epitomizes the era’s semi-casual approach to business-wear. Like Elizabeth’s approach to clothing, the label’s models wore their shirts loosely, with the top buttons undone, and then paired them with fitted skirts to create a defined shape. Then, the look was topped off with a skinny belt (an early '80s must), which tied the two combatting prints together, and created a unified look appropriate for anywhere. (But especially the early 1980s.)
5. Suede Car Coat
To be honest, "The Americans" deserves a post just for its coats (and believe me, I’ll do everything in my power to bring it to you), but since we’re heading into spring (and want to burn our existing coats to the ground), we’ll just focus on one: the car coat. Or more specifically, the suede car coat we saw both on Elizabeth, and in collections by Loewe and Prada (though the latter is more leather and brocade). What’s justifiable about buying it now? You can wear it again come autumn. (Also, in time for the season finale this week.)
You thought these were going away this spring/summer? Think again. In the spirit of Elizabeth’s turtlenecked blue dress back in season one, similar looks have come out of the S/S wilderness, whether via fitted styles by Tess Giberson or even-more-fitted-styles by Vetements (which featured pieces appropriately paired with a black leather skirt). So while not a look for the summer, it’s a good transition look. Especially since scarf weather is behind us (and these are a little more effective anyway).
7. Short Sleeved Sweaters
Now here’s a piece you can wear come summer: the short-sleeved sweater. (Madness, I know.) The answer to "business casual" and/or "Saturday spent being alive" or "what should I wear today?" is a piece that can be both eye-catching and basic, and can be worn with an A-line, knee-length skirt or high-waisted jeans -- as seen in the Louis Vuitton show. Bonus points for platform sandals -- but additional bonus points for jelly sandals.
I’m just kidding. But if you want to justify buying one, justify it by citing "The Americans," for sure.