Everyone’s favourite 80s, science fiction drama, Stranger Things, is finally back for its fourth season. Netflix’s nostalgic, sci-fci sensations are once again Netflix' number one show! Top fan favourites Milly Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhart (Mike) and Sadie Sink (Max) and more, are all back for the first part of season 4.
1980s aesthetic and influence is a strong and important feature throughout the Stranger Things series. With 80s pop culture references, set design and most importantly, fashion being significant additions to the show to allow the 80s timeline to truly become recognised. Today we take a deeper look at the 80s influence over the previous seasons- drawing closer into character style, character wardrobes we can’t wait to see and the inspiration the show has on today’s social media fashion.
Figure 1 - Stranger Things Season 4 Cast (Digital Spy)
Where it all began
Season one began its journey in 1983. The 80s were still in its early stages, and in terms of fashion, were 70s muted tones, style and silhouettes were still very more prevalent within the characters' wardrobes. The first taste of bolder colours and designs, contrasting towards Hawkin’s drab, small town feel - Mike (portrayed by Finn Wolfhart), is seen to rock statement, primary colour-blocking rugby shirts, followed by bright tees and striped vests. Definitely showing homage towards 70s and 80s merged style and influence. Now, the infamous, baby-pink Peter Pan collar dress was a key feature in Eleven’s (Milly Bobby Brown) season one look. The old, hand-me-down staple showed an aspect of 1950s inspired silhouettes, being a rarity between her character’s wardrobe throughout up and coming seasons.
Figure 2 - Mike in Stranger Things Season 1 (Screen Rant)
Figure 3 - Eleven in Stranger Things Season 1 (Screen Rant)
With a strong focus on high school fashion and character cliques, the well-throughout outfit choices allowed viewers delve in deeper to character personalities dynamics. Old fan favourite, Barb (portrayed by Shannon Purser) showcased a true 80s inspired, ‘small-town , girl’ style. Her low-key, kind, yet geeky persona truly shone throughout Barb’s wardrobe. With key clothing elements including a plaid-ruffle neck blouse, high-waisted mom jeans and knit turtlenecks, she definitely stole the hearts of 80s fashion fanatics and viewers of the show alike.
Figure 4 - Barb in Stranger Things Season 1 (Vanity Fair)
On the other end of the high school clique spectrum, popular boy and high school track star, Steve, is seen to display his own version of the 80s jock. Fashion tips and style guide site, Fashion Beans, recall Steve’s prominent wardrobe staples, including ‘light-wash denim, slim-cut sweatshirts, bomber jackets and classic ray-ban wayarers’. Addition, Melbourne-based fashion blog, Perspex, recognises Steve’s heightened fashion amid season 2 with popular features of Levi jeans, Nike Shoes and Members Only jacket. Now, sticking with the 80s era, Steve’s wear out of his grey Members Only jacket only fits right with the character’s ‘jock’ and cool-boy status. Perspex again acknowledged how Members Only was a leading outwear brand within the time Stranger Things was set; known for their iconic jackets and edgy marketing campaigns’. With a strong ode to real 80s pop-culture and fashion trends, the feature of Steves’s Members Only jacket is a nice feature towards trending fashion pieces and high-school trends.
Figure 5 - Steve in Members Only Jacket (Pinterest)
Season 4 is expected to be set in the Spring 1986, swiftly continuing the dark and twisted story from its previous seasons. Netflix’s release of Stranger Things’ newest season shows hints of gripping aftermath scenes since the Battle of Starcourt brought terror and destructions to Hawkins. Juxtaposing the many gloomy scenes presented to us in the trailer, viewers also get previews of fun, vivid character wardrobes, perfectly fitting the bright 80s style we all know and love.
Video: Stranger Things Season 4 Netflix Trailer (Youtube)
Fashion in focus, season 4 certainly does not shy away from neon shades, outrageous patterns and mismatched patterns. It is 1986 after all.
Stepping away from the eerie unknown, and into the 80s teenage dream, Mike and Eleven are spotted in an ever so fitting roller disco scene. Where neon unitards, sweatbands and mom shorts are certainly not hard to miss. Here we see a great transformation within Eleven’s character wardrobe from the earlier seasons to the latest. Screen Rant recognises Eleven’s ‘lack of identity’ with the clothes the character is seen wearing. Throughout the start of season 1, Eleven is introduced to viewers in a hospital gown, then goes on to rock her infamous pale pink dress. Both to which present lack of identity, design or colour. With new formed friendships and personal interactions, we see Eleven’s style rise to its full potential - with the introduction of varied patterns and prints and typical 80s colour!
Mike is shown to complement Eleven’s flashy pattern combo and roller disco aesthetic nicely; where contrast shirt and tee colours and patterned bucket hat are worn in unison for a classic 80s teen look.