Be Inspired by These 80s Men's Fashion Trends
80s fashion is so iconic and influential that it never seems to truly go away. Right now, we’re seeing a strong revival of these trends all over the runways, in fashion magazines, and on the streets. Here are some of the most timeless of these retro men’s 80s fashion trends to incorporate into your wardrobe – and where to buy them for less.
The Preppy Popped Collar
No 80s wardrobe is complete without a polo shirt! Although you probably have a few lying around at home, to get the iconic look you need to make sure the cut and colour is on point. In addition to neutrals, these preppy shirts are best in soft pastel colours, well-fitted, and tucked into some high-waisted chinos, pegged-leg jeans, or cuffed khakis, with a soft argyle jersey draped over your shoulders and penny loafers on your feet.
Punked Up Leather
The punk and heavy metal scenes both have their roots deep in 80s culture, creating a brash and bold fashion around music that pushed society’s boundaries. Think bands like Poison, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, or Metallica. You can recreate this 80s rock fashion look with chain-embellished and studded black leather jackets, skinny fabric or leather trousers, and boots. Remember to pair some bold colours with black and look for iconic graphics of the time like band t-shirts and Union Jack flags.
80s Disco Fashion
The 80s were also the more mature years of the disco nightclub, but the fashion is anything but serious. For men, 80s disco fashion meant sequinned shirts, lapels that went on for miles, bellbottoms, and a riot of colour. Today, a silky bomber jacket, a fitted paisley shirt, or a bold neon top will do the trick.
Baggy Hip Hop Classics
This was also the age of hip hop, a scene dominated by Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, and MC Hammer. Here, bigger was always better, from the drape of large t-shirts to oversized jeans. In this iconic 80s men’s fashion, accessories make the look, so don’t forget to add athletic caps, bulky sneakers, and chunky jewellery. Sports jerseys, bucket hats, and bright colours were all a big part of this vibrant, fun, and statement look.
This was the original age of the workout, with home fitness videos blasting over the TV and aerobics classes on every corner. To get this look, you want to go with classic brands like Nike, Adidas, and Espirit. Alongside the classic 3-stripe tracksuit pants and a parachute windbreaker, your wardrobe will need some bold colours like turquoise, royal blue, purple, and red.
The 80s also saw a lot of fun elements in formalwear for men. The iconic piece was, of course, an oversized blazer, without which no outfit would be complete. This was often paired with a pastel t-shirt or a polo neck, no matter how expensive or flashy the blazer was. On the other side of the spectrum, it was also the age of the Wall Street stockbroker look, where you paired pinstripe suits and shirts with suspenders and a tie. The colours here can also be bright and bold or pastel – it’s all about making a statement.
Men’s knitwear in the 80s earns a category all of its own because it’s such a big part of the casual 80s look. Think big, chunky cardigans, argyle sweaters, and polo necks. While neutral colours were always in fashion, these knits were often high in texture, pattern, and design with a very homemade feel to them. Bulky and warm, this is pure comfort wear, whether you’re buying a Mr Roger’s inspired red cardigan or a cosy Christmas-themed jumper.
How to Wear 80s Trends
The key to pulling off a fashion trend is to find your own inspiration and adapt it to what you love most about the look. You want people to see you’re inspired by the 80s, not teleporting in time.
Rather than going a pure hip-hop-inspired look, give this iconic period a shout-out by buying a fantastic bucket hat or investing in some retro sneakers. If you love the 80s rock fashion look, a gritty black leather jacket is a great homage. For sportswear, it’s best to look to the brands who invented 80s athleisurewear and invest in some classic 3-strip sweats. Another great item is the oversized blazer, which you can wear as a larger coat. It’s incredibly versatile, looks great paired with tailored pants or fitted jeans, and pairs well with boots or basic sneakers.
And that’s how you wear the 80s!
As for where to buy modern, 80s-inspired menswear, there’s nowhere better than Boundary Outlet. We stock all the major brands from the era, including Ben Sherman and Lee. Our branches are located in Grantham, Sheffield, Colne, Walsall, and Newcastle, and all of our items are 30% off or more. We’re keeping you in fashion, for less!
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