Remember the 80s? Maybe you grew up in that era of big hair, loud colors, and even louder fashion choices. Or maybe you’ve just seen the movies and music videos and wondered how anyone could pull off those crazy styles. Well, the 80s are back in a big way, especially when it comes to men’s fashion. Neon colors, statement pieces, and throwback athletic wear are all making a comeback. You may have noticed guys on the street wearing high-top sneakers, tracksuits, and other gear that looks like it came straight out of an 80s music video. Brands are bringing back retro designs from the era and giving them a modern twist. So break out your brightest shirts and your most outrageous accessories. Everything 80s is new again, and this time around it’s all about embracing the fun and not taking yourself too seriously. The 80s were over the top and all about excess so now’s the time to go big or go home.
The Bold and Bright Menswear Trends of the 1980s
Neon colors, bold prints, and outrageous styles were the name of the game for menswear.
Loud colors and prints
In the 80s, subtlety was out. Bright colors like hot pink, electric blue and neon green were popular, usually combined in the same garment for maximum effect. And the bolder the print the better, from geometric shapes to abstract designs. Don’t forget the quintessential 80s prints like zigzags, polka dots, and flames.
No 80s wardrobe was complete without jackets with massive shoulder pads. The bigger the shoulder pads, the more macho you appeared. But the fad got out of hand, with some shoulder pads reaching almost comedic proportions.
Tight and tapered
While jackets and tops were oversized, pants were tight and tapered, especially jeans. Acid wash and stonewash were popular, as were tapered track pants and sweatpants worn out on the town. For dressier occasions, pleated trousers that were snug at the waist and hips and tapered at the ankle were the go-to.
From loud and outrageous styles to massive shoulder pads and tight pants, 80s fashion was its own unique beast. The trends may have been over the top, but 80s menswear made a statement and allowed guys to show off their fun and flamboyant sides. Though the era is long past, 80s fashion still holds major nostalgia and influence today in both retro and modern street styles.
Icons of 80s Men’s Fashion: Miami Vice, Michael Jackson, and More
The 80s were all about excess, and men’s fashion was no exception. Some of the decade’s style icons are still influencing trends today.
This popular TV show epitomized 80s cool with pastel colors, linen suits, and stubbled Don Johnson. The Miami Vice look brought menswear into the modern era with casual yet stylish attire for an evening out. These days, you’ll see echoes of Miami Vice in fashionable linen blazers, pale pink or seafoam green button-downs, and distressed denim.
The King of Pop was a trendsetter who popularized the red leather jacket, the single sequined glove, and the fedora. His unique style has inspired modern streetwear brands and pop stars. The red leather jacket in particular has become a timeless classic.
Members Only jackets
These lightweight jackets were a must-have, with their padded shoulders, elastic waistbands, and logo-embossed buttons. Brands today have revived the Members Only style with updated fabrics and slimmer cuts, proving some fashion is worth bringing back.
From TV shows to music videos, the 80s churned out influential men’s style icons that shaped modern fashion. By borrowing elements from Miami Vice, Michael Jackson, and Members only, you can rock a throwback look without irony. The 80s really are back, and this time it’s for real.
The Return of 80s Style: How to Wear the Decade’s Trends Today
The 80s are back in a big way, and men’s fashion is no exception. Some of the decade’s boldest styles have made a comeback but with a modern twist. Here’s how you can rock 80s-inspired looks today without looking stuck in a time warp.
The exaggerated shoulder pads of 80s power suits are slimmer and more tailored now. For a retro-inspired look, try a blazer with slight shoulder padding or none at all. Pair it with slim trousers and a printed shirt for a Miami Vice vibe.
The 80s were all about loud, vibrant colors and patterns. Bright colors are trendy again, but in moderation. Try a statement piece like electric blue trousers, a cherry red jacket or a shirt with an abstract geometric print. Balance an eye-catching item with neutral basics.
Loose and Casual
80s fashion was laid-back, focusing on loose, comfortable silhouettes. Channel this vibe with an oversized shirt or boxy tee paired with relaxed-fit jeans. Finish the look with high-top sneakers and a dad cap. This style is all about comfort and not taking fashion too seriously.
No 80s look is complete without a pair of Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses. The teardrop-shaped lenses were hugely popular in the 80s and remain stylish today. Get a classic gold metal aviator to fully embrace the 80s spirit.
Incorporating key elements of 80s fashion in moderation lets you rock a stylish retro look without the kitsch. Focus on one statement piece at a time, balanced with tailored, neutral items. So tease up that hair and embrace your inner Maverick—the 80s are back!
While the cuts, patterns, and colors may have been over the top back then, bringing elements of 80s style into modern looks has proven to be a winning combination. The next time you’re getting dressed, don’t be afraid to channel your inner 80s child and add a pair of retro shades, a bomber jacket or some patterned socks. Fashion is cyclical, and the 80s are back in full swing, so you might as well embrace it. The future’s so bright, you gotta wear neon shades.