What Men Wore in the 80s: A Stylish Blast from the Past

What Men Wore In The 80s

Discover the iconic fashion trends of the 80s! From power suits to punk rock, explore what men wore in the 80s and how it influences today’s style.


Step into a time machine and travel back to the 1980s, an era known for its vibrant fashion trends that continue to inspire and influence the modern-day wardrobe. From power suits to punk rock, the 80s brought a dynamic mix of styles that allowed men to express their individuality. In this article, we’ll explore the iconic fashion choices of men in the 80s, taking a closer look at the key influences, clothing trends, hairstyles, accessories, and even how this era’s fashion legacy lives on today.

Key Influences on Men’s Fashion in the 80s

Musicians and movie stars who shaped 80s men's fashion

Musicians and movie stars who shaped 80s men’s fashion

The 80s were a time of pop culture revolutions, and men’s fashion was certainly not exempt from their influence. Music icons like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna made waves with their unique styles, while movies like “Top Gun” and TV shows like “Miami Vice” set new standards for fashion. These influences played a significant role in shaping the fashion choices of men during this era.

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Clothing Trends for Men in the 80s

Confidently rocking the iconic 80s power suit

Confidently rocking the iconic 80s power suit

Power Suits and Corporate Style

One of the defining fashion trends of the 80s was the power suit. Men embraced a more assertive and confident look, characterized by broad shoulders and structured silhouettes. Shoulder pads were all the rage, adding a sense of power and authority to their appearance. Bold colors and patterns, such as pinstripes and houndstooth, were popular choices. Suspenders and colorful ties became essential accessories, completing the polished corporate style.

Casual Wear and Sportswear

While the power suit dominated the corporate world, casual wear and sportswear gained immense popularity in the 80s. Tracksuits and athletic-inspired clothing became a staple for men, reflecting the growing interest in fitness and sports. Denim jackets and acid-washed jeans were all the rage, exuding a rebellious yet stylish vibe. Polo shirts and graphic tees also found their place in the casual wardrobe of men during this era.

Preppy and Yuppie Style

The 80s witnessed the rise of preppy and yuppie fashion, heavily influenced by Ivy League aesthetics. Men embraced khakis, loafers, and button-down shirts as essential elements of their wardrobe. The preppy style was characterized by its clean and timeless appeal, often incorporating luxury brands and designer labels. This fashion trend symbolized sophistication and success.

Punk and New Wave Influence

For those seeking a more alternative look, the punk and new wave subcultures had a significant impact on men’s fashion in the 80s. Leather jackets, ripped jeans, and band t-shirts became iconic staples. Studded accessories, vibrant hair colors, and unique hairstyles allowed men to embrace their rebellious side. This fashion trend was all about making a bold statement with an edgy and non-conformist style.

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Hip Hop and Rap Culture

The emergence of hip hop and rap brought its own distinct fashion to the forefront. Oversized clothing and tracksuits became synonymous with this genre. Gold chains and chunky jewelry were donned as symbols of success and status. Influential rappers like Run-D.M.C. and LL Cool J not only inspired musical movements but also left a lasting impact on men’s fashion choices.

Glam Rock and Heavy Metal Fashion

The glitz and glamour of glam rock and heavy metal fashion were hard to ignore in the 80s. Boldness and flamboyance ruled the stage and the streets. Leather pants, spandex, and animal prints were common sights. Makeup and accessories were used to create elaborate and dramatic looks. This fashion trend allowed men to embrace their inner rock star and make a striking visual impact.

Hairstyles and Accessories for Men in the 80s

Popular Hairstyles of the Era

The 80s witnessed a variety of hairstyles that became iconic symbols of the decade. Mullets, characterized by short hair on the front and sides with long, flowing locks at the back, were a staple for many men. Feathered hair, popularized by celebrities like Farrah Fawcett and Richard Gere, added a touch of elegance. Perms, offering curly hair with volume, were also in vogue. These hairstyles were often influenced by the music and movie stars of the era.

Must-Have Accessories

Accessories played a crucial role in completing the 80s look for men. Wayfarer sunglasses and aviators were the go-to eyewear choices, adding a touch of coolness to any outfit. Swatch watches and Casio digital watches adorned wrists, blending style and functionality. Hats and headbands were popular accessories, providing a fashionable twist to any ensemble.

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Legacy of 80s Fashion in Modern Trends

The impact of 80s fashion is still felt today, as it continues to inspire and influence contemporary men’s fashion. Elements of the era’s style can be seen in the revival of certain trends. Acid-washed jeans, oversized clothing, and even neon colors have made a comeback on today’s runways and streets. The 80s have left an indelible mark on the fashion world, reminding us that fashion is cyclical and that trends have a way of resurfacing.


In conclusion, the 80s were a decade of fashion experimentation and self-expression for men. From power suits to punk rock, the 80s brought a diverse range of styles that continue to captivate and inspire. Understanding what men wore in the 80s allows us to appreciate the fashion landscape of that era and recognize its lasting influence on contemporary trends. So, embrace the spirit of the 80s and let your personal style shine with a touch of retro flair.

Visit Annie Griffin Collection to explore the latest trends and incorporate some 80s-inspired fashion into your wardrobe.

Annie Griffin Collection

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