If you’re looking to embrace and show off the bold style of the 80s fashion for men, this article is your ultimate guide.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the most iconic and popular 80s fashion looks for men and boys.
From the most relaxed preppy looks to the most wanted punk-rock styles, I’ll take you through the decade’s most memorable and stylish trends.
Not only will you discover the 80s best fashion styles, but you’ll also learn how to recreate them in 2023.
So, whether you’re a fan of the power dressing look for men or the Italian style, this guide will teach you how to recreate your 80s look stylishly.
Most Popular 80s Fashion Trends For Men
Favoring sophisticated and polished looks, some of the most popular trends for the high-society men of the 80s were:
1. Power Dressing
Power Dressing was one of the most popular 80s styles for men.
This popular fashion trend comprised sharp-tailored dark-colored suits (black, navy, and charcoal) matched with crisp white t-shirts and bold ties or scarves.
The Power Dressing look was popular among Wall Street workers, bankers, lawyers, and top business professionals.
2. Italian Style
Comprised of well-tailored, double-breasted suits in unique patterns and bright colors, the Italian Style was another famous 80s look for men.
For a complete attire, the Italian Style has to be paired with Italian designer shoes and high-quality leather accessories – belt, wallet, watch.
The 80s Italian Style trend was also sported by the decades’ celebrities like Don Johnson and Michael Douglas, who played top-level executives in the TV show “Miami Vice.”
3. Classic Style
More popular in the UK, the 80s Classic Style blended traditional tweed jackets, cashmere sweaters, and leather shoes.
The Classic Style look was often sported by Sean Connery and Roger Moore in their 1980s James Bond movies.
4. New Romantic
The New Romantic style comprised theatrical clothing such as frilly shirts, cravats, and lace-up boots.
The New Romantic look reached peak popularity during the 80s thanks to bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Adam Ant.
Ideally, for a perfect reinterpretation of the 80s fashion for men, this super striking look is matched with oversized sunglasses and opulent, curly hair.
5. The Yuppie
Often combining Hawaiian shirts with bomber jackets and tight pants, the Yuppie dressing style of the 80s had the most relaxed and casual wear of all.
The look was popular among young urban professionals, and some stylistic variations included branded 80s jeans, loafers, and polo shirts.
6. The Preppy Fashions
The 80s Preppy style for men incorporated Ralph Lauren polo shirts in various colors, light or dark khaki pants, and boat-style shoes.
The Preppy Look was popularized by celebrities like Tom Cruise in the 1983 “Risky Business” movie, John Cusack in “Say Anything,” Paul Gleason in “The Breakfast Club,” and Jon Cryer in “Pretty in Pink.”
7. The Punk Look
Popularized by the punk rock music scene and key figures of the late 70s like Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious, the 80s Punk style for men included ripped jeans, biker jackets, boots, and distressed T-shirts, accessorized with chains and studded belts.
The fashion icons of the 80s preferred to invest in high-quality, designer clothing and accessories to showcase wealth and status.
And, while the 80s men favored a polished and sophisticated look, there were also cases of celebs wearing rebellious styles and unique looks.
80s Fashion for Boys
Some of the most popular fashion looks for young boys during the 80s included:
1. Skater Style
The 80s Skater Style was popularized by movies such as “Thrashin” and “Gleaming the Cube.”
In these movies, the main characters are seen wearing baggy pants, streetwear t-shirts, tank tops, and high-top sneakers.
Key 80s celebrities who sported the Skater Look include Christian Slater in his 1987 movie “Gleaming the Cube” and Sean Penn in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
2. Windbreaker Bombers
The Windbreaker Bomber jackets look reached popularity thanks to Ralph Macchio in “The Karate Kid,” Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future,” and TV shows like “The A-Team.”
The look incorporated ankle-length jeans or elastic corduroy pants, baseball jackets, and loud-logo windbreakers in bright colors with neon sunglasses.
3. The Preppy Look
Like the men of the 80s, the Preppy Style was also popular among young teens.
Popularized by movies such as “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink,” the style required bright-colored polo shirts, light-shade khaki pants, and comfy boat shoes.
Moreover, in top-end colleges, boys used to pair the look with blazers or sweater vests for an extra polished and put-together look.
4. The Punk Look
Another style that inspired males of all ages in the 80s – and popularized by movies like “Sid and Nancy” and “Repo Man” – was the Punk-Rock look.
Further inspired by heavy metal bands and punk rock celebs like Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious from The Clash, 80s youngsters wore ripped jeans, band tees, and leather jackets with chains and studded belts.
For an extra effect, the Punk Look was matched with bold hairstyles, such as dyed mohawks, side-shaved, or spiky cuts.
5. Athletic Wear
Sport-inspired clothing was another 80s trend popular among young boys.
The Athletic Wear included branded tracksuits – Nike, Rebook, and Adidas, paired with baseball caps and streetwear sneakers.
Other popular influencers of the 80s fashion for boys were Sean Astin and Corey Feldman in “The Goonies” (1985), Edgar Frog in “The Lost Boys” (1987), and Jaleel White in the TV show “Family Matters” (1989-1998).
Recreating 80s fashion looks can be a fun and easy way to add a touch of nostalgia to your wardrobe, whether you’re a man or a boy.
It’s important to remember that the key to 80s fashion for men was boldness and daring, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with different colors and patterns.
Defined by preppy, punk, skating, and power dressing looks, the 80s were a decade of bold and iconic styles for men, boys, and kids alike.
Moreover, as the 80s fashion is back, and it’s more stylish than ever, use this guide as inspiration to create your unique look.
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these men’s 80s fashion trends do you see as the most popular and why?
Which styles of 80s fashion for men do you think we’ve missed and should include in our next article update?
Please leave your comments below; we always appreciate your comments and use them to learn, improve, and update these articles.
After years of managing hundreds of fashion brands from London's office of a global retailer, Mandy has ventured into freelancing. Connected with several fashion retailers and media platforms in the US, Australia, and the UK, Mandy uses her expertise to consult for emerging fashion brands create top-notch content as an editorial strategist for several online publications.