In this ultimate guide, I’ll introduce you to the 11 most iconic and statement-making 80s fashion styles for men.
From timeless Preppy styles to polished Italian looks and edgy punk-rock fashion, this article covers them all.
I’ll also show you how to recreate these 80s fashion styles for men, with a modern twist, in 2023.
Whether you’re a fan of the Power Dressing look, the classic British style, or something in between, I’ve got you covered.
1. Power Dressing
Arguably, the most iconic 80s fashion trend, Power Dressing, was undoubtedly one of the most popular 80s styles for men.
Comprised of sharp-tailored dark-colored suits (black, navy, and charcoal), this timeless style was completed 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. The Italian Look
Comprised of relaxed-tailored suits paired with t-shirts or shirts with colorful ties, the Italian look was another famous 80s style for men.
To create a complete look, the Italian style had to be paired with designer shoes and high-quality leather accessories such as leather belts, wallets, sunglasses, and watches.
The Italian style was popularized by the 1980s celebrities like Don Johnson and Michael Douglas in their “Miami Vice” TV show.
3. New Romantic
The 80s ‘New Romantic’ style for men comprised theatrical clothing such as frilly shirts, cravats, and lace-up boots.
Thanks to bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Adam Ant, the New Romantic look reached peak popularity during the 80s.
And, for a perfect reinterpretation, this striking style must be matched with oversized sunglasses and opulent hairstyles.
4. 80s Preppy Style
The Preppy style of the 80s incorporated Ralph Lauren polo shirts and jackets in bright colors paired with khaki chinos and boat-style shoes.
The look was completed by college students with blazers or sweaters around the neck, leather belts, assorted ties, and sunglasses for an extra polished and put-together look.
The Preppy style 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.”
5. 80s Hip-Hop Style
The 80s hip-hop style for men comprised baggy pants, oversized t-shirts, branded tracksuits, sneakers, Kangol hats, and large gold chains (hoop earrings).
The look was popularized by Black 80s fashion hip-hop icons such as LL Cool J, Run DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Hammer, and Rapper Kid.
Pioneered by black designers and popularized by black celebrities and musicians, the Hip-Hop 80s style became a fashion trend that continues to impact modern times.
6. 80s Punk Style
Started in the late 70s by ‘Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten, and Sid Vicious from ‘The Clash’ and popularized by movies like ‘Sid and Nancy’ and ‘Repo Man,’ the Punk style was a movement against the 80s polished and sophisticated looks.
The Punk style for men included biker jackets, ripped jeans, heavy leather boots, distressed band tees, studded belts, and chain accessories.
For an extra visual effect, the 80s Punk look was matched with bold hairstyles, such as dyed mohawks, side-shaved, or spiky cuts.
7. 80s Skater Style
Inspired by the Surfer culture of the 70s, the 80s Skater style was prevalent amongst West Coast men but, shortly after, took over New York’s skater community and the entire East Coast.
The Skater look comprised baggy jeans, chequered shirts with monochrome tees underneath, ripped sweaters, and high-top sneakers.
The look was promoted by 80s celebs like Christian Slater in his 1987 movie ‘Gleaming the Cube,’ Sean Penn in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ and Josh Brolin in ‘Thrashin.’
8. The Yuppie Style
Combining unexpected elements from other styles, like Preppy sweaters with bomber jackets and Hawaiian shirts with suits, ties, and tight pants, the Yuppie dressing style of the 80s was one of the most relaxed and casual wears of all.
The look was popular among young urban professionals and included several stylistic variations, such as branded 80s jeans, loafers, polo shirts, scarves, and manbags.
9. Classic British Style
Hailing from the UK in the 70s and 80s, the Classic British style took over the 80s thanks to celebrities like Sean Connery and Roger Moore in the 1980s James Bond series.
The Classic British style for men comprised dinner suits (or traditional tweed jackets), cashmere sweaters, and assorted leather shoes.
10. Cool School Boy Look
The American School style comprised bomber, baseball, or college-style jackets paired with ankle-length jeans and loud-logo trucker hats.
The look reached popularity in the 80s thanks to Ralph Macchio in ‘The Karate Kid,” Michael J. Fox in ‘Back to the Future,’ and TV shows like ‘The A-Team.’
11. 80s Workout Style
Sports clothing was one of the most popular men’s fashion styles in the 80s.
Men’s 80s workout style included branded tracksuits – Nike, Rebook, and Adidas, paired with windbreakers, headbands, and sports sneakers.
Through videos, books, talk shows, and clothing, 80s fitness celebs like Richard Simmons, Tony Little, Billy Blanks, and Jake Steinfeld brought fitness fashion to the public eye.
It’s refreshing to see that the most iconic 80s men’s fashion and timeless styles of the era are back with a vengeance.
Whether you’re a fan of the preppy look, the punk-rock vibe, or the power-dressing aesthetic, the 80s had something for everyone.
Use this ultimate guide to recreate your favorite 80s men’s fashion looks and add a touch of nostalgia to your wardrobe.
Experiment with colors, patterns, and styles and recreate the most iconic men’s styles of the 80s decade, perfect for any occasion.
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