Dress 80s with Normal Clothes in 5 Simple Outfit Ideas

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Dressing 80s with normal clothes is easier than you think and requires just a few style steps.

And if you know how to match and pair, even the everyday clothes in your wardrobe can make you look like an 80s fashion queen.

So, whether you’re going to a themed party or want to embrace your inner Janet Jackson, this is how to create an 80s look with regular clothes.

1. Cycling Shorts and Oversized Jacket

Cycling Shorts To Dress 80s With Normal Clothes
Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid are wearing 80s cycling shorts.

Popularised by the late Princess Di, cycling shorts have had a trend rebirth in recent years.

Stylish and functional, cycling shorts were the biggest activewear trend in the 80s fashion.

However, to recreate that 80s fashion look, you’ll have to choose eye-catching colors, like neon peach or mint green.


A&F YPB 7" Bike Shorts

Wideband Waist Solid Biker Shorts

Throw on a baggy jumper or sweatshirt over the top for a maximum 80s effect.

To add more sophistication and make this 80s look even more retro, dress up the shorts with a blazer or oversized shirt in a streetwear style.

Another great option – to recreate that 80s fitness look – is to pair your open-chest top with leggings and leg warmers.

2. Blue Jeans and Rider Leather Jacket

80s Rider Leather Jacket with normal clothes
Hailey Baldwin Beiber is wearing 80s rider leather jackets and high-wasted blue jeans.

As a must-have in any fashionista’s wardrobe, rider leather jackets are timeless and stylish.

The rider leather jacket confers a superb 80s classic style when paired with jeans.

Carolyn Quilted Distressed Brown Biker Jacket

Alison Black Leather Biker JacketMatched with high-waisted blue jeans and a white tee, a brown or black, a good quality rider leather jacket will enhance your overall appearance fast.

3. Wide-leg Pants and Chunky Knitwear

Chunky Knitwear to dress 80s with normal clothes
Chunky knitwear is an easy choice for dressing 80s in clothes you already have.

Chunky jumpers and sweatshirts are the perfect nods to a tremendous 80s fashion style.

In the 80s, leggings were a great accompaniment to chunky knitwear pieces.

Color Block Drop Shoulder Sweater

Everlane The Texture Cotton Crew

Complete your 80s oversized knitwear look with a pair of clumpy Doc Martens and a fringed leather handbag in matching color.

4. Blazer with Oversized Shoulder Pads

Oversized Blazers With Shoulder Pads
Oversized blazers with shoulder pads were a big 80s look that you could replicate with mum or dad suits, just like Hailey Bieber and Emily Ratajkowski pictured here.

We can’t talk about the 1980s fashion without mentioning oversized blazers, a characteristic look of that decade.

In particular, blazers with shoulder pads with the right clothes and colors are ideal for creating a timeless look.

Shoulder padded blazer to dress 80s with normal clothes
Dua Lipa is wearing a loose-fitting suit with shoulder pads on the left, and a model wearing an oversized shoulder pad blazer on the Saint Lauren Fall 2023 runway on the right.

Go for a blazer in an androgynous style with large shoulder pads for a polish or a loose-fitting look; both are trendy right now.

The structural cut adds sophistication to the overall outfit, while the shoulder pads assemble a polished silhouette.

Shoulder Pads Lapel Neck Single Breasted Blazer

River Island Beige Double Breasted Blazer

If you’re not into padded suits, you can replace them with oversized blazers with structured shoulders.

Either way, you must pair the look with a casual pair of jeans and a classic white tee.

5. Tight-Flared Pants and Decollete Tops

Match Off-the-shoulder Tops With Tight Flared Pants
Match off-the-shoulder tops with tight flared pants to dress like the 80s with normal clothes, similar to Jesinta Campbell and Kendall Jenner in this picture.

Bare decollete tops were all the rage in the 80s daywear.

Ideally, you’ll match your off-the-shoulder top with skin-tight jeans.

Sweetheart Neck Drawstring Lantern Crop TopAnthropologie Convertible Off-the-shoulder Tank

The most recognizable 80s style off-the-shoulder tops feature asymmetric cuts to add length to the neck and put a twist on the overall style.

Styling Tips

No matter how you feel about 80s fashion, you can’t deny its impact on current fashion trends and styles.

Every modern stylistic trend has hints and throwbacks to this iconic fashion era.

Though we may no longer be reaching for the neon pink lipstick en masse, many 80’s fashion looks are timeless staples to modern looks.

Moreover, all 80s trends and styles discussed in this article have stood the test of time and are easy to wear, albeit a little modernized.

Finally, recreating 1980s looks and trends has never been more accessible, thanks to online clothing stores like Depop and Vinted.

There’s no need to rummage through local charity shops or online vintage stores to create a perfect 80s look.

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Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!

Alice Hartwell is a fashion and style professional from Brighton, United Kingdom, driven by an obsession for anything beauty and aesthetics, from fashion runways to red carpet events and style awards. Harnessing writing as a tool, Alice turns her passion into visual storytelling and memorable moments featured in notable fashion and beauty publications, demonstrating the transformative power of style in creating confidence, self-love, and self-expression.

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