Here’s How to Dress 80s With Normal Clothes in 2023

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Recreate 80s Styles With Clothes You Already Have

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.

80s Outfit Ideas With Normal Clothes

1. Match Cycling Shorts With Formalwear

2. Rider Leather Jacket With Jeans

3. Wear Bold, Bright Colors

4. Pair Chunky Knitwear With Wide-leg Pants

5. Put On Oversized Blazers With Shoulder Pads

6. Wear High Waisted Mom Jeans

7. Match Decollete Tops With Tight Flared Pants


Match Cycling Shorts With Formalwear

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

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

Equally stylish and functional, the 80s cycling shorts can also be worn as activewear and workout clothes.

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

Throw on a baggy jumper or aesthetic 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.


A&F YPB 7" Bike Shorts

Wideband Waist Solid Biker Shorts


Rider Leather Jacket With Jeans

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

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.

Matched 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.


Carolyn Quilted Distressed Brown Biker Jacket

Alison Black Leather Biker Jacket


Wear Bold, Bright Colors

80s Bold, Bright Colors Fashion
Bold, bright colors showcase 80s fashion looks, such as this pink blazer or the lemon yellow top worn by Kylie Jenner. – The VOU

One of the most notable 80s trends was the addition of bright block colors.

In the 80s, bright and bold colors were used and styled to make you stand out in a crowd.

A whole outfit of contrasting bright colors is an excellent choice for a themed house party and even walking down the street if you’re adventurous.

For those who prefer subtler looks, go for accents of bright colors or mix and match, e.g., a very colorful jacket to a minimalist outfit.

And, for a complete 80s flair, add a pop of color to your ombre nails, such as bright lemon yellow or fuchsia pink.


SHEIN BASICS Mock Neck Solid Crop Tee

BOOHOO Tailored Fitted Bubble Pink Blazer


Pair Chunky Knitwear With Wide-leg Pants

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

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.

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


Color Block Drop Shoulder Sweater

Everlane The Texture Cotton Crew


Put On Oversized Blazers With 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. – The VOU

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

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

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.

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 Saint Lauren Fall 2023 runway on the right. – The VOU

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

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.

Bonus points for tucked-in 80s-Esque shirts.


Shoulder Pads Lapel Neck Single Breasted Blazer

River Island Beige Double Breasted Blazer


Wear High Waisted Mom Jeans

High Waisted Mom Jeans
High-waisted mom jeans are a great choice to look the 80s with jeans you already have, just like Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski! – The VOU

High-waisted ‘mom jeans’ were a trendy style in the 1980s and are a must-have piece if you want to recreate that decade’s look.

‘Mom jeans’ have a flattering cut to all body types and work wonders matched with a cropped jumper.

You can pair your high-waisted denim with a turtleneck; make sure you tuck it in for a more relaxed 80s look.


A&F Curve Love High Rise Mom Jeans

High-rise Peggy tapered jean in Delancey wash


Match Decollete Tops With Tight Flared Pants

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. – The VOU

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

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

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

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.


Sweetheart Neck Drawstring Lantern Crop Top

Anthropologie Convertible Off-the-shoulder Tank


What Did 80’s Attire Look Like?

There are two of the main stylistic themes that define the 80s attire.

The first one is bold and neon colors of 80s workout clothes, including spandex leggings, leotards, windbreakers, and tracksuits.

The second one is the boxy silhouettes of 80s formalwear, such as power suits and padded shoulder dresses.

Overall the 80s attire had a ‘loud feel’ and attention-grabbing look, defined by the pop culture and celebs of those days, such as Madonna, Prince, and Whitney Houston.

What Did Females Wear in the 80s?

Waving goodbye to the flower power times of the 70s fashion, 80s females wore bold colors, power suits, shoulder pads, perms, gym leggings, and leg warmers.

The 80s fashion for women stood for individualism and standing out from the crowd, which impacted even the 90s fashion.


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 in 2023, 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.

That’s all for now; time to create your 80s look with regular clothes from your closet.

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Now it’s your turn…

Which of these 80s styling ideas do you find the easiest to create?

Do you have any 80s styling ideas for clothes we all have in our wardrobes and want to include them in this article?

Kindly leave your comments below; we always appreciate and use them to learn, improve, and update our articles.

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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