A Guide on How to Dress Like the 80s

The 1980s was a decade marked by bold fashion choices, vibrant colors, and eccentric styles. The 80s left an indelible mark on the fashion world, from oversized silhouettes to neon hues. If you find yourself yearning for the days of legwarmers, shoulder pads, and cassette tapes, you’re in luck. This article provides:

  • A comprehensive guide on dressing like the 80s.
  • Allowing you to transport yourself back to the era of Madonna.
  • Michael Jackson.
  • MTV.

Silhouettes and Shapes:

One of the defining features of 80s fashion was the emphasis on bold and exaggerated silhouettes. Women embraced power dressing with solid shoulders, often achieved through padded blazers or oversized sweaters. Men, too, adopted broader shoulders in their suits, creating a distinctive look that echoed the era’s dynamic energy.

To replicate this iconic 80s silhouette, invest in shoulder-padded blazers, oversized t-shirts, and baggy sweaters. High-waisted trousers and skirts were also popular during this time, so don’t shy away from pairing them with your chosen top for an authentic 80s ensemble.

Neon and Bright Colors:

The 80s were all about vibrant, eye-catching colors. Neon hues and bold shades permeated fashion, making a statement in clothing, accessories, and even makeup. To capture the essence of this era, incorporate neon colors like electric blue, hot pink, and neon green into your wardrobe.

Mix bright colors with neutrals or opt for color-blocking for a subtler approach. A neon belt, socks, or accessories can add just the right amount of 80s flair to your outfit. Remember, the goal is to be bold and unapologetic with your color choices.

Denim on Denim:

Denim was a staple in the 80s, and the era saw the rise of the denim-on-denim trend. Embrace this look by pairing denim jeans with a matching denim jacket or vest. The key is experimenting with different washes and textures to achieve a stylish and cohesive ensemble.

Denim on Denim 80s dresses

Add patches or embellishments to your denim pieces for an extra touch of 80s authenticity. Acid-washed denim, in particular, was trendy and can be a great addition to your wardrobe for that retro vibe.

Statement Accessories:

No 80s outfit was complete without statement accessories. Bold, chunky jewelry, oversized sunglasses, and wide belts were the order of the day. Dig out those statement earrings, layer on multiple necklaces, and stack bracelets for an authentic 80s look.

For men, aviator sunglasses and broad leather belts with large buckles were go-to accessories. Experiment with colorful scrunchies, headbands, and fingerless gloves to add a playful touch to your ensemble.

Athletic Wear:

The 80s witnessed the mainstream acceptance of athletic wear as casual, everyday clothing. Brands like Adidas, Nike, and Reebok became synonymous with street fashion thanks to the rise of hip-hop and aerobics culture. Opt for tracksuits, windbreakers, and sneakers to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe.

Pairing a tracksuit with high-top sneakers and a headband will instantly transport you to the aerobic dance classes that defined the fitness craze of the 80s. Remember the sweatbands and legwarmers for that extra dose of authenticity.

Punk and Rock Influences:

The 80s were a dynamic time for music, and punk and rock influences significantly impacted fashion. Embrace the rebellious spirit of the era by incorporating leather jackets, studded accessories, and ripped jeans into your wardrobe.

For a punk-inspired look, layer a leather jacket over a band t-shirt, add edgy jewelry, and don combat boots. This style is about embracing the unconventional and pushing the boundaries of fashion norms.

Hairstyles and Makeup:

Your 80s look is only complete with the right hairstyle and makeup. Big, voluminous hair was all the rage, with styles like teased hair, perms, and mullets dominating the scene. Invest in an excellent hairspray to achieve that gravity-defying volume, or use hair accessories like scrunchies and headbands for a playful touch.

Hair and make up in 80s

When it comes to makeup, think bold and dramatic. Experiment with vibrant eyeshadows, bold blush, and brightly colored lipsticks. Blue eyeshadow and heavy eyeliner were particularly popular during this era, so don’t be afraid to go all out.


Dressing like the 80s is not just about wearing clothes; it’s about embracing a vibrant, dynamic, and sometimes outrageous era in fashion history. Whether you go all-in with shoulder pads and neon or prefer a more subtle nod to the decade, the key is to have fun and express yourself. So, raid your local thrift stores, mix and match styles, and let the spirit of the 80s guide your fashion choices. With this guide, you’ll be ready to channel your inner Madonna or Michael Jackson and relive the magic of the 1980s in style.

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Lillian Morgan

Writer & Blogger

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Lillian Morgan

Lillian Morgan

Blogger & Writer

With a pen dipped in seven years of rich writing experience, allow us to introduce you to the talent behind the words – Lillian Morgan. Her journey through the realms of language and creativity has honed her skills into a finely-tuned instrument of expression. Get ready to be captivated by prose that transcends the ordinary and takes you on an immersive literary journey. Welcome to the world of Lillian Morgan, where every word carries weight and every sentence weaves a story.

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