1980s Men's Fashion & Inspiration
1980s men's fashion introduced the popularity of athletic clothing. Men rejected the bold trends of the seventies and opted for an understated aesthetic. Sports jerseys, tracksuits, hoodies, sleeveless tops, shorts, and jeans became fashionable essentials. Tube socks were also a favorite everyday essential. 1980s tube socks often included stripes. Velour polo shirts and v-neck sweaters were accessible as well.
New Wave Style
One of the fashion trends to sweep the eighties was none other than the New Wave influence. Post-punk and New Wave music groups served as the inspiration for slim-fit suits, thin ties, striped t-shirts, leather jackets, metallic shirts, and Members Only jackets.
Representing different high school stereotypes, The Breakfast Club captured various styles of the 1980s. Guys Left to Right: Bender represented the outcast, Andrew; the jock and Brian; the geek.
Ivy League Style Reemerges
In contrast, preppy style flourished with a throwback to the Ivy League aesthetic of the 1950s. Men wore oxford shirts, polo shirts with popped collars, khaki pants, Hush Puppies oxford shoes, seersucker suits, and cable-knit sweaters tied around the shoulders.
Miami Vice Style: Bright colors and the white suit contributed to an iconic look from Detective James 'Sonny' Crockett. Meanwhile, Detective Ricardo Tubbs cleans up in a boxy double-breasted suit.
Miami Vice Inspiration
However, the mid-eighties saw an explosion of color. Hit television shows such as Miami Vice inspired men's clothing with vibrant colors and proportions. Men wore t-shirts underneath suit jackets with broad padded shoulders.
Richard Gere poses in a double-breasted suit by Giorgio Armani for American Gigolo.
1980s Men's Fashion Trends
Suede and corduroy jackets were also fashionable during the eighties. However, men didn't forget their love for athletic clothes. They embraced spandex cycling shorts. Other trendy items of the time ranged from Hawaiian shirts and Levi's denim to nylon jackets.
Parachute pants were another popular fad of the eighties. The trousers consisted of ripstop nylon and became popular due to breakdancing.
Eighties Power Dressing
Power dressing also came into play. Business attire featured jackets with massive shoulder pads and wide ties. Designers such as Giorgio Armani reintroduced the public to double-breasted suits that took inspiration from the 1940s.