The best 80s fashion for boys

I realised I’ve selfishly been writing about vintage and retro fashion for girls and completely left BOYS out.

So here’s me sharing my invaluable advice on how to look great if you’re a guy and you’d like to spice up your wardrobe with some classic 80s fashion. Typical 80s colours include vibrant pastels and neon hues as well as washed out denim and light greys.

I will break the fashion down into stereotypical 80s cliques, so you can see which one fits your style best. Here are some 80s wardrobe essentials:

P.S. My insight is based entirely on 80s TV shows (I watch a lot of those cause I have no life).

The 80s jock style:

If you wanna pull off the 80s jock style, you absolutely need to have an 80s varsity letterman jacket. Here’s what I’m talking about:

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You can also choose to wear light blue jeans and a white T-shirt underneath the jacket.

Another typical outfit 80s jock style involves the tight vest, like Slater in Saved By the Bell. If you’re brave enough, also go for the high rise jeans (“bell pants”) and the big 80s hair (mohawk not compulsory)

Saved by the Bell

The 80s rocker:

If you want to pull off the 80s rocker/ bad boy look from The Breakfast Club, the most important thing you need is a baggy checked shirt, and a white camisole underneath.

If you wanna go full rocker, then be Charlie Sheen in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Look at that gorgeous leather jacket!

The nerd

Here’s how you can achieve the 80s nerd look in four steps: Close your eyes, open your wardrobe, pick clothes at random and put them on. TA-DA! You now look just like Screech in Saved by the Bell. Jokes aside, I’d definitely borrow some of those colourful shirts, at least for Halloween.

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The preppy guy:

For the 80s preppy guy look, here are three iconic characters: Zach Morris (Saved by the Bell), Duckie (Pretty in Pink) and Ronald Miller (Can’t buy me love). Not only is their fashion sense awesome, but their on screen personalities are great. I am inlove with all three of them.

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But that’s just me and my opinion. What would you wear? Or what would you like to see a guy wearing?

Fashion in the Eighties

Why I love the 80s

I could talk so much about the ’80s and still not cover how exciting a time that was for fashion. The ’80s are the most daring and experimental fashion era in my opinion, possibly more so than the Sixties.

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Fingerless gloves, miniskirts, leggings, leg warmers, high waist jeans, the headband, acid wash jeans and denim jackets are all part of the daring ’80s fashion decade; The bright, heavy make-up, shoulder pads and neon leg warmers are just a few examples of how bold people used to be with their outfits.

Statement/Slogan T-shirts

One very important item of clothing in the ‘80s was the statement T-shirt. The most popular statement T-shirts revolved around social or political causes but eventually became means of expressing any type of message:

  

Shoulder pads

Another iconic feature of the 80’s (along with the wild haircuts and neon everything) were the shoulder pads. The eighties were definitely not the first decade the shoulder pads were popular. As mentioned in my previous post (Fashion in the Fourties and Fifties) shoulder pads had been around long before the 80s.

When I think of 80s shoulder pads I can’t help but talk about the denim and leather oversized jackets. Here are a few of my favourites:

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The Loud, Slouchy Jumper

Who doesn’t recognise the iconic ‘80s loud (often neon) oversized jumper, worn over a mini skirt or a pair of leggings.

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Speaking of leggings, the shiny leggings were another popular piece of clothing, as illustrated below by teenage boys and Madonna:

Needless to add, I absolutely love the 80s – especially fashion, music and movies. What’s your favourite thing about the Eighties?

Fashion in the 40s and 50s

1940’s vintage fashion

Following the gloomy depression era in the 30’s, fashion in the 40’s saw a time of hardship and lack of fabrics. Money was limited and women were encouraged to re-use items of clothing that they already owned.

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The 1940’s saw a lot of women getting creative and re-cycling many of their clothes, something I currently love to do – DIY vintage fashion and making my outfits even more unique with a bit of stitching and cutting.

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Colours in the 40’s were plain, characterised by deep maroons, gray and beige. Dresses and skirts became shorter and shoulder pads started to gain popularity as a way of enhancing the silhouette. Long hair and finger waves were the hairstyle of choice for many women.

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What I love about the 40’s is the boom of creativity and the skill shown by women in customising their clothes. It’s a great example of how being original doesn’t have to be costly.

1950’s vintage fashion

I am a big fan of the 50’s and on many occasions I have attempted to look as elegant and feminine as Audrey Hepburn.

Me (showing way too much leg) 😀

50s fashion consisted of a wide variety of styles. Small waists, pointed busts, below mid-calf dresses and skirts formed the most popular outfits.

40s dresses

The tailored feminine look with gloves and pearls, fitted jackets and pencil skirts was another popular choice.

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50s mad men

But most iconic were dresses with full skirts and low cut necklines or Peter Pan collars.

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Little known fact about myself: I currently own a dozen shirts and jumpers with peter pan collars. I think they are a very cute addition to any top and can turn a plain outfit into a sweet, girly one.

Women in the ’50s were focused on wearing practical but attractive dresses and often the phrase ‘dressing for your man’ was used to encourage the wearing of feminine, figure flattering dresses. The Glamorous Housewife is great at helping you find your inner Fifties goddess.

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This is also the controversial era of ‘pin-up girls’ – posters depicting women wearing waist-fitting and pointed busts clothing.

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The sexiest pin-up girl, in my opinion – Betty Boop!

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Fashion also saw a rise in ethnic influences such as Hawaiian summer dresses. Not to be confused with Hawaiian dad shirts, those came much later – in the 90s!

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Iconic celebrities in the 50s include: Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot.

1920’s and 1930’s fashion

How to dress like a 20’s or 30’s girl

If, like me, you often have trouble identifying what decade an outfit is from, this series of posts should help you know your fashion history, so next time you pick up a flapper dress you can proudly say to your friend: ‘Not for me, darling, I’m more of a 30’s kind of girl!’.

1920’s vintage fashion

20sflapper (1)The 20’s were a very important time in the history of women and fashion. Girls and women everywhere, encouraged by the end of the war and the right to vote, abandoned restricting corsets and started wearing trousers, shorts and generally much looser clothes.

The 20’s, just like the 60’s were a time of roaring change. Women in this era were described as ‘flappers’ because of the flapper dresses they used to wear – which were designed to flatten the bust line rather than accentuate it.

Women modeling 1920's French fashion

The ‘boyish’ figure became popular and hips were also hidden under low rise skirts and dresses. Women started wearing short haircuts like the cropped bob. Cotton and wool became much more widespread but satin, velvet and silk were preferred amongst the wealthier women.

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Books and movies like The Great Gatsby and Chicago describe the 1920’s fashion and bohemian lifestyle in great detail.

Having had a bob for most of my life, I identify with part of this era and I love the idea of simple lines and breaking free from the norm. By wearing clothes that allowed free movement, women in the 20’s made a strong statement and, like them, girls wearing vintage nowadays are making a statement by wearing clothes that represent them – from whichever era they choose.

1930’s vintage fashion

Over the course of the 1930s, fashion began to considerably shift away from the roaring 20’s. The androgynous look worn by women in the 1920’s was eventually replaced by a more feminine style, with the re-introduction of the natural waist and longer skirts and dresses.

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Women wore elegant, slender, form-flattering dresses and long hair started to be worn swept up.

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30s

Evening wear consisted of dresses with low or no backs.

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My favourite way of getting vintage inspiration for my outfits is by watching movies from or about different influential eras.

Also, find out more about vintage fashion from these decades: