12 Of The Best 80s Rock Band Fashion Trends

12 of the Best 80s Rock Band Fashion Trends

Guns N Roses, Mötley Crüe, Black Sabbath, and many more bands found their feet during this time and paved the way for future generations.

The 80s was a great time for rock music, but it was also a great time for fashion.

In this case, we’re talking of course about the fashion of the different rock bands of the time, and we know that you can picture those trends as you read this!

From Doc Marten boots all the way to leather jackets, there was absolutely no shortage of wild and fantastic looks, and today that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about!

Read on to learn more about the 12 best 80s rock band fashion trends!

12 Of The Best 80s Rock Band Fashion Trends

Whether you were rocking out at the time or you just wish you’d been alive in the 80s- if you want to get the 80s rock band looks then you have come to the right place!

Lots of these trends still really work today, so if you’re looking for some inspiration to change your own look, read on!

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Kicking off this list we have the extremely popular and well-known Doc Marten leather boots.

Lots of high-profile rock bands of the time, such as Black Sabbath and Mötley Crüe, sported these boots and it kickstarted a huge trend that is still alive today.

Doc Marten boots are pretty timeless and they work with practically every other style too!

At the time, they were especially popular in the rock scene, but they were also beloved by the punk rock scene too! 

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We know you can just picture them right now! Oversized motorcycle jackets made completely of leather. Who wasn't wearing one of these in the 80s?

It was commonplace for the rockstars of the time to don these leather jackets, but they grew so popular that even people outside of the rock scene were wearing them.

One of the most iconic leather jacket looks of the time actually comes from Michael Jackson.

The red leather jacket he wore in his Thriller video still remains one of the most iconic fashion choices in all of history and pop culture!

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Who comes to mind when you think about over-the-top hats and even actual top hats?

That’s right, it couldn’t be anyone else except for Slash, the lead guitarist of Guns N Roses!

Slash’s top hat has become his trademark look and that is widely due to him wearing it originally in the 80s.

This look inspired the masses to follow suit! Lots of other rock bands also adopted the over-the-top hat trend and it really added to the overall aesthetic of the time.

The more ridiculous the hat, the better it was! 

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This is another fashion trend that actually carried on being popular for quite some time after the 80s was over, but at the time it was quite literally all the rage.

To wear ripped clothes during this era was quite the fashion statement!

While you can just buy ripped clothes in this day and age, at the time, most people actually ripped their clothes themselves using sandpaper for that worn look and scissors for the actual ripping.

While this look started off as an 80s rock band trend, in this day and age, you’ll find ripped clothes in all different subcultures now! 

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What 80s rock band didn’t wear bandanas in the 80s? We’re pretty sure there wasn’t a rock band that didn’t!

Lots of the members of bands had very long hair at the time, and one of the best ways to keep it out of their faces was to don some pretty loud bandanas.

This of course sparked a fashion trend in all rock circles and it was pretty commonplace to find them in the 80s.

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Another staple of the decade, sleeveless tops really had a place in the spotlight along with the bands who were wearing them.

It didn’t matter what type of top it was either, they were all sleeveless!

That included denim jackets, shirts, and in some cases, even sleeveless leather jackets.

No one knows exactly why this was a thing, but it could be because this was a great way to show off their tattoos! 


One of the most popular and well-known fashion trends of the 80s was, of course, the mullet hairstyle. You know… business in the front, party in the back!

The mullet just seemed to compliment the rock look completely and it went super well with the other trends on this list.

Everyone had a mullet in the 80s, regardless of if you were a man or a woman… and everyone absolutely rocked them.

The mullet has died off in coolness in this day and age, but we can never forget just how important they were in 80s fashion.

Heavy Makeup

Lots of bands in the 80s were very dramatic with their makeup and this quickly became a trend in the rock scene.

When you put the words “heavy makeup” and “rock band” together, who do you think of first?

Obviously, the answer to that question is KISS, one of the most legendary rock bands of all time.

It wasn’t just KISS who did this though.

Another great example is the band Twisted Sister, who were known for their over-the-top, heavy makeup that was also extremely colorful.

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Ah yes, we couldn’t talk about the best fashion trends of the 80s without bringing up leather studded bracelets!

Whether you were part of the band or you were just a fan, there seemed to be more leather bracelets at the time than there were human beings!

These leather studded bracelets worked really well with leather jackets, doc marten boots, and all the other popular trends of the time.

Pretty much all the trends from the era complimented each other perfectly, and your look definitely wasn’t complete until you added a leather studded bracelet (or five) to your arm.

These bracelets actually stayed quite popular in the rock scene for a couple more decades and they even found their way into the mid-2000s emo subculture. 

Thick & Long Hair

This is probably the most well-remembered trend of the 80s overall.

Though this is specific to the rock subculture, thick and long hair was actually pretty popular across all different subcultures in the 80s. 

The thicker and longer your hair, the more of a power move it was!

If you didn’t have a mullet at the time, then chances are you definitely had thick and long hair. 

This hairstyle choice made it a lot easier to headbang and for the actual rock stars themselves, it gave them an even bigger stage presence.

Their hair would blow in the wind while they performed which really just added an even better, more otherworldly vibe to the show. 

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Sunglasses are pretty timeless, but in the 80s they were absolutely everywhere!

There were so many different types of sunglasses available, all with different brands, shades, colors, and cuts, so you could really personalize your sunglasses choice to fit your overall aesthetic.

This of course extended to the rockstars themselves as well.

Pretty much all of them were wearing sunglasses, whether they were inside or outside, and the time of day didn’t matter either! 

You knew your favorite rock band was one of the best if they were sporting sunglasses and you rarely saw their eyes!

One great example of the sunglasses trend is actually Slash himself… how many of us have actually seen him without a pair of sunglasses on? 

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And finally, we have another accessory that was loved at the time: metal chains.

Every single rock star and their fans donned some metal chains in the 80s, it was one of the biggest ways to show how fashionable and cool you truly were!

Metal chains paired especially well with leather, and because leather jackets were so important back then, integrating long, dangly metal chains was the obvious next step.

Rock bands and their fans didn’t just wear them on their belts either, they’d wear them as necklaces and even dangling from their bracelets!

Outrageous and over the top was the name of the game at the time.


From big hair to ripped clothing, the 80s was a time of dramatic change and experimentation that really reflected in the way people were dressing.

Rock bands played a big part in how the trends of the time went, and you can still see those effects in this day and age too.

The 80s was a fantastic time for music and fashion and the rock bands of the time really proved it!

We wil never forget the rock scene from the 80s!

Willa Price