How To Dress Like The ‘80s With Normal Clothes

Modern culture seems to have a fascination with the culture of the 1980s. Thanks to films and television shows like Stranger Things and Wonder Woman: 1984, many people feel a kinship with this decade.

How To Dress Like The ‘80s With Normal Clothes

Do you have a passion for the fashion of the ‘80s? If so, you can use the fashion of this iconic decade to inform your modern wardrobe choices. 

This guide will teach you how to dress like it’s the ‘80s simply by wearing normal clothes.

How To Dress Like The ‘80s With Normal Clothes

1. Use Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads perfectly symbolize the fashion of the ‘80s. This style was popular with both men and women. These shoulder pads accentuated a person’s shoulders, thus preventing sloping shoulders.

This also gave people a stronger silhouette.

Shoulder pads could also be considered a symbol of empowerment for women, as they represented women taking on a more traditionally masculine role.

In the ‘80s, shoulder pads could be added to blazers. So if you want to evoke this style period, simply add some shoulder pads to your outfit. They will work best if you are earring a jacket. 

2. Wear Vibrant Colors

If there’s one word that could be used to describe ‘80s fashion it would be “vibrant.” Most people wore bright colors and bold prints in this bygone era.

Perhaps one of the simplest ways of dressing like you’re in the ‘80s is to wear bright colors, like blue, orange, pink, and yellow. You might also want to wear some neon clothing. 

Don’t be afraid to mix bright colors together. Clashing colors were often matched in this decade.

3. Go For Denim

Denim was one of the most popular materials in the ‘80s. People weren’t afraid to wear double denim. Some people would even wear a denim jacket with denim jeans.

Luckily, denim is also a popular material today. Your wardrobe is likely filled with denim. So it’s super simple to use this material to mimic ‘80s fashion while also wearing normal clothes.

4. Utilize A Rock Or Punk Look

Punk and rock were two of the biggest genres of music in this iconic decade. These musical genres not only influenced culture, but also fashion. Many people wanted to look like their favorite rock stars.

To achieve a rock and roll look, you should wear tight pants. Preferably, these should be ripped jeans. You might also want to wear a t-shirt sporting the logo of your favorite band or musical performer.

Meanwhile, punks have an even edgier look (Check out 80s Punk Make-Up Guide). To look like a punk from the ‘80s, you should wear heavy boots, leather, spikes, tartan, and ripped jeans.

You don’t have to buy anything special. Instead, you can adapt your normal clothes to reflect these music-inspired aesthetics.

5. Visit A Thrift Store

Our next tip is to visit a thrift store. Thrift stores are wonderful ways of finding vintage clothing at an affordable price. Yet, these clothes pass off as “normal clothes.”

Most thrift stores will be filled with clothing from the ‘80s. Look out for vintage aviator and bomber jackets, as these are normal clothes that are synonymous with this period.

Online vintage stores are also phenomenal places to find these clothes.

6. Rock Some Leather

Leather was popular in the ‘80s, particularly among men. Evoking their favorite rock musicians, men wore studded leather jackets. Some men also wore leather pants, giving them a rock ‘n roll vibe.

Regardless of your gender, a leather jacket will instantly give you a vintage vibe. One of the benefits of this material is that it’s still popular today. Therefore, leather jackets can make you appear both vintage and modern.

Opt for a leather jacket with a vintage style if you wish to evoke ‘80s fashion.

7. Use Athletic Clothing

Athletic clothing is intimately associated with the ‘80s. Athletic clothing of this era tended to be much more vibrant and striking than modern sportswear.

Yet, simply by wearing colorful sportswear, you can nail this fashion trend.

Leg warmers and headbands were commonly worn by men and women alike in the ‘80s. Ideally, you should wear either of these clothing items in a bright color.

Even an eye-catching tracksuit can be reminiscent of the ‘80s, as this was the decade in which they first became popular.

Other pieces of clothing that will help you to achieve this aesthetic are windbreakers, leotards, and bright white sneakers.

8. Statement Jewelry Is The Way To Go

8. Statement Jewelry Is The Way To Go

Statement jewelry was massive in the ‘80s. This bold look can be achieved by wearing chunky earrings and necklaces. If you want to go for a hip-hop-inspired aesthetic, opt for a thick golden chain around your neck. 

9. Pair Your Clothes With ‘80s Hairstyles

The 1980s was known for its wacky hairstyles. So no matter what you wear, a great way of giving your outfit a vintage look that’s reminiscent of this decade is to opt for an ‘80s-inspired hairstyle.

Hairstyles of this period are renowned for their volume. Simply teasing your hair can help you to achieve this voluminous aesthetic. 

Hairstyles such as the mullet, ponytails, mohawk, and perms were popular choices. If you don’t want to mess up your own hair, you can use a wig inspired by this decade.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Types Of Pants Were Popular In The ‘80s?

Denim jeans were particularly popular. These jeans tended to be high-waisted. For a more sporty look, jogging pants would be worn.

Named after hip-hop and rap star MC Hammer, hammer pants were also popular. As were parachute pants, which had a similarly baggy style.

Will ‘80s Fashion Make A Comeback?

Clothing styles frequently go in and out of style, so it makes sense that ‘80s-inspired trends will once again become popular. Interestingly, the bold prints and colors associated with the ‘80s are still popular today.

Final Thoughts

The fashion of the 1980s is iconic for good reason. The looks are just so fun to recreate!

If you adore the fashion of this decade, you don’t have to buy loads of vintage clothing. Instead, you can simply use normal modern clothes to look as though you stepped out of the ‘80s.

Remember to have fun with this vibrant aesthetic!

Willa Price
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