The 80s and 90s were a huge time for the skate scene, pushing the sport into mainstream popularity, known as the golden era of skate. In the late 80’s and early 90’s influences like Cara-Beth Burnside skyrocketed this.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or you’re a pro you can still look and feel authentic and appreciate the cool skater style. Below we’ve listed 10 of the best 80’s skater trends and looks.
1. Skate Shoes
Not only are skate shoes an essential item to your outfit, choosing and wearing the correct shoes is crucial for your comfortability and riding style.
The most popular and original skate shoes are vans (see also ‘Are Vans Vegan‘). These were launched in the 60’s and are an integral part of the aesthetic.
During the 80’s the Old Skool Vans were a popular option and have a super retro feel, they feature a chunky and flat sole which gives the best grip on the board.
These paired with white socks pulled up past the ankle create the perfect 80’s skater vibe. If vans aren’t for you, converse chuck taylors (Also check out The Differences Between Converse All Stars And Chuck Taylors) were also very popular on the 80’s skate scene again wit the chunky and flat sole paired with white socks pulled above the ankle.
2. Denim Jackets
Denim was a huge part of almost all subcultures trends in the 80s; the skater scene was no exception to this! Denim was often worn by skaters in the form of loose fitting garments.
A popular outfit choice in the 80’s would have been a loose fitting denim jacket over a graphic tee.
3. Skate Shorts
Although denim is a popular choice for skaters during the warmer months and the hotter climates, wearing jeans can become uncomfortable.
That is where denim shorts come into play. You will be able to maintain that cool authentic skater edge whilst being comfortable so these are a great alternative to long pants.
Denim shorts were made popular in the 70s and 80s the “ Golden Era” of skateboarding. Iconic faces of the era include skateboarders like Laura Thornhill and Ellen O Neal who played a huge part in the role of wearing shorts while on the board and making this a popular choice.
4. Skate T-Shirts
Many of us love a tee featuring our favourite band because not only is it a cool staple but a way one can express their personality through their outfits.
A large loose fitting t-shirt with print can completely enhance an outfit. These graphic tees can be rocked as they are or they can be layered with long sleeves underneath.
In addition to this, skaters in the 80’s and now religiously stick by their merch tee’s from the iconic skateboard magazine “ thrasher”
5. Baja Hoodies
Baja hoodies were a staple look for many skaters in the 80’s. The hippy- associated hoodies with a rough knit fabric, striped and a v-neck kept many skaters warm back then and now. These can be paired with some jeans and a colorful beanie.
The oversized attire plays a huge role in the overall skater aesthetic, it’s not only fashionable, but comfortable and practical. When the cold temperatures set in, swap out the sleeveless denim for a cosy oversized hoodie.
Hoodies are super versatile too, meaning you can skate, walk and do a backflip without feeling restricted, they also act as a great cushion if you do happen to take a tumble off of your board.
In the 80’s skaters rocked these in mostly blue, bottle green or charcoal.
6. Baggy Colourful Pants
In the 80’s, baggy pants with colourful patterns often in tones of pink , blues and lilacs were extremely popular. Some skaters favoured coloured parachute pants, baggy in the leg and cuffed at the ankle.
Baggy pants were typically worn low on the hips and the hem fell past the ankle. Wearing them can make the skating experience much more enjoyable due to the fact they provide movement and freedom creating the ultimate comfortability.
They also are a great alternative to the shorts in the colder weather.
7 . Skater Accessories
Whilst most skaters wouldn’t have accessories head to toe whilst they are performing tricks whilst skating, there are some trendy ways to finish off your look that still give that authentic 80s skater feel.
For example, a cute beanie to keep the hair out of your eyes and head protected. These were popular during the 80’s and would have been paired with all kind of outfits.
It was also common to see a skater wearing a backpack or a fanny pack whilst out skating. This gives to the practical side while also staying on trend.
8. Levis Jeans
Levis jeans are a well known, popular brand by all kinds of people. During the 80’s if you looked in the closet of any skater, you would find a well worn pair of Levis jeans.
Levi jeans come in many different styles, the most popular amongst the skaters being the ripped ones (see also ‘How To Style Vintage 501 Levi Jeans‘). These would be paired with a pair of vans or converse all stars, white socks and the hems rolled up.
9. Flannel Shirts
Button down shirts are a must for any skater. These flannel shirts were especially popular during the 80’s. These shirts were usually paired jeans, white socks, flat soled trainers and worn on top of a band or logo shirt.
Flannel shirts have been around for centuries. The older the fabric, the richer the tradition. This article will give you the information you need to know about flannel shirts.
Flannel shirts are one of the most popular styles for casual wear. Their versatility and comfort make them a versatile choice for layering in the fall and winter.
10. Oversized Clothing
Twisting, tears and even some blood stains are not uncommon for any skater. This is why skaters tend to opt for looser, oversized clothing.
They are less restrictive and much more practical than tight fitting garments. This can be baggy trousers, shorts, tee’s or hoodies!
Oversized clothing is a great way to express your personality and make a statement. Find out how it works, what to wear, and where to go shopping because some things just don’t go out of fashion.
Overall, skater fashion has been around for quite a long time and certain trends keep popping back up in modern society that are from the 80s.
People love all of the trendy clothes from the 80s because it was such an exciting time to be alive with so many new styles coming into fashion including skater clothing.
Hopefully this guide has given you some inspiration for some of your own inspired 80s skater looks because there are so many to choose from. Even though there are only 10 on this list, there are hundreds of different outfit choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Did Skaters Wear In The 80’s?
By the early ’80s, skateboarders wore almost all black. They liked torn and sleeveless T-shirts with hard-edged, image-driven graphics. “The images usually had something to do with skulls and bones,” Fitzpatrick says
Was Skateboarding Popular In The 80s?
After an initial spike of success, skateboarding then suffered a huge decline in popularity in the 1980’s. However in the 1990’s it peaked again.
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