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80s vintage clothing mens – Fashion in the Decade of Excesses

June 5, 2018

80s vintage clothing in mens closets highlighted what 80s casual fashion was really all about – making big, bold and often attention-grabbing fashion statements!It was a simple time back in the 80s. 80s vintage clothing mens styles were about to change dramatically from the decade earlier. Here’s a flash-back at some 80s fashion trends.


80s vintage clothing mens from Blue17

80s vintage clothing mens from Blue17


The 80s – a decade of excesses

The 80s was an interesting and fun time for men, especially where fashion was concerned. 80s casual styles included bright hues and bold designs. 80s vintage clothing in mens closets had to be about being different – a lot different than today’s minimalistic fashion statement.


Some say that the fashion world had endured (suffered may be a right choice of words!) a period of “leanness” in the 1960s and 70s. It is believed that the mens 80s casual revolution was a direct result of fashion starvation from prior decades.


Men in vintage 80s style clothes dressed to the excessive.  Large windbreakers, oversized puffy jackets, bum bags and chunky – yet oh so comfortable – sneakers. 80s casual men’s wear was all about being big and noticeable. It’s no wonder they called it the decade of maximalism!


80s vintage clothing in mens styles is making a comeback – and in a big way too. The fashion excesses of that bygone era seem to contrast with the minimalist approach of the 90s and 2000s. But look around you, and you’ll see men in vintage 80s style clothing all over. They proudly flash their 80s casual looks.


From preppy style to hip-hop, and from punk to rock-and-roll, everything that was cool and casual about 80s fashion is once more in vogue.

1980s fashion men - Blue17 vintage denim jacket

Blue17 vintage denim jacket

80s vintage clothing mens casual dressing

Men in vintage 80s fashion wear weren’t into the skin-tight, obscenely revealing outfits of the past decade. A lot of that “tightness” and “snugginess” came from fashion designers of the 60s and 70s being deliberately stingy with fabric and fashion accessories – a precious commodity in those times.  80s vintage clothing in mens styles was more of a snug look, but more comfortable to wear compared to their predecessors.


But by the time the 80s came around, there was a huge emphasis on fitness and sports too. The 80s casual look for men included a whole array of sportswear, including track suit pants and sports footwear. You’d see men in vintage patterned sweatshirts and jogging shorts working out on the tracks and parks on weekends and holidays.


In 80s vintage clothing Mens tastes also included a huge selection leisure wear too. After a hard day’s work at the office, wearing buttoned-down suits and cuffed shirts and ties, the typical men’s 80s casual look would include a denim jacket and light pants at the pub. Another cool casual look would see men pair a designer jacket over a light T-shirt.

80s vintage clothing mens office wear

80s male clothing

80s men’s clothing from Blue17


Women of the 80s undoubtedly had more fashion awareness than men of that generation. From receptionists and secretaries, to air hostesses and counter assistants – 80s casual fashion for women dominated the clothing scene. Women however hit a glass ceiling when it came to taking over top positions in largely male-dominated professions.


But while men dominated the scene in offices and boardrooms, it didn’t mean it was all grey suits and ties. 80s professional men had vintage fashion sense too. And while broad, oversized shoulders wouldn’t pass off as “fashionable” today – they were all the rage back then.


Pinstripe suits were very much part of any man’s professional wardrobe in the 80s. Typically, men in vintage professional ensembles preferred to pair those pinstripes with shirts, ties and yes – suspenders too!  It was all part of the broader 80s vintage clothing for mens trend.


Pastel coloured 80s casual suits were also the rave back then. Usually saved for after-office events, men in vintage pastel suits could be seen having a good time at sports pubs or even the theatre. These suits were never paired with button-ups. Instead this 80s vintage clothing for mens look was made whole with a casual crew-neck Tee.

80s casual tees

80s casual tee

80s vintage clothing mens casual Tees

T-shirts, invariably crew-necks, were a hallmark for 80s casual mens fashion. And whether it was a business casual suit, or a pair of dad jeans that a man wore, you could always spot men in vintage Tees to complete their look.


Most notably, 80s vintage clothing Mens tops included t-shirts with bold, daring placement prints. And since the 80s was a decade of making statements, the 80s casual look included t-shirts with social and political statements and slogans.


But that was not all the storm about the Tees. Options for men in vintage t-shirts also included baseball tees and crop-top t-shirts. Men could be seen wearing their favourite tees under coats and jackets, and in pants and jeans. 80s casual t-shirts were often paired with sneakers and joggers, and baseball caps for the outdoors look.


T-shirts were a staple on the rock scene of the 80s. The “anti-authority” feelings were quickly channelled into sleeveless Tees. Even today, men in vintage tees seem to make statements of their own. They do this by chopping off the sleeves of a perfectly good retro tee, and then turning it into an 80s rocker t-shirt.

Casual 80s style Men's velour jacket

Casual 80s style Men’s velour jacket

Men in vintage velour

The introduction of new fabrics during the Decade of Fashion Excesses, meant men in vintage casual clothing had even more choice. Plushie fabric like velour, which combined the stretchiness of spandex with a Plush velvety feel, were everywhere. It could be seen in men’s sweatshirts and track suits, and 80s vintage clothing for mens tastes offered plenty of velour choices.


Young men in vintage sportswear soon became enamoured by the track suits that were made by popular brands, including Fila. One popular 80s casual look was of men in velour jogging suits, head bands and wrist sweat bands. Often, they’d be seen on their motorcycles, milling around at popular restaurants and cinemas.


Men in vintage velour had other famous champions too, and that’s one reason the fabric caught on so well. Dior designed a very cosy-looking line of velour sweaters. Their line-up in 80s vintage clothing Mens styles quickly became a hit, and soon other high-end designers became velour-crazy too!


Other popular velour fads from the 80s included velour rugby polo shirts. Men in vintage sports wear could also be seen donning on long-sleeved velour pull over shirts as part of their casual wardrobe. And while velour dress shirts were a craze, no 80s casual look could be considered complete without a velour button up shirt.

80s excesses here to stay!

The transition into men’s 80s casual wear was dramatic – given the backdrop of minimalism from the decades prior. However, anyone who thought that the 80s would fade away, was wrong! Men in vintage 80s styles are still looking as cool and casual today, as they did back in the eighties.


From chunky sneakers to padded down-filled puffy jackets – the Big and the Beautiful in 80s vintage clothing for mens wardrobes has never died off. In fact, Ralph Lauren-inspired parkas, modelled on Triple Fat Goose puffy jackets, are being imitated even today. Today, brand names like Supreme are offering men a great way to relive those puffy jacket days!


And if you thought men in vintage clothing would never be seen wearing broad padded shoulders, all you need to do is take at some footage from a Prince concert. The rocker made padded shoulders one of his signature looks!


The 80s casual look for men has come a long way – but it’s here to stay. With brands like Wrangler, Levi’s, Ralph Lauren and Dior firmly behind it, 80s vintage clothing Mens styles are being revived to blend into the 00’s.

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