Reveal your inner Michael Jackson or Madonna by bringing back the style of the ’80s through your wardrobe. The ’80s were full of bright, vivid neon colors, layered shirts and tight pants, all of which can be found at thrift stores and rummaging through your parents’ closets. Once you have your era-appropriate outfit picked out, finish the look by fashioning your hair and makeup to match.
Things You'll Need
The ’80s Man
Pull on your tightest leather pants in black, red or another funky color from the ’80s. Leather was a hit during the cooler months because it retained heat; however, if the weather is a little warmer, pick a pair of tight stonewashed straight-leg jeans.
Rock the night away in your favorite rock band T-shirt paired with your bottoms of choice. Band T-shirts were a staple for men according to Triplets and Us, an ’80s fashion website. In addition to rock band shirts, men typically wore black tank tops under button down color-blocked shirts in bright blue and green. During the cooler months, men can wear a leather jacket over their shirt and in warmer months, men can cut the sleeves off their shirts.
Slip high-top shoes onto your feet in shades of blue, green, red, white or black. Combat boots were also a hot commodity during the ’80s for men who wanted to portray a rocker edge.
Fix your hair into a Mohawk and spray the tips green or purple.
The ’80s Woman
Mix up your outfit with a super short, super tight mini skirt in a metallic, neon color such as pink, yellow or purple. Cooler months can allow women to pair a set of tights or leggings underneath the skirt in a bright color with rips located throughout.
Style your shirts to reflect the era by wearing a neon green tank top under a cropped top in white or cream. If you do not have a cropped shirt, take an old sweatshirt and cut out the neckline. This area should be large enough so the shirt drapes over your shoulder. Cut the bottom of the sweatshirt off so it hits just at your belly button and depending on the season, cut the sleeves off completely or three quarters off.
Purchase a pair of jellies sandals. Jellies consist of a plastic material molded into a shoe or sandal that is waterproof. Jellies can be worn with any type of ’80s women’s wear. Other options are high-top sneakers in a funky color such as pink or standard black.
Show off your accessories by purchasing layers and layers of bangle bracelets in different shapes, sizes and colors. Tie a large bow around your head and complete the look with hoop earrings.
Wear makeup to completely finish the look. Women of the ’80s wore heavy eye shadow in blue, yellow, orange and purple. Complete the look with several layers of black eyeliner and false eyelashes.
References and ResourcesThe Great '80s: '80s Fashion
Fashion-Era: 1980s Fashion History and Lifestyle
Triplets and Us: '80s Fashion