How to Make an 80s Off-the-Shoulder Sweatshirt

By LeafTV Editor

Maybe you've been invited to a 1980s-themed party, or you want to make a fun and simple Halloween costume. Perhaps you just want to jazz up a basic item in your wardrobe. No matter the reason, you're aching for a little '80s flair. Luckily, there is one aspect of the 1980s pop look that is easy to replicate: the oversize sweatshirt, worn slightly off the shoulder. To create the look, all you need is some sharp scissors and a little airbrushing.

How To Make An 80S Off The Shoulder Sweatshirt
credit: ERphotographer/iStock/GettyImages
How To Make An 80S Off The Shoulder Sweatshirt


Take a sweatshirt that is too large by one or two sizes; oversize sweatshirts were fashionable in the 1980s. If you don't have an oversize sweatshirt, one in your regular size will work just as well. Wash and dry the shirt in accordance with its care directions.

Put your sweatshirt on and stand in front of a mirror. Locate the points along the shoulder where you would like the new neckline to begin and end. If you are using a sweatshirt larger than your usual size, place your points only an inch or two away from the original neckline, or your new top may not stay on your shoulders. If the sweatshirt is in your normal size, cut farther from the original neckline.

Place each point an equal distance from the original neckline for a boat-neck look.

Alternatively, place one point in the middle of one shoulder and place the other point farther down the shoulder on the opposite side for a more asymmetrical look.

To create a V-neck, place each point at an equal distance from the original neckline, plus one in the middle of the chest, marking the deepest point of the "V."

Mark the points with a fabric pencil, or a regular pen or pencil. You can use any of these, because the marks will either be cut or laundered away.

Take the sweatshirt off and lay it flat. Find the points you marked, and carefully cut from one point to the other. Cut both the front and back panels of the sweatshirt so the new neckline is even on both sides.

Read the airbrush kit instructions carefully and follow them closely as you proceed with your design. Not all airbrush kits operate and are set up in exactly the same manner. You can purchase a kit from a craft store such as A.C. Moore or At the time of publication, prices ranged from $20 to $2,000.

Some examples of airbrushed designs include palm trees, a slogan, the name of a city or favorite recording artist, or the wearer's own name. Many airbrush kits come with stencils to help with spraying designs, but if you want to use one that is not included in the kit, browse the stencils at a craft store.