Men's Top 5 Fashions In the 80s

man in acid-washed 80s denim and striped shirt

The men's top 5 fashions in the 80s truly reflected the popular culture of the day. Often called the "me" decade or the decade of excess, the 1980s seemed to mold itself as the complete antithesis of the kinder, gentler 1970's; all you still needed in the 70s was love, but in the 80s, it was all about money and power.

Men's Top 5 Fashion Styles In the 80s

Among the men's top 5 fashion in the 80s are:

The Michael Jackson Look

Whether you love Michael Jackson or loathe him, few would deny the overarching effect the King of Pop had on men's fashion during the 80's. From the red leather jacket (zippers and all) to the white glove to the white socks, it seemed that everyone wanted to look like Michael Jackson. While it's true that you may be hard-pressed to finds someone sporting the look today, back in Thriller's heyday, these unique and distinctive styles, were everywhere.

Miami Vice

Miami Vice, a widely popular eighties television show about undercover police officers in the Miami area took popular culture by storm! Actors Don Johnson, as Detective James "Sonny" Crockett (or Sonny Burnett) and Philip Michael Thomas as Detectuve Ricardo Tubbs (also known as Rico Cooper) hit the scene with rolled up jacket sleeves, tank tops and summery colors that had men everywhere reaching for a similar look. Today men still have misgivings about wearing the color pink, but in the 1980s Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas did so with aplomb.

Heavy Metal

80s rocker

The 80s also saw the rise and popularity of heavy metal. Long hair, ripped jeans and tank tops ruled the day, right alongside and edgy, palpable party-hard vibe. The influence of the rock n roll look, some would argue, was ubiquitous and like many trends, became something of a parody of itself. This comedic take can be seen in the hit 90s' comedy, Wayne's World.

Mafia Chic

Ever wonder where the popularity of loungewear and track suits come from? Well, before the fictional Tony Soprano was wearing them in the hit show The Sopranos, real life mafia bosses like John Gotti and Giovanni Rigg were sporting the look while making backroom deals and starring in the FBI's version of "hidden camera". Crime bosses still enjoyed the standard gangster suits, but liked to relax in style.

In more recent times, certain celebrities, like Jennifer Lopez, have resurrected and reworked the look and made it their own.

Business Suits

man in 80s style business suit

It can be argued that the movie Wall Street and its main character, Gordon Gekko, managed to sum up the entire decade with one sentence, "Greed is good". The men on Wall Street have always worn business suits, but this film truly solidified the look as the "uniform" of investment bankers everywhere.

Considering How to Wear the Looks

The men's top fashions in the 80s ran the gamut from edgy and peripheral, to acceptable and mainstream. So, should you wear any of these looks now? Perhaps. The key to all of these trends, and trends in general, is wear ability.

  • If the styles are comfortable, can blend in, still be seen as attractive, and are affordable, the chances are good that they will live on. In this way, it's easy to see why Michael Jackson's look fell out of favor. Similarly, the Don Johnson look proved a bit impractical during the socially conscious 90s.
  • On the other hand, tank tops, ripped jeans and loungewear are relatively affordable, easy to wear and are rather comfortable, and the inherent traits of these clothing items makes it easy to see why we often see people sporting the look today.
  • If you are curious about the fashion of the 80s, why not incorporate a few of these styles into your everyday wardrobe? You never know; you may actually like the look!

Fascinating 80s Looks

There were other fashion styles in the 80s that garnered attention as well, for example the New Wave look had its fair share of followers, but like most trends, these fashion styles came and went. That said, the 80s was a wonderful time of exploring the creative possibilities of fashion, and that could be why it continues to fascinate us to this day.

Men's Top 5 Fashions In the 80s