Monday, June 21, 2010
80's Mens fashion.
Remember the 80's:
It was the decade of decadence, reminiscent of the Roaring 20's. New clothes, new music and new dances arrived on the scene one right after the other. The women wore leg warmers and the men wore skinny ties. Ronald Reagan was president and the Berlin wall came down. The music was some of the best since the 1950's, and it seemed everyone was carefree. The clothing definitely matched the attitudes of the day, covering everything from neon bright colors to parachute pants.
Most Popular 80's Men's Fashion:
While the women were wearing shoulder pads to look more masculine, men discovered pinstripes again. Suits were made of natural materials, such as wool, cotton and silk, an image of higher quality. The pinstripes were not as wide as those from the 1930's and 1940's but very similar to pinstripes from the 1970's.
Three-piece suits were not popular and lapels on suit jackets became narrower. Neckties lost weight and became skinny; some of the leather ties were a mere thin strap, which can be seen in movies like Footloose.
Love color? The 1980's were full of bright colors, even in men's fashion. Men began to adapt the look from Miami Vice, a hit television series starring Don Johnson. This look paired a casual T-shirt with a suit jacket, typically worn open. The T-shirt colors were anything from pastel to coral and the suit was typically white. This look also featured loafers worn without socks.
Most people have probably seen the video and dance in the movie 13 Going on 30, and there are many popular parodies and clips on YouTube, but did you know that the Thriller video, released in 1982, inspired a whole new fashion craze in 80's men's fashion? Teenagers tried to emulate Michael Jackson by wearing matching black (or red) leather pants and leather jackets, a single glove and sunglasses. In fact, many teenagers wore their sunglasses even after dark, which was popularized by song lyrics such as "I wear my sunglasses at night". Later in the 1980's, brown leather aviator jackets, replicated after the World War II fighter pilot jackets, became popular.
Conservatism was in and actors such as Michael J. Fox, who played the preppy Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties, wore looks that were conservative. The preppy look was characterized by polo shirts in specific brands, such as Izod, Brooks Brothers, and Polo Ralph Lauren. Khakis, argyle sweaters and loafers completed the look. The sweaters could be monogrammed with the wearer's initials, and worn tied around the shoulders.
Sports suits by companies such as Adidas were popular as well. Many people were into fitness and sports, and people were very loyal to particular brands. This seemed to taper off in the late 1980's and many of these brands have never quite regained the same popularity as they once had.
The long, thick sideburns of the 1970's went out of style in 1980's men's fashion. Big hair was in, for both men and women. Styling mousse became as necessary as a big comb to fluff your feathered bangs. From 1984 to 1986, sideburns came back but were short and thin, as opposed to the longer, thicker sideburns of the 1970's. While mullets were popular in suburbia, a more professional look was required of businessmen, who wore very short hair. In the late 80's in men's fashion, it was not popular to part the hair.
Teens loved the color and functional style of Swatches. Also arriving on the scene was the Seiko Television Watch. This nifty little gadget allowed the wearer to watch TV on the run, and was symbolic of the fast pace and burgeoning technology of the day.
Although some of the fashions from the 80's probably shouldn't be repeated, there are many interesting looks from which to choose. Try adding just one or two features, such as a skinny tie or a white jacket over a T-shirt to create a unique, retro look.