If summer was our moment for ’70s shorts, then fall is the season for easy-to-style ’80s clothing. Those dirty Reagan years were… messy (we blame him too Howard the duck), but the era was also when we mastered the art of personality-driven fits, with acid-wash denim, chunky sweaters and bomber jackets galore that are ideal for cold weather.
You don’t have to muster Olivia Newton John’s (RIP, our Queen) full workout video core to inject some ’80s style into your wardrobe, and the last thing we want to do is bang you like a pompadour – to make ornate pastiche look like. If you’re wondering how to dress ’80s-style with regular clothes, focus on finding a few ’80s capsule wardrobe pieces, like oversized blazers, striped button-downs, and fanny packs, and incorporate them with yours favorite clothes. Dive into ’80s fashion in 2022 should feel like a gendered, subtle peacock moment where you can shine, so burst the tears of fear and let’s burn some plastic.
The best oversized suit jackets of the 80’s
Much of 1980s fashion is just 1940s proportions reimagined
and got a fat line of cocaine; Dudes in zoot suits and Katherine Hepburn strutted in oversized suits so our husband David Byrne could dance like a drinking bird in his own XXL suit decades later. Check out the vintage gold mines of Etsy and eBay, as well as affordable sites like ASOS for nostalgic ’80s suit jackets and trench coats that feel a lot like David Bowie in his Let’s Dance. Epoch. Style them with dress pants or casual with jeans/5 inch inseam shorts and socks with sandals for pure normcore excellence.
$95 at ASOS
$60 at Etsy
… And the Softboi sweaters to wear underneath
Everyone knows that Perry Ellis fashion swung a massive JFK Jr. size with her cable-knit sweaters layered under an oversized blazer [redacted] on the table for leaf crunch season. One of the best ways to make an oversized ’80s blazer look even more casual is with a cashmere or cable-knit fisherman sweater that says, “Want to snog and watch.” The lighthouse later?” Quince offers direct-to-consumer cashmere sweaters at a truly mundane price of $59, while this cable knit from Goodthread has a 4.7-star rating from over 600 reviews on Amazon. In the words of one fan, ” “It’s the PERFECT sweater. It’s comfortable without feeling like loungewear, not too bulky or thin, and most importantly, he feels great in it.”
$59.99 at quince
$33.90 at Amazon
When you’re done, grab a casual leather bomber jacket, an airy windbreaker jacket or this *cook’s kiss* denim jacket from Quiksilver x stranger things. The surf and skate brand is one of the most iconic labels of the ’80s and ’90s, and the ‘Nancy’ jacket she made in collaboration with the show’s costume department is spot on with its ruched sleeves and high neckline.
$513.21$105 at ASOS
voices in the open air
$88 at voices in the open air
$120 at Quiksilver
The best tops of the 80s
Nothing makes us feel like that (even more lovable) best friend of the lead actor in a coming-of-age John Hughes movie as a bit of late ’80s long-sleeved stripe action. Abercrombie’s take on the class would also look fuego with denim shorts and an oversized 80s blazer.
Abercrombie & Fitch
$70$59.50 at Abercrombie & Fitch
We praised the short shorts for men of the ’70s and ’80s, and now we bring you: the crop top. This deep blue crop top features slightly tapered, oversized sleeve hems with some…racing stripes? Amazing and very Michael J. Fox.
$26 at ASOS
Paired with American Eagle chinos, this is a Long Island boy’s button-down wanting to kick my ass; but paired with baggy cargo pants and a Carhartt hat, it’s the button-down of my future ex-from the skate park.
$89.50$39.99 at J team
The best pants of the 80s
Once again, Abercrombie gives in with this pair of vegan leather joggers that are the perfect mix of home sweats and zaddy pants.
Abercrombie & Fitch
$90$76.50 at Abercrombie & Fitch
Everything from skiing, from heavily polarized sunglasses to John Denver “dancing with the mountains,” is a core memory of the ’80s. A nod to the ski lodge of yesteryear, The Arrivals’ quilted pants promise the comfort of a sleeping bag with the durability of waterproof pants.
$198 at Urban Outfitters
The best shoes of the 80s
It’s all about the sneakers, specifically the low-rise ’80s-inspired Club C Reebok Revenge shoes with their very Royal Tenenbaums-esqueChalk and Glen Green coloring.
$85 at Reebok
Did we stutter? If you’re not ready to shell out for the Revenge sneakers, there are plenty of affordable, classic Reeboks on Amazon.
$21.25 at Amazon
The best accessories of the 80s
Whether you were a Scientologist who played the lead role top gun or anyone else in the 80’s with a face, chances are you owned a pair of aviators. Opt for an amber pair to add a little extra warmth to your fall fit.
$12.99 at Amazon
The best fanny pack of the 80s
Fanny packs have our heart and soul. All you know is that they were designed by a Virgo who decided we all needed more pockets, and this vintage find from Kodak is the perfect humble swagger to finish off your outfit, whether you’re wearing a David Byrne blazer or a Wearing a Perry Ellis-worthy sweater.
$fifteen at eBay
To look good [lowers sunglasses and winks].
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the items featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations and hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.