80s fashion for men: 37 awesome casual menswear styles

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Casual vintage 80s menswear, from polo shirts to tracksuits

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.

80s fashion for men was on point. The industries of activewear and sportswear were new, and it’s no surprise that those two fad fields produced some of the most popular vintage menswear looks of the era.

So what exactly did guys (and men) wear back in the day? The super-wide collars and bell-bottom pants of the ’70s were gone, replaced with the preppy look — polo shirts, pullover sweaters, sweater vests, Oxford cloth shirts, cuffed khakis, loafers and boat shoes.

Some of the most stylish looks then combined separates sweatpants, short shorts, or elastic-waist pants with t-shirts, polo tops, pullovers and sweatshirts. Velour was big, especially for matchy-matchy tracksuits/jogging suits. Back then, even polo shirts and t-shirts were often worn tucked in.

As you will see here, when it comes to 80s fashion for men, a few of the more classic styles that debuted during this era stood the test of time, and remain in some men’s wardrobes today.

Tracksuits - sweatshirts - 80s fashion for men from Sears 1983 (3)

80s fashion for men: Marketing jazzy new loungewear lines

Article adapted from The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York) – March 27, 1983

Fashion and custom have long offered women attractive clothing for lounging. But it’s as if history and the fashion industry turned their backs on men.

What does a man put on when he takes off his business suit or sports jacket and casual slacks?

Geoffery Blythe of the Red Barn says, “We don’t have loungewear; we have sleepwear — pajamas, nightshirts and robes.

“For lounging, a jogging outfit is good. Every college kid is wearing one; they can sit around the fraternity house in it, then go out for a beer without changing.”

Vintage '80s novelty t-shirts for guys

Tracksuits and activewear the stars of casual ’80s menswear

As more and more people took up jogging, they also put on outfits designed especially for it. And they liked them, says Michael Dorris, assistant manager at Marjax Enterprises at Long Ridge Mall in Greece.

“It’s a hit, absolutely; there’s no question about it,” he says. People buy jogging suits for both lounging and jogging.

Pam Pugliese, sales representative for menswear designer Ron Chereskin, certainly hopes so. Chereskin’s line of mauve, purple and blue cotton velour jogging suits was introduced this year in the $90 price range in such “forward fashion” men’s shops as Casa de Hombre, on Oxford Street.

The success of the line, which sold out immediately, may indicate an eager market for men’s loungewear.

ALSO SEE: Vintage 1980s shoes for men: What stylish guys were wearing


Casual vintage ’80s menswear from 1983

Browse this whole section of casual clothing for men from the 1983 JCPenney & Sears catalogs!

Velour coordinates and Reach brand clothing for men

Reach clothing for men


Trendy eighties activewear for guys with Olympic logos

Trendy eighties activewear for guys


Levi’s activewear — trendy 80s fashion for men

Striped polo-style shirts tucked into twill pants. Now that was an eighties look.

Levi's activewear from the '80s


Hunt Club collection of spirited classic clothing for men

Hunt Club collection of spirited classic clothing for men


Stylish 80s fashion for men — all dressed up for a date night & a movie

Fashionable '80s guys all dressed up for a movie-night date


Cable-knit and striped sweaters for men

Cable-knit and striped sweaters for men


Soft ‘n’ warm Orlon acrylic pullovers, cardigans, V-neck sweaters and turtlenecks for men

Soft 'n' warm Orlon acrylic pullovers, cardigans, V-neck sweaters and turtlenecks for men


Zipper-collar pullovers and sporty velour knit V-neck pullovers for me

Zipper-collar pullovers and sporty velour knit V-neck pullovers for men


Easy-fitting one-piece casual jumpsuits for guys

1980s menswear clothing from Sears 1983 Jumpsuits for guys


Activewear: Sweat separates for young men from Sears

ALSO SEE: Vintage 1980s Nike shoes, from regular retro sneakers to classic Air Jordans

1980s menswear clothing from Sears 1983 (2)

 


Par Four pullovers and striped shirts for men – plus slacks in gray, mocha, olive, khaki and navy blue

Par Four pullovers and striped shirts for men - plus slacks in gray, mocha, olive, khaki and navy blue


The iconic Izod shirt epitomizes 80s fashion for men, but the Fox polo shirt for men and boys was a common substitution.

The Fox polo shirts for men and boys


Get sporty, guys! Vintage Hunt Club clothes

Get sporty, guys! Vintage Hunt Club clothes


Tweed slacks, plaid shirts, khaki pants, corduroy slacks (cords) and webbed cotton belts for guys

Tweed slacks, plaid shirts, khaki pants, corduroy slacks (cords) and webbed cotton belts for guys


Action Master Stretch jeans for men in dark wash and blue denim

This ’80s look also features the once-ubiquitous Top Siders/dock shoes and suede shoes.

ALSO SEE: The unlikely history of Levi’s jeans – or, how clothes from 150 years ago are still fashionable today

Action Master stretch jeans for men in dark wash and blue denim


Stretch polyester gabardine jeans with slightly-flared legs, plus stretch cotton-blend jeans with zipper fly

Stretch polyester gabardine jeans with slightly-flared legs, plus stretch cotton-blend jeans with zipper fly


Sporty actionwear for men – Apparatus sweatpants, crew-neck shirts, V-neck shirts, sweatshorts and zipper front workout jackets

Sporty actionwear for men - Apparatus sweatpants, crew-neck shirts, V-neck shirts, sweatshorts and zipper front workout jackets


Thermal-lined knit jackets, hoodies and vests
Thermal-lined knit jackets, hoodies and vests

Loafer shirts for guys who love to take it easy

Loafer shirts for guys who love to take it easy


Fleeced shirts, sweatshirts and other outwear, plus cotton-blend shirts with contrasting color collars

Fleeced shirts, sweatshirts and other outwear, plus cotton-blend shirts with contrasting color collars


’80s pullovers, shirts with hoods, striped shirts & casual ’80s sportswear for men

HOW TIMES CHANGE: Vintage menswear: Clothes to flatter every body type, from 1916

'80s pullovers, shirts with hoods, striped shirts and casual sportswear for men


Stonewashing: Some of these jeans are literally thrown into the washer with stones to beat the stiffness out of them

Stonewashing: Some of these jeans are literally thrown into the washer with stones to beat the stiffness out of them


Casual menswear from the eighties – Levi’s t-shirts and chambray shirts

Levi's t-shirts and chambray shirts


Vintage Levi’s boot-cut jeans and Wrangler jeans for men

Vintage Levi's boot-cut jeans and Wrangler jeans for men


Basic slacks for men, with straight legs and made of polyester

Basic slacks for men, with straight legs and made of polyester


Retro stonewashed denim jackets, vests and jeans were at the height of 80s fashion for men

ALSO SEE: Swatch: The colorful watch craze of the 1980s & 1990s

Retro stonewashed denim jackets, vests and jeans


’80s fashion for men includes Wrangler denim jeans and corduroy jeans

'80s Wrangler denim jeans and corduroy jeans


Cotler stylish sportswear for men

Stylish sportswear for men


Classic pocket polo shirts with ribbed necks and short sleeves

Polo shirts in both solid colors and heather tones, also came in sleeveless styles

Classic pocket polo shirts with ribbed necks and short sleeves - also sleeveless polo t-shirts


Pro-rated for sports! Fashion for men – Active retro menswear

ALSO SEE: Vintage Wal-Mart history: What the first stores looked like, and how they changed over the years

Pro-rated for sports! Fahion for men


Vintage sportswear brands for men – Nike, Adidas, Puma

Shown here is a range of branded sports shirts, and short-shorts for guys

Vintage sportswear brands for men - Nike, Adidas, Puma


Guys dressed up in casual chic fashion

Check out the cotton web belts and webbing tie — high 80s fashion for men!

Guys dressed up in casual chic fashion


Oxford Sport workout and casualwear – pouch shirt, walking shorts and Turtles Oxford shoes in tan and brown

Oxford Sport workout and casualwear - pouch shirt, walking shorts and Turtles Oxford shoes in tan and brown


Oxford Sport striped cotton-knit sweaters

Oxford Sport striped cotton-knit sweaters


Pullover sweaters and velour jackets are classic 80s fashion for men

Eighties pullover sweaters and velour jackets for men

ALSO SEE: Vintage 1980s shoes for men: What stylish guys were wearing

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. Miss the shorts for men in those days. They were short and very comfortable not like the ankle shorts now a days that seem to pass as shorts. Mine were TRAXX brand with v notch on the legs. It may have had a 2 inch inseamed that provided pleanty of freedom of movement. BUt even then shorts weren’t seen much outside the gym. I prefered to wear them 24/7! With tube socks!

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