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.
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.”
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.
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
Trendy eighties activewear for guys with Olympic logos
Levi’s activewear — trendy 80s fashion for men
Striped polo-style shirts tucked into twill pants. Now that was an eighties look.
Hunt Club collection of spirited classic clothing for men
Stylish 80s fashion for men — all dressed up for a date night & a movie
Cable-knit and striped sweaters 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
Easy-fitting one-piece casual jumpsuits for guys
Activewear: Sweat separates for young men from Sears
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.
Get sporty, guys! Vintage Hunt Club clothes
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.
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
Thermal-lined knit jackets, hoodies and vests
Loafer shirts for guys who love to take it easy
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
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
Vintage Levi’s boot-cut jeans and Wrangler jeans for men
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
’80s fashion for men includes Wrangler denim jeans and corduroy jeans
Cotler 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
Pro-rated for sports! Fashion for men – Active retro menswear
Vintage sportswear brands for men – Nike, Adidas, Puma
Shown here is a range of branded sports shirts, and short-shorts for guys
Guys dressed up in casual chic fashion
Check out the cotton web belts and webbing tie — high 80s fashion for men!
Oxford Sport workout and casualwear – pouch shirt, walking shorts and Turtles Oxford shoes in tan and brown
Oxford Sport striped cotton-knit sweaters
Pullover sweaters and velour jackets are classic 80s fashion for men