80’s Fashion On A Budget


In the 1980’s, fashion was as eclectic as it is now. Women wore sequin jeans and men wore neon pink business suits. The more outrageous, the better. Shows like Miami Vice and Dynasty set a standard for what was cool in the world of fashion at that time. When we think of ’80s fashion, we can’t help but reminisce about our favorite TV shows and celebrities: Madonna, David Bowie, Michael Jackson – they were all daring in their appearance and inventing new trends with every outfit they put on.

Today we want to share with you some tips on how to dress like teenager 80s fashion icons without spending a fortune.

Few of the 80’s Fashion tips on a budget are:

1. Combination of colors must be appropriate.

Wear bright colors in neutral colors and statement colors on a neutral color background (the rule of thirds) stand out even more against a plain background, for surface interest , for example:  look at androgynous prep style icons like Percy Jackson (from the Percy Jackson Boys series), Will and Jareth – Adam West movies (so many women loved Batman in the 80’s), Tilda Swinton with blue eyes, white hair and red lips, or Adrian Grenier – Hollywood stars in the ’80’s often wore tribal/preppy style clothes with oversized sweaters or polo shirts tucked into short tight pants. 

2. Avoid bright colors, such as neon green.

Neon green was so popular in the 80’s that it’s now considered a tacky color, but it is a very saturated color and still works today for young hipsters or vintage fashionistas—just don’t wear neon in combination with black or brown. Consider dark green or forest-green. Black and blue used to be considered universally fashionable during the 1980s, but now are considered completely out of style . Remember, “contrary to what you saw at the time” – black is indeed a very versatile color that is timeless.


3. A good use for accessories is to break up an outfit when it’s lacking something.

A black fedora can add a dash of color to an all-black or white outfit, or provide a totally different feel when paired with a bright colored shirt or suit.

4.  Don’t forget the jewelry .

Rhinestone studded bracelets and necklaces were very fashionable during the 80’s, but can be annoying in real life . Instead, check out some cool earrings (not too long) and interesting cufflinks that could be nothing more than small pieces of colorful items.

5. It is better not to wear too many different textures at once. 

Accessories like sequins, leather, fur, and beads were popular during the 80’s (and are still considered “cool” today) but don’t mix different things together. A leather jacket is a good way to keep warm during winter , and adding a simple pair of jeans or a skirt can give you that 80s look while staying warm.

6. Learn how to accessorize properly . 

Accessories are usually the first thing that draws attention to an outfit. Accessorize carefully, and you’ll always look trendy without looking tacky.  A necklace is one of the most important accessories when it comes to adding that extra oomph!  Try layering chunky necklaces together with gold and silver chains or add a pop of color with brightly colored beads. You can also try wearing large faux jewelry in your hair for an added flair.

7. Add a pop of color with bright colored accessories!

Headbands, hair bands, scarves and headbands were very popular during the 80’s (even more than they are now), but you can be creative with them by adding a statement necklace or other accessories. You can also try wearing brightly colored glasses to match your outfit!  For a more daring look , try donning an 80’s themed wig!

8. Wear colors that flatter your complexion.

Women in the 1980’s loved wearing bright shades of pinks and bright colors that complimented their skin tone (or at least when they tried it). Showing off your skin is a definite must.  You can also try wearing a light touch of make-up like foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow and lipstick to give that “natural” look to your face.

9. It is better to avoid accessories (like jewelry or large hair pieces) when you want to look more elegant or professional .

Accessories are a great way to add character to your outfit, but they were also used in the 80’s as a way of hiding bad hair days. You can try adding a scarf around your head or neck in place of a large bow or jewelry around your wrist instead of wearing bracelets.

Conclusion of this article:

There are some other ideas such as 80s fashion on a budget that’s presented in the Art of Manliness blog, as well as how to dress like 1980’s icons without spending a fortune. Also, it is advised to go with colors that flatter your complexion and avoid bright colors that are considered tacky these days. 


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