The ’80s were filled with several different groups of fashion types, each more outrageous than the next. Labels seemed to be important in the over-the-top decade. Terms such as jock, geek or punker were applied to people depending on how they dressed and who their friends were. Teenagers looking for an authentic ’80s outfit for a party or theme day at school will find plenty of styles to serve as inspiration.
There was a wide range of rocker styles in the ’80s. Girls can dress as rocker chicks, such as Pat Benatar, and wear black leather pants or miniskirts with torn up T-shirts and black boots. Or they can dress as alternative rockers such as Madonna or Cyndi Lauper and wear tutu-style skirts made of netting with lace see-through shirts over tank tops and colorful tights. Guys can dress like heavy metal stars such as Metallica in black leather with studded bracelets and dog collars. They can also dress in glam rock style such as rockers Poison and wear patterned leggings or skinny jeans with layers of torn T-shirts and long silk scarves.
Preppies were another trendy group in the ’80s. The term came from college prep kids who were destined to go to college, preferably Ivy League. The original preppies were mostly kids from wealthy families who dressed like ladies and gentlemen. Girls can dress preppy with a plaid wool, pleated skirt to the knees and knee socks worn with a crisp white blouse and a monogrammed sweater or a sweater tied around the shoulders. Preppy guys also wear sweaters around their shoulders along with a polo shirt with the collar turned up and khaki pants.
Valley Girls and Surfer Dudes
Valley girls lived in the San Fernando valley in Los Angeles and their West Coast male counterparts were surfer dudes who surfed the Pacific Ocean at places like Venice Beach. Girls looking to dress like valley girls can wear day-glo or neon knit or cotton leggings along with an over-sized, off-the-shoulder sweatshirt with a wide belt and lots of jewelry such as bangle bracelets and huge hoop earrings. Guys can dress as surfer dudes in colorful knee-length Jam surf shorts, a faded T-shirt and black and white checked Van shoes.
Hip-hop exploded onto the music scene in the mid ’80s and the fashions the rappers wore caught on quickly in the second half of the decade. Girls wanting to dress like hip-hop artists such as Salt-N-Pepa can wear acid-washed jeans or jean shorts with colorful blouses tied at the waist or worn open over tank tops. They can also wear ankle socks and high-top tennis shoes. Guys can wear nylon running suits like rappers such as Run DMC along with high-top shoes, kango bucket hats, long chains with huge medallions and large sunglasses.