Not only do belts help keep your pants up, but they are a fantastic way to accessorize an 80s outfit.
There were many styles and colors of 80s belts to choose from, and just as many ways to wear them.
The wide 80s belt.
As the name suggests, these 80s belts were wide, too wide for belt loops.
The wide belt was purely an 80s accessory that served no other purpose other than looking totally awesome.
These belts were an essential element to another huge 80s trend, the big shirt. Oversized, button down dress shirts, with the collar popped, of course, and large 80s t shirts screamed for the wide belt to pull the look together. The waistline would be nonexistent without it, giving the illusion of a few extra pounds.
These wide 80s belts had buckles that had to stay in scale, so they were quite big, and some used a few smaller buckles.
They came in any and every color; hot pink, neon orange, electric blue, any popular color of the 80s. They could also be any abstract or geometric pattern, the louder the better.
The belts also came in elastic, making them that much more comfortable, and they usually had snaps instead of buckles.
The Punk Belt
Of course, throughout the 80s there was a pretty big punk following. These belts were primarily black leather and adorned with silver studs or spikes, much like many biker belts have been for years.
This 80s style belt did not have to be just black leather; white was also a popular choice, as well as any neon you could find.
The studded leather punk belt came in every size from standard belt loop width to extra wide, and any size in between. They also had big buckles, usually silver, some kind of symbol, or band logos and names.
The Skinny Belt
These belts were the polar opposite of the wide belt. They were narrow and delicate and came with a small buckle. They accessorized dress pants, jeans, or skirts perfectly. They also came in a variety of colors and patterns to complement any 80s outfit.
The skinny belt was also a necessary part of the 80s preppy wardrobe, but it usually matched the shoes.
How to wear an 80s belt.
Except for the skinny belt, it was a big trend in the 80s to wear belts low on your hips. This look worked with oversized shirts that hung freely over leggings or skirts, with a little of the shirt pulled up and puffed out slightly.
It was also trendy to wear more than one belt at a time, sort of like the Swatch watches, whether it was a combination of simple black and white or wild patterns and neon. When rocking more than one belt, it was also necessary to wear them low on the hips. This was an especially cool addition to the Madonna look so popular in the 80s.
An often forgotten accessory, the humble belt can pull a look together in an instant. Great 80s belts could keep your pants up, give you a waist, or make you look totally rad, especially when paired up with like-minded belts in multiples, slung low on the hips.