Every decade has a few iconic fashion trends, and the 80s were no exception with shirts.
The 80s Shirts Say Relax
The fitted shirts of the 70s never saw it coming. The shirts of the 80s were oversized.
They were often so oversized that they were actually knee-length. Big and billowy, dressy 80s shirts were usually worn with a wide belt over them with leggings, stirrup pants, spandex, or snug jeans-and they were never tucked in.
T shirts were just as big as the button-down dress shirts, but instead of the wide belt, there was a different accessory just for them, a plastic ring with a bar through it to hold all the extra fabric. This little device made it possible to wear an oversized t-shirt like a side ponytail for your body.80s Preppy Shirts
Polo shirts were more popular than ever, especially for the guys. However, wearing a polo shirt in the 80s required the collar to be turned up, or popped to make them cool.
The shirts could be any color, but pastels were especially stylish, including pinks and baby blues.
Men’s dress shirts were striped, both horizontally and vertically, and in pastel colors. Like the polo shirts, they were also worn with popped collars.
To add to the preppy look, men would often tie a sweater around their shoulders in a complementary color.
80s T Shirts
A trendy t-shirt has always been a great way to express yourself. Coca-Cola, Frankie Say Relax, and Choose Life were just a few of the mainstream slogans.
All different age groups wore cartoon and movie shirts, but the most prevalent style was the band shirt. It didn’t matter what band or artist you liked—or didn’t like, but loved the shirt—there were always plenty to choose from.
Like the pegged jeans trend, the sleeves of these graphic t-shirts were even cooler rolled up, or even cut off altogether.
Off the Shoulder Look
Possibly the most popular of all the shirt trends was the off the shoulder look. Oversized Champion sweatshirts with the neck cut off were perfect. Made famous by the movie Flash Dance, women everywhere grabbed a pair of scissors and started baring a single shoulder.
Any huge sweatshirt would work, especially if it was grey and worn over a contrasting tank top. The neck of the shirt wasn’t always the only part cut from the shirt, the arms were also lopped off, a popular look among men.
The off-shoulder look was not just limited to sweatshirts, though. T-shirts also fell victim to the scissors. Of course, designers caught on quickly and off-shoulder shirts of all types were mass produced and available at malls everywhere.
Big shirts, popped collars, band shirts and modified shirts were some of the biggest trends of the decade. Available in any color, any print or any size, these 80s shirts always made a statement. Some are even repeating themselves today.