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Fashion Style and Accessories From the 1980s That Screams I’m a Douche-Bag

The fashion industry is seeing an 80s style revival, but if you recall the 1980s fashion trends, it looked as if a horrible fashion explosion went off, littering the decade with bright colors, bad hair, and dizzying amounts of patterned fabrics. Fashion is a statement, but it may also represent culture or religion. However, one of the things that 1980s American fashion accomplished was to reveal who was a jerk.

If you insist on mixing 80s aesthetics into your fashion style, then these are the styles and accessories to avoid; otherwise, you’ll end up looking like a douche-bag.


Avoid headbands

Nothing screams 80s rock star douche-bag more than leopard print tights paired with a leopard print headband around long blowout hair. From White Snake to Guns N’ Roses, it was a time of copy, paste, and repeat, where every rock star looked the same, and grown men serenaded groupies by screaming at the top of their lungs. If you are in a tribute band, do us a favor; lose the headband.


Ray-ban ‘Aviator’ sunglasses

The ‘Aviator’ Ray-Ban, with its thin metal frame and almost obtuse-shaped lenses, is a classic and will never go out of style. It’s been around since the 1940s, but became an iconic accessory in the 80s. They are, like most sunshades, a practical accessory.

However, Avoid wearing a pair with a bomber jacket, or you’ll end up looking like a wannabe Top Gun douche-bag whose only encounter with a jet plane was at the local airshow. Thanks, Tom Cruise.

Aside from being a fashion accessory, wearing sunglasses has benefits. They protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays and sun glare. It is one of the reasons pilots wear them. Just don’t wear them at night.


Polo shirts

Polo shirts are a fashion staple; every guy owns a few. It’s a versatile attire that sits between formal and casual wear. However, whatever you do, don’t pop the collar even an inch, or you’ll wind up looking like a douche-bag club troll. You know the one. That “Hey, I’m staying with my mom while my penthouse is being renovated. Wanna come over? She’ll totally be cool with it,” guy.



Wearing clothes for practical reasons went out the window in the 1980s. It could be a hundred degrees outside, but for the love of fashion, people in the 80s wore windbreakers as if there was a constant chilly breeze blowing.

Autumn and spring are ideal seasons for windbreakers. Wearing this in the middle of summer, however, is not advised. You’ll come across as someone who thinks they’re so cool that they create their own polar climate around them.

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Quite a few chilly shoulders were around in the 1980s.

The 80s saw an outbreak of the chilly shoulders virus, which drove many people to wrap sweaters around their shoulders. But thank the fashion gods, by the turn of the decade, the cold shoulder plague ended. Resist the urge to wrap a sweater around your shoulders, and don’t be the cause of another chilly shoulder outbreak.


Pin-striped power suit

Nothing personified “Greed is good” more than a pastel pin-striped power suit with suspenders. In the 80s, the economy was doing great, and Wall Street was stuffing itself on profits. The American Yuppie outfit was the epitome of Wall Street’s hubris and narcissism.


The outfit signified, “I have money so whatever I say is gospel.” If you prefer not looking like a greedy banker, then avoid the pin-stripe suit and go with something less flashy.


Boombox “Ghettoblaster”

Electronic items used as fashion accessories aren’t new, and there were a handful in the 1980s. The most memorable one from the decade, though, was the Boombox worn on the shoulder. Whether you liked it or not, whoever had one was the neighborhood’s unofficial DJ.

You could hear this urban douche-bag a mile away, even before they reached your block. They’d be strutting down the street wearing high-top Jordan’s or Adidas and a red kangol while listening to Run DMC or the Beastie Boys with their Boombox on their shoulder. I’m sure a few middle-aged people are hard of hearing by now.


If you want to rock the classic Run DMC look with the lace-less Adidas sneakers, go for it, but leave the Boombox at home or end up looking like an urban douche-bag. Furthermore, with urban gentrification on the rise, you might get slapped with a noise complaint.

These are just some of the 1980s fashions one should try to stay away from to avoid looking like a douche-bag. Overall, the fashion style of the 1980s was not all that horrible, but fashion is subjective, and not everyone has the same fashion taste.

So, if 80s style is your bag of chips, crunch away. Someone with a similar sense of style will appreciate your fashion sense. On the other hand, I’m sure someone with a strong opinion who doesn’t find your style appealing will let you know you have a terrible fashion sense.

© 2022 William Saint Val

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