How to Wear Your ’80s Sweater in 2018

• Part of our How to Wear It series •

How to Wear Your Vintage Sweater

by Madeline Berger
August 14, 2018 | Last Updated: January 11, 2021

The ’80s have been back for a while, now, and we’ve seen the decade touch everything from voluminous sleeves (*ahem*, voluminous everything) to spandex (hello, bike shorts) to neon and pastel color palettes. Of all these fabulous trends, our favorite is the ’80s sweater: a type of vintage sweater that can pretty much take any form but somehow is 99% of the time recognizable as something that emerged from this whirl of a decade. It’s typically graphic and colorful, but, like you’ll see below, can take many other forms.

So, what do you wear with one of these crazy kids? Are you bored with simply throwing it on over a pair of blue jeans or parachute pants? Read on to meet fashion-savvy folks from across the internet who gave their vintage sweaters a much-needed update.

Credit: Toshido S.

Crazy and color-blocked: No need to tone it down! Pair with shorts, knee-highs, and über delightful heels to make your wild look intentional AF.

Credit: Enea N.

Graphic reds: Want to keep the bold graphics of your vintage sweater at the forefront? Pair with vintage denim jeans and sneakers for a look that’s casual yet punchy.

Credit: Sonja K.

This look is a perfect example of a vintage sweater dressed to the tens. Paired with a pencil skirt, heeled boots, and long sleeve tee, this sweater is 100% street style ready.

Credit: Fashion Snap

Think you need to tone down a crazy sweater? Nah, man—Tone up! Pair a bright vintage cardigan with leather pants and a platform sneaker to wear your heart on your sleeve.

Credit: Sea of Shoes

An ’80s era Fairisle sweater is typically a bit crazier than most, featuring qualities like chunky knits or bright colors. Pair with jeans and a western belt for added flair.

Credit: Ragstock

When a vintage sweater like this came into our hands, we just had to pair it with bright pink vintage pants for an eye-catching color combo made from all vintage pieces.

Credit: Ragstock

If you have pants in a vintage-inspired pattern or even Zubaz, pair them with a graphic vintage sweater for a super ’90s look.

Credit: Ragstock

Here, we played with both texture and tone by pairing a warm-hued ’80s sweater with velvet pants in a shared color family. Add a hat that doesn’t match but “goes”.

Credit: Ana Prodanovich

A cropped vintage sweater like this one can easily be styled for a night on the town—just pair it with close-cut vintage jeans and stiletto heels.

Credit: Little Blue Door Vintage

A vintage sweater full of eye-catching patterns looks great when layered over a simple white undershirt and paired with a color-coordinated hat.

Credit: Shelly S.

Have a vintage sweater with dark colors? Never fear! Worn with a pair of light-washed jeans and retro sunglasses, this sweater is plenty fun. Tuck it loosely into your waistband!

Credit: Sushanna M.

Have an 80s sweater with a vintage floral pattern? Take thoughts of granny out of their minds by wearing it with overall shorts and trench coat in a contrasting color.

Credit: Jordan M.

Throw your 80s sweater with some black jeans, simple sneakers, sunglasses, and space buns to keep the focus where it should be.

Credit: K.C.

Paired with a leather circle skirt, fishnets, and chunky boots, you can create great contrast between the softness of the vintage sweater and the rest of your outfit.

Feeling inspired? Shop our large selection of one-of-a-kind vintage ’80s sweaters by hitting the button or shopping below! Our staff carefully selects all of our pieces and we add new sweaters every week!