Men's punk rock fashion from the '80s

Updated February 21, 2017

Although it started in the 1970s, the punk rock movement carried through the 1980s and is still relevant in 2011. Male punk rockers during the 1980s had a very unique and defined fashion sense. Their look allowed them to stand out from the sea of yuppies and more conservatively dressed people of the era.


Male punk rockers during the 1980s were often spotted wearing either leather jackets or denim jackets. These jackets were decorated with hanging chains and zippers. Punks also wore pins of their favourite punk bands such as The Dead Kennedys, The Clash or The Sex Pistols. Although not mandatory, often times the sleeves of the jackets were ripped off. Shirts were either black or brightly coloured neon and typically ripped. Shirts also featured logos from popular punk bands. Trousers were tight, torn and form-fitting, usually made of either leather or denim. Feet were typically covered in black boots --- either Doc Martins or a similar brand --- with black laces.

Studs and Gloves

Studs were a big part of the male punk look during the 1980s. Studs were worn on the shoulders of jackets. Studded collars --- like those intended for dogs --- were worn around the neck of the male punk rocker. Wrist bands were also studded. Both the neck collar and wrist bands were made of black leather. Belts were also studded and made of black leather. Gloves were often cut, revealing the fingers while keeping the palms warm. Mini studs could be placed onto the knuckles of the gloves.

The Face

Earrings were not only for women during the '80s; many male punks could be spotted with numerous piercings in their ears, lips and noses. Some would even pierce the flesh between their eyes, through the bridge of their noses. Safety pins were used as earrings. Like earrings, make-up also transcended the gender line. In particular, black eyeliner was worn by males to accent their eyes, a trend still viable in 2011 by musicians and punks.

The Hair

Hair was a crucial part of the '80s male punk rock look, with many sporting mohawks to show their rebellion against establishment. A true mohawk consisted of long spiky hair on top, with the side of the head shaved. The hair was typically dyed black or brightly coloured. Some mohawks were multicoloured. To achieve the mohawk look, massive amounts of strong hair gel were required, along with glue and eggs. However, not all punks sported mohawks.

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About the Author

Based in California, Noel Shankel has been writing and directing since 2002. His work has been published in "Law of Inertia Magazine." Shankel has a Bachelor of Arts in film and writing from San Francisco State University.