Ideas for 80s workout outfits

Updated February 21, 2017

The aerobics craze had just hit while men and women were getting into shape during the 1980s. It was just one of the ways to be fashionable during this decade. Next time you're invited to a costume or 80s party, dress up in workout clothes inspired by that era. Workout outfits can be worn by women as well as men.

Hair and Makeup

Wear your hair in a high or side ponytail if you have long hair. Secure it with a scrunchie or brightly coloured hair band. If your hair is short, just volumize it with hairspray. Wear natural looking make-up or go all out and put on brightly coloured eyeshadow and line your eyes heavily.

If men have longer hair, blow-dry it to create a feathered look that was popular in the 80s. If your hair is short on the sides and longer along the top, try sweeping it over one eye for a "Flock of Seagulls" look. If you have curly hair, bring the curls forward a bit for a Jheri curl look. If you can't create any of these hairstyles, just throw on a head sweatband to complete the look. Make-up isn't needed for a men's workout outfit.


For women, a brightly-coloured leotard or patterned leotard can be worn along with brightly coloured tights. Brightly coloured leg warmers are also essential when completing the workout look. Women can wear a large T-shirt or sweatshirt with the neck cut out of it. Drape this part over one of your shoulders. You can then pair this with a black leotard and black leg warmers.

Men can wear a brightly coloured tank top and short bright shorts or spandex. A sweatshirt and matching pair of sweatpants can also be considered 80s workout clothing for men. Socks that go up to about mid-calf could also be worn.

Shoes and Accessories

Wear brightly-coloured athletic shoes or high-tops. You can either wear shoes or go barefoot. If you can't find leg warmers, just wear socks that go up about mid-calf.

Accessorise with athletic sweatbands on your wrists, whether you're male or female. Women can wear a knit hair band. If you can't find a knit hair band, just roll up a scarf and tie it around your head. A workout headband in a bright colour can be used for both men and women. Small hand weights can also be carried around to complete the outfit.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.