T Shirts That Were Popular In The 1980s - The Best 80s Tees

T Shirts That Were Popular In The 1980s

The 80's was a pretty epic decade for a number of reasons. Pop culture was at an all time high, with movies, music and fashion taking a front seat.

It's a decade that everyone will remember, and when it comes to the t-shirt history timeline, it's a big one.

Here's what t-shirts were popular in the 1980s.

Table Of Contents

Statement And Slogan T Shirts

Slogan And Statement T Shirts

When it comes to making a statement, it was the 80's that will be remembered for bringing this to the masses.

Before we had messages about protests and unrest, but the 80's began what was to become a real boom for slogan t-shirts.

The Choose Life T Shirts and Frankie Say Relax shirts which were worn by Wham! and Frankie Goes To Hollywood were cultural iconic slogan tees, designed by Katherine Hamnett and still popular today.

Band And Music T-Shirts

80's Band And Music T-Shirts

When it comes to band merch, the 80's is where this really ramped up. The 60's and 70's t shirts were when bands started using tees to promote, but the 80's is where this really matured into a commercial enterprise.

Band and music shirts were sold at gigs, concerts and even before. Fans of music would go to the gig wearing their band's t-shirts, and even if you didn't go, you could always wear a tee.

Bands such as Guns N Roses, AC/DC and Metallica had their own ranges of t-shirts for fans to buy and wear. The 80's really was the time of the band shirt.

Neon And Bright Colours

80's Neon T-Shirts

When it comes to colours, the whole of the 80's decade can be summed up by one word: neon. Neon colours dominated the 80's in both pop culture and fashion.

From this t-shirts got the neon treatment too. If you didn't own a neon colours tee you certainly owned one with neon print. Black t-shirts with neon pink and electric blue were the order of the day, which was inspired from music and culture.

Pop Culture Influence

80's Pop Culture T-Shirts

The neon colour made it's way into the music and pop culture of the day, rave and dance music culture began.

It was a decade of really big films, with the likes of Robocop, Back To The Future and Ghostbusters being huge hits.

With that come the t-shirts, and people walking around with t-shirts from their favourite films on to show their love.

Branding And Logo Tees

80s Branding And Logo Tees

Big branding continued to grow in the 80's, and we were used to seeing everyone walking around with branded t-shirts. We couldn't stop there, we had to join in ourselves.

High street fashion brands clothing were being worn more and more, and there was more importance on what label you were showing off. This could be seen as your t-shirts would be branded with the fashionable logo of the day.

Sportwear brands Nike and Adidas lead the way, with fashion brands such as Kappa, Lacoste, Elesse, Sergio Tacchini, Fila and more joining the ranks.


The 80's was a great decade for fashion in general, but t-shirts were the easy and accessible way of getting your foot in the fashion door. There was a huge variety of tees in terms of colours, prints, styles and slogans printed on them.

The 90's was the next decade, which would see a continuation on from the 80's with people also adding their own styles to their wears.

Most Popular T Shirts In The 1980s

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