New Wave Fashion – 53 Outfit Ideas for Men & Women
The term “New Wave” was originally intended to describe a type of music popular in the 1970s and 1980s that was a poppier response to punk sounds.
However, the term has been used outside of this original intention so often that it could refer to any new trend, especially if it has characteristics that make it different from what came before it.
When applied to fashion, New Wave generally refers to bold and colorful patterns that were popular in the 1980s. It may also be called “retro” or “vintage”.
If you’re somebody who is drawn to this time period, here is an example of some of the most popular ways to incorporate a little bit of New Wave, or Nouvelle Vague, into your wardrobe.
New Wave Fashion Ideas For Men
1. Checked Outfits For Men
@thekedaarjiDuring the 1980s, checkerboard patterns became synonymous with the New Wave movement. These patterns often featured large checks of black alternated with a bright or even neon color. The checkerboard lives on in today’s fashion trends. In fact, even at their most subdued, these patterns still speak to a time of lively dance floors at discotheques. Try it in a blazer form for a look that is fresh and professional.
2. Denim On Denim Outfits For Men
Denim on denim is not just for farmers (or hipsters). Believe it or this, this intentional clash was also a favorite outfit choice at the time of when New Wave was at its most bold. For the sake of differentiation, try finding a denim jacket that has patches, or add your own. Depending on your taste, it’s possible to match shades of denim or to pair two different shades with one another. If you can find any of these denim items at a vintage or thrift store, that’s an added bonus.
3. Graphic Tees Outfits For Men
Graphic tees were a huge part of 1980s male fashion — particularly band tees. While you don’t necessarily need to be a fan of the band that you are promoting on your tee shirt, it helps if you use this opportunity as a way to express your personal tastes. If you have an old band tee shirt that you haven’t touched since you were a teenager, you’re in luck. The more distressed and worn the shirt looks, the better, when it comes to style that pushes the envelope.
4. Leather Jacket Outfits For Men
Leather jackets are a timeless wardrobe piece. Although they arguably got their start as street fashion, they have also traditionally been a big part of New Wave fashion trends, as well. In the 1980s, a type of leather jacket manufacturer called “Triple Fat Goose” was all the rage. Their style of outerwear was a puffy down-filled jacket made of leather. Today, many of the leather jackets that are on the market are not as thick and are intended more for fashion than function, That’s okay, though — they look great with a pair of skinny jeans.
5. Members Only Jacket Outfits For Men
If you haven’t heard of a “Members Only” jacket before, allow us to introduce you. Like “Triple Fat Goose”, “Members Only” actually refers to a brand of jackets that was very popular in the 1980s. They were distinguished by their thinly padded shoulders and slightly popped collar.
Whether you’ve been aware of it or not, you have more than likely come across a “Members Only” jacket before. Not only were they popular enough in their heyday to leave behind a strong legacy, but they have also made a compact in the past decade or so. They are available in a wide variety of colors to fit any taste.
6. Neon-Colored Outfits For Men
Earlier, we mentioned neon in passing, but it’s important that we properly articulate how important neon was during the time of New Wave fashion.
Greens, oranges, yellows, and pinks — if it’s available as a highlighter shade, chances are that there is some kind of New Wave fashion trend available in it. And neon outfits aren’t just for aerobics athletic clothing, either. These bright hues work surprisingly well as jackets, turtlenecks, and even shoes. Their effect is unexpected and masculine, and is sure to help you stand out in a crowd.
7. New Wave Hip-Hop Outfits For Men
The 1980s were not only the birthplace of New Wave fashion — they were also a fantastic time for early hip hop, too. From Run D.M.C. to Public Enemy to the Beastie Boys, if there is a hip hop group that you hold as a classic today, chances are that they had their start in the birth years of Generation X. Some of the New Wave fashion elements that are borrowed from hip hop culture include gold chains, bright sneakers, sweatpants, and shades.
8. New Wave Punk Outfits For Men
If there is one genre of music that is synonymous with New Wave culture, it’s sure to be punk. Even if the punk of the 1980s was seen as a more tame answer to the rambunctious 1970s, there were still major moves being made, especially when it came to the wardrobes of the youth.
If you want to achieve that punk New Wave look, you’re going to need a lot of black clothing, and maybe some chains. Those who are looking to fully embrace this avant-garde style can even consider dying their hair — blues and greens were a favorite choice of the time.
9. Tokyo’s New Wave Goth Outfits For Men
We often hear about a lot of New Wave culture coming from the clubs of London, New York, and even Berlin, but Tokyo deserves some credit as another epicenter of cultural revolution. New Wave was such a big thing for the residents of Tokyo that there is a style associated with this time period of the city even today.
In the 1980s, there was a strong sense of counterculture that emerged in response to the preppy fashion styles that were popular in the city. If you’re a fan of things like multiple buckles or an oversized t-shirt, you likely have one of the world’s largest metropolises to thank for that.
10. Turtleneck Outfits For Men
Turtlenecks have a bit of a reputation as something that you would just wear to the library, but they actually were an important part of youth fashion in the 1980s. Also known as a polo neck, turtlenecks provide a sophisticated but memorable look and work great when paired with an additional form of outerwear, like a leather jacket or a faux fur.
11. Vinyl Jacket Outfits For Men
When you hear the word “vinyl” associated with the 80s, we’re not only talking about the thing you play on a record player (by the mid-80s, cassettes had all but taken over, anyway).
Vinyl, of course, also refers to a type of fabric that was popularly used as a type of jacket in many New Wave styles. Vinyl is a versatile and dynamic abric, and also happens to be low cost, which means that it is a viable option for those who are on a tight budget but still want to achieve an edgy look.
New Wave Fashion Ideas for Women
1. Leather Jacket Outfits For Women
Leather jackets don’t only hit the mark for men — they make a great choice for a feminine wardrobe, as well. Leather jackets likely became a popular outerwear choice for women in the 1970s and 1980s.
Before that, they were mostly only worn by women who were fighter pilots in the World Wars, and they were mostly known as “bomber jackets”. No matter their origins, they are a popular choice for women today, and it’s easy to see why. Pairing a leather jacket with a pair of skinny jeans or a dress results in an instant chic.
2. Checkered Outfits For Women
The classic checker pattern has made a splash in female fashion over the years, as well. Whether materialized as a skirt, dress, or even pantsuit, a checker pattern offers an homage to the unconventional styles of years past, all the while maintaining a fashion-forward approach that almost comes full circle by giving off futuristic vibes.
3. Corset Belts Outfits For Women
A corset belt is a type of belt or tie that is meant to be used on loose fitting outfits to define a waist line and add shape. Although they are most often worn over dresses, a corset belt could theoretically be worn over any type of outfit. Corset belts are available in a variety of fabric types and colors, although ones that are designed with New Wave fashion in mind are often fashioned out of leather.
4. Denim on Denim Outfits For Women
The fact that denim on denim looks stylish is perhaps one of fashion’s greatest contradictions, but it’s a conundrum that we are more than a little okay with. Although you can use any type of denim to achieve this look in a New Wave style, using acid wash jeans are a way to be very on the mark. For a look that screams 1980s, sneak a graphic tee underneath your jean jacket.
5. Graphic Tees Outfits For Women
Speaking of graphic tees, these fun t-shirt styles are just as important to women’s New Wave fashion as they were to men’s. However, if the slender cut of a woman’s t-shirt is not your style, you can wear a men’s or a unisex tee to achieve a desirable blocky effect. These shirts look great if they’re tucked — or at least french tucked — into a pair of jeans or khakis.
6. High-Waisted Jeans Outfits For Women
Are you a fan of high-waisted jeans? In recent years, they have made a strong comeback, and can now be found in most women’s wardrobes. If you own a pair (or three), you have New Wave fashion trends of the 1980s to thank for that.
It wasn’t only denim that got the high-waisted treatment at this time. It was also common to see high-waisted cuts made out of fabric such as cotton, polyester, and even faux-snakeskin.
No matter which style you are wearing your high-waisted pants in, one thing is certain — they are highly flattering on all different types of body types, and what more could we ask for out of a pant?
7. Jumpsuits Outfits For Women
Jumpsuits are making a comeback in recent years, and we could not be more thrilled. Whether they are in the style of shorts (also known as rompers) or pants, jumpsuits are feminine, off-beat, and always on trend.
Jumpsuits come in virtually any color or pattern, but the ones that truly scream 1980s New Wave to us come in silk, velour, or breathable synthetic fabrics. An added bonus to jumpsuits is that they’re super comfortable, too.
8. Ladies Suits Outfits For Women
Oh, the 1980s — the decade of the women’s suit. We’re not just talking about the business suit that was filling office buildings either, although we have a soft spot for that kind of suit as well.
New Wave women’s suits are more casual, and tend to be more loose-fitting, although they are truly up to each individual’s interpretation. A great place to find a vintage ladies’ suit is at a thrift or vintage store.
9. New Wave Punk Outfits For Women
Punk style manifests itself in many ways when it comes to women, and often features forms of flannel, checker patterns, and unconventional pairings. However, it does not need to feature any of these items — as long as a woman is feeling bold and rebellious in what she is wearing, the case for a punk outfit could be argued.
A very popular boot in the 1980s was the Doc Martens, which continue to be a classic wardrobe item for droves of consumers who are drawn to the punk aesthetic.
10. Off-The-Shoulder Outfits For Women
It’s often hard to find fashion trends that are geared towards women who are looking for sultry wardrobe outfits that don’t compromise style for sex appeal. An off-the-shoulder top is the perfect answer to this. For a New Wave twist, try looking for one that is all black or one with a geometric pattern.
11. Pristine Leather Jacket Outfits For Women
A “pristine leather jacket” refers to a type of light outerwear that is free from scuffs or modifications. They act as a solid wardrobe piece, as they can be paired with a variety of outfits from jeans to skirts and more.
12. Shoulder Pads Blazer Outfits For Women
Before shoulder pads became somewhat of a joke punchline, they were common across nearly all women’s blazers and cardigans. Their original intention was twofold: to give the illusion that one’s shoulders did not slouch and to also give the impression that one’s shoulders were more broad than they were in reality.
Although shoulder pads were usually existent in more formal or high-end clothing, they became so widespread in the 1980s that they were an expected feature of any wardrobe piece. It may seem bizarre now, but shoulder pads are actually making a comeback in a big way — good news for those who believe their best asset is their shoulders.
13. Tokyo’s New Wave Goth Outfits For Women
Tokyo New Wave outfits for women include eclectic wardrobe pieces like platform shoes, all-black attire, and fishnet stockings. In the 1980s, Tokyo was well-known for its boundary-pushing fashion for women that often included vibrant fabrics and a mixture of fabric textures. For a quick ode to this expressive time in fashion, try wearing a pair of stockings underneath a pair of shorts.
14. Turtleneck Outfits For Women
There are few wardrobe pieces that are as versatile as the turtleneck. What other type of top can say that it was beloved by 1950s housewives, 1960s hippies, 1970s disco-goers and 1980s New Wave fans? On women, turtlenecks can be chunky or form-fitting, and can come in an assortment of shades and patterns. For something different, consider trying on a turtleneck that cuts off at your midriff or pairing your turtleneck with shorts.
15. Vinyl Jacket Outfits For Women
Vinyl is an unexpected and notable fabric type, and is renowned for its shiny finish. One of the most popular styles of vinyl jackets for women is the long trench coat. The detailing of these jackets can vary, but they can either have full-length sleeves or ¾ sleeves. They also often either button up or come with a matching belt.
Although they may be offering more fashion than function — most vinyl jackets won’t keep you that warm in plummeting temperatures — what they might lack in warmth they make up for in pure style.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather Watch
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.