Frankie_says_relax_t-shirtThe Eighties look will always cause a sartorial stir. With its big hair, strong shoulders and in-your-face colours, it really is the marmite of retro styles hiding in the closet. So- love it hate it- George Walker shows you Kings of Vintage how to inject a bit of Eighties style into your wardrobes without looking absurd. Hopefully.

Don’t worry readers- I’m not asking you/ your partners to kit yourselves out like Jedward or Wham. I too understand the eyesores that came out of a decade which thought that bigger and brighter was always the best and that George Michael could actually be straight (too many blue cocktails and hair spray fumes are my only explanations for this).

Having said that, however, the current revival of Eighties cuts and styles has reminded me that the Eighties brought men’s fashion to the fore. This was an era when men really started to care about fashion. Blokes in the Eighties were just as likely to fight over the hairspray as their female counterparts.

Although the rather over-styled Eighties men’s image might not be appealing, one of my favourite fashion gems from the Eighties is graphic T-shirts. Gaudy, unsubtle and defiant: the trend for wearing what you believed on your chest was a novel and important step in men’s fashion which changed the way we thought about the power of the catwalk.

Katherine Hamnett’s slogan T-shirts were iconic garments that brought politics to the fashion and music world. With the slogans such as ‘Choose Life’, Hamnett created T-shirts for men and women that hit the fashion world like lightning. Electrifying and bold, the T-shirts revealed that fashion needn’t be seen and not heard. Much like Pop Art, Hamnett’s designs were all about fast, powerful production. This led Paul Morley, NME journalist and record producer, to openly copy Hamnett’s designs in the ‘Frankie Says…’ line to promote band Frankie Goes to Hollywood (pictured).

Today Eighties T-shirts have had a new spurt of popularity. Unlike the ‘Nu Rave’ trend a few years, which took on the full Eighties look (and then some!), the current trend of pairing a distinctive graphic tee with the more subtle elements of your wardrobe certainly works for me.

So, get the hair big, the Wham playing and order yourself a little slice of Eighties style with our great Eighties T-shirt finds and our vintage gent of the week.

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