Nostalgic 80s Gift Ideas

The 1980s was a decade filled with neon colors and new gadgets or devices. The decade was a time of change, and changes were made in different aspects of living, including listening to music, wearing clothes, and decorating one’s home with décor. Those who grew up in the 1980s may have vivid memories of wearing particular pieces of clothing, playing with a popular toy, or using a specific device or machine for various activities. If you have friends or family members who loved the 80s, then giving them a gift that is connected to that decade will surely be wonderful. Here is a list of nostalgic 80s gift ideas.

Home Décor

Lace Curtains

lace curtains with floral patterns

Lace curtains, which are thinner and softer than most types of curtains, were quite popular in the 80s. Although lace curtains aren’t really useful for windows since they don’t block sunlight effectively, they are nice decoration pieces for bedrooms because of their soft and calming appearance. If you don’t know, lace is a kind of delicate fabric that is made from yarn or thread with an open weblike pattern, which then makes it have a translucent look and a softer feel.

Take a look at these three lace curtains that can be great gifts for loved ones:

Heavy Drapes

velvet drapes

Heavy drapes were used by people in the 1980s to effectively block out sunlight instead of using lace curtains. These heavy drapes are typically made from thicker fabric, and velvet is the most popular fabric choice because of its smooth feel and elegant looks. Velvet is a type of fabric where the cut threads are evenly distributed to create a dense pile that gives it its thick but soft feel. Velvet is commonly made from silk, although it can also be produced by using linen, wool, cotton, and even synthetic fibers.

Check out these three velvet drapes or curtains that you can purchase online:

Floral Bed Covers

floral bed covers

Bed covers with floral patterns were also very popular in the 80s, and they are often paired with pastel-colored lace curtains for the perfect bohemian vibes bedroom. Floral bed covers can have different colors and patterns, but those with a shade of light pink, light yellow, and light green are what most people preferred during the 80s. Because of how well floral bed covers look, they are still used today, although they aren’t as popular as they once were.

These are three floral duvet covers that you can take a look at if you are planning to buy one as a gift:

Brass Tables

Brass tables and other pieces of brass furniture can be found in many living rooms during the 80s. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that typically has a darker shade of gold. Brass furniture can be found not only in living rooms during the 1980s but also in bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways. Today, brass furniture isn’t as common, but they are still available for people that want to make specific rooms of their home look more extravagant or luxurious.

Macrame Plant Hangers

macrame plant hanger

Macrame plant hangers have been popular since the 1960s, and in the 80s, they are used as decorations in bedrooms since they go well with floral bed covers and lace curtains. Macrame is a form of textile that is produced by knotting yarn or threads to form various shapes or patterns. There are many knotting techniques that are involved in creating macrame like reef knotting (or square knotting) and half hitches (an overhand knotting technique). Macrame plant hangers can have different colors, but white or off-white are the preferred color choices. 

Here are a few macrame plant hangers that you should see online:

Lacquer Cabinets

Lacquer cabinets were trendy in the 1980s because minimalist or simplistic kitchens were popular in the said decade. What’s great about lacquer cabinets is that it presents the natural wood patterns of the cabinets, but those patterns are protected with a layer of lacquer, a hard and shiny coating that is typically applied to wood or metal to protect its surface. Lacquer is usually made from resin that is extracted from trees, particularly the lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) and the wax tree (Toxicodendron succedaneum).

Neon Lights

neon sign

Neon lights or neon signs were abundant in many streets around the world in the 1980s, as they were quite pleasant to look at and would be often used by restaurants and other establishments to attract customers or clients. Homes in the 80s rarely use neon lights because they were still relatively pricey to produce back then. But today, you can already get neon signs for your bedroom or other areas of your home.

Check out these three neon lights that you can get for yourself or for a friend:


Acid Wash Jeans

acid wash jeans close-up

Acid wash jeans are a type of jeans that have undergone a textile manufacturing process called “acid washing.” This process involves dipping a pair of jeans in an acidic solution that chemically distresses the surface of the jeans. The result of the process makes the jeans look much lighter in color compared to regular jeans, and it also has distressed patterns that are developed by folding or creasing the jeans while it is in the acidic solution.

Besides changing the appearance of the jeans, acid washing also makes the jeans more flexible than regular jeans, which can be quite stiff after the first few wears. Acid wash jeans are still fashionable today since jeans are considered to be a timeless piece of clothing.

If you are planning to look for jeans as a gift, you can take a look at these two pairs of jeans first:

Ripped Jeans

ripped jeans

Another form of distressed jeans is the ripped jeans, which have rips or holes on different parts of the pants, although most ripped jeans have a large hole on their knees. Before the 1980s, ripped jeans were associated with the poor since they didn’t have the money to easily replace their already distressed and damaged pair of jeans. However, by the late 1970s, ripped jeans became the fashion trend for the people that joined youth rebellions and social movements. In the 80s, ripped jeans were popularized by celebrities like Madonna.

Lace Shirts

lace shirt for men

Lace curtains are not the only trendy lace item in the 80s, as lace shirts were also quite popular in the said decade. Lace shirts were trendy in the 80s because of how comfortable they are to wear while also still being fashionable. The looseness of lace shirts allows them to have natural ventilation, so sweat won’t build up and the wearer would still feel comfortable even on a hot day. But, because of the translucent nature of lace shirts, they are rarely worn on their own, so people would often wear t-shirts or tank tops underneath the lace shirts to hide particular body parts.

Here are three lace shirts that you can buy online:


You would see plenty of rock bands in the 80s that are wearing spandex pants while also having ridiculously big hair and colorful tops. Rock bands weren’t the only ones wearing spandex, as this particular clothing material was actually very trendy in the 1980s. Spandex, also known as elastane, is a synthetic fiber that is popular for its elastic qualities that allow people of almost any size to wear it. 

What’s great about spandex is that it is light and conforms to the shape of the wearer’s body, which is why it is popular for various sports since it doesn’t hinder the speed or the movement of athletes. Eventually, spandex became a fashion piece due to also being comfortable to wear while walking the streets, running errands, or doing other activities.

Leg Warmers

Leg warmers are coverings or sleeves that are worn on the lower legs. Unlike long socks, leg warmers don’t cover the feet, so they are typically worn on top of long socks to provide extra protection for cold temperatures. These leg warmers can have different materials and appearances, but the most popular variant of leg warmers are the long and loose tubular sleeves that crease downwards and create a layered look on the lower legs.

Before leg warmers became a fashion trend, it was first used by ballerinas and dancers as a piece of dancewear to keep their leg muscles warm and prevent cramping. The leg warmers soon became fashionable when two dancers named David Lee and Trisha Kate opened their dancewear shop in the East Village, New York, in the 1980s. The two dancers would eventually have customers that wore the leg warmers they sell for casual wear.

These are three pairs of leg warmers that have good reviews online:


Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids postage stamp

One of the most popular toys in the 1980s is the Cabbage Patch Kids, a line of cloth dolls that were introduced by Coleco Industries in 1982. The Cabbage Patch Kids were the idea of Xavier Roberts, a toy designer who created the toy line as the successor to another line of toys he made called Little People. The “Cabbage Patch Kids” name was coined by Roger L. Schlaifer, a licensing agent who acquired the exclusive worldwide licensing rights for the toy line in 1982.

The Cabbage Patch Kids dolls are primarily made of cloth that is stuffed with cotton, and you can buy dolls with different hair colors, hairstyles, and outfits. Cabbage Patch Kids is considered one of the longest-running doll franchises in the US, as it remained in production for so long, even if its license has been given to numerous companies over the years.

Below are two classic Cabbage Patch Kids dolls that are perfect gifts for kids:

Rubik’s Cube

Another popular toy in the 80s is the Rubik’s Cube, a 3D puzzle that was invented in 1974 by a Hungarian professor of architecture named Ernő Rubik, who initially called his invention the “Magic Cube.” The Rubik’s Cube was released internationally in the 1980s, and shortly after, the puzzle became a craze all over the world, as many people were trying to figure out how to solve the puzzle. Today, the Rubik’s Cube is still fairly popular, and speedcubing competitions, where people are competing to see which of them can solve the Rubik’s Cube the fastest, are still being held in different countries.

Posters of 1980s Movies

There were many awesome movies that were released in the 1980s, and if you are a fan of a few of them, then you should definitely have a poster of those movies on your home’s walls. Some of the best movies that premiered in the 1980s include The Karate Kid (1984), Full Metal Jacket (1987), and Batman (1989). Fortunately, you can still rewatch these movies through online streaming platforms that are available on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 

Posters of several 80s movies would be great decorations for your bedroom, living room, theater room, and other areas of your home, especially if you want your guests to know immediately what your favorite movies are. These 80s movie posters can also serve as great gifts to loved ones.

Sony Walkman

The Walkman is a brand of portable audio players (primarily cassette tape players in the 1980s) that was developed and manufactured by the Japanese electronics company Sony and introduced in 1979. The Sony Walkman became known alongside the rising popularity of cassette tapes as a primary physical audio platform in the 80s. In the 1980s, vinyl records were becoming less profitable since cassette tapes were considered to be more durable despite their smaller size. 

Unfortunately, cassette tapes would become less common in the 1990s due to the popularity of CDs that are more affordable to manufacture. The Sony Walkman would evolve throughout the years, and it would also adapt to trends. When CDs became popular in the late 90s, Sony released a Walkman that can play CDs. Today, you can still buy a Sony Walkman Radio and Cassette Player, although this product is becoming rarer in recent years.

These are just some of the best nostalgic 80s gift ideas that we can provide for you. Check out the links we have included above so that you will have a much easier time buying the best 80s-themed gifts for your family members or friends.