Fashion trends of the 1980s -- heavily influenced by the punk movement, heavy metal music and MTV --allowed for more self expression than the late '90s and onwards. Although colorful and shocking at times, '80s fashion evokes a simpler, more genuine and carefree time period. If attending an '80s nostalgia party or dressing as an '80s character for Halloween, you can transform a pair of blue jeans into acid-washed jeans commonly worn throughout the era. Acid-washed jeans can be worn as-is or ripped and destroyed for a metalhead look.
Select a pair of blue jeans typical of the '80s era. Classic button-fly straight-leg jeans are fine for men. Women often wore tighter jeans with zippered ankles. Jeans of the '80s usually hit at the natural waist, unlike today’s fashion jeans which sit a little lower. Broken-in jeans from the thrift store will be easier to work with than a new pair.
Soak the jeans in warm water, wring out excess water and lay them out on a flat surface in a well-ventilated room.
Mix a 50/50 solution of chlorine bleach and water in a spray bottle.
Spray the jeans with the bleach solution for an acid-washed look. Work on both front and back. Wait for half an hour then wash the jeans in a cold water cycle. Repeat the bleach treatment if you want more fading. You can wear the jeans as-is or continue destroying them.
Place a brick or block inside the jeans under the area you want to destroy. Move the brick as you destroy different areas.
Cut rips in the jeans with a pocket knife. Use sandpaper to fray the edges for a natural look.
Make small rough patches and holes by scraping a cheese grater over various parts of the jeans.
Distress hems, pockets and knees with a piece of sandpaper.
Wash and dry the jeans before wearing.