What shall I wear to an 80's costume party?

80's icons, cartoon characters, nostalgia...what do you think?

25 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    something that looks retro

    kind of what Anahi Giovanna an actress and a singer from rebelde band wear on premio los nuestro or los gramis like a red kind of long shirt and thigt black pants like the dance tight pant which are wear with long shirts often wear on black and you could pick up your hair on like a pony tail and you might do braid on top like on the top or only on one side

    you could view her pics wearing a 80's style clothe here:



    for man usually is tight stuff pants are flat down they could be jeans shirt or blouse are also tight you could watch my33 channel like about 6:30pm and ther would be a show called That '70s Show and they are dress how they looked in that time they dont look so bad.

    take a look at this sites and you will hve an idea remember you don't have to look so old school:


    The 80s look is about color, volume, and abundance. Whether you choose the Like a Virgin, the Preppie, or the Let’s Get Physical, do it with flourish and abandonment. Choose from the 80s costume party ideas below or use them as inspiration and develop your own.

    this are people who had the 80's style:

    Robert Smith of The Cure

    Karate Kid

    Michael Jackson

    Boy George/Marilyn


    Metal Head / Axl Rose


    Flock of Seagulls

    Mullet Man

    Miami Vice

    Preppie/Yuppie - Val Dude

    The John Bender (Breakfast Club)

    Vanilla Ice Ice Baby

    (you could go searching type their name where you right the

    name of a website and right pics next to their name or click on images and you will see pic of them)visit this sites for examples for men costume and to purchase some items for your 80's party:


    Head Gear:

    Mesh Hair TiesThe piece of white or black mesh girls tied in their hair. We can thank Madonna for this style.

    Temporary Hair DyeColorful hair in the 80's were a must. This invention let you change your hair color from day to day.

    HeadbandsFrom Pat Benetar to Mike Reno...This was a hot style!

    Ponytail for MenPopular with the yuppies.

    Hair CrimpingKind of looked like you had your hair braided for a week.

    MousseLots of body for your hair!

    Helmet-Haired BangsLoni Anderson...Need I say more?

    Neat Look for the GuysPreppy would be the best word to describe this.

    Banana ClipsAnd still used today! Who says the 80's are dead?

    Mohawk HaircutsVery attractive, 'eh?

    Barrettes w/ things Dangling from ThemGirls wove ribbons through, usually two different colors, and hung beads on the end of the ribbon. You could also buy theses barrettes ready-made and some even had FEATHERS hanging from them

    Princess Di HaircutsPoor Di! Miss her!

    Crazy Hair ColorsPink, blue, purple, red, yellow and so on.

    TailsYou remember...The short or long 5 pieces of hair running down your back.

    RayBan'sMade famous from the Tom Cruise movie 'Risky Business'.

    Flat Top Haircuts for GuysSome cuts were a little off to the side like Bobby Brown. He also had a line cut on his head. Don't know if this was a fad for the bros.

    Rooster Bangs LookRooster Bangs Are bangs that are cut so they stand up and frizz out.

    Big HairLots of hairspray and teased up high! Gotta love it!

    Skater HaircutShaved on one side and all the hair hanging on the other side.

    BIG Hair BowsAnother essential Madonna accessory!

    Colored Mascara/Eyeliner Always extra thick! Blue, purple were the popular colors used.

    Painter Type HatsWith the tails off the back

    BandanasAny color tied anywhere would make you fit in just about anywhere circa 1984. (i.e.. David Lee Roth)

    Green LipstickTurned pink when you put it on.

    Pierced EarsLots of earrings for the girls. For the guys - Left ear your straight, right ear you were not so straight. :)

    Blue Eye ShadowNot only was mascara and eyeliner blue, but also above chick's eyes! We've even seen yellow used in some cases!

    Shoelace HairclipsWomen's hairclips in which they came multicolored, metallic, or solid print Popular in late 80's, early 90's.


    Bright Neon/Fluorescent ShirtsOrange, yellow, fuchsia, green, etc. with the matching socks , earrings and hair scarves.

    Pastel T-ShirtsPink was very popular for the guys. Also came in just about any other color in the rainbow.

    Champion SweatshirtsPretty much self explanatory. Another one still sold today.

    Torn Workout TopThose maniac chicks, gotta love 'em! Some workout tops were also cut on the bottom to expose the stomach area. Most were worn off the shoulder.

    Slogan T-shirtsWith words like Go-Go, Relax, Boy Toy, etc. For 80s t-shirts visit 80stees.com!

    Jean jacketsLevis were popular and still are in some areas of the country. Some people even painted their favorite rock band album covers on the back of their Levis denim jackets.

    Army jacketsCamouflage was in almost as much as the Miami Vice style blazers.

    Michael Jackson Thriller JacketJust like the one he wore in his video.

    Sleeveless shirtsThese were sleeveless but cut all the way down the side so they they were open.

    Clothing with keyboards up and down the sleevesPretty snazzy 'eh?

    Members Only JacketsHad to have every color remember?

    OP (Ocean Pacific) T-shirtsFor the surfer in you!

    Izod ShirtsIn every color of the rainbow. Some wore them with collars turned up.

    Argyle VestsSo preppy!

    Skinny TiesThose leather ones were soooooo cool!

    Knit TiesSkinny of course!

    BolosLeather cords with a piece of metal, plastic, etc. holding them together at the neck.

    Power TiesBold and classical ties for those power lunches.

    Long ShirtsUsually the more full figured gals wore these.

    Cardigan Sweaters with shirts underneathMost of the time, not tucked in.

    Paisley ShirtsPaisley was in with the new wave crowd as well as other cliques.

    Black, collared shirtsUsually buttoned all the way to the top.

    Shirts with zippersSome of these had buttons as well. The zippers or buttons were put on the shirts in a way that it opened diagonally from the shoulder area. When opened the shirt would have this triangular shape flapping on your chest.

    Laced Crop TopsWith bra underneath. If a white lace - white bra. If black lace - black bra

    Hawaiian ShirtsLots of flowers and loud colors... Aloha!

    Rugby shirtsColored sleeves with sweatshirt gray or white for the body of the shirt.

    Black Rock Band T-ShirtsSame as below, just with the sleeves.

    Sleeveless Rock Band T-ShirtsHeadbangers unite! AC/DC, Metallica, Poison, Ratt, Ozzy. To name a few.

    T-Shirt ClipsThey looked like a ring with a bar through the middle and you threaded the bottom of your shirt through them.

    Shaker Knit SweatersShaker Knit refers to the type of stitch used to make these sweaters. If you saw Hunt for Red October, the dark sweater Jack wears is a shaker knit sweater.

    Hang Out Oxfords with Big Belts to CinchWith matching socks over stirrup pants.

    Wearing collars up on polo shirts & blouses3 words... Preppy...preppy...preppy!

    PoloShirts with collars (collars usually worn pulled up) Plenty of colors to choose from - pastels were a favorite preppy color.

    Underwear as OuterwearAs worn by Madonna, Annie Lennox & Cyndi Lauper

    Navy Blue Down-Filled Vest - SleevelessWinter, summer, spring and fall - this was in.

    Blouse or Gown with ButtonsAlso with feathers, rhinestones - usually tracing up and down one sleeve

    Air Brushed ShirtsSaw lots of couples wearing these in High School with their mate's name on them. Couple of hearts, etc.


    FlojosRubber sandal type of things called "Flojos". This was the brand that made them.

    Peter Pan BootsShort, suede boots that all girls wore with their pin stripe jeans tucked into

    Gasoline JeansGrey on one side, denim blue on the other. An interesting combo!

    Scrunch SocksDifferent colors and layer them oppositely on each foot. For example; one foot would have a pink then a purple on top and the scrunched part would be on the bottom half then the other foot would be purple with pink on top with the pink on the bottom half.

    Dangeling beltsIn pastel and neutral colors - People commonly wore 2 or 3 belts at a time.

    Corduroy pantsBrown, white, blue. We've also seen red Levis corduroy pants back in our awesome decade!

    Argyle socksKnee high socks with colorful diamond pattern, all diamonds were connected with stripes-zigzag pattern. typically came in colors of red, yellow, navy and hunter green. Matched your argyle sweater (v neck). Socks usually had no pattern on toe or heel portion.

    Striped Levi's jeansHad to be tight too! Different color denim were also used. Black, light blue, dark blue, etc.

    Button-fly Levis jeansAnd one of the most popular jeans still worn today!

    Acid washed jeansNice and light. The more holes in your jeans, the better! (i.e. Kip Winger)

    Reebok high-topsWith no or untied laces.

    Parachute PantsMade out of nylon with lots of zippers!

    Adidas ShoesHmmmmm, can you say Run DMC?

    Jordache - Chic - Sergio Valente' - Calvin Klein - Gloria Vanderbuilt - Sasson - Guess JeansOooooh La La! "Designer" jeans were all the rave in the '80s. Most brands had certain designs on the back pockets like Jordache and Sergio Valente'. All worn very tight and straight legged.

    Vans!!!I remember seeing checkerboard and multi-color styles in High School.

    Adidas or OP pantsWith the drawstring - no zipper.

    Penny LoafersHad to have these.

    Top SidersAnother one that I still see around today.

    CapeziosCapezios are shoes - they're like dance shoes and became popular shortly after Flashdance came out. They were usually white. For those who didn't know like me! It reminded me of the next one.

    Chinese SlippersThe little black shoes all (well most of) the girls wore them.

    Converse Chuck Taylor

    High -TopsWild colored high top sneakers worn not only by basketball players.

    Mini SkirtsShort plaid, ruffled on the bottom, etc. skirts women wore.

    "Pegged" JeansYou folded the bottom of the jeans over first to make them narrow, then rolled them up, so they were "pegged."

    SweatpantsTucked into tube socks with the bottoms puffing out.

    LegwarmersFlashdance made these even more popular than they already were!

    Jelly shoesBrightly colored.

    Poofy PantsWith the tapered bottom. Some had lots of pockets and zippers and/or buckles. Hammer time!

    Ripped JeansUsually in slits and tight - the more slits the better!

    KedsAgain, popular in the mid to late 90's. White with the little blue Keds emblem on the back.

    Plastic shoesThey were usually pastel colors, they were really cheap, and they hurt like hell!

    HurrachesLeather woven sandals.

    Short skirts with bike shorts underneathWho says you can't ride a bike with a short skirt? Although chicks also wore this to clubs. Another Madonna ensemble.

    FloodsPants that ended before your ankles did.

    Zuba shorts and pantsPants with multi-colored zebra-like stripes. they come in colors of athletic teams.

    SpandexLots of it too! A stretchy fabric that molds to your skin. Pants or shorts were usually made of this fabric.

    Stonewashed Gap JeansFaded before you bought 'em. These were so bodacious!

    Surfer PantsUsually light in color and fabric with a little string in the front to tie.


    Madonna GlovesFrom the Like a Virgin era. Also Crosses were big and whatever Madonna wore, the chicks wore too.

    Cut Socks as GlovesCutting off the ends of sweat socks (usually the kind with the different color rings at the top of the sock) and wearing them as wristbands. A lot of the punks did this. It's funny-you see the guy in the movie Salt Lake City Punks wearing these.

    Polka Dots!Shirts, suspenders, socks, etc. Different colors.

    Jelly /Gummy BraceletsThose were the thin plastic bracelets that girls would wear tons of at a time - and rings.

    The Preppy LookShort hair (for the guys), penny loafers, argyle socks, Polo shirts with the collar sticking up. This description could go on and on! You get the idea.

    Big Obnoxious plastic combWith solid or swirling colors, usually kept it in your back pocket.

    Pet RockAn ordinary rock with plastic eyes on it. This goofy fad made someone millions of dollars and a place in history!

    Mexican dressesMaybe this was subject to geography - Texas.

    Jimmy-z and Z-Cavaricci clothingThey were extremely multi-colored "knitted" sweaters that looked more like a tangled knot that just happened to be in the shape of a sweater. No rhyme or reason, and they were often lumpy looking. Similar to the sweaters Bill Cosby wore on his show.

    Slap BraceletsSlap bracelets were about an inch wide with metal on the inside and colored cloth on the outside. They were in bright colors and were straight and when you hit them on your wrist they bent around your wrist like a bracelet.

    JamsJams were multi colored shorts -- guys mostly wore them. They were like the Hawaiian shirts only for the bottom. Most guys wore them without socks, and sandals of some kind. The preppy look for those hot summer days!

    Multiple Outfits These were interchangeable multi-colored cotton clothes that were often cinched with a a sash. Also - anything really busy, clashing and eye popping!

    SkateboardingVery popular even today!

    SnowboardingAnother very popular sport (we guess you can call it a fad). One of our visitors wrote in saying, "HOT guys do snowboarding, Weird guys do skateboarding. ;)

    Friendship Pins/BraceletsPins were often worn on sneaker laces and denim jackets.

    Coke clothes, jeans, accessoriesHave a Coke and a smile! Or was it, Coke is it? In any case, these clothes were in!

    Twisty Bead necklacesThin beaded necklaces, lots of different colors, you would twist them together and clasp them in the back with a clip. You could also make them long by doubling one in the back and connecting it on the side with a clip. Any self respecting 80's chic had twisty beads in EVERY color. They were great to wear with your izod shirt and polo shirts. Collars up, of course!

    BennettonBenetton first hit around 1988 - a new clothing line, all about colors, animal prints, and jeans. Alot of denim matching ensembles. It was a had to have line, like Guess, Esprit and L.A. Gear.

    Camp Beverly HillsIt was cheap women's perfume. Loves Baby Soft was also popular.

    Banana RepublicBanana Republic, before they became the upscale Gap they are today, launched in 1987 or so with a safari theme. It was all khaki's and t-shirts with jungle animals on them, and, of course, bananas. Most of the stores were decorated in rattan wood, with fake trees and a jeep in the middle of the store.

    Jordache PursesThose little $3 crescent-shaped Jordache purses with the skinny string shoulder strap. They were made out of a really lightweight vinyl/tyvek kind of material -- it had the Jordache horse-head logo stamped on it. They came in lots of colors (metallic too)

    Plastic Spring BraceletsThose neon colored plastic spring bracelets (I believe there were necklaces & earrings, too)

    Shopping at The LimitedAnything Forenza or Outback Red!

    Roach Clips w/ feathers danglingRoach clips with feather hanging off of them, they were attached to your belt loop. Never know when you might need something like this!

    Pop BallsThis is not what you are thinking (get your mind out of the gutter). These were rubber balls that you turned inside out, laid them on the floor and watched them pop up.

    Creepy CrawlersThrow them on the wall and watch them slowly crawl back down. Ewww, Creepy! :)

    Code Bleu clothes:

    DextersA deck (boat type) shoe.

    Jeri CurlsPopular for the African Americans (mostly men). Looked like a shiny, wet perm. See: Michael Jackson, circa "Beat It" video; also see: Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America" movie with it's Jeri curl parody (featuring today's ER's Eriq LaSalle), "Soul Glow". The term Jeri Curl was named for the solution you sprayed in your hair to get the desired effect.

    PunkMade popular from bands like the Clash - Mohawks, chains, make up, etc

    Flashdance LookRipped pants, shirts, strapped shirt under a sweatshirt. Ohhh sexy!

    Valley Girl LookHair that was shorter (spiked or curly) on top and a little longer in the back, head bands (usually stripped) that matched our fitted stripped tops, mini skirts of mini skirt-dresses, big earrings, bright colors, belts (around our hips - first made big by Mike Hutchence in the "One Thing" video, usually doubled). And let us not forget leg-warmers!

    New Wave StuffNew Wave was in reference to music culture (i.e., Pet Shop Boys, Dead or Alive, Erasure, Duran Duran, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc) - fashion-wise, look at any of the previously mentioned bands and they're videos, and think: feminine guys with make-up and teased hair (before Poison-like glam rock), Creepers shoes, Long duster coats (i.e.., Boy George), little bowler-like black hats and eye-liner, a lot of black-and-white accessorizing. See: "Ducky" in "Pretty in Pink";, a reference made in "SLC Punk" (during the slide show about who beats up who - the New Waver's don't beat up anyone).

    Swatch WatchesWent well with the plastic bracelets. Was accompanied by other Swatch watches. Sometimes worn with more than one watch.

    Michael Jackson GloveCouldn't even believe I actually saw people with this on.

    Miami Vice LookWell padded blazer with a pastel T-shirt under, etc. Shoes with no socks.

    "Puffy" silver heartsJewelry - "puffy" heart pendants for necklaces.

    GenerraGenerra is a brand name, they made men's' clothes and those "hyper color" t-shirts.

    Vision Street WearSkateboarding gear - T-shirts, caps, beanies, shoes, skateboards and more!

    Huge clocksWore around the neck. Usually worn by rap members.

    Anything NeonPretty self explanatory. Socks, Shirts, Hair accessories, bracelets, shoe laces, etc.

    Source(s): me =]
  • 1 decade ago

    If you are a guy...

    I totally go for the 80s rock scene.

    If you have a nice shape, and can pull off tight leather pants, and jacket. Also a bandana. Ripped jeans is also very nice.

    Look up pictures from bands in the music scene from back then. Like Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Guns and Roses so forth. Try 80srockphotos.com (I shop there for photos from lots of famous 80's stars) theres tons of pictures of what the 80s were really like.

    If that's is not your style I'm sure you can find other alternatives.

    Hope this helps, have fun with it!

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  • 1 decade ago

    If you are a guy wear tight pants belted at your waist... not the current trend below your hips. You can wear a shirt with a tie if the tie is an inch or so wide, no wider. Slick your hair with gel on the sides and have it "feathered" back on top. Look up old george michael pictures from wham. "Pop" your collar if you want to wear a polo type shirt. Try Goodwill or resale shops.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Guys: wear polo shirts with collars straight up, jeans. Even sunglasses. Search 80's fashions on Yahoo. I did it for a dance and found tons of stuff!

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  • 1 decade ago

    You could go as a punk rocker..with a nice colourful mohican.......lots of chains...or the incredible hulk? easy to do!

    or Freddie Mercury the unbeatable, fantastic, you can put on a Queen Crown and cloak or the famous white trousers and yellow jacket...don't forget the moustache! and if you can bring a microphone with the stand....his famous pose....Good luck...God I miss Freddie!!! Queen Forever!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ra-ra skirt, legwarmers, lots of neon plastic jewellery, big big permed hair, orange/purple/green makeup (Think Cyndi Lauper)

    Or you could see if you can hire a Dangermouse costume!

  • Logan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago


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  • Jaime
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Try maxi skirts with the medial side slits those can look great you! It doesn't matter if you have long legs or not simply strut that skirt

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