How to Make an '80s Costume

The '80s were a fun time for fashion and music.
The '80s were a fun time for fashion and music. (Image: annees 80 image by yannik LABBE from

Creating an '80s costume for Halloween or any sort of themed party is a relatively easy thing to do. If you'd like to dress up as a character from a popular '80s movie such as "The Breakfast Club" or "Pretty in Pink," you can construct a great costume without breaking the bank. You can go high end if your budget allows and track vintage clothes down online or just sort through the offering at your local thrift store to achieve the same '80s look.

Making Your 80's Costume

Decide which look from the '80s you're going for. Fashions from the '80s range from the bright florescent colored clothing worn by the likes of break dancers and Punky Brewster that includes the layering of leggings, legwarmers, bandannas, off-the shoulder shirts and parachute pants to the sexy, rock 'n' roll looks sported by metal bands such as Motley Crue and Poison that includes leather pants, ripped jeans and motor cycle jackets. Or, pick your favorite character from your favorite '80s movie, such as "The Karate Kid," "Pretty in Pink," "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" or "The Lost Boys."

Shop for the pieces you need to complete your ensemble. You can start at your local thrift store such as Salvation Army or Goodwill to find the basics such as Members Only jackets, dresses with shoulder pads and acid-washed jeans. Fashions inspired by the '80s revolve around brightly colored leggings, leotards, sunglasses and legwarmers that are actually back in style these days. Try shopping at stores designed for teens and college kids at your local mall to find some of these costume pieces. For inexpensive accessories such as bandannas, huge hoop earrings, lace fingerless gloves check out teen accessory stores, also found at the mall. Also, buy brightly colored make-up such as blue eye shadow, pink lipstick, colored mascara and glitter at your local drugstore.

Dress-up in your outfit. If you're turning yourself into Samantha Baker from "Sixteen Candles" in all her wondrous pink splendor and ruffled glory or one of the vampires of the "Lost Boys" movie, be sure to have a picture handy to make sure you get all the details right. One of the most important aspects of '80s fashion was hairstyles-- whether it was permed, ratted, teased, crimped or feathered. Whatever hairstyle you choose, be sure to have a handful of mouse and a can of hairspray because the '80s were all about big hair, the bigger the better.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Make '80s Clothing

    The 1980s were a time of neon colors, layered socks, jelly shoes and acid-washed jeans. It's no wonder that many people like...

  • Five Ways to Make '80s Costumes

    Dressing in '80s style can be quick and easy. You can sew, cut, find, stud or color to creatively transport yourself back...

  • How to Make 80s-Themed Costumes

    Known as the decade of greed, the 1980s was a time of excess and extravagance. This sensibility was especially prevalent in fashion....

  • Homemade 1980s Costume Ideas

    Chock-full of street dancers, punk rockers, pastel-wearing crime-fighting duos, the Brat Pack and shoulder-padded working girls fetching coffee in offices, the 1980s...

  • Quick, Homemade Halloween Costumes for Adults

    Between buying candy, planning parties and buying costumes, celebrating Halloween can get very expensive. Store-bought costumes for adults can sometimes cost over...

  • How to Create an '80s Costume for Women

    Create an '80s style costume for women by cutting a shirt off the shoulder and wearing leg warmers, like in the movie...

  • 80's Outfit Ideas

    When dressing up for an '80s party, you have a broad array of choices. The decade saw both New Wave and big...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of an Ex-Pat in China

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!