How to Make Neon Clothes Like the Eighties


Big hair, loud music and bright clothing made up most of 1980s pop culture. Whether you're going to an '80s party or just want some neon clothing, it isn't hard to get the look you want. Use your imagination when dyeing the clothing and you can come up with almost anything. Add extra touches to your clothing to give them that extra 1980s flair. Dyeing your clothes with neon colors does take some preparation and concentration.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton clothing
  • Dye
  • Latex gloves
  • Protective covering
  • Rhinestones
  • Fabric paint
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Buy white fabric you want to dye, like cotton T-shirts, tights, jeans, scrunchies, tall socks, leg warmers, tulle skirt. Purchase new clothing that is a natural fabric like cotton.

  • Purchase a fabric dye in a neon color like lime green, fuchsia or electric blue. These dyes can be found at most craft or retail stores.

  • Use the dye on the fabric according to package directions.

  • Paint bright flowers, stripes or neon zig-zags on the the clothing with fabric paint, if you like, or attach brightly colored rhinestones with fabric glue.

  • Cut the neckbands out of T-shirts or sweatshirts and wear them over one shoulder like in the 1980s.

  • Make your own leg warmers by cutting the ends of a pair of socks off leaving just the elastic tube part.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase clothing that is slightly larger than you need because cotton shrinks. Some dye kits require that you wash the clothing in hot water, which could shrink it.
  • Wear protective items like gloves and old clothing during the dyeing process.
  • Dye clothing in an open area to avoid inhaling fumes.

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  • Photo Credit träumer image by Westa Zikas from
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