The 80’s were a time when many different bad fashion trends were going on at the same time, so can construct a great 80’s Halloween costume out of almost anything. Accessories were a key part of any 80’s outfit and they were worn to excess so don’t just wear one neon jelly bracelet, wear a whole armful if you want to be rockin an 80’s look. Many of the 80’s fashion trends came from music videos, which had never been seen before. The creation of MTV in the very early eighties meant that everyone copied their favorite musicians style as well as listening to their music. The 80’s were also the decade when subcultures really took hold in American culture and angst ridden teen movies like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink set new style trends for urban hipsters and wannabees alike.
Some of the classic 80’s Halloween costumes include:
Michael Jackson – from the red leather jacket and Jerry curl he sported in the Beat It video to the smooth suit, fedora, and sparkly glove from the Billie Jean video Michael Jackson is a popular inspiration for Halloween costumes. Military themed clothing, eyeliner, and white socks are great for Michael Jackson costumes.
Madonna/Cyndi Lauper – Madonna and Cyndi Lauper had a “punk lite” aesthetic that girls in the 80’s who weren’t punk enough to wear mohawks, Doc Martens, and clothing covered in safety pins copied happily. Lace fingerless gloves, lots of petticoats in different colors worn as skirts, patterned tights, heavy eyeliner, and bustiers are all styles worn by Madonna and Cyndi Lauper that make great 80’s Halloween costumes.
Punk– Punk costumes are always great for Halloween because there are no rules for dressing punk. Change your hair color with a purple, blue, green or orange wig. Or, spike your hair up into a mohawk with egg whites and cornstarch. If you want the mohawk but not the effort get a mohawk wig. Leather biker jackets with painted band names and logos on them along with patches are great for Punk costumes. So are leather pants, all black clothes, and heavy combat boots.
Prep – The opposite end of the spectrum from Punk style, Preppy style, was also very popular in the 80’s. Alligator shirts, business suits, and sportswear separates worn with deck shoes are all classic Preppy style. Wear a pastel colors sweater tied around your shoulders and Madras pants to get an authentic Preppy look.
With almost any 80’s Halloween costume the accessories are what really finish off the costume. For ladies Jelly shoes and bracelets, friendship bracelets, Swatch watches, patterned shoe laces, and wide belts are fun and inexpensive ways to create a costume or give a costume a really complete look. For guys wigs, jean jackets, 80’s band tee shirts and spiked punk jewelry are all good accessories to have. Colored hair spray, lots of eye makeup, and belts are also important parts of 80’s fashion.