5 Great 80s New Wave Halloween Costume Ideas


80s costumeCan’t get enough of the 80s? The 80s are a great source for Halloween costume ideas. But if you want to stay away from trendy 80s Halloween costumes featuring the type of clothing that Madonna and other stars wore during that era there are other choices. You can be different and choose something that is a little more offbeat there are still plenty of 80s Halloween costumes that you can choose from. The 80s were a time when a lot of different styles were different with different groups so there are many different types of 80s costumes that are instantly recognizable and fun to dress up in. New Wave, which was a combination of lots of different fashions that were based in music, is one of the most fun styles to dress up in from the 80s. Here’s a quick look at 5 different types of New Wave 80s Halloween costumes:


New Wave Punk was really a combination of punk and popular 80s styles. Mohawk hairstyles are popular in Punk costumes but you can also wear brightly colored wigs in pink, blue, green, orange or any other unnatural color to look Punk. A leather jacket with a painted back and band names painted on it is will give your Punk costume some street cred but you can also wear a denim jacket that is either painted or has band pins all over it. Pins were very popular in many different groups in the 80s. Doc Martin boots or combat boots worn with fishnet tights are also a must. Clothes should be denim or leather and studded with metal studs or safety pins. Thick black eyeliner will complete your Punk costume nicely.

New Romantic

eighties costumeNew Romantics were a subset of New Wave that preferred retro clothing. Poet shirts and blouses with ruffles, waistcoats, vests, Victorian looking shoes and other items of retro clothing combined with lots of makeup were part of the New Romantics style. Both men and women wore fitted historical looking suits, combined with lots of modern jewelry like plastic bracelets and dog collars and chains. New Romantics copied the dressed up style of New Wave performers like Bryan Ferry.


80s Goths were different from modern day Goths. 80s Goths borrowed heavily from Victorian style. The women wore long black dresses with corsets and waist cinchers or layered long skirts with petticoats and Victorian buckled shoes. Men wore either historical Victorian black suits with white shirts or they combined things like ruffled poet shirts with leather pants and combat boots. Velvet coats, dresses and other clothing in jewel tons was also popular. Ornate jewelry including long necklaces was worn layered with Victorian chokers and many rings and pins. 80s Goth style also borrowed heavily from Egyptian culture and embraced bellydance jewelry and belts, Indian sari inspired fabrics in skirts and cloaks, and heavy Egyptian style cat eye eyeliner for both men and women.


New Wave music eventually gave birth to the electronic dance and rave momements so early members of rave culture wore brightly colored neon clothing that would glow under black lights that were popular in clubs. Comfortable clothing was key so that dancing was easy. Makeup was neon or brightly colored and brightly colored hair dyed in neon shades of orange, pink, and green was also popular so wigs and hair pieces are an important part of a New Wave Raver costume.

New Wave

New Wave was also its own genre in the 80s. Devotees of bands like New Order, Depeche Mode and other New Wave acts wore dress shirts with skinny ties, black leather or vinyl pants, and black skirts and dresses with leather accents and heavy wide belts. Girls also wore hats, fascinators, gloves and other fashion pieces heavily influenced by the 20s and 30s. Makeup was simple with black eyeliner and red lipstick. Accessories like silver makeup and cigarette cases were popular. New Wave style is a great inspiration for an 80s Halloween costume for people who don’t want to wear trendy 80s styles like zubaz pants, neon jelly shoes or surfer clothes.