Attending an 80’s themed party or thinking to throw one? Then you’ll need to perfect 80s fancy dress outfit to go with it. It’s one of the most iconic fashion eras, with many famous celebrities to inspire your look. Think Madonna, Cher, George Michael, Whitney Houston, Boy George, David Bowie and more. But if you’re not sure how to piece together a look or where to find 80s fancy dress for females or males, we’ve created a list of all things neon and lycra! Take a look at the best 80s fancy dress costumes as well as how to create your own 80s outfit.
Things to consider for 80s fancy dress for ladies
The 80s were all about standing out, and so were the clothes. When choosing your 80s fancy dress ladies outfit or costumes for men, think bright and bold. Neon colours like hot pink, electric blue, and luminous green should be your go-to choices. Don’t shy away from mixing different patterns and prints. Think stripes, polka dots, and animal prints, often combined in a single outfit for that quintessential 80’s look. If you’re wondering how to create your own 80s fancy dress women’s costume, then these are the essentials that make up that iconic look.
Shoulder pads and power suits
You could easily find dresses from the 80’s, but one of the era’s most definitive trends was the power suit with pronounced shoulder pads. For an authentic 80’s look, opt for a blazer or a suit jacket with noticeable shoulder padding. Women can pair these with mini skirts, while men can opt for tailored trousers.
Leg warmers and neon tights
Leg warmers were a staple in 80s fashion, often worn over leggings or tights. Neon fancy dress tights can also add a pop of colour to your outfit, true to the 80s style.
Denim and leather jackets
Denim was hugely popular in the 80s. A denim jacket, preferably oversized, can be a great addition to your outfit. Leather jackets, especially those with studs or fringe, can also give you a quintessential 80’s rocker look.
One of the best things about the 80s is that it spans from uncomfortably-tight spandex bodysuits to super comfortable trackies. The 80s saw the rise of athletic wear as everyday fashion. Tracksuits, sweatbands, and aerobics gear can be a fun and comfortable option for an 80’s party.
How to accessorise your 80s outfits for ladies
Jewellery and belts
Accessories are crucial in nailing the 80’s look. Chunky jewellery, large hoop earrings, and layered necklaces add to the extravagance of the era. Don’t forget the oversized sunglasses and headbands. Belts, particularly wide or studded ones, can be worn over dresses or long tops to cinch the waist, a popular 80s style.
Hairstyles and makeup
The 80s were known for their unique hairstyles – think big, voluminous hair, often permed or teased. For women, side ponytails, crimped hair, and bold hair colours were popular. Men can opt for mullet or slicked-back styles. Makeup in the 80s was bold, with heavy eyeshadow, bright blush, and vivid lipstick colours. Don’t be afraid to experiment with dramatic makeup looks to complete your 80’s party attire.
Footwear in the 80s varied widely, from high-top sneakers and colourful trainers to stilettos and ankle boots. Choose footwear that complements your outfit – sneakers for a more casual, athletic look, or heels and boots for a dressier ensemble.
Things to consider for 80s men’s fancy dress ideas
If you’re aiming to craft an authentic 80s fancy dress costume for men, here are some key elements to consider that capture the spirit and style of the decade.
Graphic or band t-shirts
Graphic tees, especially those featuring popular bands or bright, abstract designs, were a staple of 80s casual wear. Choose shirts with iconic 80s bands or neon, geometric patterns to capture the casual yet bold essence of the era.
Acid-washed and ripped jeans
Denim took on a new life in the 80s with the popularity of acid-washed and ripped jeans. These jeans, often worn tight, are perfect for creating an 80s rocker or casual look. Pair them with a leather belt for added authenticity.
Windbreakers and bomber jackets
Windbreakers, bomber jackets, and varsity jackets were all the rage. Opt for jackets with bright colours, patterns, or logos. These lightweight jackets not only add an 80s aesthetic but also offer practicality and comfort.
Layering with tank tops and mesh shirts
Layering was a common trend, with tank tops often worn under open shirts or mesh shirts. This style not only adds depth to your outfit but also allows for creative colour and texture combinations.
How to accessorise your 80’s outfits for men
The iconic mullets and hair bands
Hair was a significant part of men’s fashion in the 80s. The mullet, with its “business in the front, party in the back” style, was particularly popular. If your hair isn’t long enough, consider a wig to truly embody the 80s look.
Statement sunglasses and watches
Accessories were key in 80s men’s fashion. Statement sunglasses, often in unusual shapes or with mirrored lenses, were a must-have. Digital watches, particularly those with calculator functions, were also a trendy accessory of the time.
High-top sneakers and ankle boots
Footwear in the 80s for men varied from practical to punk. High-top sneakers, especially in bright colours or with additional straps, were popular for casual looks. For a more edgy style, opt for leather ankle boots, possibly with studs or buckles.
The 80s were all about confidence and making a statement. When putting together your 80s fancy dress outfit, either costumes for men or outfits for women, remember to embrace the fun and bold spirit of the decade. Whether you’re channeling a rock star, a movie icon, or just going for a general 80s look, the key is to wear it with confidence and a sense of fun. Alternatively, if you’re planning an outfit with others, check out our top fancy dress for group ideas or consider a different decade with these great 90s fancy dress costumes.