How to Dress for an 80s Party

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Themed parties are popular and enjoyable. You might be invited to an 80s-themed party and have no idea what to wear. Using these tips to recreate the fun and groovy 1980s look and feel can help you fit in or even become the talk of the party!

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Making Your Own Outfit

1. Colors can be mixed and matched. Many 80s fashionistas favored bright, bold color combinations. Neon colors were especially popular.

  • Match your top and bottom, and add a pop of color. Electric blue pants and top, for example, can be complemented with a bright yellow or pink belt and chunky earrings.
  • Make your bright colors stand out. If you don’t have a matching outfit, you can mix and match bright colors. Try to combine three or four different but bright colors.
  • Bright tights can be worn underneath a miniskirt and topped with contrasting legwarmers.

2. Form your outfit. The 1980s were a time of experimentation with various styles. Women’s fashion was big on top and small on the bottom. An oversized shirt was frequently worn with a miniskirt or close-fitting pants or leggings.
Try looking in your parents’ closet if you don’t have any oversized tops or undersized bottoms (they may even have actual clothes from the 80s). Younger siblings may have too-tight clothes for you that you can borrow for the bottoms.

3. Look for or make shoulder pads. In women’s clothing, shoulder pads were very popular. The greater the size of the shoulder pads, the better. If you don’t have a shirt with shoulder pads, try stuffing your shirt with padding.

4. Try a punk look from the 1980s. Another option is to go for a more 80s punk look, which would consist mostly of black and denim.

  • Wear at least two different pairs of jeans. Men wore denim pants with denim jackets most of the time. Women wore denim miniskirts and jackets. Under the denim jacket, both men and women typically wore a tight shirt.
  • Mix denim and lace. A lace top paired with acid-wash denim jeans or a denim miniskirt is a classic 80s look. The use of contrasting materials is a key feature of 80s fashion.
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5. Dress in athletic attire. Athletic wear was also popular in the 1980s. They were, however, far more matchy than modern athletic wear.

  • A pair of puffy athletic pants and a matching jacket, paired with sneakers, can be a great 80s look. Though they can be difficult to come by, velvet or velour sweat sets are preferable.
  • The iconic 80s woman workout look of a leotard, tights, and legwarmers is another approach to athletic wear. It is preferable to have everything in contrasting bright colors.

Finding Vintage Clothes

1. Visit your neighborhood thrift store. Finding authentic 1980s clothing is the best way to find great 80s-style clothing. Thrift stores can be treasure troves for tacky, out-of-date fashion, so make them your first stop.

2. Look for specific popular clothing items. Members’ Only jackets, parachute pants, acid washed or dyed jeans, shirts with large logos, miniskirts, leg warmers, stretch pants with stirrups, one-piece jumpers, and denim jackets are a few iconic 80s items to look for specifically.

3. Look for materials popular in the 1980s. In the 1980s, combining different materials was very popular. Look for clothing made of leather, denim, velvet, velour, or lace. Put together some materials that are visually contrasting.
Look for bold colors and unusual prints.
Ask older people at the thrift store if they believe the items you’ve chosen are from the 1980s.

4. Inquire with older relatives about 1980s clothing. You might be surprised at what people keep in their attic or basement. Inquire with any family members or neighbors who were in their teens or early twenties in the 1980s (born in the mid 1960s) if they have any old clothes you can borrow.

Styling Your Hair

1. Either go big or go home. Big hair was popular in the 1980s. People with straight hair frequently got perms, which curled their hair permanently. If you tease your hair, you can temporarily make it big with a comb, hairspray, and some patience.

2. Curl or crimp your hair. A crimper is a type of flat iron that uses high heat to crimp waves into your hair. Crimping can be time consuming, but it will give you an 80s vibe and will make even the flattest hair look much more voluminous. Curling your hair with a curling iron or curlers, then tossing it with your fingers and spraying with hairspray, can also help to make your hair appear larger.

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3. Put on a mullet. Though the mullet is most commonly associated with men’s hairstyles (as exemplified by iconic country singer Billy Ray Cyrus), men and women both wore their hair in mullets in the 1980s.

  • If you do not want to cut your hair into a mullet style, a mullet wig can be purchased at a party store. A long wig could also be cut into a mullet style.
  • Make it a point to tell everyone your hairstyle is “business in the front” and “party in the back.”

4. Wear a ponytail on the side. A side ponytail is a classic 80s hairstyle, whether your hair is straight or curly. Because bigger is always better, curling or tease your hair before putting it into a side ponytail will make it look even more authentic.

Accessorizing Your Look

1. Remove the fingers from the gloves. Fingerless gloves were extremely popular, especially when combined with a more punk look of denim and lace. Lace gloves are preferred, but any glove will suffice.

2. Wear dangly earrings. The earrings do not have to be matched. Wearing two different large earrings—one for a man and one for a woman—was very popular. Even better if they are a bright color that either matches or contrasts with your outfit! If you don’t have any chunky colorful or feather earrings, gold hoop earrings will suffice.

3. Look for chunky necklaces. Repeat. Adding a variety of chunky necklaces will help you achieve a punk 80s look. Thick chains or beads were popular, as was the inclusion of a crucifix. The more necklaces you have, the better. Layer on several different types of bangles and chunky bracelets in contrasting metals.

4. Wear oversized sunglasses. During the decade, large sunglasses with plastic rims were very popular, even indoors or at night. Children’s sunglasses with bright earpieces are very similar to popular sunglasses from the 1980s. Gold-rimmed glasses were also popular and can be found at many party supply stores.

5. Use makeup styles from the 1980s. Dark lipstick (for both women and punk men!) and bright eye shadow were staples of 1980s makeup. The eye shadow can be applied to the entire eyelid, including the brows. Some celebrities in the 1980s experimented with multiple eye shadow colors at once, creating two to three blocks of color.

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6. Put on a sweat band. A wide sweatband wrapped around your hair (preferably a mullet) will give you an 80s vibe. This accessory looks best with a matching velour sweatsuit or a leotard/tights/legwarmer combo from the 1980s.

How should a woman dress for an 80s party?

What exactly is this? Most 80s women wore oversized sweaters and jackets, stretchy leggings worn underneath jeans or skirts, leg warmers, and neon accessories such as socks and shoes in bright pink and purple.

How do you dress like the 80s with normal clothes?

How to Dress Like You’re in the 1980s Using Regular Clothes
Wear vibrant colors. People’s fashion choices in the 1980s were daring and audacious. …
Make your shoulders stand out.
Put on a big sweater…
Don’t forget to bring your trench coat.
Wear high-waisted pants.
Look for off-the-shoulder tops.
Wear a miniskirt.
Wear ripped jeans.

What is a typical 80s outfit?

Power suits, legwarmers, padded shoulder dresses, and spandex and Lycra tights were the most popular women’s 80s clothing items. Leather jackets, polo shirts, Oxford shirts, and turtlenecks were among the most popular men’s clothing items in the 1980s.

How do you dress like the 80s in 2020?

These runway looks prove that 80s fashion trends are back for 2021, and they’re not going anywhere.
Jackets made of leather. Cindy Crawford in 1989….
Bicycle shorts Madonna in 1989…
Power Suits Inspired by Dynasties Joan Collins…..
Dresses with Polka Dots.
… oversized fur coats
Jeans with an Acid Wash.
Lace in black…
Sleeves with puffs.

What was women’s fashion in the 80s?

High waisted jeans (mom jeans), leg warmers, ripped denim, spandex and Lycra, acid wash jeans, statement shoulder business suits (usually with skirts), punk leather items, and leotards were among the hottest fashions for women. What were the most popular accessories in the 1980s? Accessories were very popular in 1980s fashion.

What shoes were worn in the 80s?

Top 1980s Shoe Styles
The Reebok is on the rise. While they are still in the shoe game today, Reeboks have seen a significant decline since their heyday in the 1980s. …
Vans Classics and Converse All-Stars…
Doc Martens…. Jellies…. Huaraches and Sperrys….
Adidas and Air Jordans

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