80s Party Week – 5 Homemade 80s Costume Ideas

It might be cold and miserable down here in the Southern Hemisphere but I know it’s getting warm up where most of you live and that means one thing – PARTIES! 80s parties are huge these days (it’s taken a while, but people are catching on to the awesomeness of the decade!) and if you’re a true 80s fan you’ll want to get your outfit just right. That’s why this week is about helping you get into the party mood!

This post by Ian Tomkins of Jokers’ Masquerade will help you to come up with some great homemade costume ideas!


5 Homemade 80s Costume Ideas

We’re  really big fans of 80s costumes and that sentiment seems to be shared by a lot of people other than ourselves here in our little fancy dress world. This popularity and demand is the single reason to why we have such a large range of 80s costumes available today.

But what if you are looking for something with a little more of a personal touch, a little more of a unique look, something that will scream originality when you wear it for either Halloween or to your costume party? It’s easy, you need create your own 80s outfit, but how?

Here are my 5 homemade costume ideas that you can create yourself!

The guy’s suit look: Take a look through your wardrobe and see if you can find a tight or slim-fitting  t-shirt and wear it with a contrasting coloured suit jacket, it would be ideal if you have a pair of trousers with a pleat in trouser leg, if not don’t panic, you can always peg the trousers by pinning them and safety pinning them tight to your ankle. This is ideally worn with no socks. A simple solution. Complement with large sunglasses such as ray ban or aviators and roll up those sleeves.

The girl’s casual look: Source a baggy t-shirt, proceed to cut out the neckline using a pair of scissors, this is good for wearing off one shoulder, if long and baggy enough you could just try wearing with a belt; if longer still it can act as a dress. Failing that add a mini skirt to the ensemble, regardless of whether it looks eighties style or not the baggy shirt should draw your eye so don’t worry about the skirt too much.

The fan look: Get yourself an 80s band t-shirt, you may be able to find one in a charity shop or even on eBay relatively inexpensively. Aim for artists such as Billy Idol, Madonna or Boy George. Perhaps you have another favourite 80s group, so search for them too! Wear with leggings for girls and the palest blue jeans you can find if you’re a guy.

The shell suit look: Back in the 80s the shell suit became a popular outfit to wear. The great thing about this option is that it is unisex so both men and women can pull this look off. You should either opt for matching top and trousers or take a single colour tracksuit and stitch contrasting loud coloured fabric diagonally down the front. You could also use fabric paint if you don’t fancy the needlework. We recommend scouring budget shops, outlets and fabric stores for the best choice items and fabric.

The New  Romantic look: Get yourself a baggy white button-down shirt, cinch the cuffs tight on your wrists with safety pins or white fabric tape. If the sleeves are not baggy enough, blouse them out by  pinning the elbows in a little, this should offer a slight pirate look. Wear with the first few buttons open and spike your hair high. A wonderful touch is adding a hussar jacket over the top, this is a military style jacket that Adam Ant or even Jimi Hendrix back in the early 70s will have worn.


4 Tips For Finding Inspiration

Still not sure what to use or what to look for in creating an 80s costume? Here are three ways to feel inspired:

  • Do a Google image search for 80s look, 80s clothing or 80s celebrities. Each will provide you with imagery to base your homemade 80s costume on.
  • Watch some eighties films. Try Teen Wolf, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Working Girl for varied viewing.
  • Watch some old eighties music videos on YouTube, think Duran Duran, Yazz & The Plastic Population and Spandau Ballet.
  • Check the Pop Eighties fashion section!


80s Accessories

Accessories are an easy way to make your 80s costumes more authentic and stand-out. Popular throughout the decade were jewellery items such as thick belts, leg-warmers and beads for women and braces, chains and studs and aviator sunglasses for men.


This article was written by Ian Tomkins of Jokers’ Masquerade, an online fancy dress UK retailer. They carry a varied 80s costume range.

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