What are '80s Punk Rock Costume Ideas?

Updated February 21, 2017

The 1980s were filled with bubblegum pop and rock heavy on synthesizers, but many remember it as time of punk hits, when '70s underground music broke into the mainstream with artists like Billy Idol climbing the charts. The punk movement was also known for its edgy fashions, with everything from dog collars to safety pins becoming cool. Punk style still makes for a wild Halloween costume.

Generic Punk

Make a generic punk rocker costume by shredding clothes and styling hair into a towering mohawk. Like a vintage punker, spike hair into a mohawk using gel and make it neon-coloured with dye or spray. The Halloween Website advises wearing black clothes, safety pins and spiky jewellery and suggests women can wear a plaid miniskirt and torn fishnet stockings to complete the look. Men can rip and customise a T-shirt to give it punk appeal and accessorise with items decorated with the Union Jack flag.

Siouxsie Sioux

Break out the Technicolor eyeshadow and go as Siouxsie Sioux, member and lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Known for her dramatic style, Siouxsie had pale skin, teased jet black hair and bright lips. She painted her eyes like Cleopatra, with dark, dramatic brows and bright shadow. For clothes, a Siouxsie costume should be heavy on black, with hints of lace, mesh, sparkle and '80s gothic wear -- black boots, occult accessories and big jewellery.

Billy Idol

Dance with yourself by going as '80s punk legend Billy Idol for Halloween. Originally from England, Idol tore up the charts on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1980s, with hits like "White Wedding" and "Rebel Yell." Idol wore his hair short, bleached and spiked with gel. Wear a pair of skintight jeans and a studded black leather vest or coat, but don't wear a shirt, as Idol usually went bare-chested.

The Ramones

Get a few friends together and go as The Ramones, the famous New York City group that began in the '70s as the first punk band, according to All Music, and kept rocking and recording through the '80s on the alternative scene. The Ramones' basic uniform consisted of skintight, ripped jeans, clingy T-shirts, shrunken leather jackets and heads of shaggy black hair. The Ramones usually wore old Converse sneakers and sunglasses with round frames.

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About the Author

Hallie Engel is a food and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in several international publications. She served as a restaurant critic for "Time Out Abu Dhabi" and "Time Out Amsterdam" and has also written about food culture in the United Arab Emirates for "M Magazine." She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and film studies from University of Amsterdam.