Costume ideas from the 70s & 80s

Written by barbie carpenter
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Costume ideas from the 70s & 80s
Put a spin on classic business attire as an '80s working woman. (attractive female three quarters image by David Winwood from

Whether you're preparing for Halloween, a costume party or a decade party, you can discover a number of costume ideas inspired by the 1970s and 1980s. Reflect on the fashion of the era as well as the actors and musicians that made the decade memorable. Although disco in the '70s and neon clothing in the '80s are obvious costumes, you can uncover more original ideas as well. Find a '70s or '80s costume that makes you stand out.

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'70s Television Characters

Use 1970s television stars as your costume inspiration. Women can transform into a superhero and go as Wonder Woman. Couples can choose classic '70s pairs like Sonny and Cher, wearing costumes complete with long hair and bell-bottoms. Groups can deck themselves out in camouflage to go as the cast of MAS*H, or three women can go as Charlie's Angels.

'70s Musicians

Think of your favourite musicians from the '70s to inspire your costume idea. A group of four can go as The Beatles, wearing dark suits with turtlenecks and bowl haircuts. Or, choose a more flamboyant look and go as Elvis Presley; you can find plenty of premade Elvis costumes online. Don't forget the glasses, sideburns and the King's famous dance moves for an authentic costume. A group of six can dress up as a construction worker, police officer, American Indian, cowboy, sailor and biker and go as The Village People. Just be prepared to do the famous "YMCA" all night long.

'80s Working Woman

In the 1980s, women entered a new era and joined the workforce at full speed. These career-minded women embraced the "power suit" idea, and you can as well if you choose a costume as an '80s working woman. Wear a blazer and a knee-length skirt, preferably a suit set if available, in a bright colour like red. Add shoulder pads to your blazer. Wear high heels or socks and tennis shoes to signify the woman walking to the office. Tease your hair, and add plenty of make-up in bold shades that match your suit.

'80s Prep

The preppy movement gained speed in the 1980s, and this theme is easy to replicate in costume. Women can wear white cotton skirts paired with a pastel golf shirt with a sweater draped over the shoulders. Socks and tennis shoes complete the look. Men can look for plaid shorts or trousers to create an '80s prep look. Choose a matching collared shirt and a visor to wear with the look. Both men and women can up the prep factor by carrying monogrammed items.

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