Male 80s theme party costume ideas

Written by stephanie fagnani
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Male 80s theme party costume ideas
Mohawk hairstyles and excessive eye make-up were popular male trends in the 80s. (Plush Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images)

According to the Celebrations website, parties with specific themes can help make guests "feel young at heart," and one of the most popular themes is a celebration of the 1980s. While Madonna represented female fashions of the time period, several men who appeared in movies, television shows and on the radio had signature styles that you can recreate as a costume for an 80s-themed party.

Rock Star

The musical revolution that took place during the 1980s reached across multiple genres and fashions, from the rise of the New Romantic look exemplified by the group Duran Duran to the Glam Rock images made popular by groups like Poison and Motley Crue. The common thread between all of these looks were big hair, bright colours and leather trousers. Create a male 80s rock star costume using spandex or leather trousers, a wig that is either in the shape of the popular mullet or giant hairspray-fuelled hairstyles from the time, a lot of eye make-up and a music-related prop, such as an inflatable guitar or a microphone, sold at any party retailer.

Male 80s theme party costume ideas
An inflatable electric guitar in a bright neon colour can compliment a music-inspired costume. (guitar image by Darren Nickerson from

Movie Star

According to the In The 80s website, some of the top grossing movies in the 1980s include "The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Tootsie," "Top Gun" and "Batman." From Darth Vader and Indiana Jones to an air force pilot and a man dressed in woman's clothing, men can find many costume inspirations on the racks at their local video store. In addition to these big ticket success stories were a plethora of coming-of-age movies from which to draw inspiration. For example, one of the more recognisable movie images was John Cusack when he donned high-top sneakers and a trench coat and held a boom box above his head as the character Lloyd Dobler in the movie "Say Anything."

Television Stars

Engaging male characters were not exclusive to the silver screen in the 1980s. Television networks created a myriad of memorable, and uniquely stylish, characters that are easy to replicate in costume. For example, the duo at the centre of the "Miami Vice" series always wore solid, pastel-coloured suits with white loafers sans socks. Just as recognisable and easy to copy is Mr. T from "The A-Team" show, whose trademark mohawk and large gold necklaces remain his style in 2010. Other costume ideas include Bill Cosby's Cliff Huxtable character, who always wore graphic-print sweaters, and a police costume could represent shows such as "T.J. Hooker" or "Hill Street Blues."

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