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How to make a flashdance costume for an 80's party

Updated November 21, 2016

The 1980s ushered in a new era of flamboyant fashion. Naturally, a party themed for this decade offers a lot of stylish possibilities. Several fashion trends were inspired by the 1983 film, "Flashdance." The dancing clothes featured in the film were too exciting just for the gym. Women started wearing off-the-shoulder shirts and leg warmers in shopping malls, clubs and high schools across America.

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  1. Buy a jumper that is one or two sizes too big for you. Emulate the "Flashdance" star by selecting one that's light grey or choose a similarly styled jumper in your favourite colour.

  2. Cut the collar, cuffs and waist band off the jumper. It should be straight, but it doesn't have to be perfect.

  3. Try on the jumper and make sure the neck is open enough to fall off one shoulder. If not, cut it a little more until it does. Cut the sleeves back until they fall midway between the wrists and elbows.

  4. Wear black, spandex tights.

  5. Put on leg warmers and scrunch them down so they fall between your ankle and mid-calf.

  6. Wear red pumps to complete the look. If you prefer not to wear pumps, pick up a pair of slip-on dance shoes.

  7. Accessorise with a gold bracelet and dangling earrings to match the movie poster. Other accessories associated with the film are headbands and wrist bands.

  8. Curl your hair for the evening. Perms were the style, and many of the dancers in the movies had perms. Use hot rollers to get the tight, frizzy curls that were a hallmark of the time. Use plenty of hairspray. Poof your hair out to make it look big and fluffy.

  9. Tip

    If you want to cover your bra strap or are worried that your sweatshirt neckline will fall down too far, wear a tank top underneath it.


    Don't hem the cut sleeves, collar or waistband of the shirt you use. The look is supposed to be rough, not tailored. The cut edges of the fabric is expected to roll slightly, which is part of the look.

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Things You'll Need

  • Oversized sweater
  • Scissors
  • Leotard or spandex
  • Leg warmers (optional)
  • Pumps or ballet shoes
  • Accessories (optional)
  • Hot rollers
  • Hairspray

About the Author

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