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How to Make a Male 80s Yuppie Costume

Updated July 26, 2018

In the mid-1980s, when economic times were good before the market crash of late 1987, the Young Urban Professional Person (or Young Upwardly Mobile Professional Person in some dictionaries) -- yuppies as they became known -- adopted their own style, flaunting their money through their fashion. Yuppie men, usually in their mid-20s to age 40, wore power suits and showed off their toys, all the while talking about their exotic vacations. While the yuppie look might be out, men still have some of the elements of it in their closets and could quickly put together a 1980s yuppie costume for a Halloween or theme party.

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  1. Download a photo of Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, his character in the movie "Wall Street." Gekko embodied the look of the yuppie, with dark power suits and slicked-back hair. Under those suits, the typical yuppie wore neatly pressed shirts -- either white or light blue with a white collar -- with a tie and suspenders. To complete your costume, wear polished black shoes.

  2. Substitute khaki trousers and an Izod Lacoste or Ralph Lauren polo shirt in a pastel colour, for the casual yuppie look. Wrap a sweater around your shoulders and pull out the old Sony Walkman for added emphasis. Wear deck shoes without socks.

  3. Accessorise the ensemble. Start with a watch. Yuppies preferred Rolex watches, but since that isn't something most men have tucked away in a drawer, any steel-banded watch will do. Buy a key chain for a typically yuppie car of the day -- a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz -- and hold it in the same hand as the watch is worn. Yuppie men loved to flaunt their toys.

  4. Look in a thrift shop, or maybe an antiques shop, for the trademark of the yuppie of the 1980s: the giant cell phone. The first cell phones were almost the size of a brick but a true sign that a man had arrived. If a vintage cell phone can't be found, carry another status symbol of the yuppie life. Walk into the party with a bottle of champagne or a bottle of Perrier in hand or a Burberry coat draped over your arm.

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Things You'll Need

  • Suit
  • Tie
  • Suspenders
  • Pressed dress shirt
  • Black shoes
  • Khaki trousers
  • Izod Lacoste polo shirt
  • Sweater
  • Sony Walkman
  • Deck shoes
  • Steel-banded watch
  • BMW keychain
  • Vintage cell phone
  • Champagne
  • Bottle of Perrier
  • Burberry coat

About the Author

Jamie Fox has been a reporter and editor for more than 25 years. She has worked for newspapers and magazines across the United States, covering everything from sports to religion. Based in upstate New York, Fox holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton.

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