The Ten Best Last-Minute '80s Costume Party Ideas
Take some cues from the great Joan Jett, seen here performing last month at the Taste of Colorado.
A couple of years back, the Blend — a local semi-regular house-music showcase — held a 1980s-themed costume party. To no one's surprise, it was a hit, and on Saturday, October 3, the Blend is going to host a remix at Pearl's, 608 East 13th Avenue. What does one wear to a 1980s-themed costume party? Here are some fast, easy ideas for you.
10. Cabbage Patch Kid
I can't possibly be the only kid who both coveted a Cabbage Patch Kid doll while simultaneously feeling slightly repulsed by them. That weird skin texture and lipless smiles were just a little bit freaky. But it's an iconic doll, so you'll be easily recognized.
What you'll need: Overalls. Pigtails. Big, staring eyes. Painted-on freckles or dimples for effect. An Official Adoption certificate with your name on it.
Bonus points for: Holding your face in that weird alien smile all night. Signing and dating your own butt cheek with Xavier Roberts' name and your date of birth.
9. Marty McFly from Back to the Future
Just think for a second about how brilliant the costume designers for this movie were. Michael J. Fox doesn't look terribly out-of-place in the 1950s or the 1980s, and if you can find the vest, the rest should be easy to pull together.
What you'll need: Blue jeans. Button-down blue-and-white plaid shirt. Puffy red vest.
Bonus points for: A buddy dressed up as Doc. Carrying around a red electric guitar and breaking into "Johnny B. Goode" at every opportunity.
If you're going to be a musician, it's best to pick someone iconic. Everyone wants to be Michael Jackson, but Prince is just a tad more unexpected and therefore fun.
What you'll need: A pencil-thin mustache. A frilly white shirt.
7. Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything
Ah, yes, the iconic scene when a fresh-faced John Cusack woos his love interest with a boombox blasting Peter Gabriel. It might not be easy to approximate the color of the coat, and the cut of those '80s-era garments will be tough to replicate, so the boombox will be crucial to pulling this one off.
What you'll need: Baggy brown coat. White T-shirt. Boombox (make one out of cardboard if you must).
Bonus points for: Playing "In Your Eyes." A device with an actual cassette deck.
6. Lydia from Beetlejuice
Remember how popular Winona Ryder used to be? Reality Bites-era Winona is just a tad too late for an '80s-centric bash, and she's very recognizable as the angsty teenaged Lydia.
What you'll need: Black boots. Flowing, layered, misshapen black clothing. Lots of mascara.
5. Joel Goodsen from Risky Business
What's a good costume party without at least one pants-free person? If you think that's a legitimate rhetorical question, then maybe the super easy (but at least somewhat risque) Joel Goodsen outfit is for you.
What you'll need: White button-down shirt. Sunglasses. White socks. No pants.
4. Alex from Flashdance
There aren't many movies (or songs from movies, for that matter) that evoke such a fashion statement as Flashdance. It's iconic and therefore instantly recognizable — and pretty easy to throw together.
And like the previous costume, if you prefer a no-pants dance kinda night, well, grab a longer sweatshirt and go for it.
What you'll need: A comb to tease your hair. A long sweatshirt with the collar cut out that falls off your shoulders. Leggings.
3. Joan Jett
While everyone else (probably) immediately thinks of Madonna when considering high-profile female musicians from the '80s, Jett requires a lot fewer accoutrements. She's a less obvious but much fiercer choice.
What you'll need: Spiky, straight hair — black if possible. Heavy eyeliner. A leather jacket. A leopard-print scarf to knot around your neck.
2. Freddie Mercury
As fab and all as Joan Jett and Prince are, Freddie Mercury was one of the most iconic rock stars of his time. If you have access to a white jumpsuit and piano, then by all means, but you can get a younger Mercury captured with very little effort.
What you'll need: A thick black mustache (this is essential for young Mercury). Slicked-back hair. A white tank top. A jean jacket.
1. 1980s-era Donald Trump
The best costumes are both topical and amusing — those are always the ones we remember, right? So why not show up disguised as everyone's favorite Presidential candidate, only with a decade-appropriate twist?
What you'll need: A suit with a skinny tie. A squinty-eyed face and pursed lips. Bouffy hair, but it should be not quite as ridiculous as his current 'do — he had more legitimate hair back then — so don't get too carried away.
Bonus points for: A blonde woman on your arm to stand in for Ivana. A "Trump for President 1988" button.
Head to Pearl's on Saturday starting at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 before 11 p.m. and $10 after.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.