How To Dress For The 80s And 90s This Halloween

Posted by Rose Moore

Halloween is right around the corner, and if you are no longer in your 20s, here’s something really scary: the ‘80s and ‘90s are now costume themes!

That’s right, this year two of the most popular themes for Halloween are the ‘80s and ‘90s, and that means almost unlimited nostalgic costume-options, no matter how you like to rock the 31st.


For People Who Like To Keep It Simple

Keep it simple by just picking one of the biggest fashion trends of the decade, made even easier right now because fast fashion stores are bringing all the old favorites back in style.

‘80s lovers need to backcomb their hair…and then backcomb it again, because trust us, you didn’t go big enough the first time. Go big with everything else, too—big dangly earrings, bright bold makeup in neon colors, big shoulder pads in colored suits. Or try the Jazzercize look (or the Flash Dance look, or the Fame look) by pairing a neon leotard with the biggest legwarmers you can find. Bonus points for white sneakers and off-the-shoulder tops! ‘90s types, think inappropriate levels of denim and flannel. If you aren’t into baggy jeans, try jean jackets, jean skirts, jean vests, jean overalls…. throw on a choker and chunky heels, and you are rockin’ the 90s.



For People Who Hate Sewing (And Shopping)

It seems crafty and complex, but wearing a decorated cardboard box is one of the easiest ways to make a costume—no sewing required! Cut holes for your head and arms (and leave it open at the bottom for your legs), and paint the front. Paint your box with a movie title and spools, and you are a VHS tape, or go for some brighter colors and black tape and turn yourself into a Rubix cube. Or, if you don’t want to wear a whole box, cut two ovals, make straps out of duct tape, grab some bright leggings…and turn yourself into a Tamagotchi.


For People Who Think Halloween Should Be Scary

While plenty of people love creating any costume for Halloween, there are others who firmly believe that October 31 means scary costumes, not sexy pizza rats! If you need to find a costume both scary and decade-appropriate, we’ve got you covered. ‘80s fans, grab a striped shirt in multiple colors and some dungarees. With a little face paint and a fake weapon, and you’re Chucky from Child’s Play. Or, if you’ve got a red and black striped shirt and a trilby hat, glue some long silver nails on to become Freddy from Nightmare on Elm Street. The '90s offer a plethora of spooky costume options, from a simple scream mask and black hood to pay homage to the slasher flick, to some heavy black eyeliner and a goth schoolgirl look for fans of The Craft. Or you could go all out with some friends as the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus.



For People Who Aren’t Going Alone

If you need a costume for a couple or a group, it can be a little tough to coordinate, so we’ve got some great (easy) ideas for you. Make sure you don’t get put in a corner by dressing one person in a tight black outfit and the other in high-waisted shorts, a tied-up shirt, and curling their hair—Dirty Dancing, anyone? Or pull on a black wig, black leggings and a large white shirt while your partner grabs a suit and bolero tie for some Pulp Fiction fun. Groups who can find matching tracksuits can be basically any boy band from these golden years of synchronized dancing, while triads can rock out coordinated plaid and knee socks as the girls from Clueless.



For People Who Left It To The Last Minute

You may have truly intended to plan out a careful costume, but now it’s the week before Halloween, and you’ve got nothing to wear! Thankfully, these decades are easy peasy for whipping up last-minute options. Grab some cute ears, a tail and a little facepaint, or an animal onesie…but make it ‘90s (instead of just any old animal) by adding a Beanie Baby heart-tag. A pair of procrastinators could do worse than Wayne and Garth, and all you need is jeans, flannel, a black t-shirt and either glasses or a baseball cap. Ladies with a red coat in their closet need only find a big brown hat to go as Carmen San Diego, or a Hawaiian shirt, some backcombing, and a white t-shirt brings Ace Ventura to life again.


And if all else fails? Make a white frame out of card, a little thicker at the bottom than the top, and carry it around in front of you – you’re a Polaroid! Guaranteed to get you in every selfie as people crowd your photo frame. Happy Halloween!