These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (2024)

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (1)

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

If there was one decade that was tubular, radical and awesome in every way, it's the 1980s. The colors were bright, the clothes were bold and everything was just all-around big. So if you're looking to find a Halloween costume inspired by a decade, the '80s are the way to go. (What, you'd rather have '70s costumes, '90s costumes or 2000s costumes? Gag me with a spoon.)

CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS

Whether you're headed to an '80s prom-themed party or just want to throw it back to the era of DayGlo for Halloween, these are the best '80s costume ideas for 2024. Some are from the big blockbusters of the era, a few of which are still spawning new sequels, prequels and reboots, so you can be retro and au courant at the same time. Others are inspired by music — MTV launched in the '80s, after all, so it was a decade of iconic music-video looks. There are some that just take their cues from the general fashions of the time, without being pegged to a specific relic from the era. And then there are others recall those '80s trends, from the sublime (Rubik's cubes!) to the wacky (Troll dolls). You can throw together a lot of the looks to make DIY a costume — or you can just go the chilled-out route and buy the whole ensemble. Whichever way you choose, take inspiration from one of these Halloween costume ideas that are perfect for men and great choices for women, and you'll be ready to do the "Safety Dance" all night.

Funny '80s Costume

Prince Akeen From 'Coming to America'

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (2)

Ah yes, a costume fit for a king — or at least a prince. You get Akeem's jacket, shawl, bow tie, necklace, medallion and mustache, and then you're well on your way to finding your own queen.

RELATED: Best Men’s Halloween Costumes for Every Type of Guy

Quintessential '80s Halloween Costume

Alex Owens From 'Flashdance'

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (3)

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (4)

If you're ready to dance like you've never danced before, dress up like steel worker-slash-exotic-dancer Alex from the 1983 film Flashdance. You get the sweatshirt dress, leg warmers and headband — what a feeling!

RELATED: Totally Badass Halloween Costumes for Women

Pac-Man

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (5)

Fun fact: Wearing a Pac-Man costume gives you the right to gobble up any pretzels and cherries you find at your Halloween party. (Just watch out for ghosts.) Also, it's easy to bring the '80s arcade-cabinet vibe to life — without sewing. You can also adapt this to any black dress you like, be it a long black dress or a short black dress.

Get the tutorial at Club Crafted »

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Up-and-Coming '80s Costume

Scott Howard From 'Teen Wolf'

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (6)

For those who wan to go all out on Halloween, there's this head-to-toe werewolf-athlete look, complete with shirt (with attached furry sleeves), shorts (with attached furry legs), fur hood and athletic socks. It's enough to make you say, "Go Beavers!"

With Beetlejuice Beetlejuice coming out this September, everyone's going to be reminded of Lydia Deetz's goth fashions. Throw it back to the OG with this dramatic red lace wedding dress. (Beetlejuice himself has a memorable look too, we suppose.) There are gruesome masks for Adam and Barbara if you want to make it a group outing.

The Breakfast Club

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (8)

Dear Mr. Vernon: There is no better way to prove we've lived through the teen angst of the '80s than dressing up as the jock, the brain, the princess, the criminal and the misfit from The Breakfast Club. And it's one of those group costumes that might be pulled off with what you already have in your closets.

Get the tutorial at Brit + Co. »

RELATED: Easy Homemade Halloween Costumes

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Care Bears

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (9)

Children of the '80s know who really had the best toys growing up. Get your family or friends together, each pick a bear and get ready to do a Care Bear Stare. Best of all: this costume requires no sewing.

Get the tutorial at See Vanessa Craft »

RELATED: Creative Family Halloween Costumes

Best '80s Costume for Men

Ferris Bueller

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (10)

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (11)

While a Halloween parade has nothing on Chicago's Von Steuben Day Parade, you'll still be able to "danke schoen" at all the people who compliment you on this Ferris Bueller costume, with its faux leather jacket and printed sweater vest. Convince the nearest Sloan or Cameron to come with you and make it a group thing — so long as you all promise to show up at work or school the next day. (No more hooky!)

Non-Pop-Culture Costume

'80s Prom

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (12)

Welcome to the awesome '80s prom! The shoulders are big, the hair is bigger and ruffles and bows and endless! Only one question remains: Who will be your '80s prom king?

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

All these years later, we still haven't lost that lovin' feeling. You can either buy the costume or DIY by getting coveralls for men or for women and adding your own flight patches.

RELATED: The Best 'Top Gun' Halloween Costume Ideas

For Music Video Fans

Salt-N-Pepa

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (15)

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (16)

If you're an '80s kid, you're part of the MTV generation, which means Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" video is forever seared in your brain. Get their getup from the clip, and you can feel fly, too. You get the jacket, unitard and necklace, but you need to supply your own red boots.

Make It Your Own

Hair Metal Rocker

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (17)

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (18)

You don't have to have a specific band in mind to make a costume inspired by '80s rock 'n' roll. This costume comes with only the zebra-stiped sweatpants; you have to add your own big wig and inflatable guitar.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Veronica Sawyer and the Heathers From 'Heathers'

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (19)

You and your girls will be ready to rule Westerburg dressed up as Veronica and the Heathers (Duke, Chandler and McNamara). Go for the plaid skirts and big-shouldered blazers. Croquet, anyone?

Get the tutorial at Camille Styles »

RELATED: Halloween Costume Ideas for Big Groups

Good ol' Gordon Schumway, he's always good for a laugh! (Just make sure you lock up the cats before you let him loose.) It's up to you if you want to pair this mask with a brown shirt and brown sweatpants, or go for the full, head-to-toe fur costume ($110).

Best '80s Costume for Women

'80s Workout

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (21)

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (22)

Pay homage to Olivia Newton-John, channel Jane Fonda or bring out your inner Barbie with this outfit that's perfect for your next Jazzercise class. It comes with all the colors: pink leotard, multicolor crop top, purple leggings, blue shorts, yellow leg warmers and green headband and wristbands.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

'80s Cartoon Classic

The Smurfs

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (23)

Whether you're a Smurf, a Smurfette or a Papa Smurf, these costumes will have you feeling positively Smurfy. You can buy the ensembles, or try to DIY with blue long-sleeve shirts, matching pants (blue, white or red, depending on your character), a white dress for Smurfette, and white hats (or a red hat if you're Papa Smurf). Watch out for Gargamel!

'80s Music Costume

Madonna

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (24)

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (25)

Now 28% Off

Madonna only gets better with age, but you can still pay tribute to her iconic "Lucky Star" era. We bet you still know all the words. The costume includes a cropped jacket, black top, tutu skirt, lace leggings, white gloves and a bow headband.

'80s Artifact Costume

Cassette Tape

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (26)

Kids growing up today will never know the feeling of hitting "play" and "record" at the same time to tape their favorite song off the radio, or the heartbreak of running out of tape before your song is over. If you remember those pre-CD days, this costume might be for you.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

Where's Waldo?

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (27)

It's very easy to put together a Where's Waldo? costume — hello, red striped hats and shirts for women, for men, for kids and for babies in tiny hats — and, contrary to the spirit of the books, the outfit also makes you very easy to spot, especially if you go as a group.

Get the tutorial at Lovely Indeed »

'80s Movie Costume

Marty McFly From 'Back to the Future'

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (28)

Great Scott! This costume, with its jacket, shirt and vest, generates 1.21 gigawatts of fun every Halloween, especially if you have a Jennifer Parker to take to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance (and a Doc Brown to help bring you back home again).

These '80s Halloween Costume Ideas Are Totally Radical (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 5521

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.