19 Fantabulous 80s Party Outfit Ideas To Throw It Back In Style (2024)

The 1980s were a time of bold fashion choices, making it a fun era to host a party around! Pop icons like Madonna and Michael Jackson started many of the trends that became iconic during this era. You’ll also find new takes on timeless options like denim, dresses, and suits. So where to begin? Peerspace is here to help! We’ve put together this list of exciting 80s party outfit ideas to get you started! We are full of good ideas and want to share some with you, including 80s party options and local party venues for rent! Let’s dive into the world of 80s fashion together!

1. Go dramatic and wear clothes with shoulder pads

From T-shirts to blazers, shoulder pads were one of the best ways to add a little oomph to your figure! You look so much more powerful walking down the street with built-in shoulder pads, though you can also add your own to a shirt or dress. Wide and deep shoulder pads create an exaggerated look – but maybe you want that for a fun 80s night where you can really play up the style!

2. Embrace acid-washed jeans

The marbled, bleached look that acid-washing denim creates is one of the definitive styles of the 1980s. Acid wash started as a surfer look; after wearing your jeans in the sun for ages, they’d turn faded and blotchy. But eventually, folks realized you could use acid and bleach to get the look faster! Acid-washed denim includes not just jeans but jean jackets as well and is a great foundation for the punk look!

3. Go sporty with colorful athletic clothes

Fitness was never as fashionable as it was in the 1980s! Options include short shorts and a tight shirt, leg warmers with a leotard, or loose athletic pants. Bright colors are always the best choice here; think bold white shorts with a bright red shirt. Or a neon leotard and leg warmers in pink, green, blue, and yellow! 

A complete outfit is important to have but have you given much thought to the venue you’ll be hosting your party at? Peerspace has hundreds of spaces near you that come pre-decorated to match the 1980s theme! Have you seen this 80s-styled event space in Dallas, TX, with room for up to 250 guests? The list of amenities includes dressing rooms, a bar, and a stage for an unforgettable 80s party with your friends!

4. Unleash the power suits

Few outfits define the 80s working female executive better than the power suit. It had been around for decades but the 1980s were the real homecoming for this iconic look. As the name suggests, power suits helped redefine traditional workplace boundaries and created an option beyond dresses and other “acceptable” forms of office clothing! 

5. Go wild with animal print clothing

Actual fur was out of style in the 1980s so people turned to animal print clothing. Except they went way beyond simple fur; how about zebra, cheetah, tiger, or leopard-print vests, leg warmers, or workout clothes? Pick your favorite animal and strut around with style!

Now that you’re one step closer to booking a party pad and choosing the right outfit, all you need are these 80s photoshoot ideas to bring it all together!

6. Don all the glitter!

Glitter is like sequins you can wear on your clothes, hair, or face! A patch of glitter by your eyes, in your mohawk, or coating your hair clip is a signature 80s style. Glamorous and fashionable, glitter makeup, lipstick, and hairspray are also easy ways to work it into your wardrobe.

7. Express some ‘tude with punk outfits

The punk look is one of the most interesting 80s fashion styles and a great choice for a party! A mohawk with shaved sides and nose ring might be too much of a commitment but you can still pick up a sleeveless denim jacket outfitted with spikes, patches, and clothes pins. Tight-fitting denim jeans or plaid pants with holes at the knees and a punk band T-shirt complete the look!

8. Bring on the color with jelly shoes 

Cheap and brightly colored, jelly shoes were footwear that could be mass-produced and came in any color you liked! While their comfort level is not all that great, it doesn’t matter, since anyone can afford a pair as something glitzy to go with their regular shoes. Jelly shoes, sandals, and slippers should top the list of any 80s party outfit ideas!

9. Go big with chunky jewelry

woman wearing lots of jewelry
Source: Unsplash

80s-style jewelry is mostly large and eye-catching. Over-the-top, some might say! Look for necklaces with giant beads, disk or hoop earrings, and bracelets with large stones. Pieces with lots of gold are another callback to this era of loud and proud fashion!

10. Customize your look with jelly bracelets

How about an 80s party outfit idea that’s a good addition to a teenager or young adult outfit? Jelly bracelets are inexpensive, memorable, and easy to customize! Popularized by Madonna, who wore black jelly bracelets, you can choose whatever colors you want to strike the right balance with the rest of your outfit.

11. Catch eyes wearing neon colors

Neon is instantly recognizable as an 80s style choice! Because it’s so simple you can work neon into anything: neon workout clothes, leg warmers, jackets, T-shirts, the rims of glasses, skirts, blouses, and more! The 80s are a real statement period when it comes to fashion so grab some loud neon colors and go to town!

12. There’s never too much denim clothing

Still popular today, denim is one of the most popular options for an 80s party outfit. It reminds everyone of Brooke Shields, Bruce Springsteen, and other stars who popularized the look.

If you also love denim, go extra with the double denim or Canadian tuxedo: that’s denim jeans with a denim jacket (or skirt)! 

13. Throw it back with press-on nails

Press-on nails have been around for ages but they really took off in the 1980s! They don’t always fit perfectly and would fall off within a few days or weeks. But they’ll last plenty long enough for an 80s night with your friends. You might still be able to find a box of Lee’s Press-On Nails if you hunt around enough vintage shops!

Press-on nails are some of the last fashion accessories you’ll gather before searching for a party spot! Have you seen what Peerspace has to offer? Many of our venues come already decorated to fit an 80s themed event, like this video store set in Woodstock, GA!

14. Add volume with banana clips

The 1980s were a time of invention for mass-produced fashion accessories and the banana clip is one of the most iconic. These toothy, banana-shaped accessories are like headbands that take less time to set in place. Being the 80s a neon pink, green, or yellow banana clip are the most authentic colors! 

Want to add a distinct color code to your 80s party? Then these dreamy aesthetic pink room ideas may provide the inspiration you need!

15. Hulk it up with a World Wrestling Federation outfit

The Golden Era of Professional Wrestling was in the 1980s. The rise of cable pay-per-view TV helped spur its rise and many of the most iconic wrestlers, like Hulk Hogan, found their fame in this period. A World Wrestling Federation outfit is colorful and will absolutely be one of the most unique 80s party outfits you could choose! 

16. Go classic with denim and leather

Denim and leather are an 80s duo that you can wear separately or together! Denim is the king of casual while leather evokes bikers, cowboys, and other people living bold, untraditional lives. Bring the two together with denim jeans and a fitted leather biker jacket! The glossy jacket paired with stone-washed jeans is a bad-boy look that’s never truly gone out of style.

17. Keep cozy with leg warmers

Leg warmers were originally a functional accessory worn by dancers in between performances yet they quickly became fashion statements in the 1980s. These “leg sweaters” can work over your jeans, under your shorts or mini skirt, or any other way you like. Leg warmers come patterned in both subtle and bold colors, adding a splash of pattern to any outfit.

18. Dress like Michael Jackson

If you’re looking for 80s party outfit ideas the King of Pop has an entire fashion legacy to explore! Fingerless gloves, white fedoras, lean shoes, sequined shin guards…Michael Jackson was a fashion legend as much as a pop culture one. To really embrace the theme, look for replicas of the unique shirts and jackets he wore to performances like the red “Thriller” jacket he wore to the Bad tour in 1988.

19. Dress like Madonna

Madonna challenged fashion trends as much as Michael did during her time as the Queen of Pop. Her look was carefully chosen from styles that reach back centuries! Bold and rebellious is her signature: try black corsets and white bustiers or a black leather jacket with matching pants. Black jelly bracelets are also a trend Madonna started!

80s party outfit ideas: conclusion

Few eras are as fun to build an outfit around as the 1980s! You can go bright with glitter, sequins, animal print, and neon or somber, with leather and denim. Tight-fitting leotards, striped leg warmers, jelly bracelets…There’s a lot to explore here! And while you’re hunting for that perfect 80s party outfit, don’t forget to choose the right party venue. Peerspace has amenity-filled spaces that come with stages, dance floors, bars, and more features to explore!

Find unique event spaces near you on Peerspace

Get together somewhere better

Book thousands of unique spaces directly from local hosts.

Explore Spaces

Share your space and start earning

Join thousands of hosts renting their space for meetings, events, and photo shoots.

List Your Space