Got an ’80s Party Coming Up? Here’s Exactly What to Wear

For allllll those throwback vibes. 💜🍒👾

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What to wear to an '80s party header image with three cute 80s outfits for ladies
Outfits clockwise from top: Yandy, Dolls Kill, Dolls Kill

The 1980s were a decade known for boldness in fashion, from bright colors to neon layers, to fun eyeshadow, perms, and aviators.

Since the decade ended, the 1980s have become an extremely popular party theme with a wide range of aesthetics from jazzercise to the punk style Vivienne Westwood made famous. And ’80s parties definitely still happen on college campuses.

Looking for an outfit to wear to your next ’80s-themed party on campus or elsewhere? Here are some adorable 80s party outfits for ladies to get your inspiration going!

Best 80s Party Outfits for Ladies

Traditional 80s Costume Party

The classic 1980s aesthetic takes inspiration from pop stars like Madonna, neon colors, and trendy clothes and makeup of the time.

This look features an off-the-shoulder graphic t-shirt, ample neon pink, fishnets, a nylon fanny pack, bright jewelry, and bright lipstick. A look like this is ideal for an authentic ’80s costume party.

80s Prom-Themed Party

’80s prom has remained a popular theme for parties and it’s always fun when it comes up on campus. (Who doesn’t love prom as a theme in general?)

To create a look where you’ll use the pieces again, I chose a modern iteration of an ’80s puff-sleeve dress in a metallic pink color. The accessories and shoes in this look can also be worn independently for a more modern look after the party.

Top Gun-Inspired Party

The Top Gun look is one of my favorite aesthetics from the 1980s.

This outfit is inspired by Charlie from the 1986 film. It features a leather skirt, a Top Gun jacket, aviators, combat boots, a dog tag necklace, and a red lip. You’ll feel like a badass in this one!

Sporty 80s Party

The sporty, jazzercise ’80s look is as stereotypical 1980s as you can get. (Think Olivia Newton-John, Jane Fonda, and workout Barbie.)

This bodysuit from Amazon is fantastic paired with neon accessories, shiny wayfarers, and Reebok high tops to make you turn heads while being very on-theme.

Arcade 80s Party

Arcades were huge in the 80s, and what better way to pay homage to that than with a Pac-Man dress paired with the hottest ’80s trends?

This look will make you stand out and is perfect for an 80s party, especially if it takes place at an arcade or barcade.

Princess Diana Inspired Outfit For an 80s Party

Princess Diana was and always will be a style icon. With the royal family being so popular right now, a Diana-inspired look is a timeless way to go.

This particular look takes inspiration from this legendary image of the people’s princess. It also features other ’80s staples like the Adidas Stan Smith sneaker, roller lip gloss, and gold-tone jewelry.

80s Rock Party

Since I grew up in the 2000s, I always imagined that the ’80s rocker girl in Bowling For Soup’s “1985” would dress something like this, wanting to dance on the hood of Whitesnake’s car.

’80s rock style took influence from the popular bands of the time, such as Motley Crue, who had a significant resurgence when “The Dirt” came out, to other favorites such as Metallica, Bon Jovi, and Guns ‘n Roses. I tried to include the edgier side of ’80s fashion in this party outfit with leather, a red bandana, a denim vest, and stiletto animal print boots.

Also Read: Slay the Party: College Outfit Inspiration

Synthwave Outfit for 80s Party

If you’re like me, and the ’80s are not among your favorite decades, a synth-wave outfit is a perfect way to be on theme without feeling over the top.

Synthwave is a breakoff aesthetic of Vaporwave that focuses specifically on 1980s colors and symbols in places like marketing, malls, arcades, bowling alleys, and more. There are also elements of synth-wave in the Blade Runner franchise. (The original was released in 1982.)

This look includes a synth-wave logo sweatshirt, parachute pants which have been popular for many decades and are coming back, a fanny pack, Adidas, socks with bowling alley carpet print, and star earrings.

80s Party Outfit Accessories

Just want to grab a few accessories to pair with a neon dress and call it a day? Here’s everything you need for an easy ’80s party outfit in a flash.

80s Bumbags

The fanny pack (AKA the bumbag), especially in nylon material, was one of the hottest trends of the 1980s. These neon options are a perfect accent piece for your ’80s look and can even serve as a practical bag later on.

Nerd Glasses

Like everything in the 1980s, glasses were big, bold, or both. The oversized aviator was a standard pick and these bright-colored wayfarer frames were also huge, often complementing other bright colors in the outfit.

Fishnet Gloves

In 1983, fingerless fishnet gloves became all the rage. In neon colors, they are a great compliment to any ’80s look and in black, they can fit into almost any decade.

Glitter Boppers

Glitter boppers have a unique fashion history. They were created in 1982 after an SNL skit inspired an entrepreneur. They are most famously seen in alien costumes as they were coined ‘martian headbands’ by the New York Times, but also took on a life of their own as a novelty item at 80s parties.

Boppers are an excellent Halloween purchase because of how many costumes they can be a part of. They will add a fun spin to a specifically ’80s look.

80s Headbands

Headbands of all sorts were quite popular in the ’80s, especially the big bow ones, favorites of pop stars like Madonna. Of course, the neon sweat headbands also had a significant presence because the 1980s marked the first time that working out became a group leisure activity.

Bead Necklaces and Bracelets

Beads of all types, ranging from genuine pearls to plastic, were extremely popular in the 80s to add interest to an outfit and express individualism. These choices from Walmart are cute and affordable ways to accessorize your 1980s look.

What Do You Think of our 80s party outfits for ladies?

What do you think of the outfits and accessories featured? Which one(s) would you wear? Leave a comment and let us know!

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