Pop Stars of the 1950s & 1960s Costume Ideas

Back in the fifties and sixties the pop charts were still in their infancy, so there was not such a great opportunity to dress up as your favourite star. This is particularly because many of the male stars and groups of the time could often be seen dressing similarly in standard black or coloured suits. So, finding costumes for a particular star or group may be more about the look of the period, which was primarily focused on the rock and roll images of the teen and beat generation, rather than specific outfits.

However, there were some performers who did start to cultivate a distinctive image. This included the Beatles, who had their grey Nehru suits specifically designed for them during the early years of their popularity.

For some stars of this era it may be more about the hair. The classic pudding basin shape was very much ‘in’ with groups such as the Beatles, whilst singer Dusty Springfield was very much about the blonde beehive and Cilla Black sported a bright red bob.

Here are a few suggestions for 1950s and 1960 characters you can choose from, or if you have your own ideas why not see if we can help?

The Beatles - Classic popular choice. For the early years, the grey Nehru suits and Beatles wig is all that’s required.  Our 1960′s Pop Star costume is ideal to use as a Beatles costume. Alternatively, the fab four’s colourful military style outfits for the Sergeant Pepper look from later years. The props may be a bit difficult to come by but John Lennon is in yellow and carries a French Horn; Ringo Starr, who is in pink, carries a trumpet; Paul McCartney, in blue, has a cor anglais whilst George Harrison, wearing red, has a piccolo. There are only two Beatles that have hats, these are Ringo and George. For other ideas from the Sgt Pepper album cover check out our 1960s decades pages.

Bill Haley and his comets – Either wore plain coloured or check jackets of the era.

Buddy Holly – Trademark black rim glasses (Austin Powers style); skinny black tie and loud check ‘Teddy Boy’ style jacket.

Cilla Black – 1960s A-line shift dresses & red bob wig.

Dusty Springfield – Initially with The Springfields, Dusty cultivated a successful solo career with a distinctive look, involving a blonde beehive hairdo and black ‘panda’ eye-make-up. Black eyelashes are a must!

Elvis Presley – During the 1960s, the GI look or Gold Lamé Jacket was popular.  Elvis spent much of the time making movies which showcased his songs, and allowed him to play some interesting professionals: These included:-

Jimi HendrixAmerican guitarist who found greater fame in the UK and, with his afro and military-style jackets, had a unique image.

Lulu Sixties Dress or Hot pants with knee length lace up white boots and sixties beehive or flick out wig.

The Monkees – Was originally a TV series about an American group who wanted to be like the Beatles, but they became a popular group in their own right in the mid to late 1960s. Lead singer was Englishman Davy Jones. Other members of the group were Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Coloured mid-late sixties style shirts. Michael Nesmith also sported a knitted bobble or beanie hat. Or for a play on words, why not go in Monkey costumes!

Rolling StonesFormed in the 1960s and still going strong.  Wear sixties style shirts and tight trousers. 

Sandie Shaw – Married fashion designer Jeff Banks. Mainly short or long sixties ‘fashionable’ dress, dark cheerleader wig. Most famous for going barefoot whilst singing.

Sonny & Cher – At the time a husband and wife duo who successfully integrated a hippy-style look into their act, without going overtly flower-power.

  • Sonny wear an afghan waistcoat and jeans, plus a Beatles style wig.
  • Cher – Loose blouse, pre-70s flared trousers and a long black wig.

Supremes – The ultimate 1960s all girl group.  Showcased Diana Ross who went on to a successful solo career, other two members were Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. Cindy Birdsong was later to replace Florence Ballard when it became Diana Ross and the Supremes.  The main look was all the same 1960s costume, with black short beehive wig.

Tom Jones – Tight trousers, open shirt, trademark black short curly hair (in the sixties).

Pop Stars Costume Ideas

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Pop Stars Costume Ideas

The idea of impersonating Pop Stars is not a new one and there are now many different stars from various eras for you to choose from. Some of them may already be listed under specific decades, but in this section we have brought together a large number of the ideas to help you with your choice of character or star.

When hosting a Pop Stars theme party, some people will also decide it could be great fun to have a karaoke machine. So, if you are impersonating a particular star, it might not be about just achieving the iconic look with a suitable costume and/or accessories – it may also help if you can actually sing like the person, you are aiming to portray.

We have a fantastic array of costumes to help you with your chosen persona.  Even if you already have items in your own wardrobe that you can utilise, we have a great selection of wigs, hats and other accessories to help you create the right look.  We also stock a range of celebrity masks to help with your Pop Star image. Here are just some of our fabulous pop star costume ideas.

Pop Stars of the 1970s Costume Ideas

1970’s Pop Star Costume Ideas

Music was particularly big in the seventies with many different styles around.  The era carried on the trend of the psychedelic fashions of the sixties and morphed into the Glam Rockers of the period. The futuristic fashions of the glam rock era offer plenty of scope, as do the retro Teddy Boy fashions that cropped up with various groups such as Mud and Showaddaywaddy. Then there was the teenybopper generation with boy bands such as the Osmonds (not a lot of costume opportunity as they were most famous for their brilliant white teeth) and the Bay City Rollers, decked out in their tartan trimmed stage outfits. Then came the diverse styles of Disco, Reggae, Punk and New Wave, interspersed with Progressive Rock.

Abba – Although Abba remained essentially the same throughout their time, Anna-frid had a habit of changing her hair length and colour. We stock some fantastic ladies 70s jumpsuits in varying colours, including the traditional white.

Alice Cooper – The classic Welcome to My Nightmare look – Black tailcoat, battered top hat, rubber chicken or snake as prop.  Black eye-make-up or Mask.

Bay City Rollers – White or denim trousers and jackets with tartan trim.

Bob MarleyRastafarian Reggae singer. A dreadlocks wig with colourful hat. Jeans plus either denim jacket or brightly coloured top.

David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane were two of the main personas Bowie adopted in the ‘70s.

Elton JohnOutrageous stage suits and large glasses epitomise the look of Elton John (born Reginald Dwight). However for one of his earlier hits ‘Your Song’, he can be seen sporting a 1920s striped blazer and boater.

Elvis Presley – The 1970s Elvis look was the Las Vegas style jumpsuit. Although white may be the traditional look he also sported a range of other colour outfits.  We stock a wide range of Elvis hire costumes as well as Elvis outfits & accessories for sale.

Gary Glitter – now tends to be a look that only goes to Bad Taste parties.

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights star initially famed for her floaty dresses, but also noted or her warrior-like ‘Babushka’ video persona.

Leo Sayer – Best known for his Pierrot Clown look in debut single video for ‘I Won’t Let the Show Go On’.

Marc BolanFounder of Tyrannosaurus Rex (later T Rex) and pioneer of the Glam Rock style. His trademark look black corkscrew curl hairstyle and use of glitter, furs and boas as part of his stage-wear.

Mud – Glam rock band formed in 1966, whose music and image were heavily influenced by 1950s rock and roll. Their most popular records were Tiger Feet and Lonely this Christmas.  Seventies wide-collared shirts and matching stage suits based on the Teddy Boy style.

Rod Stewart – The trademark shaggy blond hairstyle, tight leopard print trousers and black shirt, as depicted by Kenny Everett may be the look to go for. Although Rod Stewart was also seen sporting a blazer and boater on the cover of his 1976 album ‘A Night on the Town’.

Showaddywaddy – wear a Teddy Boy outfit

Sid Vicious (of the Sex Pistols)Punk costumes & accessories

Slade – Noddy Holder was the frontman. His main look was the check trousers and matching waistcoat, curly hair, sideburns and glitter ball hat.

Suzy Quatro – Dimunitive black leather clad female star with a big voice.

Village People – a great costume idea for a group: American Indian, Cowboy, Construction Worker, Motorcycle Cop and Soldier/Sailor.

Wizzard – Group fronted by Roy Wood

The WomblesThe Wombles was originally a kids TV show based on the books by Elisabeth Beresford. They formed a Novelty pop group in the mid-seventies who even played at Glastonbury in 2011. Costumes for the Wombles are still around although the choice may be limited to Madame Cholet, Uncle Bulgaria and lead singer Orinoco.

Pop Stars of the 1980s Costume Ideas

1980’s Pop Star Costume Ideas

The nineteen-eighties was all about the dawn of the Music Video and the MTV generation.  At the start of the decade, punk and new wave still dominated the charts.  Then there was the ‘New Romantic’ image of groups such as Duran Duran (named after the villain in cult 60s film ’Barbarella’) and Spandau Ballet, which contrasted significantly with the suited images of Madness and ‘heavy rock’ styles of groups such as Whitesnake and Kiss.

Adam Ant – wear a New Romantic costume or a Dick Turpin style costume for ‘Stand & Deliver’ or Pantomime-cum-Georgian style for ‘Prince Charming’. The trademark white stripe across the nose, black eyeliner and black curly hair with ribbons, can be seen across all his solo videos, although costumes were diverse.  For a ‘couple’ set, check out the ‘Puss-in-Boots’ video, where Adam plays a rat!

BananaramaAll-girl group that pre-dated the Spice Girls by a decade. ‘Style’ was more in the hair and make-up than the odd clothing (dungarees on one occasion).

The Bangles – Despite being a leading girl group of the era, here’ no distinctive look so think video, such as ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ (Belly Dancer or Cleopatra costume)

Blondie Lead singer and style icon Debbie Harry was well known for her leather wear and leopard print outfits of the period.

Blues Brothers – John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were the Blues Brothers. They played Jake and Elwood in the cult film and have spawned a string of look-alikes. The costume consists of white shirt, black narrow tie, black suit, porkpie hat and black rayban or standard black sunglasses.

Boy George - Popular lead singer of the 1980s group Culture Club. He developed his own unique fashion style, based on baggy clothing, ribbons, large hats and feminine-style make-up.

Bucks Fizz – This British group were winners of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with their song, ‘Making Your Mind Up’ Female: Bright coloured skirts (short and long) plus matching top. Male: White trousers and brightly coloured jumper. This costume set is only to hire

Cyndi Lauper – ‘Girl’s just want to have fun’ and Cyndi Lauper certainly did when it comes to 1980s fashion. Mixed various street-styles of the 1980s to create her own unique look.  Colourful tops and skirts including netsand ra-ras, with striped or spotty tights or stockings. These were topped off with vivid hair colours – usually pink, yellow or white. She even wore coloured bowlers (or ‘derbies’).

Duran Duran – Part of the New Romantic era of the eighties.

Freddy Mercury – Look to Queen videos for lots of costume inspiration including the iconic ‘I Want to Break Free’ Housewife/Maid Costume, ‘A Kind of Magic’ (White trousers/yellow buckled jacket), or just wear a Freddy Mercury moustache.

Gary Numan – Futuristic jumpsuit look.which pre-dated cyberpunk.

George Michael – Wham T-shirt and mullet wig.

Jive Bunny and the Mixmasters – They dominated the charts in the late 1980s with their classic artists medleys to a disco beat – A rabbit suit, sunglasses and headphones.

KISS – Stadium rock group noted for their distinctive facial make-up designs: Demon, Space-man, Star-Child and Cat-man.

Kylie Minogue – Kylie, though pint-sized, has packed a fair number of fashions into her back-catalogue – bubble-hair and dungarees (‘I Should Be So Lucky’), pink-suited space–girl (‘Put Yourself in My Place’) and her Showgirl outfits.

MC Hammer – ‘Can’t Touch This’. Rapper star noted for stage outfits featuring voluminous parachute pants, notably in gold.

Madness – wear black suits, Pork Pie hats and dark glasses (don’t forget the white socks!)

Madonna – Madonna is famous for her chameleon-like qualities – the Bride (white sleevless lace wedding dress with fingerless gloves) from ‘Like a Virgin’; the grunge look of the streetwise party girl from ‘Into the Groove’; or ‘Material Girl’ an image based on Marilyn Monroe’s pink gown in ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’.

Mari WilsonReturn to the beehive style of the 1950s/1960s with singers such as Mari Wilson ‘Just What I Always Wanted’. Another exponent of the style was the American group B52s – ‘Love Shack’.

MeatloafBaggy 1980s style shirt, black leather look trousers, long black rock star wig and white handkerchief.

Michael Jackson – There are several looks you can go with for Michael Jackson. ‘Bad’ (Black leather-look jacket & jeans); ‘Billie Jean’ (black evening suit, pink shirt & red bowtie); ‘Black Military-style jacket plus silver glove; ‘Thriller’ has a whole range of options including:-  White suit & black shirt (album cover), Red/Black PVC outfit, Werewolf or Zombie costumes.

Pet Shop BoysCult duo who were noted for their odd outfits. Orange boiler suits & orange/white conical hats  were used during the 1980s, as were straight thick striped suits, union jack plastic boaters and other types of headgear.

Prince – Best known outfit is the purple suit from ‘Purple Rain’.

Siouxsie & the Banshees – Black gothic make-up teamed up with black ‘goth’ clothes or bright garish colours.  Black  short punk style wig.

Spandau Ballet – The New Romantic look of the 1980s consisted of white loose baggy ruffled shirt, baggy trousers, belts/sashes, accessorized with chunky jewellery.

Tina Turner – Had a string of solo hits during the 1980s – check out the music videos for ‘What’s love got to do with it’ and ‘We don’t need another hero’ from Mad Max Thunderdome. Wig and costumes available.

Toyah Willcox – Various punk style outfits, brightly coloured hair (usually in orange or red), striking face paint and tribal make-up helps to create the Toyah look.

Village People Great, fun idea for a group of lads.  Choose from the Sailor, Soldier, Construction Worker, Motorbike cop, Native American, Cowboy or Biker.

Pop Stars of the 1990s Costume Ideas

1990’s Pop Stars Costume Ideas

The grunge look was big in the early 1990s, but this street uniformity was due to be hit by the emergence of Britpop. This was where groups such as Oasis and Blur battled it out for the top spot and grunge became a thing of the past. In the mid-nineties ‘The Spice Girls’ hit the charts and brought ‘Girl Power’ into the mainstream. This inspired a whole new generation of girl groups and singers.

There were many stars of the decade that had no definitive look. However, some band names could be used as a play on words such as the Black Crowes, Red Hot Chili Peppers (novelty costume available), Smashing Pumpkins (Halloween pumpkin costume), etc..

Here are a few costume suggestions for 1990s Pop Stars.

BjorkOne of the more eccentric performers of the 1990s was Icelandic singer Bjork, formerly with The Sugarcubes. Her look and fashions were often quirky, although she saved her best efforts until 2001, with the Swan dress she wore at the Oscars ceremony that year.

Britney SpearsIconic Schoolgirl outfit (grey cardigan, blouse tied to make a crop-top), short skirt, pigtails (or braids) for ‘Hit me Baby one more time’.

Bryan Adams – Everything I Do, I Do It For You – Robin Hood outfits

CherA star in the 60s, having left her partner Sonny, Cher spent some time making movies (like Bjork livening up the Oscars red carpet with a black showgirl-style outfit in 1986). In 89 she made a successful pop comeback with ‘Turn Back Time’ and spanned charts over the next decade finishing with the ‘Believe’ album in 1998. Despite leather outfits and torn jeans, her distinctive look is the long, straight hair in varying colours!

Courtney LoveGrunge dress and disheveled hair/make-up look.

Gabrielle – Her ‘look’ featured a black eyepatch which she had originally worn for medical reasons but kept!

Goth-style (Clash or Siouxsie Sioux)Black or purple colour-scheme, with heavy use of black liner and lipstick.

Gwen Stefani – Lead singer of group No Doubt in the 1990s. Now a solo performer and something of a style icon, influenced by the harajuka (schoolgirl/Lolita) japanese style.

Janet JacksonSister to Michael, with whom she dueted. Noted for an ‘accidental’ wardrobe malfunction at an awards ceremony.

KISS – The stadium rock group of the 80s/90s noted for their distinctive make-up disguises (Demon, Space-man, Star-Child and Cat-man). They did try some gigs without the makeup, but it seems the fans preferred the original look topped off with black rock star hair.

Kurt Cobain (Grunge)Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana who apparently took his own life in 1994, is another classic grunge fashion icon.

Kylie MinogueAfter breaking away from Stock, Aitken & Waterman in 1992, Kylie experimented with a number of music-styles and looks for promo videos. These included a Barbarella-style space-princess (Put Yourself in My Place) and, rarely seen now, a white-haired geisha creation (German Bold Italic).

M C Hammer – Key to the look are baggy parachute trousers. Off-the-peg outfits have these in gold or metallic.

Madonna - After her success in the 1980s, the 1990s saw Madonna enter her Vogue period and we saw her infamous Gaultier gold basque of the ‘Blond Ambition’ tour. She was also involved in a number of movies from Dick Tracy (1990) to Evita (1996) and released her albums Bedtime Stories, Erotica and Ray of Light.

PinkThe name has nothing to do with haircolour (that’s more Lil Kim) but was her childhood nickname. Looks have tended to be dictated by song/video content.

Prodigy – Firestarter – Keith Flint’s look of American t-shirt, chains and wild make-up.

Shania TwainCountry music girl who crossed to the mainstream, helped by some distinctive videos such as ‘Man, I Feel Like a Woman’ (Top hat, tailcoat and fishnet tights) and ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ (Leopard print dress or coat and hat).

Spice Girls - Created in 1994, their first single was ‘Wannabe and showcased Baby (Emma Bunton), Ginger (Geri Halliwell), Posh (Victoria Adams now Beckham), Scary (Mel B Melanie Brown) & Sporty (Mel C Melanie Chisholm). Each had their own unique look, but the most popular has been the Geri (Ginger) Spice Union Jack Dress. Several variations available. We have some lovely Union Jack dresses for Ginger Spice.

The Three Tenors – Not exactly popstars in the true sense, but Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras & Luciano Pavorotti brought their voices to the masses as the Three Tenors and popularised the tailcoat and evening dress once again.

Pop Stars of the 21st Century

21st Century Pop Stars

The music/pop idol-based party has evolved in recent years, largely aided and abetted by the vast range of TV talent shows. We have also noticed an increased enthusiasm for distinctive costuming amongst the newer pop talents: Lady Gaga undoubtedly still leads the field on innovative outfits, and we are sure she still has a good many tricks up her highly fashioned sleeve.

When it comes to trying to recreate looks at ground zero here at planet Props & Frocks we have to look at practicality and potential popularity. Early Gaga is still popular, of course, and there are several suitable outfits and accessories on the market, but others such as Katy Perry and Jessie J have been attracting the attention of wannabes. The problem is nailing the definitive distinctive look as these girls are developing a disturbing habit of going through multiple costume changes in their videos and some of the more interesting looks are getting lost in ‘blink and you miss it’ moments!

Amy Winehouse Prior to her untimely death in 2011, Amy established herself and her style, based on a large black beehive, winged eyeliner and numerous tattoos (sets of temporary replicas are available on the market).

Beyoncé KnowlesOriginally with Destiny’s Child, she went solo and has created a number of memorable looks, notably the black catsuit-based ‘Single Girl (Put a Ring on It)’ look.

Bob the BuilderThe charts are littered with children’s TV novelty acts becoming pop stars – the Wombles, Mr Blobby and here, Bob the Builder with his hits ‘Can we Fix it’ and the ‘Mambo Number 5’ cover.

Britney Spears – Britney suffered troubled times but made a comeback with Toxic featuring a sexy Gaga-style air-stewardess outfit and red and black PVC catsuits.

Cheryl Cole (born Cheryl Ann Tweedy, but now known as Cheryl Fernandez-Versini) – Cheryl Cole entered the world of TV stardom back in 2002 on Pop Stars: The Rivals (where she became a member of Girls Aloud). The red & black military style costume she wore for ‘Fight for this Love’ caused a sensation.

Christina Aguleira – Like Britney, she was a Disney TV Mouseketeer and built on that success with her debut –Genie in a Bottle (Wear a belly dancer costume). After that she went more raunchy with ‘Dirty’ (skimpy outfit featuring cowboy-style leg chaps) and a version of ‘Lady Marmalade’ (with others) for the Moulin Rouge film, the video featuring a painted and powdered bordello madam.

Girls Aloud – Now disbanded but making some interesting videos in theit time:‘Biology’ ballgowns and party frocks; ‘Sexy, No, No, No’ – Black PVC Catsuits

Gorillaz – Actually a video cartoon based creation of Damon Albarn (ex Blur) but take a literal translation of their name – wear Gorilla suits – we usually get involved with the Great Gorilla run in London and have a number of choices.

Jessie J – After initial impact and a trademark black bob hairstyle (sacrificed for charity), Jessie has lately not had the same impact on the pop scene (or at least has become more ‘niche’).

Katy Perry – American singer who, after initial impact with ‘I Kissed a Girl’ has gone on to create some very interesting looks: The blue wig and crème-cupcake look of ‘California Gurls’, the female hunter in ‘Roar’ and the variations on Cleopatra in ‘Dark Horse’.

Kylie Minogue – Iconic white dress from the 2001 hit ‘Can’t get you out of my head’. Less costume orientated in more recent videos.

Lady Gaga – A wide assortment of images – perhaps there’s too much choice! Outfits from ‘Poker Face’ and ‘Telephone’ have been widely marketed, the meat dress less so!

MadonnaAfter her success in the 1980s & 1990s Madonna was asked to provide the title track for the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’, in which she also had a cameo role as a fencing instructor.

One Direction – The costume choices might be a bit limited, but we do stock a range of the masks to help you look like your ‘hero’.

Paloma Faith – Wear a 1940s/1950s inspired outfit complete with bright red lipstick and a red headed wig. Paloma combines elements of Amy Winehouse and Katy Perry and is certainly one to watch in the future.

Pussycat Dolls Originally started as a burlesque troupe in the 1990’s. The Pussycat Dolls had a string of hits in the noughties, including ‘Don’t Cha’, ‘Stickwitu’, ‘Buttons’ and a version of ‘Jai Ho’ (You are my destiny) from the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire.  Short and skimpy styles were very much the look.

Robbie Williams – Style tends to change with the video and song: Kiss tribute in ‘Let Me Entertain You’, Bond channeling in ‘Millennium’.

Shakira – Probably best known for her Southern Latino hits such as ‘Hips Don’t Lie’.