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!
Bananarama – All-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).
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 Wilson – Return 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’.
Meatloaf – Baggy 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 Boys – Cult 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.