80s Fancy Dress – Mens Costume Ideas

80s costumes for men

If you’re a male who is planning on going to a 1980s themed party or event, then you definitely need to read this post, which features an A-Z of mens 80s fancy dress costume ideas. Okay, let’s begin!

2 Tone/Ska Costume

The 2 Tone sound was created in Coventry, England, and along with Ska revival, became popular in the late 70s and early 80s. Bands included The Specials, Madness and The Beat. You can read more about Ska fashion at Simplyeighties.com. Create a simple costume using a Ska T-shirt or polo shirt, braces, straight leg/drainpipe jeans and a Trilby or Pork Pie hat.

Adam Ant Costume

The dandy highwayman created several iconic looks based on pirates and highway robbers, using frilly shirts, hussar jackets and war paint on his face. Adam and the Ants reached the peak of their career in 1981 with hits including “Stand and Deliver” and “Prince Charming”.

Adam Ant Dandy Highwayman Costume

Back to the Future Costume

Well, this is the first film that comes into most peoples heads when asked to name an 80s movie. A complete Marty McFly costume is available, but it isn’t very good and is overpriced. Therefore, I recommend creating your own using a red bodywarmer, blue denim jacket and chequered shirt.

Beetlejuice Costume

This Tim Burton film was certainly not short of imagination. Why not become the main character played by Michael Keaton, Betelguese?

Shown here is an unofficial costume I’ve picked out which is an excellent price and includes a wig. You can also buy the official costume which is a little expensive given that it does not include the wig.

Big Daddy Costume

How I miss spending a Saturday afternoon watching Big Daddy (Shirley Crabtree) take on Giant Haystacks in the wrestling on ITV’s World of Sport. This costume includes a jumpsuit, union jack gown and boot covers. Just remember to take it easy, easy, easy…

Boy George Costume

Price: £19.99
Was: £33.99

George O’Dowd shocked the nation and caused dads to choke on their viscount biscuits when he appeared on Top Of The Pops with his band Culture Club to perform “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?”. “Is that a man or a woman” was the question on millions of viewers minds.

You can easily recreate the iconic look from the band’s Karma Chameleon video (which featured a top hat and hair ribbons) using a ready-made costume.

Crocodile Dundee Costume

This 1986 comedy movie was hugely popular, a lot of fun to watch, and Paul Hogan’s character was very amusing and likeable.

A ready-made costume is available on Amazon, although it’s a tad expensive and you’ll need to add a fake knife and croc tooth necklace. Add an inflatable crocodile for additional comedy effect. Despite the cost, it’s a nice alternative idea for 80s dress-up.

Dusty Bin Costume

Hosted by Ted Rogers, 3-2-1 was the 80s game show that nobody understood! Dusty Bin was the prize they didn’t want, as it meant you went home with just a dustbin! This is a fun and quirky choice, and two costumes are available. The more expensive one is the better choice if you have the budget.

Eddie The Eagle Edwards Costume

Only the British could celebrate someone coming last in the Winter Olympics ski jump. But it Eddie Edwards’ sheer determination to actually compete on a very limited budget, and his down-to-earth character that captured the hearts of the British nation.

Freddie Mercury Housewife Costume

The video for Queen’s “I Want To Break Free” was a parody of the ITV soap Coronation Street, and Freddie gave us another memorable and amusing look when he became a housewife with a vacuum cleaner.

It will take a brave man to wear this outfit, which consists of a pink sleeveless top, wig, tash, black skirt and padded hoover. The Hoover is pretty flimsy, but will add to the comedic value of the costume.

An alternative outfit without the Hoover is also available. You will need to add some black fishnet hold ups to both costumes below.

Freddie Mercury Wembley Costume

This is most definitely an icon look from the great decade, and you will be instantly recognisable as Queen’s frontman. The look includes a white vest, white trousers with red side stripes, and that yellow leather jacket with buckles.

George Michael Costume

Price: £27.21
Was: £29.99

This idea is about as 80s as it gets! To become the Wham! frontman, wear a Choose Life T-shirt with turned up sleeves and white cotton trousers. You can complete your look with a George Michael Wig and white plimsolls. You can also buy a read-made costume as featured above. This is the perfect 80s fancy dress mens costume.

Choose Life Wham! 80s T-shirtChoose Life T-shirt

Ghostbusters Costume

The original 1984 movie remains my favourite, and you can become any one of the parapsychologists (don’t ask me to spell that again!), who were Peter Venkman (played by Bill Murray), Raymond “Ray” Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis).

The outfit consists of light brown/sand coloured overalls with a Ghostbusters logo badge, and an inflatable proton pack.

Another idea is to become the Stay Puft Marshmallow man. An inflatable costume is available.

Masters of the Universe Costume

Become He-Man, the alter-ego of Prince Adam, and enjoy the thrill of shouting out “By the power of grayskull!”, just like in the classic 80s cartoon He-Man snd the Masters of the Universe. Or why not become He-man’s archenemy, Skeletor!

Miami Vice Costume

You’d be hard pushed to find a finer example of an 80s TV show than Miami Vice. You can recreate the Crockett and Tubbs style using a ready-made costume, saving you the expense of buying an expensive white or pastel Italian suit. Remain sockless and add white loafers if you have the budget, or use these cheap white pumps instead.

A cheaper Sonny Crockett outfit is available at fancydress.com, although you will have to sacrifice a little quality.

Crockett Miami Vice Costume for Men

Michael Jackson Bad Costume

The King of Pop managed to create an edgier image with his Bad video. Dressed all in black, his outfit borrowed from punk fashion. The black trousers with a red side stripe featured plenty of buckles, as did his boots, and he also wore long leather gloves with rivets. This is an excellent choice for an 80s party.

Michael Jackson Thriller Costume

Price: £16.83
Was: £17.12

I still remember the evening in 1983 when I watched the Thriller video for the first time. The epic mini movie was the talk of the school playground the next day, and it gave us another iconic fashion style to replicate in the form of that shiny red jacket with black V stripes and ribbing.

The jacket was designed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, who had previously designed the jacket worn by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in the 1981 movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Pac-Man Costume

Become the best-known computer game character of the 1980s. There can be hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of Pac-Man. You could also become one of the ghosts, which would be a fun idea for Halloween, too.

Visit my Best Pac-Man Fancy Dress page for advice on the which costumes to buy and avoid.

Pac-Man with Ghosts and Cherry

Prince Purple Rain Costume

Yet another iconic look came in the form of this purple suit with frilly shirt, which borrowed from the New Romantic style. A very reasonably priced fancy dress costume is available in four sizes, and includes a purple trousers, jacket and mock shirt.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Smiffys-1980s-Purple-Musician-Costume/dp/B0045CD2OU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1548666855&sr=8-3&keywords=prince+purple+costume&linkCode=ll1&tag=eightheave-21&linkId=68fa4b7e123bfe235d503a095b23570b&language=en_GBPrince Purple Rain Costume

Run DMC Costume

Run DMC 80s

The hip-hop group are best remembered for their collaboration with Aerosmith in 1986 with “Walk This Way”, and also “My Adidas”.

Read my post on how to create a Run DMC costume

Sloth from the Goonies Costume

This had to be the best kids movie of the 80s, and the loveable Sloth character would also make a great choice for Halloween. The look basically consists of a Superman T-shirt and red braces, but you can add a pirate hat, and you’ll definitely need a mask. Visit my Sloth Goonies Costumes post.

Teen Wolf Costume

Michael J Fox was a huge star back in the 1980s, and another memorable look was created when his character, Scott Howard, played basketball for The Beavers as a werewolf in the 1985 movie Teen Wolf.

The outfit consists of a yellow vest and shorts with blue edgings and “Beavers 45” printed on the front of the vest. Thankfully, a ready-made costume is available. An alternative werewolf costume is available (ideal for Halloween!) includes a jacket instead of shorts.

Terminator T-800 Endoskeleton Costume

Although it’s not cheap, this is an awesome fancy dress idea. This officially licensed costume includes a very cool light-up mask. It comes in two sizes and is ideal for 80s fancy dress and Halloween. By the way, a handy velcro fly hole is included, so you can pop to the loo and let everyone know “I’ll be back!”.

Top Gun Costume

If you’ve ever fancied becoming Tom Cruise in Top Gun, then now’s your chance! This pair of aviator fighter pilot overalls is ideal for becoming your favourite character such as Maverick, Iceman or Goose.

Vyvyan Basterd Costume

The psycho punk student from The Young Ones, who was played brilliantly by Ade Edmondson, gives us another excellent 80s costume idea. His look includes double denim, a Motorhead T-shirt, a chain and padlock necklace and a ginger punk hairstyle.

This ready-made Vyvyan Basterd costume includes a denim-look waistcoat, t-shirt, orange hair wig and black bracelets.

Vyvyan Basterd Young Ones Costume

Zippy Costume

Become the best-known character from the cult children’s TV show Rainbow. The series reached its peak during the 1980s, so this outfit is perfect. View my Zippy Costume post to discover the cheapest suppliers.

That’s the end of my A-Z of 80s fancy dress mens costume ideas. I hope you found it useful, and have fun!

Mr Potato Head Costume