80’s Inspired Halloween Costumes 

Remember Halloween in the 80’s? Most costumes were made from that weird plastic material that was printed to look like Smurfette or He-Man. We would run all over the streets with our pillow cases full of candy and our faces completely suffocating from plastic mask inhalation. If you were lucky, you could trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood and then also go to your Grandma’s house and trick-or-treat again with your cousins. Then you’d all go back to the house for that time honored tradition of counting and trading your candy. 

We don’t need those plastic costumes to make a comeback, but we do love a good 80’s character themed costume. We’ve rounded up a few ideas for some classic looks that aren’t too difficult to pull together.  

Care Bear – This would be easy for a group costume idea. Wear a solid color sweatsuit and print out your favorite Care Bear symbol to attach to your shirt. Attach bear ears to your hoodie or wear this headband. Adorable and comfortable!

Inspector Gadget – This was one of my favorite 80’s cartoons. All you need is a trench coat (also check your local thrift store for this) and fedora.  Attach a cheap pair of yellow kitchen gloves to the top of your hat and you’re done! Bonus points if you put a red collar on your dog and bring him along as part of your costume.

Elliott from E.T. – Dress as the iconic Elliott in the bicycle scene. Wear a red hoodie sweatshirt, attach or a carry basket in front of you with a cut out image of ET or a stuffed animal that looks like E.T.. If you really want to go all in, ride your actual bicycle around with an E.T. in a basket while you supervise your kids trick-or-treating.

Marty McFly from Back To The Future – Did anyone else get a little teary seeing the Michael J.Fox and Christopher Lloyd reunion a few days ago? What an iconic pair! For a Marty McFly look, put on your favorite jeans and sneakers, then pair with: a button up shirt (be sure to roll up the sleeves!), denim jacket, red puffy vest, and sunglasses.

Jazzerciser – Nothing screams 80’s like a shiny spandex leotard. Even the young ones of us in the 80’s were in training with our “Get In Shape Girl” workout book and cassette tape. Be completely prepared to show off your best grapevine in this 80s workout outfit.

Indiana Jones -To pull off the look of Dr. Henry Walton, aka Indiana Jones, you need all the brown clothes you can find. Check the back corners of your closet or a thrift store for a brown leather jacket, brown hat, brown shirt, and brown (or khaki) pants. Top the look off with a whip and you’re ready for any adventure!

Cabbage Patch Kid – I loved my Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. Something about those big cheeks and fun hairstyles made them the cutest things. I still remember my favorite one that smelled like baby powder on a newborn baby. For an adorable Cabbage Patch costume, wear a pair of overalls, draw freckles on your face, and finish off the look with your favorite cabbage patch wig.

Bob Ross – Talk about a guy that brought joy to the world by doing what he loved and teaching us all that it’s okay to make mistakes. To recreate his classic look, simply pair this wig and carry this paint brush and paint palette set.

Joel from Risky Business – This is a quick and easy one to put together at the last minute. Recreate Joel’s classic dance scene in an oversize white button down shirt, white tube socks, and a pair of sunglasses. Be prepared to dance as soon as someone starts playing Old Time Rock & Roll.

Alex from Flashdance – Is it just me, or does it seem like there were a lot of dancing themed movies in the 80’s? In one of my favorites, Alex chases her dream to audition for the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory. You can recreate Alex’s dance look by cutting out the neck of an oversized grey sweatshirt. Pair your outfit with black leg warmers and either dance shoes or high heels.

Maverick from Top Gun – This one is both a throwback AND a current look after the new movie that came out earlier this year. Wear this jumpsuit or check your local thrift store for an old bomber type jacket. Pair with sunglasses.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what’s your costume? We’d love to see your photos! 


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