15 '80s Halloween Costumes a Bit More Creative Than "Aerobics Instructor"

Dress-up ideas from a weird period in pop culture—even if you weren't alive for it.

Chucking on a strong-shoulder blazer and scrunchie-ing a droopy side pony does not a (good) '80s Halloween costume make. Here, 15 superior ideas mined from this rich, kind of strange time in film, TV, and poufy fabrics.

1 of 15
Lydia from 'Beetlejuice'

Because you want to own a fluffy red dress. And a red veil. And, oooh, red eyeshadow like Soko.

BUY IT: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Eyeshadow and Powder Blush, $21; sephora.com.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
2 of 15
These Dudes from 'Staying Alive'

Peak '80s -tinged exhibitionism for those who document their gains on Instagram and would like to do it IRL too. 

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
3 of 15
Madison from 'Splash'

You might need to rope somebody into putting on a tux to really drive the point home without a mermaid tail, but with a T-shirt and some overnight braids—and no pants, the best part—you can go home early and hop straight into bed. 

BUY IT: Souvenir T-Shirt, $23; lapatee.com.

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
4 of 15
Any and/or All of the Heathers

Classic. Great group idea. Bring mallets.

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
5 of 15
Alex Owens from 'Flashdance'

Another pants-less option, though the welding one would make you even more of a legend. 

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
6 of 15
Vanna White

Okay, but look at the old-time-y board, and think about how easy that would be to DIY. Extra points if they flip around. Extra extra points if you get a friend to just *be* the board. 

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
7 of 15
Lloyd Dobler from 'Say Anything'

The hardest part: sourcing a boombox.

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
8 of 15
Thundercats

Someone please do this.

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
9 of 15
This Weird Bananarama Video

I call dibs on this one (which you must honor because I proposed it), but next year, you and two friends could wear quasi-mechanics' outfits while traipsing around New York "fixing cars." Next year, tho.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
10 of 15
Jem

1) Glam. 2) Can wear regular-ish clothes. 3) Prime opportunity for wigs.

Everett
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
11 of 15
Cyndi Lauper

If this is a strictly '80s-themed party, the possibility of being asked to participate in a Madonna group photo is too damn high. Choose Cyndi instead (which, yeah, is similar but different, a distinction you can point out to the less-clever attendees). 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
12 of 15
Brooke Shields in 'Blue Lagoon'

The truly extra among us will go for her other costume in this film, which is underwear that looks like it was fashioned from a pair of sails. Go for it if you can avoid arrest, we say. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
13 of 15
The Ladies of 'Dynasty'

No, I'M ALEXIS.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
14 of 15
Cher

Lots of planning, but so worth it for the photos and satisfaction you'll get from tracking down each element. Do not attempt, however, if you're not going to be extra (diligent) about it.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
15 of 15
Keith Haring

On the other hand, if you get the text invite at 9:43 and have to head out by 10:02 p.m., throw on your fun-colored suit, a novelty T-shirt from Uniqlo's artist series, and the wire aviators you bought because the digital influencers compelled you.

BUY IT: Uniqlo SPRZ NY T-Shirt, $10; uniqlo.com.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Fashion