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80s party - ideas for an 80s party theme  

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One of the best things about hosting an 80s party is that it is not too difficult for either the host or guests to join in. The two important limitations are time and budgets - the more you have of both, the better. However, these simple tips will help guarantee the success of any 80s night.

The invite
All we can say is: lead by example and put a picture of yourself on the invite. Grab a friend or partner and get together your own outfits. Go a little over the top. Seeing how you look will make others feel more comfortable about dressing up in the 80s party style. It will also give them ideas. On the invite, provide a few tips where people can get some 80s gear locally (used clothes), online sites (well, they could start here) or simple modifications that will help transform any outfit to an 80s trash. Also use some pictures from 80s pop icons - music and movie stars are the best bet.
Keep it fun
This point can't be emphasised enough. Starting with the invitation, keep the mood light and happy - after all, it is an 80s party. Some people get too stressed about hosting a party, that they forget this key ingredient. Have some standby items that you can throw on people who don't come dressed in 80s clothes. In a minute or two, a set of leg warmers, fingerless gloves, scrunchies and glitter makeup can turn the most elegant women into a classic 80s fashion icon. Hats, wide belts, thin ties and headbands can also make good stand-by accessories.

Musically, the 80s was a diverse decade, so don't make the mistake of just throwing any odd songs together. Try to develop themes and create playlists so that the tracks move through various styles. The early 80s music had a totally different feel to the late 80s, so don't throw them into together. Earlier in the evening, put some of the trashier songs on - not too dancy, but songs that people can laugh at, and sing along to.

80s costumes
It's not a real 80s themed party if people don't dress up. Luckily there are many options online for 80s costumes. There are many options including music (80s Madonna), movies (Bettlejuice), TV (Miami Vice) or somethng a little more generic - big hair, aviator sunglasses, glitter, plastic jewelery or legwarmers. Here are some great 80s costume ideas.

This is an area that doesn't really need much attention. Food styles such as nouveau cuisine were popular in the 80s, but this is not exactly suitable for a party. There were plenty of food crazes in the 80s that are no longer in production, but even if you could find them. there would be some doubt if these are edible. Trying to develop an 80s food theme is not worth the time - decoration and costuming is a better use of your resources.

This is where you can have some real fun. If you are planning to have the party in different rooms, you could develop themes for each one. Circles, squares and triangles cut out of neon-coloured cardboard can transform a room in an hour or two. Draped lace was also popular in the 80s and can be used to add a retro look to any piece of modern furniture. If you have some spare cash, see if you can hire some small neon signs - pink or blue only. Grab some 80s films and play them on your TV - no sound, just the pictures.

More ideas
If you want more ideas, rent a few movies from the 80s. Try to get a hold of some 80s film clips from the time - many artists such as Duran Duran have the videos on DVD. This will give you ideas for costumes, music and decoration. Also, don't forget to check out the 80s culture and music sections of this site.

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