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The 80s is not called ‘Roaring 80s’ for nothing. Thanks to this decade, the world saw the emergence of big hair, unique fashions, and several musical genres.
And while the 80s era has finished a few decades ago, its imprints continue to remain strong. This is why the 80s remains to be one of the most popular themes for parties. If you’re planning to hold an 80s bash sometime soon, then here are tips on how to throw a ‘roaring’ party.
What are Good 80s Party Themes?
Transport your guests back to the 80s by using any of these themes:
The 80s is known for many things. One such thing is its widescale use of neon everything – from clothes to accessories – even shoes.
That said, hosting a neon-colored shindig is one of the best ways to channel the decade into your party. Throw in party designs such as the Rubik’s cube, cassettes, GameBoys, or Pacman and you’re good to go!
Ghostbusters is one of the cult movie hits that have emerged in the 1980s. In fact, it was inducted by the National Library of Congress in the National Film Registry last 2015.
Given the wealth of Ghostbuster memorabilia available, it’s quite easy to take this theme for your party. All you need to do is serve ‘green slime’ food and ask people to wear their beige overalls!
First released in 1984, the Police Academy franchise dominated the decade. Out of the 7 films, 6 were released within the decade.
As there are many police-themed costumes and party favors out there, this theme is one of the easiest to pull off – whatever the cause of celebration may be.
Released in 1985, Goonies is an adventure-comedy film that has captured (until today) the hearts of many. Headlined by Sean Astin and Josh Brolin, it tells the story of kids who stumbled upon the treasure map of pirate One-Eyed Willy.
With its nautical/pirate theme, you can host this party with props like skeletons, pirate treasure, and faux dynamite.
80s Party Invitations
Now that you have chosen an 80s theme, it’s time to start the invitations. Here are some creative ideas you should try out:
Neon Shindig Party Invite
As the name suggests, it’s all about everything neon. That said, your invite should carry the same theme as well.
Take the case of this invite, which features bold neon letterings – and of course, a disco ball. Likewise, you can add elements that you plan to have in your party (cassette or GameBoy images, for example).
Ghostbusters Party Invite
A Ghostbusters party invite is not complete without the ‘banned ghost’ image. All you have to do is set this against a black background and state all the details of your themed party.
Police Academy Party Invite
Similar to hosting a Police Academy-themed party, creating its accompanying invite is not that hard to do. There are so many elements you can use in the invite, including badges, police cars, sirens, ‘Police line do not cross’ tapes, and handcuffs, to name a few.
Goonies Party Invite
Since the movie is all about finding treasure, you can make an invite that’s similar to an old treasure map. Here, you can make your home (or the party venue) the ‘chest of treasures’ at the end of the map.
80s Party Food and Drinks
No party is complete without delicious food. But instead of serving just the usual ones, you can bring everything up a notch with these themed food items and drinks:
Neon Cake Pops
Since the 80s is all about color, it’s but imperative for you to make your food all bright and colorful. One of the best ways to do so is with neon cake pops, which, as the name suggests, are sweets in vibrant shades.
Neon cake pops are not only thematic – they’re very easy to do too. You can use ready-made cakes and shape them into balls. Dip them in yellow, orange, and green-tinged white chocolate and you’re done!
Shots are colorful enough as they are, but if you want to channel the 80s – then you need to have them in bright neon colors.
More than just being vibrant, you can make them rather tasty as well. For example, you could make a lemon-flavored yellow shot – or a lime-flavored green shot. Of course, you shouldn’t forget the traditional orange-colored, orange-flavored shot!
Chips and Guac
An 80s theme party – especially your Ghostbuster bash – need not be complicated. To get your slime-themed delights, all you need to do is serve chips (if they’re ghost-shaped, then good) with guac!
Just like chips and guac, you can whip up easy-to-do food for your Police Academy theme party. One such example is Cop Corn (pun intended). Just serve these in a blue cup with police designs (badge, handcuffs, police line, etc.) and that’s pretty much it!
Make your guests feel like they found a treasure by serving a round of chocolate coins. Just put them in a treasure chest for an immersive, Goonies movie feel!
80s Basic Party Playlist
An 80s party is not complete without 80s music. So whether you’re hosting a Neon shindig or a movie-themed bash, you should make it a point to play any of these great 80s hits:
Take on Me
Sung by the Norwegian duo A-ha, ‘Take on me’ ruled the airwaves in the year 1985. And thanks to its innovative video, it managed to top the Billboard chart the same year.
‘Take on me’ is so famous (and upbeat) that it managed to stay relevant throughout the years. It remains to be played in shows and movies alike.
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Released in 1988, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ became one of the 80s’ rock anthems. It’s not surprising that the song – which was performed by iconic band Guns N’ Roses – topped the Billboard charts upon its release.
While this song is perfect for most 80s parties, it’s the best tune to rock your head to for punk-themed bashes and whatnot.
Livin’ on a Prayer
Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ is another one of the 80s’ hottest rock hits. Released in late 1986, it became the band’s 2nd number 1 Billboard hit – and its first Billboard Mainstream Rock chart-topper.
As Bon Jovi’s signature song, this loud 80s music is something that’ll keep the party going ‘til dawn!
What to Wear to an 80s Themed Party
Whether you’re the host or the guest, you can easily get on the theme by wearing these fashionable costumes:
The 80s saw the popularity of leotards, leg warmers, and ‘gym’ outfits. So if you’re thinking of attending an 80s themed party, then you should wear your loudest, brightest, and shiniest gym attire.
As mentioned, all you need to do is wear leotards or bodysuits together with your leg warmers. As for your hair, make sure to have it teased or coiffed. Another option is to style your hair in a high pony.
For makeup – you should go as bright as possible. Apply eyeshadows in trademark neon colors to create the 80s’ signature peacock eye makeup.
If you don’t have neon gym suits in your closet, you need not worry as you can still rock your 80s party with a Madonna-esque costume.
To get the pop star’s look, all you need to do is wear a black tank top, a spiky leather jacket, a ballet/frou skirt, and mesh pedal pushers.
Remember to complete the ‘Material Girl’ look with a big bow (and big hair), white pumps, and very loud makeup.
When going to a Ghostbuster party, you should, of course, dress like a Ghostbuster!
You can create the costume yourself by wearing a beige overall and adding neon stripes on the waist, cuff, and legs. As for the Proton pack, you can create the prop with 2 circular shapes (you can use an old carton and paint it in black) and a whole lot of electrical wires.
As an alternative, you can also dress up as the Stay Puft Marshmallow man (or woman!)
Police Academy Costume
With a Police Academy party comes (what else) but a police costume.
What’s great about this get-up is that it’s largely available in stores. But if you want to create a personalized look, then you should try and make some tweaks yourself.
For example, you can rip off the sleeves and create a sleeveless police attire – just like one of the cast of the movie.
You can also make use of your navy blue jumpsuit or dress and embellish it with a steel badge, a police nameplate, and handcuffs, to name a few.
You can try a variety of costumes for your Goonies party.
For one, you can dress as Andy Carmichael. To do so, all you need to wear are these: a yellow cardigan, a yellow vest, a white mini skirt, and white Keds.
Another option is Mama Fratelli. This is quite easy to achieve, as all you need to don are a black dress, a black beret, and a pearl necklace.
The 80s is a decade filled with great movies, music, and fashion – among many other things. With these iconic mementos, you can easily create an 80s themed party for your family and friends.
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