Political correctness had not been invented in the 1980s. Anything was fair game. If you are looking to recall that era, why not delve into 80s outfits that recall some of the hilarious, if not quite polite, memories of the time.
Eddie Murphy was the king of 1980s comedy, and perhaps no movie showcased this more than Trading Places. If you and a partner are looking for funny 80s outfits, why not go as Nenge and Lionel Joseph (Dan Aykroyd’s character) from the African Education Conference? It’s beef jerky time! Don’t have a friend that brave, then you can always take on Murphy’s Butwheat, otay? Or, just be Gumby, dammit!
Maybe you have a partner, but Trading Places seems like a bridge too far. You can always go for that other Saturday Night Live duo, Hans and Franz. They will pump you up! You might want to stay away from the “girly man” comments, though, times have changed. If you’re going it alone, or the thought of blatantly bashing minority groups doesn’t appeal to you, there is always Dana Carvey’s other archetypical 80s character, the Church Lady. Don the Church Lady costume and deride anyone you like, we know who made you do it – Satan!
If recalling negative stereotypes is not what you desire, there are still hundreds of funny 80s outfits that immediately conjure a laugh. Why not invoke the spirit of Anthony Michael Hall and Weird Science by strapping a bra on your head to go with a black turtleneck sweater and a New Wave haircut. Kelly LeBrock may or may not arrive, but you’ll get a good laugh, either way. If you don’t want your hair to look like an ocean wave for the next month, buy some wireless reading glasses and a head-sized flower pot. Put them on, add a black turtleneck with no sleeves and a horse whip, and you are no longer a man. You are Devo. Or, grab a long blonde wig, a pair of Vans, and rip off your shirt. Awesome dude, Spicoli returns!
Funny 80s outfits weren’t exclusively the domain of males. Ladies, tie a ponytail on top of your head, grab some pink Chuck Taylor shoes, some leggings, and a tutu. Oh, gag me with a spoon, the Valley Girl is back. Or, Hey Mickey, put on a cheerleader outfit, paint bright red rouge circles on your face, and put two ponytails on either side of your head. You’re so fine, you blow my mind! Talk about fine, the epitome of 1980s sexism may have been Robert Palmer’s video, “Simply Irresistible.” Pull on a slinky black dress, dye your hair black and slick it to your skull, paint your lips a bright, cherry red, and then say nothing all night. You’ve just become the 1980s teenage boy’s version of the ideal woman.
Whether you are looking for camp, or kitsch, or to recall the actual hilarity of the decade, there are literally hundreds of 80s outfits to choose from. It was, in so many ways, a different world. Be sarcastic, be offensive, be ironic, but, above all, be funny.
Eddie Murphy – Party All The Time