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Retro Halloween And Party Costume Ideas: Costumes for the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s

Published by Cristina Oveson

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Relive the days of greasers, hippies, John Travolta wannabes, and big haired rockers. Going retro with a costume can be a lot of fun. In addition, many of the costume items below can work well as couple costumes.

Retro Costumes of the 1950s

Slick back that hair guys and get ready to turn into a greaser. A white T-shirt tucked into a pair of jeans forms the principal part of the costume. Take a pack of cigarettes, (a deck of playing cards will do, too,) and roll it up in the sleeve. Toss on a leather jacket and it’s party time!

For girls, a short sleeved, button up blouse or sweater can be worn with a traditional 1950s poodle skirt. Add some bobby socks and saddle shoes. Pull the hair back in a ponytail and don’t forget the bright, red lipstick. Remember, girls can also dress as greasers.

Retro Costumes of the 1960s

Hippies were big in the 1960s. To dress like a hippie, a pair of bell bottom jeans and tie dyed shirt can make a basic costume. Throw on some love beads or some necklaces with peace sign medallions. Long hair, parted in the middle was the customary hairdo among hippies or consider a huge Afro. To top off the costume, add some small, wire framed sunglasses and a headband.

Retro Costumes of the 1970s

Think Saturday Night Fever and dress like a disco king or queen. A white, polyester, bell bottomed suit with button up black shirt, (with the top few buttons unbuttoned,) can work for guys. Also, a pair of black, bell bottom pants with a colorful disco shirt, (also with the few top buttons undone,) can be worn. Don’t forget lots and lots of gold chains.

A popular look for girlls during the disco days was to wear a dressy, sparkly, sleeveless wraparound dress. Add to this, a pair of platform shoes. Glitter was definitely in, so get a container of body glitter and rub it on the neck and arms. For hair, style it to give it a feathered back look.

Retro Costumes of the 1980s

Rock and roll! Think big hair when dressing up as an ’80s rocker. Guys can put on a tight fitting pair of black jeans with a black T-shirt. Add some studded wristbands and black eyeliner. If hair is long enough, tease it to get it as full as possible, otherwise, consider a rocker wig. In addition, it wasn’t uncommon for 80s rockers to paint their nails black.

Madonna and Cyndi Lauper were quite the trendsetters in the 1980s. A great female rocker costume could be leggings, a mesh skirt, and bodice top. To accessorize, add chain belts, lots of necklaces and bracelets. For an added splash of color, spray on some temporary hair color such as bright red or blue.

Going retro for Halloween or any type of costume party can bring back fond memories or allow one to learn about certain clothing styles from the past. Before buying anything, be sure to check the closet for anything that can be used for a costume. Many online sites offer retro costumes or many times the pieces of clothing needed can be found at a local thrift store.

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