For four years now, I embark on a weeklong ‘80s-themed cruise that has a different theme each night. I’ve been a Wally World security guard, a Trading Places baggage handler, a hair-metal rock star and even a “slain” counselor from Camp Crystal Lake. It’s challenging coming up with ‘80s costumes year after year … but - wow - is it so much fun!

To me, the key to a good ‘80s costume is its level of authenticity. Don’t simply buy a costume when you can build a costume instead. Thankfully much of what you need can be acquired online. Here are six “good starts” to amazing ‘80s costumes.

Mullet Wig

Mens Mullet Wig
Mullets just weren’t for achy, breaky hearts - even U2’s Bono famously wore a mullet for the first half of the ‘80s. This one-size-fits-all wig is available in six colors (but choose black if you’re thinking of channeling the Irish frontman during his Live Aid era).Amazon

Tattoo Sleeves

Fake Tattoo Sleeves
Tattoos weren’t for everyone in the ‘80s, but they were practically required if you were a member of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Poison or Motley Crue. This package includes six, one-size-fits-all sleeves. Attitude sold separately.Amazon

Zubaz Pants

Zubaz Lounge Pants
Zubaz were the pants of choice for athletes and rock stars in the ‘80s who wanted to “dare to be different.” Were they still a bit laughable? Sure, but the original manufacturer is still in business today so who’s laughing now? (By the way, I own a pair myself that I use for costume parties and they’re also super comfortable.)Amazon

Ray-Ban Sunglasses

Black Ray-Ban Sunglasses
Of all the classic movies, 1983's Risky Business doesn't get nearly the love it deserves. If nothing else, it gave us Tom Cruise (as "Joel") wearing tidy whities and these iconic sunglasses. Consider them a must addition to an '80s costume. Just remember to tilt them down just so for full effect.Amazon

Flight Suit

Adult Male in Green Flight Suit
Whether you’re channeling Top Gun or Iron Eagle, you’re going to need a convincing flight suit. Don’t buy a costume suit - buy the real thing. This Rothco flight suit comes in seven colors (but pick khaki if you’re trying to look like “Maverick.”)Amazon

Reagan-Bush T-shirt

Blue Reagan-Bush T-shirt
Sometimes it’s exhausting coming up with costume ideas and you just need to simplify your look. This campaign shirt from the 1984 election is a tribute to the Gipper. When you wear it, it’s always morning in America.Amazon
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