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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Iconic and Infamous 80s Perms

80s curly wig with quiff
80s spiral perm wig with quiff

Big Perms in the 80s

Poodle Perm and Spiral (Corkscrew) Perms

So who remembers having a permed hair style back in the 80s? Hair was crimped and curled to the limits, the bigger and more wild it looked the better (imagine a lion/poodle hybrid in a wind tunnel and you get the picture), and a huge supply of mousse and hair lacquer was the pretty much the norm back then.

Accessories such as head bands, scrunchies and bows were also popular. Whether it was hair metal bands or Dierdre Barlow, nobody wanted to be left out. Major celebs to wear the style included Whitney Houston, Sarah Jessica-Parker, Madonna, Cher and even George Clooney - he had a curly mullet in 1984, believe it or not!

Sarah Jessica-Parker 80s hair
Sarah Jessica-Parker in the 80s
Cher 80s perm
Cher in the 80s (poster)
Dolly Parton 80s spiral perm
Dolly Parton in the 80s (Poster)
There are big perms and then there are humongous ones. This has to be the biggest spiral perm ever! Well, actually, Dee Snider's may just have been bigger. It's a close call!

Europe The Final Countdown single sleeve
80s hair metal band Europe
Dee Snider corkscrew/spiral perm
Twisted Sister's frontman Dee Snider had one almighty corkscrew perm!
Michael Jackson spiral perm 1987

There were many guys who also had perms, particularly in 80s metal bands such as Poison, Van Halen, Cinderella and Europe, to name but a few - the latter are best remembered for their hit single and album The Final Countdown, of course.

Michael Jackson went from afros in the 70s, to looser curls during his "Thriller" period. By the time "Bad" was released in '87, his curls had become even looser, wetter and more spiralized.

Jon Bon Jovi in the 80s
Jon Bon Jovi in the 1980s (Poster)
His band was big in the 80s, but his hairstyle was even bigger!

Dierdre Barlow 80s perm and glasses
Dierdre Barlow
Anyone who grew up in the UK during the 1980s watching Coronation Street will remember this look. I'm not sure which is worse, the glasses or the hair. But the look became iconic, nonetheless. Maybe infamous is a better word to describe it!

You may also like;

Original 80s Hair Styles - Pictures

The Side Ponytail in the 80s

Ten 80s Fashion Trends We'd Rather Forget About

80s Fashion at Simplyeighties.com

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Bros 80s T-shirts

Bros "When Will I Be Famous" single 1987

I still have vivid memories of crazy teenage girls in Bros T-shirts screaming wildly at the latest boy band sensation back in 1988. In their debut single they asked the question "When will I be famous?", and the answer was pretty clear - immediately! Actually, that's not quite true, the song originally peaked in the British charts at an unremarkable No.62 in 1987. However, when a reissue rocketed to No.2 then fame was quickly thrust upon the band.

In recent months, T-shirts adorned with the 80s teen pop band have seen a resurgence in sales through my website SimplyEighties.com. The popularity of festivals and concerts such as 80s Rewind probably play a part in this. So, for this post I'm going to show you the latest T-shirts featuring Matt, Luke and Craig, which is a good idea seeing as I've already titled the post "Bros T-shirts".

With the most popular choice of 80s party T-shirt being the classic "Frankie Say Relax" and "Choose Life" designs from 1984, a Bros tee is a good choice if you would prefer to celebrate 1988 instead. There are several designs available in the UK, and, thankfully, they're all decent ones.

Black and white Bros Poster T-shirt
Mono Bros Poster Tee
The most popular T-shirt features a black and white poster image that was, no doubt, adorning the bedroom walls of a large number of teenage girls back in the late 1980s. The tee (by Retro Tees) is available in six sizes from 6 to 18, which is another reason for its popularity. It is, of course, ideal for 80s events, festivals, concerts and parties. Please note that all prices quoted in this post are subject to change.

Bros Matt and Luke T-shirt
Men's Bros T-sbirt
This tee by Retro Tees includes a promise to despatch the item the same day (if possible) or the next working day. So if you're looking for a shirt at short notice, this is ideal. It only features Matt and Luke, so if you're a Craig fan then try one of the other designs featured here.

Craig, Matt and Luke Bros T-shirt for Ladies
Love Craig. Matt, Luke T-shirt
This design is a new at Amazon and is available for ladies only in sizes from 8 to 18.

Colour Bros Poster Tee
If you prefer a bit of colour in your life then this second T-shirt for ladies will be more to your liking. This one is also produced by Retro Tees and available in the same range of sizes for the same price.

Bros "When Will I Be Famouse" logo T-shirt
Bros When Will I Be Famous Logo T-shirt
This third and final tee features the logo that featured on the band's debut single. Once again, it's produced by Retro Tees and is available at the same price and in the same range of sizes as the T-shirts featured above. Now, your hardest decision is deciding just which one to go for - the choice is yours!

Related posts;

You can also see a wide range of 1980s T-shirt ideas at my website and don't miss the Bros page if you were a fan of the band.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Top 5 Stores to Buy 80s Costumes

80s Aerobics Instructor Costume

I've been providing ideas for fun 1980s dress-up for over eight years now, and I would now like to use the knowledge that I've gathered to bring you my Top Five retailers to buy 80s costumes from. The list is based on who provides the best range of costumes at the most competitive prices.

1. ebay

Ebay have, by far, the biggest number of suppliers selling at the very best prices. Although the site still has a hard time convincing some people that they are a completely safe and trustworthy place to buy from, if you buy from the top-rated sellers then there usually is no problem whatsoever - I've never had any serious issues myself.

Put simply, if you've found a great costume idea then search for it on ebay if you want to buy it at the very best price. The links below are generic and should take you to the correct search in any English-speaking country inc. the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada.

Recommended searches;

80s Costumes at ebay

Madonna Costumes at ebay

80s T Shirts

I Love the 80s Costume for Women
80s Costume at Amazon UK

2. Amazon

All of the leading costume suppliers are selling and competing on Amazon which means the choice is far greater than any single fancy dress store. The prices are very competitive, although not always as cheap as ebay, and the site is well-trusted and well-established. It's also a great place to find ideas with many recommendations often shown underneath each costume you select. If you need an 80s costume idea then this is THE place to find it.

Recommended searches;

All 80s Costumes at Amazon.com (U.S.)

Madonna Costumes at Amazon.com

80s T Shirts at Amazon.com

All 80s Costumes at Amazon UK

80s Costumes in Clothing at Amazon UK

80s Costumes in Toys and Games at Amazon UK

Madonna Fancy Dress at Amazon UK

3. Angels Fancy Dress

This store has been trading for 175 years, far longer than just about any other costume store on the web. The prices are very competitive and I really like the design of the site which is bright, modern and colourful. They only supply the UK, and the range of costumes isn't as great as ebay and Amazon for 80s costumes, but they're all compressed into one tidy section which makes it quick and easy to find a great idea. Angels are certainly very trustworthy and if you would prefer to support an individual supplier, rather than a corporate giant, then these are the guys for you.

Recommended searches;

80s Film and TV Costumes for Women

80s Film and TV Costumes for Men

80s Costumes

4. Jokers' Masquerade

This is another well-established UK site, and although some of the prices aren't as low as on the sites above, they do have 198 costumes to choose from for men and women all together on one big page. The images are large and clear and the site is well laid-out and easy to navigate, making it quick and easy to find what you're looking for.

Recommended Search;

80s Costumes

5. Smiffys

Smiffys have been trading since the 19th century (yes, really!) and are probably the most recognised name in fancy dress. They sell around 26 million items per year and really know their stuff. The site is clean and easy to navigate, although some of the pages look a little corporate. Nonetheless, this is an excellent and very trustworthy website to buy from, and a recent makeover has given the site a more modern feel.

80s Costumes at Smiffys

Theme Ideas

As well as simply searching for "80s Costumes" there are many other categories and themes within the genre that can be explored. These ideas are particularly useful for searches on ebay and Amazon, but I've actually linked to pages at my website below which are packed with ideas. The links featured on the pages below are to UK stores, However, you can also see theme ideas for the U.S. at our website 80s Fashion Clothing

2 Tone and Ska

80s Bags

80s Costumes for Ladies

80s Costumes for Men

80s Skirts

80s T Shirts

80s Workout/Fitness/Aerobics

Adam Ant


Boy George




Leg Warmers


Michael Jackson


Rubik's Cube


Top Gun

Wonder Woman

Although we don't actually sell costumes directly, Simplyeighties.com does have more specialist 1980s related sections than any other costume site. If you are looking for lots of great ideas then come and take a look;

Costume Ideas at SimplyEighties.com

80s Costume Ideas for the U.S. at 80s Fashion Clothing

Have fun! Mark.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Original 80s Hair Styles - Pictures

For this post I've gathered together some more original pictures/photos of 80s hair styles. I hope these will give you a little inspiration for how to dress your hair for a 1980s party or event.

Steve Strange on the cover of Smash Hits in Jan 1981
Smash Hits Jan 22 - Feb 4th 1981 ft. Steve Strange
You may remember that I discussed 80s pop stars sweeping their hair over one eye in my recent post Big and Bold Hair Styles from the 80s. Phil Oakey from Human League and Mike Score from A Flock of Seagulls were two prime examples of this. As you can see, New Romantic Steve Strange from Visage was also at it, and he added a wonky hat for good measure- a strange hat in every sense of the word!

Peter Murphy Bauhaus - 80s hair
Smash Hits Oct 1982 ft. Peter Murphy from Bauhaus
Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy was still replicating the hair over one eye style in late 1982.

Nancy Wilson from Heart in the 1980s
Nancy Wilson from Heart (1980s)
I actually went to see Heart perform at the NEC, Birmingham, UK during their comeback years in the second half of the 80s. I wasn't a huge fan, but as my friends had joined me to see Simple Minds at a previous concert, it was only fair that I returned the favour. I remember that it was a very decent performance and they certainly had the audience out of their seats. Nancy Wilson gives us a fine example of an 80s rock hair style here.

Warrant - 80s glam metal band

Warrant are an American glam metal band who formed in 1984, although they didn't achieve any commercial success until 1989 with the album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich which achieved 2 x Platinum sales in the U.S. For 80s metal hair you'll need to grow it long, obviously, and add a girl perm and an animal print headband for the ultimate 80s look.

Britny Fox 80s glam metal hair
Britny Fox
Now this is a proper glam metal hair - just look at its awesomeness! These hair styles were worn by both male and female glam metal bands, and sometimes it was hard to decipher which gender a band was! This would be a fun a style to create for 80s dress-up, although your easiest option is to just buy a hair metal wig. Britny Fox were never successful in the UK. In the U.S., their self-titled album (released in June 1988) was their most successful.

Men's Heavy Metal Wig at Amazon UK

80s hair - side ponytail
Side Ponytail
Out of all the bold and wild hairstyles to come out of the 80s, the side ponytail is probably the easiest to recreate - but only if you have long hair, of course! See More Side Ponytail Pictures

80s Permed Side Ponytail
Permed Side Ponytail
Here we have two hairstyles from the 1980s in one - a side ponytail with a perm.

American actress and singer Pia Zadora in the 80s
Pia Zadora
Pia Zadora became infamous in 1982 after her role in one of the worst films of the eighties, Butterfly. She won a Golden Raspberry award for worst actress and worst new star. After this, she ventured into the music world releasing several successful European hit singles, although none entered the UK Top 40. Make your hair big and messy, add a headband and you have an instant 80s style!

1980s Australian fashion - Debbi Whitford
From the 1987 book Fashion Australia!
Not sure which is more extreme here, the hair or the clothing? This picture featured in an Australian fashion book.

Follow Me magazine, March 1987
Chelo Winter Collection 1987
So what do you do when you're having a bad 80s hair day? You cover it with a silly hat, of course!

Sunsilk hair protection 80s advert
Sunsilk Advert

When you've used half a can of hairspray to hold your 80s bouffant hair style in place you certainly won't be needing a space helmet - nothing is going to shift it!

Short With Volume
Bold 80s style

80s Troll Doll
80s Troll Doll
Maybe this is where Jedward got their inspiration from?

You may also be interested in;

Iconic and Infamous 80s Perms

For lots more info on 80s Fashion visit my website at SimplyEighties.com

80s costumes at Amazon.com
80s Costumes

Sunday, 30 April 2017

80s Flashdance Costume

Flashdance poster ft. Jennifer Beals
Flashdance Movie Poster

Flashdance Costume for Women
Flashdance Costume at Amazon UK

Actress Jennifer Beals created an iconic 80s look when she wore that long, grey sweatshirt for the 1983 movie Flashdance. You can easily transform into her character, Alex Owens, using this official movie costume, which includes the long, grey sweatshirt dress/top, leg warmers and headband - everything you need for an authentic Flashdance style.

For some reason, the outfit is only available in XS or S in the UK. In the U.S., a medium is also available.

However, you can easily create your own look for a fraction of the cost (and also in larger sizes), using the following accessories;

Off the shoulder, batwing sleeve long grey top

Off Shoulder Batwing Long Sleeve Dress UK

This top is also available in the U.S.

This low-cost sweatshirt has received dozens of positive reviews from customers and is a very popular choice through my website SimplyEighties.com. It's available in a choice of colours.There are several sellers selling similar items and I have linked to all of them above so you can compare products and get the best price.

Black Leg Warmers
Black Leg Warmers at Amazon UK

Black Leg Warmers at Amazon.com
Black leg warmers come with the official costumes, but if you want to create your own look then they are available for just a few pounds/dollars including delivery, and you can choose from a whole range of colours. Why not create your own individual look using a different coloured top and leg warmers?

Flashdance Wig for Women
Official Flashdance Wig (U.S.)

This Flashdance wig will complete your look. I could not find this item at Amazon UK. However, one supplier was selling it at ebay. Talking of which, here you will also find a cheaper, alternative Flashdance costume and you can use the following links in the UK, U.S., Australia and Canada;

Flashdance Wigs at ebay

Flashdance Costumes at ebay

Black Flashdance Leotard
80s Leotards at Amazon.com

An alternative Flashdance costume can be created using a black leotard which Jennifer Beals wore in the classic dance scene in the movie.

You may also like;

Let's Get Physical Costume for Women
Let's Get Physical Costume (UK)
This low-cost fancy dress costume is currently only available in the UK, however you can get lots of ideas using the following links to our website at simplyeighties.com.

80s Workout and Fitness Costume Ideas for the UK

80s Aerobics and Fitness Costume Ideas for the U.S.


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