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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Create a Tina Turner 1980s Fancy Dress Costume


Tina Turner Gold Costume
Tina Turner Costumes at Amazon UK
Tina Turner Clothing at Amazon.com (US)
Ask anyone to name a few great female singers from the 80s and it's highly likely that they will mention Tina Turner. This lady was huge back in the eighties, with hits including What's Love Got To Do With It and We Don't Need Another Hero, to name but a few.

If you want to be simply the best dressed person at a fancy dress party, then why not try this gorgeous, shiny Tina Turner dress featured above?  If you're going to an 80s or pop star themed party then this costume is ideal but it can, of course, be used for other fancy dress events.



Although I have linked to the U.S. Amazon store, the costume is not available here, sadly, although you will find a range of wigs and a couple of suitable dresses. However, there are costumes available on ebay, and the prices are very decent. This link will work in any English speaking country.

You can buy an even more authentic-looking dress from Amazon, I remember two very different gold dress that Tina wore back in the 80s, one of which had a strong 1920s influence with many layers of tassels. But, of course, Tina wore a wide range of dresses, so we need something that replicates her style, such as the following little number...

Gold and black tassels dress for Tina Turner Costume
Tina Turner Dress (US)

Tina Turner Dress (UK)

Although described as a 1920s flapper dress, this item with a generous supply of tassels/fringes and shimmering gold is ideal for Tina Turner dress-up, and many people have clicked through to this costume from our website simplyeighties.com. However, it is only available in small and medium sizes, sadly.

Gold Fringe Dress
Gold Fringe Dress (US)


One of her most iconic dresses was designed by the Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaia which was made out of red leather and featured a zipper down the front. It was very revealing, so if you want to recreate this look you will need to be comfortable with bearing lots of flesh. I have had no luck in finding a dress like this one.

However, Tina was a big fan of red fringe dresses which I remember her wearing, and you can easily create an authentic look using a red flapper dress,

PLus Size Red Fringe Dress
Plus Size Red Fringe Dress (US)

Not available in the UK - sorry!
A search for red flapper dresses at Amazon will bring up many dresses that are suitable for creating your outfit.

Red Flapper Dresses US

Red Flapper Dresses UK

Tina Turner 1980s Wig Blonde 80s Wig

The most essential part of your look is a wig, unless you have lots of hair that you can ruffle up.

Tina Turner Wigs at Amazon.co.uk

Tina Turner Wigs at Amazon.com

Tina Turner Wigs at ebay (UK, US, Canada, Australia)

You may also be interested in;

Tina Turner music page at simplyeighties.com.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

1982 Fashion Pictures

For this post, I have gathered together an array of 80s fashion photos from 1982. So whether you're here to gain inspiration for an 80s costume, or you're just curious about what people were wearing back in the day, you're sure to find something of interest.

Grace Jones Shoulder Pads 1980s
Grace Jones Nightclubbing LP
This album was released in 1981, but the iconic cover represents the early 1980s perfectly. Power dressing with shoulder pads became popular with the new breed of career women who were moving out of the kitchen and into the office. The term "power dressing" originated in the late 70s, but it was during the 80s that it became well established. Androgynous tailored suits and jackets with padded shoulders were combined with more feminine jewellery, scarves and high heels to create a professional, authoritative look.



Ladies wearing knitted leg warmers in 1982
1982 knitting pattern for leg warmers and socks
In the early 80s, just about every teenage girl suddenly started wearing thick, footless socks over their jeans. Better known as leg warmers, they were worn with just about everything, but particularly with leggings and tights or, as mentioned, over jeans. It was an aerobics craze that was responsible, and this was started by Jane Fonda's 1982 Workout Video and films such as Flashdance and Fame.

1980s Oversized Blouse with batwing sleeves and belt
Oversized Blouse with batwing sleeves and belt
This sewing pattern from 1982 features a very fashionable over-sized blouse with batwing sleeves and belt. Baggy jumpers and loose shirts were often worn as dresses and were sometimes worn off one shoulder. Big belts worn around the waist (they were often neon or white) became very trendy.

1982 Kids Aran Sweaters Knitting Pattern
1982 Aran Sweaters Knitting Pattern
My gran was very fond of knitting, and every Christmas she would present me with an Aran sweater which I was forced to wear over the festive period. She was a "loose" knitter and it was always two sizes too big. In fact, it looked like it had been knitted for an orangutan, with the arms going down to my knees. My gran would fiddle around with it for about half an hour trying to make it fit, and then would smile and say "Don't worry, you'll grow into it".

1970s Paper Bell Christmas Decoration
70s Paper Bell Christmas Decoration
The early 1980s also saw a change in our taste for Christmas decorations. The paper tissue decorations of the 70s were being replaced by modern foil decorations. I was actually quite fond of the paper decorations, and they were more eco-friendly, too. In fact, we've decided to go back to using them (although using less ghastly colours) by making our own paper chains. I remember that some of the decorations came in pretty bizarre colours such as pink, yellow and orange, which were not very festive at all!


Haircut 100 on cover of Sounds magazine June 1982
Sounds Magazine 1982 ft. Haircut 100
Pop stars of the day were adopting all kinds of weird and wonderful fashion styles. Here we see Haircut 100 donning rather camp nautical outfits. 80s pop band Duran Duran were leading the way with nautical stripes, and helped popularise them further with the release of their Rio video.

Clare Grogan wearing polka dots in 1982
Clare Grogan - Kicks Magazine - July 1982
Altered Images lead singer Clare Grogan chose to wear a blue and white polka dot top for her photo shoot with Kicks magazine. Polka dots rarely go out of fashion, and they became particularly popular around the mid-eighties when Princess Diana wore a range of bold outfits featuring them.

The Police Walking On The Moon (1980) French single
The Police "Walking On The Moon" 1980 French sleeve
As you can see on this 1980 single sleeve, there was certainly nothing new about pop stars adopting either polka dots or stripes. Although he's not wearing them in this picture, lead singer Sting was also partial to nautical stripes.

Tight Fit wearing headbands and polka dots in 1982
Jackie Magazine July 1982
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, polka dots, vertical stripes and headbands were order of the day for the 80s novelty band Tight Fit!

Jackie Magazine 1982 - big hair and bold make-up
Jackie Magazine March 1982
Someone should have told this girl to go steady with the blusher! Yes, big hair and bold make-up were very much part of 1982, although I certainly can't remember any girls wearing bow ties!

1982 Spandex Leotards Advert
Spandex leotards advert by Blue Lagoon in 1982
This was also the year when an aerobics and fitness craze swept the nation with ladies everywhere going crazy for leotards, headbands and leg warmers,

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this selection of pics. You can read more about 80s Fashion at our website SimplyEighties.com.



Thursday, 8 December 2016

Create Your Own E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Costume

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was the highest-grossing movie of the 80s, and many regard it as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time. The Spielberg classic tells the story of a lonely boy named Elliot who becomes friend with a stranded extra terrestrial who needs to get back home - we all remember that classic "E.T. phone home" moment, don't we?

If you're looking for a unique costume idea for a 1980s, sci-fi or film and TV party or event, or maybe Halloween, then an E.T. costume should fit the bill for both men or women.



Adults Elliot from ET Movie Costume
Adult Elliot Costume (US)

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Adults Costume
Adult ET Costume (UK)


Now, you can buy a ready-made ET outfit from Amazon UK or Amazon.com. However, although it's convenient, it's also pretty expensive, and you can very easily create your own costume for a fraction of the cost. You'll notice that ET is wearing a red hoodie and blue jeans in the picture above for the UK costume. However, in the film, it is Elliot who wears this, and not ET. Sadly, the U.S. costume is not available at the UK store and vice versa. But don't ask me why!

E.T. Face Mask


This item is also available from Novelty Print Face Masks on Amazon. Unfortunately, it is not available at the U.S. store for some reason. I have also checked ebay and several US costume stores, but to no avail.

Print Your Own ET Face Mask

I did manage to find a printable ET face mask on flickr. If you view all sizes the you can right-click and save the picture to your PC and load into your favourite software for printing. If you want to play around with the image and resize it, then I can recommend Befunky, a superb free online image editor which can perform all sorts of enhancements.

Recreate the Bike Scene

In the iconic bike scene, ET is wearing a white blanket while sitting in the front basket. You could choose to wrap a blanket around your head for extra fun, but this is entirely optional as for most of the movie he wore nothing. Obviously, you can't simply wear nothing on your bottom half or you'll be arrested pretty quickly, so for the bottom half you can just wear jeans. For an ET costume, it is the top half that is more important.

Red Hoodie for ET Elliot Costume
Red Hoodie by Fruit of the Loom (UK)

If you're going to a party as a pair/couple, then you can easily go as Elliot and ET. For Elliot, just wear a red hoodie and blue jeans. If you wish to dress as Elliot as a solo costume, then you could concoct your own ET using the face mask (featured above) stuck to (or tied to) a party balloon and a white blanket draped over the top. Carry it under your arm, or better still, find a grey bicycle crate or a plastic washing basket. Of course, you could actually ride a BMX to the party for full effect!

Red Hoodies UK

Red Hoodies US

E.T. in a crate with Elliot on a bike
Elliot on a BMX bike with ET in a crate 


ET Hand Glove with glowing finger
ET Hand Glove


As for the gloves, well there is one available at Amazon with a glowing finger tip. However, it has been receiving pretty poor reviews with comments about the finger tip easily breaking and falling off. I guess you could use clear tape to keep it stuck on, but it's far from ideal.

Glowing Light-Up Finger for ET Fancy Dress

A great alternative is to buy this low-cost, light-up finger which would be very effective. I've picked out the best-rated items above, but you can view everything available using the links below. Some products come in packs of two, while others are described as being for the thumb.

View all light-up fingers at Amazon UK

View all light-up fingers at Amazon.com

I think that the ET costume is pretty unique and cool fancy dress idea, and the odds would be pretty slim for someone else to be wearing one at a party - unless, of course, it's an E.T. or alien themed party!

You may also be interested in...

80s Fancy Dress Ideas for the UK at my website simplyeighties.com.

80s Costume Ideas for the US at simplyeighties.com

Creepy Alien Mask
Creepy Alien Mask
Now, this is pretty similar to the view I see first thing in the morning when I look in the mirror! But seriously, you could just dress-up as an alternative alien instead, and there are oodles of face masks available. Here are some links;

Alien Masks at Amazon UK
.
Alien Masks at Amazon.com

Alien Masks at ebay

Monday, 5 December 2016

80s Boombox Ghetto Blaster Bags

Boombox and Neon Colours Laptop Computer Bag
15.6" Laptop Computer Bag (US)

Also available in the UK
Boombox 15.6
For this post, I will be discussing a range of very cool-looking, 80s boombox/ghettoblaster bags. However  I'd like to start by taking a look back at just what it was like growing up in the ghettoblaster age.

If you were a teenager in the 1980s, then chances are you owned a ghettoblaster at some point. I seem to remember that it was the cool-looking black dude (who was strutting around with a massive boombox on his shoulder) in the first Police Academy film that inspired me to buy one. I bought one from Dixons, but was never actually brave enough to place it on my shoulder. Indeed, living out in the sticks in Gloucestershire, no doubt, I would have been a laughing stock had I chosen to do so. The guy I am referring to was, of course, Larvelle Jones who was played by Michael Winslow, and he continues to make a living providing those amazing vocal sound effects, apparently.



JVC DC-33L Ghettoblaster with detachable speakers
JVC DC-33L Ghettoblaster
This is an original and rare JVC machine from the 1980s with detachable speakers and a built-in record deck, which meant you could use it like a hi-fi system at home. I'm not sure about just how practical the turntable was, though, and surely it wouldn't have been much use while on the move. I would still love to have owned one of these, though!

More popular were the twin tape deck machines which allowed you to record from a commercial cassette to a blank one. You could also enjoy simultaneous and continuous playback of two cassettes on many models, and tape your favourite songs off the radio, of course. The more expensive ghetto blasters were sturdy beasts with metal buttons and built-in graphic equalizers.


Silver Ghettoblaster Shoulder Bag
Ghettoblaster Shoulder Bag (UK)

Also Available at Amazon.com (US)
Okay, so it's about time that I mentioned the bags which, I know, you've been itching to read about - after all, that is the title of this post! If you're looking for something that's quirky then this first bag certainly fits the bill. It's bursting with retro coolness and has a clean, simple design.


One of the most exciting and quirky collections of bags can be found at Redbubble.com who ship worldwide. I've added a small example of what's available.
Ghettoblaster Postman Messenger Bag
Ghettoblaster Messenger/Postman Bag
This shoulder bag has realistic 3D print, and it's certainly eye-catching! A very similar design is also available at Amazon.com in the U.S.

Official Run DMC Boombox Messenger Bag
Official Run DMC Boombox Messenger Bag (US)
Official Run DMC Messenger Bag
If you're an 80s hip hop fan then this retro Run DMC bag may be your thing. It's ideal for keeping your cassette collection in! This item is also available at Amazon.co.uk.

Here are some more awesome designs that I discovered...


To see everything available, I recommend using the following searches;

Boombox Bags UK

Boombox Bags US

Ghettoblaster Bags UK

Ghettoblaster Bags US

Boombox Bags at ebay (UK, US, Canada, Australia)

Boombox Picnic Cooler Bag
Boom Box Bottle Cooler Bag at ebay
Around 80% of products sold on ebay are actually brand new items, and this is a great site to use for finding the very best prices, as many top-rated suppliers sell their wares here. I have linked to the search term for the bag above, rather than a specific item, as listings from sellers tend to disappear after a few weeks.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Whether you want to breakdance around it or simply keep your sandwiches in it, a ghetto blaster bag going to be a real talking point. And can you imagine the look on the faces of your friends or work colleagues when they feast their eyes on your uber cool bag - they'll all want one!

You can see many more retro bags with an 80s theme at my website SimplyEighties.com.

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