Electronic music, big clothes and even bigger hair were some of the best(?) parts of the 1980s. The '80s high school prom look lives on as a pop culture reference—proof positive that this was an unforgettable fashion era. Guys in pastel tuxedos with frilly ruffled shirts, girls with whole cans of hairspray coating teased locks—it was all so bad but so good. Which is why people still throw parties with this '80s prom theme. Here's how to embrace your inner '80s kid—and maybe even win prom queen.
The Prom King and Queen
To be the king and queen of an '80s prom, you've got to have the biggest hair, fanciest footwear and coordinating pastel ensembles, of course.
As the prom queen, your hair should be teased to perfection and almost as big as the bow-embellished puff sleeves on your baby-pink dress. Dresses should feature a slim bodice and princess skirt that hits just at the mid-calf or floor. Bright berry-pink lipstick, frosted blue eye shadow and white pumps finish this quintessential outfit.
For guys, a powder blue or white tuxedo is priceless. Add an oversized bow tie and ruffled tuxedo shirt to make an even bigger statement. Complete the look with a matching cummerbund and white dress shoes.
If you're a rocker or rebel at heart, go edgy. Look to Madonna for inspiration. Anchor your ensemble with black fishnet tights, a racy bustier and a short, ruffled skirt. Accessorize with lots of layered chain necklaces, black ankle boots and dark, heavy makeup.
Guys should choose a more cutting-edge tux style, like a waist-length spencer jacket. This statement tux is black or white with a bow tie and matching vest. Trendy '80s basketball sneakers or cowboy boots add to the bad-boy persona.
The New Wave Kids
The new wave look is inspired by the futuristic style of the '80s. Amp up a black dress with touches of neon or a black-and-white checkered print. Slip on some classic black pumps or lace-up ankle booties. Apply some bold eye shadow and extend it past the eyelid in a bright fuchsia streak across the temples. Finish with neon pink or true red lipstick.
For guys, an all black tuxedo accessorized with matching Wayfarer sunglasses and a swipe of black eyeliner is perfect.
Marie Sporich is a SoCal native, classical ballerina and devoted Yogi. She holds an A.A. in product development and B.S. in business management from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She has spent nearly 10 years in retail, is a published writer and certified wedding planner.