Saturday, 26 July 2014

Oversized, Off-Shoulder 80s Shirts

80s Style Loose-fit Batwing Sleeve Top
Loose Fit Batwing Top £7.29
If you're of a certain age then you will probably remember the craze for wearing huge, oversized shirts and sweatshirts back in the first half of the 1980s. After Jennifer Beals wore a grey, off-shoulder sweatshirt in the 1983 romantic dance movie Flashdance, it seemed like every female wanted to copy the look. They were worn like a dress and many variations of the style were created by fashionable women during the 1980s.

To recreate the look you're going to need a very large sweatshirt, obviously, with a loose neck opening. You can also use a long and loose fit T-shirt.

The first top featured here is very reasonably priced and features typically 80s batwing sleeves. You're not going to get the greatest quality at this price, but for an 80s party/event it should fit the bill. Wear off one shoulder and accessorise with items such as jelly bracelets, neon bangles, a big white belt or neon belt, footless tights/leggings and leg warmers.

Off-Shoulder Batwing Sleeved Top
This low-cost, long top with batwing sleeves is available in a wide range of colours and sizes from 8-22. Reviews suggest that you should order a larger size than normal as it is a little clingy, but It's a popular choice through my website and the grey is ideal for creating an 80s dance look. Again, you can add accessories to create the style you're after. 

Another popular 80s fashion was the crop top, and these can also be worn off one shoulder, too. This trend was started by Madonna after she was a cropped mesh top in the video for her hit song Lucky Star. It quickly caught on, and flashing your belly button became highly popular with teen girls.

Short Sleeve Crop Top for 80s dress-up
Short Sleeve Crop Top

I would suggest ordering a larger size than you normally wear if you wish to wear it off one shoulder.

Related posts;

Flashdance Costume
80s Workout and Dance Clothes

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Retro Ford T-shirts

Petrolhead Ford Capri Mk3 S T-shirt
Petrolhead Ford Capri Mk3 T-shirt (choice of colours)

Henry Ford was responsible for developing and manufacturing the very first mass produced, affordable motor cars. During the 1970s and 80s, Ford produced some very memorable and highly popular family vehicles such as the Fiesta, Escort and Granada. The sportier models such as the XR3i and Capri became instant hits with boy racers.

No doubt, there will be many people reading this post who will have memories (good and bad) of driving a Ford car back in the 80s. I became a bit of a fan during my time working at the local Ford garage in the late 80s, where I used to deliver and collect new and used Ford cars from garages around the country, as well as delivering serviced vehicles back to their owners. I was very fortunate to have driven just about every model, so it's no wonder that I became a fan. I only ever drove one Capri, though, and this was an orange-coloured Mk3 similar to the one featured on the first T-shirt above. It was a strange beast to drive - I wasn't used to the low ground clearance - and the bonnet seemed to stretch out for a mile! But that was the point, it was supposed to feel different to the standard family cars and appeal to those who hadn't yet started a family and wanted to splash their cash on a fun, sporty model.

There are plenty of other T-shirts available featuring the Capri through the many sellers at

Classic Ford Capri T-shirt (choice of colours)
Classic Ford T-shirt
Although more expensive than the first T-shirt (around £17.97 plus delivery), I really like the in your face design with the yellow Mk3 Capri. It's available from shotdeadinthehead at Amazon in sizes Small to XX-Large, with six colour choices. I actually like the navy blue colour above which helps the yellow to become more prominent. The design is also available for ladies, too.

60s Ford Shelby Mustang T-shirt for Men
60s Ford Shelby Mustang Tee
For fans of American Ford's this T-shirt may be more your cup of tea. It features three models of the high performance Shelby Mustang from the 1960s and is available in a whopping choice of 17 colours in sizes Small to 6x XL. That should cover just about everyone! Black is always a good choice of colour for men, although the forest green looks particularly good and has a vintage racing green feel.

Ford Escort 1300 Mk1 Haynes Manual T-shirt
Ford Escort 1300 Haynes Manual T-shirt
Ah, the Haynes manual! No car D.I.Y. enthusiast worth his salt was without one, and this officially licensed T-shirt features the inner workings of a first generation Ford Escort 1300. This is one of the most popular Ford tees and available in five colours for sizes Small to X-Large. Personally, I prefer this blue one, although I'm also a fan of orange, too.

Men's Ford Racing logo T-shirt
Ford Racing Logo T-shirt
The Ford logo is, without a doubt, one of the most recognised logos in the world and the Ford Racing division has around since 1901. This heavyweight cotton tee is no less than 30 colours, including some unusual tie dye pattern designs. I like this royal blue one myself which is pretty similar to the colour of the logo. Sizes Small to 6x XL are available, so it should fit just about anyone.

Vintage Distressed Ford Logo T-shirt for Men
Distressed Ford Logo T-shirt
There are plenty of Ford logo T-shirts around, but I particularly like this one which has a vintage feel. In fact, I like it so much I've actually bought one! It's officially licensed, although only available in two shades of grey. The grey actually compliments the logo well, so I'm not too disappointed that no other colours were available. I opted for the lighter grey as shown above, but it's just personal choice, I guess.

You can also view a wide variety of 80s T-shirt ideas at my website

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

80s Aerobics Fashion

During the early 1980s it felt like the world had gone aerobics crazy. Females everywhere were doing everyday chores (such as shopping and walking their dogs) in leotards, leggings and legwarmers, some were even on rollerskates.

Pop stars and actresses were responsible for starting the craze. Olivia Newton-John started a headband fad after the release of here raunchy Physical video in 1981, and the song quickly became an aerobics anthem. Here in Great Britain, no home was without a Jane Fonda workout video in the living room.

However, contrary to popular belief, not everyone was wearing neon. Take a look back at the old workout videos and you'll see a whole range of colours and styles being worn. Some leotards were shiny, some had stripes and others were pastel. Zebra and leopard print and splatter paint designs were also worn by some. There were often (but not always) accompanied by a big belt around the waist, leggings, legwarmers and a headband. The aternative to the leotard was a sports bra and dance shorts.

Creating an 80s Style Aerobics Costume

You'll be pleased to know that there are no strict rules. I would suggest that the most important items are legwarmers and a headband if you want that 1980s look. You'll see many pictures on the web of young people trying to imitate the era by wearing bright neon colours. However, check out genuine photos and video footage from the 80s and you'll see that neon wasn't the only choice. Pastel pink and grey were a popular combination, as was purple and pink. Jane Fonda sometimes wore neon yellow or turquoise, but she also wore a red and white or red and black stripy leotard with plain black tights and plain, non-neon leggings. More often than not she wore a big belt around her waist, too, although she never went for the headband.

Jane Fonda Workout Video from 1988
Jane Fonda Workout Video (1988)
 This video from 1988 shows Jane in a leopard print leotard. Tiger and zebra print were also popular.

80s Style Leopard Print Leotard
Leopard Print Leotard from £5.99
You can create a similar look using this low-cost leotard by Fantasia. When you click the link you'll also be presented with many other colour options, too.

80s Style Leopard Print Leggings
Leopard Print Leggings
Jane Fonda Workout Video 1982
Jane Fonda Workout Video (1982)
The look was very different in 1982, with a stripy black and red leotard, black leggings and legwarmers. She also wore a big black belt around the waist. Sadly, finding a similar colour leotard has been an impossible task, although you can buy Pamela Mann footless tights with a similar design, and they are available in eight different colours;

Pamela Mann Footless Tights
You could always create an interesting reverse effect by adding a black leotard and black legwarmers
Start Up With Jane Fonda - 1980s video

In this old 80s video cover Jane is wearing a pink and white striped leotard with a white belt and pastel pink legwarmers. Once again, trying to find a similar leotard has proved to be impossible, although the accessories are easily available. However, this yellow and black bodysuit would look very 80s with a big belt and leg warmers.

Jane Fonda Style Striped Early 80s Leotard
Striped Jane Fonda Style Leotard

Big 80s Style Belt (choice of colours)
Neon Yellow 80s Belt
Neon Yellow Belt

80s Aerobics - 1985

The first lady on the left in this genuine photo from 1985 has embraced the paint splatter design which was popular for a while. Paint splatter leotards are extremely hard to come by these days, and for this reason, as an option for 80s dress-up you will need to cross this off your list. However, there are leggings available...

Anna Kaci Paint Splatter Leggings for 80s dress-up
Paint Splatter Leggings
These multi-coloured splatter leggings by Anna-Kaci are ideal for 80s dress-up and would look so very 80s with some scrunched-up legwarmers!

Grafitti Style Leopard Print Leggings for 80s Fancy Dress
Grafitti/Leopard Print Leggings
Featuring a mix of leopard print and grafitti style multi-coloured markings, these leggings by Anna-Kaci are just perfect for 80s aerobics.

Sports Bras and Crop Tops

80s Style Zebra Print Sports Bra
Zebra Print Sports Bra by Pizzazz
I love the design of this fitness bra which is just perfect for adding to an 80s costume. Okay, so it's not cheap, but it would look fantastic as part of a fitness outfit.

Create A Low-Cost Flashdance Costume

I've hand-picked the following items which would be ideal for an 80s fitness outfit. Firstly, one of the easiest ways to create an eighties look is to simply purchase a plain leotard and add some accessories. Just about any bright colour goes well with black, and it's also less see-through, too.

Plain, Stretchy Leotard (choice of colours) £4.90
This low-cost, short-sleeved leotard may not be the highest quality around, but if you're only using it for a fancy dress costume then it should be ideal.You could also use it to create an ultra low-cost Flashdance style costume. Simply add black leggings and a grey, batwing style, off-shoulder long sleeve top like these...

Plain, Neon Legwarmers for 80s costume
Plain Legwarmers
Long sleeve, loose fit crop top

More 80s inspired leotards/bodysuits

80s Neon Animal Print Leotard
Neon Animal Print Leotard
Neon Pink Cheetah Print Bodysuit for 80s Costume
Neon Pink Cheetah Print Bodysuit

You can find more 80s Fitness Clothing Ideas at my website You may also want to read the post 80s Workout and Dance Clothes on this blog for more inspiration.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Create a Back To The Future 80s Costume

Back To The Future DeLorean T-shirt
Back To The Future T-shirt
Of all the logos to come out of the 1980s, the "Back To The Future" movie logo is certainly one of the most iconic and memorable. This makes it ideal for using on clothing to wear at 80s-themed parties and events. Some clever people have also come up with other imaginative uses of the logo, as we'll see further down this post.

I'll be showing you how to create a really decent Marty McFly costume in a moment. But I want to start with the Back To The Future T-shirt. I particularly like the first one here which features the DeLorean time machine. If you're going to a fancy dress party and you really hate dressing-up, then a T-shirt is a simple, but effective solution. There are plenty of tees to choose from, and some are more geeky than others.

Here are a couple more designs that you may want to consider...

Flux Capacitor Back To The Future T-shirt
Flux Capacitor T-shirt
Doc Brown Enterprises T-shirt

The theme isn't quite as obvious, and you need to have a little knowledge about the movie to realise what the designs relate to. Not everyone is going to know what a Flux Capacitor is, for instance, but these T-shirts are a cool choice for those wanting to express just a part of their geeky knowledge of 80s movies!

Now, I did mention another clever use of that logo.

Back To The 80s glow in the dark T-shirt for men
Glow In The Dark Back To The 80s T-shirt
I really need to get this tee which is available in many colours and in a full range of sizes. It's a real head-turner and ideal for any 80s-themed event.

You can go one step further by adding a Marty McFly style gilet. McFly, of course, was the lead character in the film played by Michael J. Fox.

Red Gilet for Marty McFly dress-up
Red Marty McFly style Gilet
At under £20 inc. delivery, this red gilet is ideal for forming the main part of a Back To The Future themed costume. It's not an exact replica, but for a low-cost option it's a good choice. You could simply wear it over one of the tees above, but for a more authentic look you'll need a denim jacket and checked shirt as in the photo above.

Finding a check shirt that matches the one above proved to be difficult. It needs to be a long-sleeve shirt so that you can roll-up the cuffs over your denim jacket cuffs.

Marty McFly Checked Shirt
Checked Shirt by Esprit
This first one was on offer at £19.99 with free delivery and the colour goes well with the gilet. To be honest, I would doubt that many people can remember the exact shirt that Michael J. Fox wore in the film anyway, and this is supposed to be fun dress-up, so I wouldn't loose sleep over the finer details!

Marty McFly Style Checked Shirt
Shirtmaster Checked Shirt
This low-cost Shirtmaster checked shirt is available for £10 to £13 (depending on the size chosen) and would be ideal if you're on a tight budget. It also requires little ironing, and as someone who hates ironing this would be my choice! The shirt shown has blue and black checks and two other colour choices are available.

Denim Safari Jacket for Marty McFly costume
Denim Safari Jacket £12.99
This lightweight denim jacket is very reasonably-priced, although it's only available in a medium size for whatever reason. However, this next jacket is available in sizes small to XXXXXX-large, which should cover just about everyone!

Vintage Stonewashed Denim Jacket
Classic Stonewash Denim Jacket - Blue or Black
As I write, this jacket is on sale at £17.95 to £19.95, but as this offer may have ended by the time you're reading this, then I would recommend that you browse through the substantial range of mens denim jackets avaialble from the many suppliers at Amazon to see what is currently on offer.

You can really enhance your look with this budget calculator watch and low-cost, high top trainers...

I was one of many teenagers who received a calculator watch back in the 80s as a Christmas present, and they were hugely popular in the first half of the decade, with Casio being the leading manufacturer.

Classic 80s Calculator Watch by Casio
Classic 80s Casio Calculator Watch
If you want the real McCoy, then you'll be pleased to know that Casio are still manufacturing the same classic watch that Michael J. Fox wore (as Marty McFly) in the first two Back To The Future films. Of course, this will add a significant amount to your costume budget, but you will also have the pleasure of owning a cool retro watch that can be worn for many years to come.

There were two pairs of trainers/sneakers worn by McFly. They were both by Nike and the standard pair were white with a red Nike logo and a red sole. He also wore a pair of self-lacing, grey and white hi-tops which he used whilst on the hover board. Finding the exact trainers has proved to be impossible, but as well as the budget pair already featured above, you may like to consider these low cost options...

Nike white trainers with red logo
Nike Brutez Trainers
Although Nike trainers with a red sole and logo are simply not available (trust me, I've looked everywhere!) this pair is about as close to the originals as you're likely to get. However, at £39.99 this will put quite a dent into your budget.

I hope that you have found this post helpful towards creating a Back To The Future costume. You can read a review of the Back To The Future film at my website

More 80s fancy dress ideas are available at my website