Tuesday, 23 September 2014

80s Digital Watches

1970s style LED watch
There can be hardly anyone who lived through the 1980s who didn't own a digital watch at some point. Indeed, they became so popular that trying to find an old analogue watch in the Argos catalogue was like looking for a contraceptive pill in a convent.

Digital Watches first launched in the 70s and featured a red LED display. Seiko and Texas Instruments were amongst the first companies to take them into mass production. However, they were problematic and used so much battery power that you needed to replace the battery every couple of weeks or so. Because of this, they were soon replaced by the more convenient LCD watches, and Casio became one of the market leaders during the 1980s.

As with many new electronic gadgets the watches soon became more complex, and companies competed with each other to cram as many features as they possibly could into a wristwatch. Casio released their now iconic calculator and databank watches, and Seiko launched their first TV watch in 1982. Amusingly, some even had built-in thermometers, and trying to buy a watch to actually tell the time became irrelevant.

My parents bought me my first digital watch in 1982 which was made by Texas Instruments. It was pretty basic, but featured a cool glow in the dark luminous green background. Watches quickly became ever more complex, and within about a year everyone wanted the new-fangled calculator watches. In 1984, I persuaded my parents to buy me a Casio model for Christmas which had a built-in Space Invaders game. Indeed, there were so many features that actually remembering where the time mode was on the darn thing became almost an impossibility - you could find yourself spending half a day frantically pressing the buttons just to get back to the time mode!

80s LCD gold digital watch
80s style gold LCD watch by Trixes
There are plenty of retro style digital watches available today with a 1970s or 80s style. There is a lovely selection of 70s LED watches at Amazon.co.uk which look exactly like the one my Dad owned back in the day. Starting at little short of £50 they're not cheap, but for retro coolness they can't be beaten. The gold tone 80s watch featured here costs less than a fiver, and if you're planning on dressing-up for an 80s party then it would be a cost-effective way to add the finishing touch to your costume. For long-term use I would doubt it's going to last that long, although you should never judge a book by its cover, of course.

If you want a truly authentic 80s watch with lasting appeal then it's worth paying a bit more. Casio are still producing some of the exact same models they were around three decades ago, but with improved technology inside the casing, of course.

Let's take a look at the models available.

Gold Casio WR 80s Digital Watch
Casio WR Gold 80s Watch
Now, this looks very much like the watch I bought in the latter half of the 80s, except mine was made from black plastic because that's all I could afford at the time. Whether gold-toned or not, this model was a lot less complicated to use. Gold watches became highly popular, particularly amongst YUPPIES - remember them?

However, to be a true YUPPIE you needed a Casio Databank.

Retro 80s Casio Gold Data Bank Watch
Retro 80s Casio Data Bank Watch
This is from Casio's retro collection and look's exactly how I remember them. These were far too highly-priced for someone who was in their late teens (as I was) but very suitable for anyone who had some cash to spare, such as your boss!

The following watches are typical of the popular models we were all wearing in the 1980s and can, fortunately, still be bought today. I particularly like the Timex with it's luminous green display that reminds me of my first aforementioned digital watch by Texas Instruments.

Casio Calculator Watch

Relevant posts on this blog:

Back to the Future Watch/Costume
Inflatable 80s Mobile YUPPIE phone

You can read more about 80s fashion at my website SimplyEighties.com

Friday, 12 September 2014

Women's "I Love The 80s" Fancy Dress Costume

Off-the-shoulder 1980s T-shirt for Women
Off-Shoulder 80s T-shirt
For this post I'm going to show you how to quickly put together two "I Loveheart The 80s" costumes, the first of which this lovely lady is wearing. Firstly, you can buy that black, off-the-shoulder T-shirt using the link above. Unfortunately, it's only available for sizes 8-12 for some reason, but there are lots of other stylish T-shirts available. Visit my post "I Love The 80s T-shirts" on this blog to see lots of ideas.

Pink 80s Hair Bow on a Head Band
Pink 80s Hair Bow on a headband
This pink hair bow is attached to on an easy-to-wear, elasticated headband, and can be placed onto a wig or your own hair. It's perfect for adding the finishing touch to many 80s costumes.

Neon Orange Heart Drop Earrings
See All Neon 80s Earrings
There are many 80s style earrings available in different shapes and colours including teardrop, hoop, heart-shaped and geometric. One of my favourite designs is the heartdrop shape above.

The keen-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the model is also wearing bangles, too.

multi-coloured neon beaded bracelets for 80s fancy dress
Neon Beaded Multi-coloured Bracelets (set of four)
Neon Bracelets and Belts
This set of beaded bracelets in four different colours is a good buy and just perfect for adding to an 80s costume.

Plain Leggings for 80s Fancy Dress
Plain Leggings Sizes 8-18
Plain Leggings
These low-cost, plain leggings by Monkeying About come in a range of colours and three separate sizes. Of course, you don't have to stick to black. A whole variety of colours were worn back in the 1980s.

Stirrup Leg Warmers by Roch Valley Dancewear
Stirrup Leg Warmers by Roch Valley Dancewear
Leg warmers are the key to giving your outfit a real 80s feel. There are many pages of styles to choose from at Amazon and your biggest headache will be deciding which ones to choose. For an easy option go with pastel or neon pink. Stripes were also a popular choice back in the day. For a dance style (as worn in the movies Fame and Flashdance) stirrup leg wamers (as shown above and available in many colours) are an ideal choice. You may also like to read the post 80s Flashdance Costume

Striped, Knitted Leg Warmers by Trendy Fashion
Striped, Knitted Leg Warmers by Trendy Fashion
Costume 2

80s Tutu Costume for Women
80s Tutu Costume
Here is an alternative to the first costume we have created. Simply replace the leggings with a multi-tiered tutu skirt, or wear it over your leggings.

2 Tiered, Long Tutu (choice of colours)
Pink, Layered Tutu

Black, Multi-Layered Tutu Skirt for 80s/Halloween dress-up
Black Multi-Layered Tutu
This layered tutu skirt is ideal for adding a rock or Halloween theme to your costume. However, there are many pages of low-cost tutu skirts that you can browse through at Amazon.co.uk. 

See All Tutu Skirts for Women

You can also see a wide range of 80s fancy dress costume ideas at SimplyEighties.com

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Rubik's Cube Clutch Handbag

Rubik's Cube Clutch Handbag
Rubik's Cube PU Leather Handbag
Whether you're looking for a quirky, fun handbag, or an extra accessory to add to your 80s fancy dress party costume, this fantastic-looking clutch handbag should fit the bill. It's made from high quality PU leather and features two inner pockets. It is, of course, designed to look like the best-selling puzzle of all-time, the Rubik's Cube, which first became popular back in the 1980s - I could never solve the darn thing and resorted to peeling off the stickers and placing them in the right order!

This handbag is certainly a head-turner and a great talking point, being ideal for both teens and adults, and once your friends (or work colleagues) see you sporting this bag they'll all want one, that's for sure! I certainly know one young lady who would be very happy to receive this bag as a present as it's just such a cool retro idea - that's one idea added to the Christmas gifts list, at least.

Rubik's Cube Handbag close-up

You may also be interested in the post Rubik's Cube Fancy Dress Costumes on this blog. By the way, you can also find a wide-range of 80s fancy dress costume ideas at my website SimplyEighties.com.

Melting Rubik's Cube T-shirt for Women
Melting Cube T-shirt for Ladies
If you weren't tempted by that handbag, then how about this melting cube T-shirt? This particular one is available in four colours and in sizes 8-18. However, the link above will take you to a choice of women's tees with a melting cube theme.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Punk Anarchist Costume for Men

Mens Punk Anarchist Costume
Punk Anarchist Costume for Men
Punk rock started around the mid 1970s and developed into many different styles as the 80s approached. It was not only the music that was anti-establishment, but the clothing, too. Tartan was popular with the upper classes and punks wore it to rebel against them, along with offensive T-shirts, ripped clothing, leather jackets, safety pins, spiked and studded jewellery etc.

Punk fashion is a fun fancy dress idea and this anarchist outfit includes a jacket, top and tartan trousers. As with most fancy dress costumes the accessories are not included, allowing you to accessorize the outfit however you desire. Here are some suggestions.

Spiked Punk Accessories
Punk Accessories
The link above will take you to a whole array of accessories (including studded and spiked chokers, wristbands and gloves etc) from the many suppliers at Amazon.co.uk.

Punk button badges
Punk Button Badges
These pin badges are a fun idea and will add the finishing touch to your costume.

Here are some more fun accessory ideas that caught my eye;

Punk Rock Pin Badges
See All Punk Badges £3.99
Studded Elasticated Wrist Bracelet £1.49
Multi-coloured Mohican Wig £4.94
One of the most popular and best-remembered punk hairstyles was the mohican or mohawk. If you want to turn heads with your costume then this colourful wig should do the trick. At under £5 (as I write) the price is very competitive and this wig would look fantastic with the anarchist costume.

However, there are many other punk wig styles available and here are some recommended searches;

Mohican wigs
Punk wigs for men

For more punk dress-up ideas you may also want to take a look at the Punk Costumes page at my website SimplyEighties.com

Monday, 18 August 2014

Michael Jackson Thriller Costume for Adults

Michael Jackson 80s Thriller Costume
Thriller Costume £14.99
No one can argue that the king of pop was at the peak of his career during the 1980s. If they do, then just mention the fact that the 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all-time and they'll need need a damn good explanation why he wasn't.

Staying with the subject of Thriller, Michael Jackson also brought us one of the most iconic videos of the 80s with the epic Thriller single, and the costume he wore has become iconic, too. If you're thinking of an awesome idea for an 80s or Halloween fancy dress party, then you can't go far wrong with that red leather outfit he wore.

Buying a real leather replica costume is, obviously, going to cost a small fortune, so unless you work as a costume designer for Madame Tussaud's, this option is not going to be very practical. Instead, I will show you a range of more reasonably-priced options which won't leave a nasty dent in your bank balance.

No doubt, you will have noticed the first costume at the top/left of this page. This is priced at under £15 including delivery from One Click Wonder at Amazon. A number of other suppliers are also selling the same outfit on the Amazon site, but this was the lowest-priced option. Actually, that's the benefit of using Amazon as all of the leading fancy dress suppliers are competing with each other on the site so you're guaranteed an excellent price. However, you may want to check for yourself as prices fluctuate - see all Michael Jackson Thriller costumes.

Although the picture shows the lookalike wearing those famous sequin gloves, MJ didn't actually wear them in the Thriller video, so for authenticity you're better of without them. However, to complete your look you really need a wig like this one;

Michael Jackson Thriller Wig
Michael Jackson Thriller Wig
This Thriller wig is available for £7.20 including delivery, so you're complete costume works out at £22.19. These prices are subject to change, of course, but they don't normally fluctuate too wildly.

Official Thriller red jacket for fancy dress
Official Thriller Jacket (Adults)
Ladies Thriller Costume

The official Thriller jacket can also be bought on its own for £25.81 (as I write) and ladies can also create a Thriller 80s look using this jacket with a Tutu/petticoat skirt.Here are a few ideas;
Black Tutu for Halloween or 80s Party
Deluxe Black Tutu Skirt £5.63
Halloween Tutu Skirt
Long, black layered ra-ra style skirt

7 Layers Pointed Red Tutu for Halloween dress-up
7 Layers Pointed Tutu
Red Halloween Pointed Tutu

Zombify your face!

If your Michael Jackson costume is for Halloween then you may want to make yourself look like a zombie as MJ did later on in his Thriller video. All you need for this is a zombie make-up kit or you can use white face paint and add some horror scar tattoos.

80s Michael Jackson Billie Jean Costume
View more Michael Jackson costumes

You can see more 80s fancy dress ideas at my website SimplyEighties.com.

Related Posts;

Halloween Tutu Skirts
Halloween Tutu Costumes
Retro Monster Costume Ideas
Ghostbusters T-shirts

Friday, 8 August 2014

Madonna Material Girl Fancy Dress Costume

"Materialgirlmusicvideo" by Marqueecapital. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

It's no secret that Madonna was an admirer of Marilyn Monroe, and for her 1984 video for the hit song Material Girl she was heavily inspired by the fashion and dance routine in the song Diamond's Are a Girl's Best Friend - Monroe performed the routine in the 1953 movie Gentleman Prefer Blondes.

This leads me to a unique and impressive 80s fancy dress costume idea. There is no shortage of Madonna costumes available to buy, but few people think of the iconic pink dress as a costume idea. Of course, the outfit can also be used for 1950s style dress-up, too.

Madonna Material Girl Costume
Marilyn Monroe Costume
The costume shown here is available in two sizes for 6-8 and 8-10. It's certainly not the cheapest fancy dress option for Madonna dress-up, but what you are paying for is good quality and style. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, no large sizes are made, so if you're above a size 10 then you may want to try another type of outfit. Included are the dress, belt, bow and arm gloves. However, the jewellery and wig are not included, but the following wig matches the style well;

Madonna Material Girl 80s Wig
Longer Style Marilyn Wig

Necklace and Earrings for a Madonna Material Girl costume
Marilyn/Madonna Material Girl Jewellery
The jewellery set above includes a rhinestone style necklace and earrings which were pretty similar to what was worn in both Madonna's and Marilyn's dance routine. However. this does not include the silver beaded arm bracelets and there are cheaper alternatives available as shown below;

If you're a bit strapped for cash then you may want to reconsider creating the Material Girl costume as a complete look with all the accessories will leave you with little change from around £70. But if you really want to create an impressive, head-turning fancy dress outfit then this look is absolutely the right choice, and is suitable for 1950s, 1980s, retro, movie and hollywood themed parties and events.

Related posts;

Madonna Desperately Seeking Susan Costume
Best-Selling 80s Costumes for Ladies