1980s

Ali Mills from The Karate Kid

Ali Mills (played by Elisabeth Shue) is a main character in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid.  Ali befriends Daniel LaRusso as he trains for the All-Valley Karate Championships under Mr. Miyagi.  A popular and stylish girl, Ali wears a number of 80s-inspired outfits throughout the film.  If you can’t find the exact pieces to match her costuming, be sure to focus on the colors and silhouettes; she often wears bold colors but in more pastel shades than many might associate with the decade’s fashions.

Flash Gordon

A football player isn’t the most likely interplanetary hero. But he might just be the one Earth needs with Ming the Merciless pushes the moon closer to our planet in an attempt to destroy it. Thankfully Dr, Zarkov finds Flash Gordon (played by Sam J. Jones) and takes him to the planet Mongo to save all of humankind!

It might sound like a stretch. But, hey, it was the ’80s. And it makes for a really great closet cosplay.

You’ll want to start with a blonde wig, tan slacks, a brown leather belt, and white sneakers. After that all you need is the signature Flash Gordon t-shirt and you’re ready to save the galaxy!

Star from The Lost Boys

Star from The Lost Boys

The movie might have been titled The Lost Boys but Jami Gertz stole every scene as the vampire coven’s one woman, Star. She looks after Laddie and is supposed to be with David. That is until Michael comes along and changes everything.

Star’s look is one that was popular with certain groups in the ’80s. She wears her long dark curls loose and opts for a flowing maxi skirt and simple tank top to combat the California heat. Her sandals aren’t ideal for the motorcycle rides her coven is fond of but she makes them work. With her shawl, jingling belt, and stack of bracelets, she is a lowkey beauty on the boardwalk.

Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop

Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop

Eddie Murphy has been a household name for decades. And one of the roles that cemented his status was Axel Foley in 1984’s Beverly Hills Cop. Murphy brought his usual charm and charisma to a character who could have easily been made bitter by everything he has to face. But when justice for his friend on the line, Murphy’s humor just keeps Foley going and made viewers everywhere root for him.

Because Foley knows his job is an active one, he tends to keep things casual. A pair of trainers, jeans, a grey pullover sweatshirt, a letterman’s jacket, watch, and a pair of sunglasses make up the bulk of his look. For Foley’s jacket you can either go for a generic Letterman’s coat or you can get a replica, depending on the investment you want to make. Then grab your badge, gun, and holster and you’re ready to solve your own case!

Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac

The band Fleetwood Mac’s lineup has gone through multiple changes since its bluesy beginnings in the 1960s, but their most recognizable sound is thanks in part to the musical contributions of Stevie Nicks and her songwriting partner (then romantic partner as well), Lindsey Buckingham. Flowing black dresses, shawls themed after her hit songs, and extremely high-heeled boots are practically synonymous with Stevie Nicks’ stage presence.

Madonna (1980s Virgin Tour)

Madonna from The Virgin Tour

From the start of her decades-long career of pop stardom, Madonna embraced a scandalous, envelope-pushing image. As tame as it looks through modern eyes, Madonna’s penchant for wearing cropped tops, short skirts, and singing about “sensitive” topics like virginity raised eyebrows in the 1980s. She unabashedly titled her debut concert tour The Virgin Tour, and wore this lacy, white getup consistent that turned the culturally traditional bridal aesthetic completely on its head.

mr miyagi

Mr. Miyagi

Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) is the legendary karate teacher of Daniel LaRusso in the American martial arts series The Karate Kid. He is known for his unconventional methods of teaching karate using chores, such as when he orders Daniel to wax his car. Despite his age, Miyagi shows prowess many times, such as his ability to catch a fly with chopsticks.

billy peltzer from gremlins

Billy Peltzer from Gremlins

Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) is the protagonist of Joe Dante’s Christmas horror classic Gremlins. He is a young man who is given a creature called a Mogwai for Christmas. He names it Gizmo, but discovers there are various strange rules to care for it. When he breaks them, he accidentally unleashes a wave on monsters called Gremlins on his small town.

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper is a singer-songwriter who reached stardom with hit singles “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Time After Time”. Her dazzling colorful fashion, which ruled the MTV airwaves, is quintessential 80s style.

Ralphie Parker

In A Christmas Story, all that Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas is an official Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle. Instead, he gets stuck with a pink bunny onesie from Aunt Clara that makes him look like a pink nightmare.