Last Updated on 6th November 2020

There’s no better way to bring people together than by throwing a great house party. Picking a theme can make it even more exciting! The themes that take you back in time never go out of fashion. Numerous cultural and historical references help you come up with creative yet authentic party ideas that will make you relieve (or experience for the first time) the spirit of these times.

TV series like Stranger Things brought the 80s to the spotlight. We can clearly see why! It was a truly unique era, with culture-defining music, extreme fashion choices, wild hairstyles, and loud colors. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to throw the best 80’s party that will take you and your guests back in time. Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it!

Dress Code

You can’t have an 80s party without proper clothing! Make sure everyone gets the memo and has some fun dressing up. There are many clothing items that immediately bring back the spirit of the 80s: leg warmers, spandex, rubber bracelets, fingerless gloves, high tops, large sunglasses, and many more! You can also order custom printed t-shirts with gaudy images and large lettering. Still, have no idea what to wear? Get inspired by countless cultural references and iconic celebrity looks. 

If you want to make your party even more exciting, consider announcing a contest for the best outfit and divide it into categories to make it more fun. Together with your guests, pick a person with the loudest makeup, the biggest hair, or the funkiest outfit.


Nothing helped define the 80s more than music. As such, you won’t have a real 80’s theme party without famous bands and music icons from that era. When you are making your party playlist, make sure you include songs from Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, U2, Bon Jovi, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, R.E.M., and many more. 

You probably know the majority, if not all of these names, even if you were born in the 90s. That goes to show that even 40 years later, many hits from these artists are still banger and will make you want to dance all night.


There’s no party without fun decorations! These, during the 80s, were cheap but cheerful. To sum it up in a few words, look for items in bright, neon colors, black and white geometric patterns, or animal prints. Throw in some colorful balloons and gaudy hanging swirls. You can hang posters with movie stars, pop stars, or game characters. Leave a bunch of glow sticks lying around – your guests can make fun bracelets from them. Once again, think about the musical aspect. Get the party vibe going on the dance floor with a strobe light, and set the mood by hanging old records from the ceiling. You can get them in a thrift store and adapt the ultimate DIY approach by hanging them with a fishing line.

Don’t forget about the 80s classic – paper chains! You can make them together with your guests and challenge each other to see who can make the longest chain. These ideas are both effective and inexpensive, and you’ll see that decorating your house to fit the 80s theme has never been easier!


Finally, you need to think about the food you’re going to prepare. There are many classic recipes that can take you to the 80s with just one bite. Pick the ones that seem the most interesting to you, or maybe the ones you had the chance to try yourself. 

Finger foods reigned during the 80s – consider making Vol au Vents, salmon rillettes, or the old school hedgehog with cheese, pickled onions, olives, and other ingredients of your choice. However, cuisine in the 80s was not only about one-bite wonders. If you’re feeling more ambitious, prepare some main dishes, such as beef Stroganoff or chicken Kiev. Don’t forget about other snacks and all-time party favorites like the seven-layer dip and the classic 80s nibbles, for example, Twiglets and Space Riders.

The Bottom Line

Throwing a house party is always a good idea, and deciding on a theme will help you come up with great ideas. Picking the 80’s theme is a great choice because of many cultural references and inspirations. Plus, you can always ask your friends and family for help, especially if they lived through these times and can provide you with a first-hand account.

The points mentioned above cover absolute basics and should give you a rough overview of what to do and prepare for your house party. Let your creative juices flow, and feel free to go your own way, implementing as many ideas as you want. Also, remember that safety goes first – the current global situation may not be exactly optimal for huge gatherings. Still, you can always make some plans for amazing parties in the future. 

Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

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