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how i threw an 80s party and survived by 
Kathryn O'Halloran
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You can keep your Britney Spears and your Eminem. I’m old enough to remember the real thing. I used to ‘fight for my right to par-tay’ with the Beastie Boys and ‘just wanted to have fun’ with Cyndi Lauper. I remember strutting out in fingerless gloves, a tube skirt and backcombed hair. And I still want a My Little Pony and Rainbow Brite.

The ‘80s were trashy and tasteless, but you have to admit they were fun. Nobody cool cared how much money you had -- ingenuity was the thing. You could get creative and throw together an outfit five minutes before you left the house and outshine anyone in a designer outfit. As everyone who’s ever watched a John Hughes Brat Pack movie knows, it’s the quirky, smart girl that always wins through in the end.

Which, of course, makes an ideal theme for a party. Your guests don’t need a huge budget to get the look. A few thrift shop pieces, a pair of shoulder pads, mixed with back-of-the-wardrobe finds from your very own closet and voila! Anyone can be Punky Brewster or Krystal Carrington.

Making invites can be more fun than the party itself, as you scour the internet for your favorite 80s icons and revel in the nostalgia. Download pictures of your favorite finds – maybe KITT, Jem, She-ra, Optimus Prime. Cut and paste some tasty invites together and you will be too cool for school.

Nothing makes a theme party fall flat as hair without mousse than the boringly cool who just won’t deign to dress up. When you throw an ‘80s party you can really throw a wrench into their works. Don’t just put together your own outfit on your trek down to the local secondhand shop; toss some other bits and pieces into the shopping basket as well – generic ‘80s things like funky hats (you can add flowers later), lace gloves, or wide vinyl belts. Then, when you send out the invitations, let the invitees be fully aware that you will have items on hand for those who don’t have a chance to shop for themselves. The scheme worked like a charm on my friends. They were so convinced that anything I picked out would be worse than anything they would choose themselves that they all made the effort to arrive fully dressed in costume.

keep on moseying

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