Idea No.


80's Party -34yr- Madonna & Valley Girl Outfits



Nov 2003


Joy in Orange County, CA

Special Mention

80's Eighties Party

I threw an 80's party for my 34th birthday.  Most of the people I know grew up in the 80's so I thought that this party would be a lot of fun. I did a lot of research on 80's websites and combined the ideas to create the best party(ohmigod!)I've ever thrown!  

INVITATIONS: I think that invitations are very important in any party that's thrown because a good invitation can make people want to come to the party. I clipped icons of the 80's from different websites (Reagan, Madonna, Pacman, Boy George, Duran Duran, Smurfs, etc.) and created a border for the flyer (I work with a graphic designer in my office and he helped me a lot - thanks Richard!). The wording was: TONIGHT WE'RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT'S……1985 (reference to Prince's 1999) - YOU'RE INVITED TO JOY'S "JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THE 80'S" BIRTHDAY PARTY (reference to a Depeche Mode song) - WHEN: NOVEMBER 22ND AT LIKE 8PM (throw in some Valley Girl talk) - WHERE: OUR HOUSE (IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR STREET) (reference to the Madness song, although a few people thought we were having a block party) - WHAT TO WEAR: DRESS TO IMPRESS, TOTALLY 80'S STYLE FER SURE (more Val speak). I also wrote that it was an adults only party. And in lieu of gifts, I asked the guests to B.Y.O.B. (bring your own booze - a big money saver)and to bring a classic pictures of themselves from the 80's. And just like I planned, the invitations made people want to come!  

ATMOSPHERE: On our big screen TV, I played 80's movies throughout the night (Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Karate Kid, Top Gun). During certain classic scenes, we turned up the volume and most everybody was able to recite the scene line by line. Of course, I played 80's music. (I was lucky enough to borrow a bunch of 80's compilation CD's from my friend's sister in law - thank you Anne and Leslie.) I burned 7 hours worth of music! In his search for a Rubik's Cube at Target (which he later found at Toys R Us), my husband stumbled upon a classic Atari. It was the same black joystick and red fire button from when we were kids, but used today's technology (plug and play and no console). For $20 there were eight classic Atari games, which we set up in the corner of the room on a small TV. Definitely a hit! We also had a Wall of Shame, where the guest tacked their 80's picture up (an idea I got from this website).  

FOOD/DRINK/DECORATIONS: We served pasta, salads, chips, veggies and bought a 6 foot sandwich. The food was inexpensive (around $130) but fed the masses. We were able to find 80's drinks such as RC Cola, Diet Rite and Bartyl's & James' wine coolers at Smart & Final. We decorated the house with bright colors (turquoise, fushia, neon yellow, teal green) and also had plates, napkins, utensils and cups in the same colors against black tablecloths.  

ATTIRE: About 40 people in all showed up. Only a handful of people didn't dress up but everybody else really got into it. Female fashions included an authentic Like a Virgin Madonna (who won best costume), Valley Girls, Mod/Ska girl, Flashdance, bubble skirts, shoulder pads,lots of big earrings, bracelets, legwarmers, crimped hair and pumps. Male fashion included rocker/hair band types, Flock of Seagulls poser, 3 guys dressed as Run DMC, preppies with their collars up, and lots of skinny ties. Dressing up definitely made the party! I suggest going to a second hand or vintage store. Surprisingly, a lot of 80's female fashions are coming back so check out your local mall. I bought my outfit from the mall and my 13 year old daughter LOVED it (ewww, gag me with a spoon!).   

GAMES: Besides some classic drinking games from high school such as quarters, I also had lines from 80's songs (which was sent to me by my friend Cielo - thank you!). Guests got in teams to guess the lyrics from popular 80's songs. It's harder than you would think because the lines are all taken out of context. It was fun to watch the guests try to sing the lines, especially when it was on the tip of their tongue. I also bought an 80's trivia game from Target which guests paired up with one another and played for fun. The first person to solve the Rubik's cube got a prize. I also gave away a prize for the best costume. 

PARTY FAVORS: I burned CD's of 80's songs (12 songs in all) and put them in a clear bag with brightly colored shred. I also put in 80's candy such as Dip N Sticks, Now and Laters and Watchamacallits.   I suggest throwing an 80's party, especially if you and your guests grew up during that decade. I've received so many compliments from the guests who attended. It's definitely the best party I've ever thrown, hands down. We all had an AWESOME time!

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