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Host a party that’s, like, totally ’80s

Whether you’re a preppie, a yuppie, a punk or a new-waver, you will, like, love these awesome tips for a totally tubular ’80s party.

Decoration ideas

The ’80s were all about excess, so make your decorations dramatic and colorful. Look for paper cups and plates in neon colors, animal prints or black-and-white geometric patterns. Plaster the walls with posters of such quintessential ’80s pop stars as Culture Club, Thompson Twins, Cyndi Lauper, New Kids on the Block and the queen of the decade, Madonna. To really get in the spirit, pop in a DVD of a John Hughes movie or an ’80s band’s video collection and have it playing, on mute, during the event.

Even better, make yourself and your guests part of the décor. Before the party, ask your guests to lend you a photo of themselves in their wildest ’80s outfit. Make enlarged copies of the photos and hang them up around the party area. During the party, your guests can guess who’s who and laugh at the bi-level haircuts and pegged pants. If you aren’t old enough to have been a teen back then, find photos online of stars like Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe and Molly Ringwald looking their ’80s best.

Costume ideas

Thanks to the arrival of MTV, ’80s fashion was defined by music. Inspired by pop stars like Duran Duran and Wham, guys wore frilly shirts, superskinny ties and huge op-art belts. Girls emulated their musical idols with Bananarama-style overalls, Pat Benatar-esque headbands and Madonna’s layered mesh-and-lace ensembles.

And don’t forget the makeup, guys: From the new romantics to the punk rockers, all the gnarliest dudes sported eyeliner, lipstick, glittery eye shadow and way too much mousse in their hair, just like their girlfriends. Want more ’80s party costumes? Eighties ladies also sported leg warmers, rubber bracelets and side ponytails, while guys channeled “Miami Vice”-era Don Johnson with pastel-colored suits.

Games and activities

Get into the groove with a lip-synch contest to your favorite ’80s songs, or put on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and have a contest to see who can do the best moonwalk. If you have a video game system, buy some of the classic ’80s video games such as “PacMan,” “Frogger,” “Donkey Kong” and “Asteroids” and stage a tournament. You also can find versions of these games online and play them on your computer.

Plus, pay homage to the classic board game Trivial Pursuit, which launched in 1982, by splitting up your guests into teams to answer questions about random facts.

Food ideas

Yuppies and Valley girls made sushi big in the ’80s.

Party drinks

An alcoholic option:


16 ounces white wine

24 ounces 7-Up

2 ounces grapefruit juice

2 ounces pineapple juice

2 ounces lime juice

2 ounces lemon juice

Mix fruit juices together in a glass. Pour 4 ounces Chablis into each of four wine glasses, then add 6 ounces 7-Up to each glass. Divide the juice mixture evenly among the glasses, and serve.

Other drink ideas: Classic beverages such as Kool-Aid, Capri Sun, Fresca and Jolt Cola.

Makes 4 servings.

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