The Best Vintage Halloween Costume Ideas From Throwback Decades

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Halloween, a beloved American pastime, and this year you're planning a vintage-inspired costume. Not only will the following costume ideas create a memorable Halloween costume but are ideal for every costume party, or a fun dress-up day.


The 1980s—Big Hair, Mullets, And Glam

the 1980's big hair mullets

Jolie Frisson 1970 Bell Bottom Pants

1970's bell bottoms

The Groovy 1960's

the groovy 1960's waistcoat

Perfect Your Halloween Hipster Costume

Fashion over the last 50 years was explosive and remarkably different from one decade to the next. Halloween is the one time of year you get to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and embrace your inner-hipster.  

Some of the top things to think about in perfecting your hipster look:

  • Clothes: pants or skirts, a t-shirt or cardigan, jeans or petty-coat
  • Shoes: patent leather or saddle, loafers or creepers, bareback or pointed
  • Hair: ducktail or pompadour, ponytail or pigtails, bouffant or pixie cut
  • Makeup: red or pink lip, pencil or liquid eyeliner, blue or hot pink eyeshadow with aquamarine or brown mascara
  • Accessories: handbags, watches, glasses, hats, neckties, money clips, wallets, scarfs

The critical thing to remember, this is a hipster Halloween costume. Hipsters are all about stepping outside the norms—mixing the old with the new—which you will find in this fun two-minute highlight on hipster fashion tips.

The 1980s—Big Hair, Mullets, and Glam

The 1980s—Big Hair, Mullets, And Glam

the 1980s big hair, mullets, glam

Men or Women Punk Metal Rocker Mullet Wig, Retro 1980s wig hair style. Themed fancy party, Halloween costume wigs, Cosplay or Just fun.

The 1980s had the largest number of recorded one-hit songs, accompanied by BIG HAIR, mullets, and glam makeup. As fast as those fashion trends arrived on the scene, they disappeared into the proverbial fashion ether.

A look back on the 1980s big hair movement, and you’ll find Whitney Houston, Jon Bon Jovi, Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, and Cindy Lauper, to name a few. Here’s a head to toe fashion overview of fashion terms from the 1980s.

Starting with BIG HAIR, a chemical process, better known as a perm for both guys and gals. Although you can safely achieve this look at home using a curling iron, crimper, or even a wig. 

For gents interested in the infamous mullet, the least expensive route is a wig. If a return to mullets is a look you seek to achieve, grab this chill mullet wig to top off your costume.

The 1980s saw a wave of neon colors from makeup to clothes. Both sexes began wearing makeup in the 1980s. If you’re looking to kill it with neon makeup, ladies, snag this neon makeup to complete your 80s look.

Big rock bands like Kiss were wearing makeup back in the 70s, but the boy hair-bands of the 80s, like Quiet Riot and Mötley Crüe, toned it down a bit, often wearing black eyeliner. Ladies often wore neon pink lips gloss, roll-on gloss, neon blue, green, or pink mascara.

Some other popular trends include:

  • Spandex, also known as lycra, grew in popularity thanks to the aerobics boom of the 80s.
  • If you genuinely want to capture the high-waisted ripped jeans look, have a sneak peek at these high rise jeans.
  • Leg warmers often completed the look for many 80’s ladies, made famous by the 1983 box office hit, Flashdance. If this look appeals to you, take a peek at these legwarmers.
  • We couldn’t forget the infamous shoulder pads. If you’re after a real show blazer, you can also sew shoulder pads into a shirt or suit jacket out of your closet and transition it back to its original state after Halloween.

The 1970s Bell Bottoms and Tie-dye

Jolie Frisson 1970 Bell Bottom Pants

1970's bell bottoms and tie-dye

Authentic bell bottoms jean from the 70s. Thick dark blue denim with orange stitch. Very nice stonewash. High waist. 2 front pockets / 2 original back pockets Bell bottom. Label on right back pocket.

Fashion in the 1970s was iconic, despite the blurred lines between the late 1960s and early 1970s fashion trends.

Tye-dye was a carry-over from the late 1960 psychedelic colors. Although the 1970s, fashion trends embraced pastel colors for men and women.

Women were showing more skin as the sexual revolution took off. Some other popular 1970 trends:

  • Maxi and midi dresses or skirts, and the puffy-sleeved peasant blouses with far too many pleats were making fashion trends in the 1970s famous. If you want to hit a high note, you could try out the suede mini this Halloween.
  • Jeans began a whole new movement in frayed bottoms and bell bottoms. The bell-bottom jean paved a new road for fashion designers. If you’re looking to round out your Halloween hipster look, look no further than the iconic 1970 bell bottom. There is no way to go wrong with a bell-bottom jean.
  • Men and women had long hair, but no one could forget Sonny and Cher. The iconic couple can provide some excellent inspiration for a fab 1970s hipster costume for a couple this Halloween.
  • Shoes for women and men started to even out with clogs and platform shoes for men, chunky heels, knee-high boots, and wide open-toed wedges for ladies
  • Accessorize using 1970s vintage belts for men, oversized sunglasses, big bulky jewelry, and patchwork handbags for you ladies this Halloween.

The Groovy 1960s

The Groovy 1960's

the groovy 1960s

Women's Fringe Hippie Waistcoat: throw it back to the decade of peace and love with this fringed hippie waistcoat! Great for adding to a range of costumes, this hippie top is perfect for decades themed parties and halloween.

The 1960s were a polarizing time. The early 1960 fashion trends began with First Lady Jackie Onassis Kennedy and ended abruptly with her husband’s death in 1963, 35th President, John F. Kennedy. 

Then arrived on scene the Swinging London culture with youthful mini-skirts and knee-high boots and pixie hair-cuts made famous by supermodel Twiggy and stage actress Liza Minnelli. Finally, the 1960s wrap-up with the hippy styles of Jimmy Hendrix and John Lennon.

  • Slim-fitting peg-legged pants were popular among men and women. Looking to capture the 1960s clam digger look this Halloween, ladies, check out this option. Maybe some of you men are thinking beatnik sounds interesting; you can come close with this pant option to guide you in finishing up your hipster Halloween costume but don’t forget about the plaid pants for the working businessman in 1960.
  • Women’s vintage high-heel shoes were no more than 1 inch to 1.5 inches, sling backed, closed-toe, and pointed. Men’s shoes were laced-up oxfords, penny loafers, and the infamous Chelsea boots—popularized by the Beatles.
  • Men’s shirts from the 1960s like the ever-popular Hawaiian shirt, ivy legal sweaters, and the still, ever-popular pullover Oxford.
  • By the late 1960s, hippie clothes ushered in a whole new world of fashion memorabilia, ranging from fringe, leather, suede, and the still ever-popular tye-dye was born.

The Iconic 1950s

The Iconic 1950's

the iconic 1950's

Retro styled costume wig great for housewife, prom queen or girl band costumes.

When we think about the 1950s, it should conjure up ideas of soda shops, the last known decade that girls and boys knew how to dance with a partner, muscle cars, poodle skirts, saddle shoes, and sock hops.

  • Women’s hairstyles ranged from the ponytail to the bouffant or updo. Planning on tackling the bouffant; remember it’s all about teasing your hair over and over again until you’ve achieved the right look for you. Men would style their hair into ducktails and pompadours. But, above all else, men were clean-cut and clean shaved every day.
  • Pencil skirts and poodle skirts were popular favorites among the ladies, but so too were the forever beloved clam digger, still trendy by today’s standards. A true classic!
  • Men rolled up jeans right at the ankle, a plain white t-shirt covered by a black leather jacket can bring up images of James Dean.
  • Accessorize ladies by reaching for your favorite square scarf and wrap it around your hair to keep that beautiful bouffant in place. Gentlemen, keep a thin black comb in your back pocket; it was trendy then; maybe you can reinvigorate that trend.

The 1940s Big Band Sound and “Rosie the Riveter”

1940's Vintage Dress

1940's vintage dress

Wellwits Women's Mock Neck Diamond Cutout Pleated Front 1940s Vintage Dress is 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex.

In the 1940s, big band and patriotism made America in that decade. It was the time of “Rosie the Riveter.” A time when women were playing baseball and working on assembly lines. Women finally got a sense of independence, and clothes were no different. The first part of that decade had women in pants for the first time in history. Although the pants didn’t precisely fit just right, designers today reinvigorated a chic design with an expensive price tag.

  • Since women wore pants on assembly lines, ladies wore dresses, A-line skirts, blouses, and babydoll shoes as their everyday wear. For a fun hipster Halloween, this little dress has great promise to achieve a fun hipster Halloween costume. 
  • On the other hand, men were relatively scarce in American life in the early 1940s, thanks to World War I. Fashion for many men in 1940 was a military uniform. You can always play the part of the uniformed army man returning home from war, wearing this army uniform replica.
  • Accessorizing in the 1940s was, for both men and women, unique. Ladies, look for babydoll shoes that strap across the top of your foot with a wide heel. You can also keep an eye out for a great vintage hat from that decade, like the pillbox hat
  • Lacy gloves that stop at the wrist are a fun fashion option for gals too. Men have some exciting possibilities for hats also, like the aviator hat for those military boys, there’s also the classically known fedora and the newsboy ivy hat.

Final Cut for Perfect Hipster Halloween Costume

Whatever you decide on for your fabulous hipster look this Halloween, remember to look through your closet first. Halloween is a fun time of year for adults, as much as it is for kids.

We all know Halloween is a gender-free holiday too. So, don't forget to let loose and stretch your creative boundaries a bit. 

Dig through your old dresser drawers, call up your parents or grandparents. They likely still have some fun vintage clothes, shoes, hats, and scarves lying around from their younger days.

You can also make a day of it and shop at your local vintage or antique shop. Places like this always have great memorabilia. 

Hipster or not, have fun mixing up the fashion eras to keep everyone around you guessing. Hipster is a vague term, loosely used even in today's standards, and remember to always draw on historical fashion trends that can be updated.

Now that you have all you need to know about dressing like a hipster this Halloween, you should have no problem coming up with an extraordinary hipster outfit for a fun night out on Halloween. You might discover you like the look so much that your inner-hipster is ready for a full-time look.

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