Best 1980s Rock Star Costumes For Men

by CountrySunshine

Do you want to dress like a rock and roll star? Try these costume suggestions for your next Halloween or costume party.

If you were a head banger like me during the 1980s, you’ll remember the rock and roll tunes of Van Halen, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Metallica, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and ZZ Top, among others. Tight pants, leather accessories, big hair and tattoos were all the rage for bands and their fans.

For Halloween or a 1980s theme costume party, dressing as a rock star can be a lot of fun, and inexpensive as well. Just pick and choose from the items below, and you’ll be ready to “Rock on”!

Photo of Black Sabbath Rock Band available at

Big Hair Wigs

The 1980s rocker wore his hair big and curly, or straight & sleek.  If you don’t have a lot of hair of your own, you’ll want to add one of these wigs to your costume:

Black Curly Wig

Slash is probably the most famous rock star who sports this hair. A hair statement of the 1980s, this black wig will bring a lot of attention – and laughs – at your Halloween extravaganza!

Note: The hat is not included; you’ll need to supply your own.

Be A Stringy Blonde

If the bad boy image is more your style, go as a blonde with this stringy, curly, disheveled look.  Add a bandana or scarf, and you’ll be ready to join the Motley Crue or Twisted Sister bands.

The Mullet

I have a friend who to this day sports this ‘do.  If you prefer the look of Bono, David Bowie, U2 or Adam Ant, try a mullet for a day or longer.  This particular wig comes in brown, but other colors are available.

Check out this hilarious video review of the Mullet Wig on Amazon.

The Shirt

Black is Mandatory!

The best shirt to wear for your 1980s rock star costume is a black t-shirt or tank top.  If you go the t-shirt route, make certain to tear out the sleeves.  You can also rip it from the neck down the front, because the more skin showing the better.

If you prefer, a white sleeveless t-shirt or undershirt will suffice.

A Leather Vest

Leather is a staple of rockers world-wide, so you’ll definitely need this leather vest!  It’s made of quality leather, so you’ll be able to wear it after your party appearance.  Leather straps on the side allow you to tighten it up to show off your waist.

This particular vest has skull and crossbones on the back.  A sure sign you’re a rocker!


Tip:  Whether you wear a shirt underneath or go bare, make certain to leave the vest open in front.

1980s rock stars wore animal prints, acid-rinsed jeans, or leather pants.  The tighter they were, the better.  If you don’t have a pair of skinny, faded jeans around your house, or some leather pants, an animal print is the way to go.

These zebra-print spandex pants are “one-size-fits-all”, as long as your waist isn’t over 36 inches. They are quality made and should last through multiple wearings.

Try wearing these to the office, and see what your boss has to say!

Your Rock Star Pants

Boots and Shoes

1980s rockers wore low-heeled boots, most often made with leather or suede.  They came up over the ankle, and were easy to pull on and off.

If you don’t have any ankle boots, try the local Goodwill or thrift store.  Otherwise, a pair of motorcycle or military boots will round out your rocker costume.

Keith Richards‘ boots of Rolling Stones fame are classic!

Rock Star Accessories

Now that you have your wardrobe ready, it’s time to add some accessories to your costume.  Any great rock star wouldn’t leave home without them.  My suggestions?

Studded Gloves

It’s tough to play a guitar when wearing gloves, so these with the fingers removed work the best. 

Made of a polyester that looks like leather, they’ll stretch out a bit after wear.  The studded knuckles and wrist add a bit of bling to your costume.

Studded Wristband

Along with your gloves, you’ll need one or two studded wrist bands. These feature 3 studded rows on a faux leather strap, and are held together with velcro.

Tip: Buy several, and hook them together to make a neck choker.  And if you have a dog, make one for it!

Tattoo Sleeves

Tattoos and body piercing weren’t as popular among the general public as they are today.  If you don’t have any tattoos of your own, these arm stockings give the same effect as full “tattoo sleeves”.  They are made of material much like that of women’s panty hose, so they’ll stretch to fit.  If you pair them with the studded wrist bands, it will cover the end of the sleeve.

This bundle has 10 different designs, so you can mix & match them to suit your taste and costume.


No rock star costume is complete without a guitar!  This inflatable guitar comes in either black or white, and is easy to inflate.  Add a strap so you can carry it on your back or shoulder like a purse.

Related Articles

Read these to get more costume ideas

Do you remember the 1980s?

I was in my 20s during the 1980s, and fondly remember the rock bands of the decade.  When I recall the fashion of the day, I have to laugh at the big hair and animal print pants.

Have you ever dressed as a rock star or would you?  Which 1980s rock band was your favorite?

Updated: 02/19/2016, CountrySunshine
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