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80s Costume Risky Business

by Kim

The 80’s were an interesting time for TV and movie costume design. The very idea of the “modern” was still relatively new and not yet fully realized, so designers had to take a risk in what they thought people would wear. In some cases, it worked, but most of the time it didn’t. So let’s take a look at some of the stranger, more bizarre costumes that aired during the 80’s.

Man In The Moon Costume (SCTV, 1983)

Not even sure what the show was about, but this costume is so bizarre and out there that it’s hard to believe it could have been filmed in any other era. This might be a MST3k-style fake commercial for some kind of product or service.

Yoga Instructor (The Facts Of Life, 1983)

Like most of the outfits worn on this show, this one is pretty normal if you think about it: Lots of layers and bulky clothes which are much easier to move around in at the gym when trying to stretch out. But they removed all the really obvious parts of clothes like sleeves and collars, so it looks like this guy is wearing a giant white tunic, and there are no visible buttons or zippers anywhere, which would make it really hard to take off.

Supergirl (Superman: The Animated Series, 1983)

The problem with super hero costumes of the 80’s was that they were usually trying to be sexy. You had people like Wonder Woman and Catwoman who still looked good in their costumes even if you thought about them as just fabric over skin, but then you had Dead Man’s Chest and all those other movies where Superman was basically wearing underwear with a cape and nothing else underneath. So you got guys in tights that looked ridiculous when they weren’t fighting crime or ripping up sidewalks. It looks like someone made a bunch of random pieces of fabric into a costume, but forgot to make the arms or legs from scratch so they just added some fake arms and legs.

Cars (The Cars That Ate Paris, 1985)

It’s kinda hard to believe this was ever actually made. It looks like someone took an old office chair and stuck it on top of a car with wheels instead of tires. For some reason the designer thought that cars were supposed to eat up street dirt, because he kept all the wheels covered in rubber and black tape. The only good thing about this is that they didn’t try to make it look like a convertible, because when you see the actual cars used in this film you can tell that the designers were stumped when it came to the headlight-cowl.

The Creature (The Twilight Zone, 1985)

He’s wearing a big rubber mask with holes cut out for his eyes and mouth, which would mean that he’d have to be pretty tall for it to work, but might not be wearing anything underneath it so not sure how tall he’d have to be. But he has no arms or legs which means that either 1) He’s made of plastic and there are just wires holding him together or 2) He’s a full body costume but they forgot to make the arms and legs from scratch, which is kind of bad because it means that you’re probably going to have to wear shorts underneath.

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