With so much sad news and negativity in the media this year, there's a tendency to reminiscence about days gone by - to romanticize times that were good and carefree. Even if it wasn't, was our society's state of mind always this way? Simple activities like walking to school, watching a movie at a theater, going to a concert or riding an airplane were just that. Worry was never top of mind – where we have to wonder if an activity or event would be the last...ever. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who are hurting right now.

I hope the fear from recent events depart and we can continue with the spirits of daily life. With Halloween and the holidays around the corner, let's try to move forward together. Thus here are some fun, light-hearted retro costume ideas that can bring us back to a simpler time and put smiles back on our faces.



1. Pac-Man

Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man

Photo: sabrinakeiko via Pinterest

Yep, Pac-man is my all-time favorite video game! Lately, I have been playing this game nearly every night as a way to escape. It's so simple but yet so hard. For some reason, the lack of multi-player, ear pieces or special upgrades doesn't detract from the addiction. Playing the same pattern over and over never gets boring. So suiting up in this classic is sure to turn heads - but first, I need to get past the watermelon level!



2. Marge Simpson

Marge Simpson

Photo: mrflip via Flickr

In all the crazy things that Bart Simpson did or the troubles that Homer brought to the family, it was Marge who kept it together. In addition to her blue hair, what I loved about Marge was the sound of her voice and her coolness when she talks to Bart, Lisa and Maggie.



3. King of Pop


Photo: HalloweenCostumes.com

It's hard not to remember Michael Jackson and his number one song Thriller around this time of year. According to wikipedia, this album still remains the world's 'best-selling' album after 35 years of its release in 1982. When all those zombies started to come out at the time, watching it sure was freaking scary. Back then, was digital re-mixing a thing?



4. Miami Vice

Miami Vice

Photo: Fancy Dress Ball

This was one of the most fun buddy shows I remember enjoying. Looking at them now, I wonder if Crockett would wear our Tech Rodeo t-shirt and Tubbs wear the Ascend tee under those oversize blazers or the LOL and Spectacles for glasses.



5. Energizer Bunny

Energizer Bunny

Photo: Coolest-Homemade-Costumes.com

Who would have thought batteries these days to be something we can't live without. It's funny to think about what we do in order to keep our phones and electronics from dying due to low battery life. It seems the Energizer Bunny has so much more meaning to me today.



6. Rosie from The Jetsons

Rosie from The Jetsons

Photo: carmon520 via Pinterest

We still may not have jet packs today but AI certainly feels more real today than yesterday. I remember liking Rosie the maid from The Jetsons. She always brought food or cleaned up the house. Maybe Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Watson should call Rosie sometime, because I would consider her to be the first in-home bot.



7. Laverne and Shirley

Laverne and Shirley

Photo: Today

Every time I see Laverne and Shirley I want to recite the beginning of their theme song: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!" and do the steps with a friend, right? In case you're wondering, a shlemiel is somebody who often spills his soup, and a shlemazl is the person the soup lands on (thank you, HuffPost). Aside from the intro, the outfits and Laverne's "L" embroidered sweaters were always eye-catching. She was truly a maverick in self-branding.



8. Muppet Babies

Muppet Babies

Photo: Brit+Co

Who needs augmented reality when you have these adorable Muppet Babies head masks? It's hard to believe that Sesame Street has signed on with HBO for the next 5-years of programming. But if this is what it takes to keep this wonderful show on the air then I wouldn't mind paying for it.



9. Tetris


Photo: Costume Works

This was featured on our post from last year called Techie Costumes for the Tech Passionate, but it's a classic worth repeating. Tetris is another simple game that I remember playing in college on my pc. It would be difficult to play tetris in real life so as to make everything fit together, but that shouldn't stop us from getting along.



10. Blade Runner

Blade Runner

Photo: ljinto via Flickr

With the recent release of Blade Runner 2049, it only made sense to rewatch the original Blade Runner by Ridley Scott. Remembering the storyline again reminded me of the question that I asked the first time: what makes a human...well... human?

Looking foward to seeing the sequel and how the storyline continues and of course, the beautiful visual sets and cast!



I hope this list helps you with some retro costume ideas to either remind others of the great 70s/80s/90s or gives you a chance to wear your favorite childhood characters. Let's scare each other so that we can laugh thru the fear and not be imprisoned by it.

Do you have thoughts or additional costume ideas to share? Please add them to the comments below.

Sun Kim
Tagged: Lists