To be in an 80s metal band, the liberal use of make-up, spandex and leather was essential. You were also required to make a significant contribution to the depletion of the ozone layer with the liberal use of hairspray. Many of these bands looked like circus acts, and one of the first commercially successful albums by such a band was Motley Crue's Shout At The Devil in 1983. Both the band's look and sound, no doubt, influenced a whole array of upcoming metal band's during the 1980s.

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi were a significant part of the 80s glam metal movement, although in their early days they looked like they'd taken part in a blindfolded trolley dash in a cheap fashion warehouse. However, it was hard not to enjoy their infectious stadium rock tunes such as You Give Love A Bad Name and Livin' On A Prayer
Livin' On A Prayer (1986) vinyl sleeve (US) Bon Jovi

U.S. sleeve for "Livin' On A Prayer" vinyl single (1986)

Jon Bon Jovi dons a fringed leather jacket, with the whole band looking less colourful than on the UK sleeve below. Drummer and percussionist Tico Torres is wearing a studded leather jacket and has a mullet hairstyle.
Bon Jovi - 80s Hair Metal Band

UK sleeve for "Livin' On A Prayer"

The band scored four U.S. number one hits in the 80s (including the single above) and also "You Give Love A Bad Name", "Bad Medicine" and "I'll Be There For You". 


It was a very different version of Cinderella that was popular in the 80s. We're not talking about ball and glass slippers here, rather gigantic poodle perms, zebra print and snake skin pants, as seen on their debut LP Night Songs featured below.
Cinderella's debut LP Night Songs
The American glam metal band were pretty successful in their home country, with their biggest hits being "Nobody's Fool" which reached No.13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986, and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" which reached No.12 in 1988. The band's first two albums also achieved 3 x platinum sales.  
None of Cinderella's songs made it into the UK Top 40, sadly, although two of their albums did; Long Cold Winter (No.30) and Heartbreak Station (#36).

Guns N' Roses

Who can forget Axl Rose's bandana and Slash's in his top hat with a cigarette in his mouth - both iconic fashion styles! Despite the tight leather pants, Axl could still belt out those hits without a high pitched voice!
Guns N' Roses on the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine Nov 17 1988

Guns N' Roses on the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine - issue Nov 17th 1988. Note the leather biker jackets and tattoos. Slash is without his hat and has the knees ripped out of his jeans. The band's biggest 80s hits included "Sweet Child O' Mine", "Paradise City" and "Patience".

Guns N' Roses

Mötley Crue

The Californian heavy metal band reached the peak of their success in 1989 with the release of their multi-platinum Dr. Feelgood album. This was a band that became infamous for living the rock n' roll lifestyle, getting addicted to drink and drugs and having various brushes with the law.
Motley Crue
Motley Crue's long locks were heavily bleached or dyed, and their look was influenced by the punk scene with mesh tops and fingerless leather gloves, studded leather accessories, metal bracelets and tattoos. 


Despite many people slating Poison's fashion style (they're at No.1 in Yahoo's Top 25 worst hair metal bands list), during the second half of the 80s, the U.S. band enjoyed success with the multi-platinum albums Look What The Cat Dragged In and Open Up and Say... Ahh!. The success continued into the next decade when the 1990 album Flesh & Blood also 3x Platinum in the U.S.

Whatever you make of the clothing worn by these bands, these crazy styles give much inspiration for a wonderful fancy dress outfit idea. Fancy dress costumes are fun and outrageous, which makes the 80s hair metal band look just perfect!



Whitesnake's clothes are actually pretty tame compared to some of the other band's featured here. But what you really can't miss are those monumental, lion's mane hairstyles! The award for the most stupendous 80s hair just has to go to these guys. If you aren't convinced, then take a look at this next photo... 
Whitesnake and their colossal lion's mane hairstyles!