Is it you? Maybe your best friend? Or maybe it’s your favorite co-worker. Whoever it is, there’s no doubt someone in your life has their dial set to party like it’s 1980. Finding a great gift to pay homage to that era can easily go down a rabbit hole of junky nostalgia pieces. The goal is to find something that zings like watermelon Pop Rocks but doesn’t fizzle out. Before you set out to find the ultimate red scrunchie, see if you can hone in on what kind of ’80s baby your friend really was. What generates the most “TOTALLY” reaction when your friend takes Discovery’s Are You a Child of the ’80s? Once you have an idea in mind, check out this list of gifts that celebrate the spirit of the ’80s, but with modern sensibilities and taste levels.
1.VHS to DVD Converter
Every school play, the first time she rode her bike, episodes of not-to-be-missed ’80s TV shows. Chances are, if your friend is a child of the ’80s, there are boxes of VHS tapes that have not been watched in decades. Give them a ticket back to their childhood with a converter kit.
2. Chewbacca Cufflinks
Conversational cufflinks can be hit or miss as gifts, but you won’t need to use any mind tricks when you give these Star Wars cufflinks featuring everyone’s favorite Wookiee.
3. Leg Warmers
They’re, like, totally back! Leg warmers have made a great comeback and look very sophisticated over winter boots. These updated versions from Etsy come with leather uppers and work pulled up or scrunched down.
4. Matt Owen “In N Out” Print
The arcades of the ’80s were something else. Over-stimulating, tons of fun, and, for many of us, the only reason we went to the mall. If you’re friends with someone who had Pac Man fever, they’ll appreciate a print celebrating the little guy and his yummy dots. Purchase the print early and pick up a fun frame to make it the perfect gift for the office.
5. Giant Gummy Bear
“Gummy bear? It’s been in my pocket; they’re real warm and soft.” Know someone who is a mega fan of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? This gummy bear will be EVERYTHING for them. (Just make sure you say that movie quote when you gift it.) These bears are actually edible and are larger than a football.
6. Charm Necklace
Let’s just have a moment of silence for the charm necklaces of our youth. WOW, they were something else, right? I remember having interactive charms with moveable pieces and clicky-clacking all over my elementary school like I was Coco Chanel. If you’re looking for a bright and graceful (and ready to wear) charm necklace, Kate Spade has created a fun lemon tart update.
7. Rise Up Swatch Watch
I got my first Swatch watch in 1985. It was the first time in my life I had really fallen for a trend, but oh, how I HAD TO HAVE one. These watches continue to be fun, eye-catching works of art.
8. Friendship Bracelet
A lot of our kids have been discovering the fun of embroidery friendship bracelets. Remember how awesome it was to spend the afternoon making a bracelet for your friend or boyfriend? These modern friendship bracelets from Etsy are VERY grown up.
9. Mix Tape Glasses
One of the things that makes these glasses so clever is that you can use a wax pencil to write on them. They are the ultimate hostess gift as they instantly inspire conversation and come in a set of six.
10. Mario Casilli Coffee Table Book
When it comes to celebrating the glam and fashion of the ’80s, no one did it better than Mario Casilli. The famed photographer’s work has been compiled into a stunning coffee table book, featuring sequins, shoulder pads, and just about every ’80s star you can think of!
11. Simon Game
Beep beeeeeep! It’s probably been years since any of us have played this fast memory game of lights and sounds, but I bet you can mimic the sound of the game right now. This gift will be one of those, “Let’s open it now and play it NOW” items, so make sure you include batteries.