Flavorpill's Guide to DIY Pop-Culture Halloween Costumes #1: TV


Halloween: It’s always more complicated than you want it to be. Even if you’ve got your plans set, it’s a struggle to find the perfect costume — without resorting to the same crappy, overpriced, pre-packaged getups everyone else will be wearing. So, this October, Flavorpill is helping you out with easy, weekly DIY costume guides tackling four different pop-culture realms. Don’t worry — there’s no sewing involved.

This week, we kick things off with our guide to TV-related costumes, featuring a whole lot of contemporary shows, from Mad Men to 30 Rock, and one supremely worthy retro series.

Mad Men: Pregnant Trudy Campbell

Peter Campbell and his smug, proper wife, Trudy, are two of the campiest characters on Mad Men — which means that they absolutely lend themselves to Halloween costumes. So far, our favorite Campbell fashion moment of the season has been super-pregnant Trudy trudging around in enormous lingerie.

The costume:

Pink ruffle maternity chemise – $50, Babies ‘n Bellies

Beach ball – $2, Amazon

Note: For couples, it would be easy to add a Pete Campbell costume to Trudy’s. All you need is slacks, a dress shirt, a sport coat, a tie (at least one of these items should come in a bright, preppy color or pattern) and copious amounts of hair gel.

True Blood: Eric, Sookie, and Bill’s scandalous Rolling Stone cover

This season brought a dizzying array of characters and costumes… but the most talked about True Blood getups (or, more accurately, lacks thereof) of 2010 appeared in the central love triangle’s blood-covered Rolling Stone cover. Truly risqué trios only need apply.

The costume:

1 sheer women’s body stocking – $28.95, Discount Dance Supply

2 sheer men’s body stockings – $29.99 apiece, Comfilon.com

Fake blood (make it yourself)

Saved by the Bell: A.C. Slater, ballerino

Zach Morris gets all the Saved by the Bell nostalgia love, but let’s face it: A.C. Slater was the one with the most memorable hair. In fact, someone has even gone so far as to make a Slater-branded wig. For extra cool points, dress up as Jessie’s ballet-dancing dream Slater, in that fetching unitard!

The costume:

A.C. Slater wig – $12.95, T.V. Store Online

Men’s unitard in black – $30.60, Dancex.com

30 Rock: Flashback Liz Lemon

As Vulture recently demonstrated, there are many eras of Liz Lemon flashback style to choose from. But our favorite is obviously teenage volleyball player Liz with puffy mullet, giant glasses, and gym suit, whose coach mistakes her for a lesbian. A great alternate use for the A.C. Slater wig!

The costume:

A.C. Slater wig – $12.95, T.V. Store Online

Big, brown geek glasses – $7.95, eBay

Gray/red ringer T-shirt with “White Haven H.S.” emblazoned on the front – $15 (custom), Softball America

Red gym shorts – $14, 6pm.com

Bored to Death: Jonathan Ames in bondage gear

In the season premiere of Bored to Death, our hero goes undercover once again — this time as a client at a dungeon. His smartly casted dominatrix is none other than Amazon woman Kristen Johnson. For maximum effectiveness, you’ll need to run around crowded city streets and make urgent calls from pay phones in broad daylight while wearing this costume. Oh, and considering this outfit is kind of a pricey one, you may want to steer clear unless you plan on using it in the future…

The costume:

Leather zipper hood – $58.43, Fetish Home

Men’s leather catsuit – $299.95, Bound in Leather

Glee: Sue Sylvester does Madonna

When Glee devoted an entire episode to Madonna last spring, even Jane Lynch’s evil cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester, got in on the act. We loved her new and improved “Vogue” video, but we think the moment above, in which Sue tries on Madge’s notorious cone bra over her signature red track suit is just begging to be ripped off.

The costume:

Womens Adidas track suit – $66 (so far; auction ends 10/6), eBay

Black cone bra – $44, Amazon

Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and MasterChef: Angry Gordon Ramsay

So, Gordon Ramsay has about a million shows on TV now, and they all feature one common gimmick: He gets mad and screams at people on every episode. Has anyone else noticed how red in the face he gets?

The costume:

Chef shirt – $19.95, Amazon

Spiky, blond wig – $16.11, Costume Craze

Red makeup (apply liberally to entire face) – $9, SaveOnCrafts

Jersey Shore: Snooki as novelist

Celebrate the absurdity that is Snooki’s newly announced book deal with this Snooki-as-scholar getup.

Leopard-print halter mini-dress – $24.50, Wet Seal

Glittery, 5-inch heels – $19.99, LaLaLingerie.com

Snooki wig – $14.50, Party City

Black geek glasses – $3.95, Amazon

Ostrich feather quill pen – $10, Mystic Convergence