Flavorpill’s Guide to DIY Pop-Culture Halloween Costumes #2: Music


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.

For week two, we turn to music. Our roundup of costumes ripped from the headlines (and music videos) that you can assemble yourself features everyone from M.I.A. to Lil Wayne to Vampire Weekend.

Kings of Leon covered in bird poop

Back in July, everyone’s favorite Modern Rock band disappointed fans by leaving the stage of a St. Louis gig. The excuse? Apparently, they were being shat on by pigeons. This Halloween, lovers and haters alike can commemorate that moment.

The costume (for four):

Clothes you (or someone you know) already have — lots of denim, vests, studded belts, T-shirts, sunglasses

1 long, layered brown wig – $29, UnbeatableSale.com

2 “grunge” wigs – $14.99 each, Party City

Wite Out – $1.32, Amazon

Note: Yes, the implication is that you should dot your hair with Wite Out. No, we have no idea how easy it will be to wash out. So try this one at your own risk!

Janelle Monáe in “Tightrope”

As far as we’re concerned, Ms. Monáe is by far the most stylish new musician to come on the scene this year. And her performance in the video for her hit, “Tightrope,” features one of her most iconic, androgynous looks. Plus, if you’re the kind of lady who likes masculine formal wear, you’ll use the tux again.

The costume:

Womens tuxedo shirt – $18.99, Formaltux.com

Womens tuxedo pants – $32.99, Formaltux.com

Womens tuxedo jacket – $65, Amazon

Black bow tie – $3.75, Amazon

Womens reverse saddle shoes – $79, Muffy’s

Afro wig – $17.99, HalloweenStore (will need to be cut to appropriate shape)

M.I.A. eating truffle fries

In one of music’s (and journalism’s) biggest throwdowns of 2010, M.I.A. went head to head with New York Times magazine writer Lynn Hirschberg over a profile that characterized her as a hypocrite who was happy to eat truffle fries while talking revolution.

The costume:

Bright, multi-colored T-shirt (something you probably own)

Gold leggings – $19.99, Amiclubwear

Black sunglasses – $3.99, Electrique Boutique

Long, curly black wig – $23.99, My Diva’s Closet

Truffle fries (potatoes, truffle oil, peanut oil) – recipe via Epicurious

Lil Wayne in jail

Weezy isn’t the only rapper to go to jail this year, but he’s certainly been making the most news from behind bars, from an inappropriate relationship with a prison guard to his recent move to solitary confinement. Show your solidarity by dressing as a jailbird Lil Wayne.

The costume:

Orange prisoner jumpsuit – $23.99, Nothingbutcostumes.com

30-inch dreadlock wig – $14.99, Costume Hub

Temporary tattoo pen – $18, Sephora

The girl on the cover of Vampire Weekend’s Contra

Seeing Vampire Weekend’s Contra cover for the first time, we couldn’t have predicted what an iconic image it’s become. But this year, it just won’t go away. When MTV interviewed Ezra Koenig about why they chose the photo, he said,

When we saw this image, we just found it very striking. And part of it is the look on her face. It’s not about the color of her hair, or the fact that she’s wearing a Polo shirt. What makes it interesting is her face… It’s almost like a Rorschach test, because some people get very mad when they see a white blond girl in a Polo shirt. It makes you realize how much you can imagine about somebody when you know nothing about them, based on only a few signifiers.

A few months later, the formerly anonymous cover girl emerged as formal model Kristen Kennis… and filed a $2 million lawsuit against the band for using the image without her permission.

The costume:

Women’s pale yellow Ralph Lauren Polo shirt – $12.99, eBay

Honey blonde wig – $31, Amazon

Revlon matte pink lipstick – $5.99, Walgreens

Kanye West on Saturday Night Live

A year ago, SNL was making fun of Kanye West. But now he’s back, and his recent performance is likely all most people remember (or cared enough to track down on YouTube) from that episode. Recreate that iconic look, and then find some girls willing to wear togas or leotards and follow you around all night. This one is a little spendy, but if red is your color, you’re definitely wear the jacket and sneakers again.

The costume:

Mens plaid red T-shirt – $2.93, Cheapestees.com

Mens red skinny jeans – $14.99, CCS

Mens faux leather jacket – $106.20, YesStyle.com

Clae Baylor in Ruby Pebble – $115, Clae.com

Gold laurel wreath – $6.99, Buy.com

Gold chains (borrow as many as you can from every girl you know)

Beyoncé in “Telephone”

We don’t have to tell you that you can buy some caution tape and make one of Gaga’s costumes from “Telephone.” But wouldn’t it be classier to try this ravishing, Russ Meyer-inspired Beyoncé getup?

The costume:

Bettie Page wig – $16.99, Amazon

Manic Panic black lipstick – $7.99, Amazon

Black bra top – $34.99, Overstock

Black eyeliner – $4.31, Target

Chillwave bro

Who wouldn’t want to dress as the summer’s most iconic Pitchfork Festival scenester? When we remember the hipsters of 2010, this guy will be the first who comes to mind.

The costume:

Mens white tank top – $10 for 3-pack, Old Navy (You can cut the wider arm holes yourself)

Blue Bic ballpoint pen – $1.29 for 10-pack, Kmart

Sunglasses – $14.50, PacSun