The Flavorpill Guide to DIY Pop Culture Halloween Costumes: 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. Thankfully, just as we have done for the past two Octobers, Flavorpill is helping you out with a series of easy DIY costume guides tackling various pop-culture realms. Don’t worry — there’s no sewing involved. Thus far we’ve looked at costumes inspired by TV, film and books, and this week we’re moving onto the world of music. If you’ve ever wanted to indulge your (perhaps vaguely spooky) inner rock star type, then look no further — from Grimes to “Gangnam Style,” we’ve got you covered.


You’ve got plenty of options here: there’s Burning-Man-and-flaming-swords Grimes, locker-room-with-lots-of-shirtless-dudes Grimes, riverboat Grimes… but perhaps the most straightforward and easily identifiable option is football-stadium-and-boom-box Grimes, circa the “Oblivion” video. It also doesn’t involve getting hold of flaming swords, shirtless dudes and/or a riverboat, so, y’know, result.

The costume: Oversized silver headphones — $19.99, Zounds Fingerless skeleton gloves — $4.99, Halloween Express Pink hair dye — $6.99, Walgreens Boom box — $30.99, Sonic Electronix

Poverty-stricken Grizzly Bear

Poor Grizzly Bear. They don’t have private jets, y’know. Show your support by copping their style for Halloween — or, specifically, Ed Droste’s — and then sending them royalties. It’ll probably be more than they make from Spotify.

The costume: V-neck t-shirt — $21, American Apparel Jeans — $32,65, Amazon Cardboard sign proclaiming “WILL PERFORM FOR HEALTH INSURANCE” — we suggest asking your local 7-Eleven for a spare box Abiding sense of existential despair — priceless

The cover of Bat for Lashes’ The Haunted Man

The cover to the new Bat for Lashes record The Haunted Man is one of 2012’s most striking images, shot by photographer Ryan McGinley and (sadly) attracting a whole lot more attention than the album itself — although, in fairness, this may be because The Haunted Man isn’t especially memorable. Anyway, this is quite the striking costume, although you may want to catch a cab to wherever it is that you’re going.

The costume: Body stocking (assuming you don’t actually want to nude up) — $29.50, Discount Dance Supply Dark-haired bob wig — $6.60, Blockbuster Costumes Charm necklace — $14, Polyvore Inflatable dude to throw over your shoulder — $19.99, Spencer’s Online

“Gangnam Style”

Just the 531 million views on YouTube, then. Considering that, on average, roughly one in six of the world’s population has viewed this at least once, pretty much any of its outfits should do the trick, but the most recognizable is the inexplicable pink-shorts-and-orange-tie combination that accidental Korean superstar PSY rocks at the start of the video.

The costume: Douchey pink shorts: $34, American Apparel (via Amazon) Lurid orange tie: $5, Cheap Neckties Tortoiseshell sunglasses: $6.80, Amazon White dress shirt: $14.99, Tuxedos Online Poolside slippers: $14, Skin Spa

Republican Nicki Minaj

Oh, no, wait, she was only joking about voting for Mitt Romney — it was just one of her personae speaking, y’see. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s Halloween and you’re only joking, too! What a wonderful post-ironic world we all live in!

The costume: Pink-and-blonde general purpose “Look at me, I’m Nicki Minaj” wig — $13.99, Halloween Costumes Garish pink microphone — $1.99, Amazon (decorate with faux Swarovskis for extra effect) American flag — $19.99, Multiple personae — as required General air of provocative political cluelessness — model’s own

Frank Ocean

It’s all about the bandana — Frank Ocean’s trademark accessory has become as much of a stylistic signature as Nelly’s Band-Aid or Chuck D’s baseball cap. Beyond that, cop some expensive sneakers and well-cut jeans, and do your best to look strong but sensitive (not too sensitive, though, or Tyler will say nasty things about you.)

The costume: Red-and-white Rising Sun bandana — $5.99, Amazon Street Fighter II t-shirt — $17.95, Amazon Fake Rolex watch — $99 from or substantially less from your favorite Canal Street dude

Snoop Lion

Honestly, not a whole lot has changed for Snoop stylistically, even if he has had some sort of profound spiritual conversion and embraced the virtues of Rastafarianism. Basically, if you smoke enough weed to render several elephants insensible, get yourself some faux dreadlocks, and slur your way through “Gin and Juice,” everything will be just fine.

The costume: Faux Ray-Bans in Rastafarian colors — $10, Kaboodle Rasta beads (on hemp twine!) — $2.49, Etsy Silly dreadlock hat — $11.95, Fantasy Toyland Colossal spliff — courtesy of Nelson, W.

Die Antwoord

We’re not always enamored of their music, but Die Antwoord’s visual aesthetic is unmistakeable, and it means there are plenty of options to choose from if you want to adopt their style this Halloween. One caveat: we suggest you don’t go for Yo-Landi’s blackface angle, because whether or not it’s an “African thing,” we’re guessing that it’s just about the easiest way to ruin everyone’s Halloween. Instead, go for the Ten$ion album cover — it’s creepier anyway.

The costume: White angel wings — $14, Pink Queen Black full-eye contact lenses — $125 (yikes!), Extreme SFX — or maybe just get the normal ones for $29.95 Fake heart — $7.89, Amazon Fake blood — $2.99, Halloween Costumes

Azealia Banks

Remember when you first saw “212”? Aw, she looks so nice… wait, did she just say “cunt”? Anyway, get yourself a Mickey Mouse sweater — doing so is something of a mission, apparently, but we’ve got you covered — smile sweetly, and then proclaim to the world, “I’m-a ruin you, cunt!”

The costume: Mickey Mouse sweater — $10.64, Rising Taste Plaited wig — $19.99, Costume Box Cut-off denim shorts — $28, Quiksilver Repeated use of the word “cunt” — up to $20 each (if you’re in Middleborough, MA, anyway)

Fever Ray

And finally, if it’s all too hard, as your attorneys we advise pissing off the whole cutting-edge pop culture angle and going as something timeless: the singularly awesome Karin Dreijer Andersson as Fever Ray. It’s spooky, it’s easy-ish — especially if you know someone who can do face paint — and it’ll give you lots of credibility with both people who recognize the reference and people who just think you’ve gone with freaky makeup. Win. Win. Win.

The costume: Black and white face paints: $2.99 each, Party City White hair spray: $2.99, Party City