The 2015 Flavorwire Guide to DIY Pop Culture Halloween Costumes


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 several years, Flavorwire is helping you out with a DIY costume guide covering the pop culture gamut, from musical theater to streaming TV. Don’t worry — there’s no sewing involved.

Abbi Abrams, Broad City

Ilana may be better known for her fashion sense (those Froot Loop leggings!), but there’s no look from Broad City Season 2 more iconic than Abbi running around her apartment butt-ass naked to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” What better way to celebrate the wild abandon of Halloween than reprising the wild abandon of being alone in the apartment once your roommate’s gross boyfriend leaves the damn house for once?

The costume:

Depending on the dress code of your Halloween party…

Full body stocking — $32, Amazon

OR: Pasties — $3, Amazon

OR: Nothing at all because your friends are chill like that or you really are alone in your apartment, no judgment, we get it — $0

Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey

A getup that’s surely been attempted before, but thanks to Sam Taylor-Johnson and Jamie Dornan, now has a reference point beyond crappy, Photoshopped book covers and readers’ (highly) active imaginations. Accessories kept strictly PG to keep your social options open; wooden demeanor and inability to show chemistry with supposed romantic partner not included.

The costume:

Grey suit jacket — $70, Burlington Coat Factory

Silver tie to put on in montage sequence demonstrating your obsessive nature/not-so-hidden kinks — $5, Cheap Neckties

Peacock feather (remember when that happened?) — $2.40, Feather Place

Imperator Furiosa, Mad Max: Fury Road

Ever since Fury Road kicked off summer blockbuster season with a flaming guitar, the tsunami of steampunk costumes coming this Halloween has been a foregone conclusion. But while crafting a metal muzzle or recreating that insane guitar á la Conan may be out of most people’s costume budget, Charlize Theron’s driver/liberator/all-around badass is actually pretty easy to duplicate, minus the robot arm.

The costume:

Bald cap — $10, Party City

Black face paint —$8.30, Amazon

Desert tan T-shirt — $8-$13, Amazon

Brown belt — $21 (x4 or 5), ASOS

Rick Sanchez, Rick and Morty

Full disclosure: as my chosen costume, Rick makes the list for slightly selfish reasons. But since Rick and Morty‘s resident mad scientist and recently captured galactic felon just left the airwaves for at least a year and a half — thanks for rubbing that in, epilogue — he’s an ideal candidate for commemorating this Halloween. Also, it helps that a Rick costume is basically a Doc Brown one, since 2015 is sure to be a big year for Back to the Future throwbacks.

The costume:

Lab coat — $20, Party City

Mad scientist wig — $14, Max Wigs

Blue T-shirt — $5, Hanes

Ability to burp on command — free, and strongly recommended

Cookie Lyon, Empire

God knows anybody who’s not a Lyon or one of their real-life analogs can’t afford the designer digs required to pull off an authentic Cookie costume, and 99% of us won’t bring Taraji Henson’s total and awe-inspiring commitment to the role. But that won’t stop the Empire stans — all 20 million-plus of them — from coming out in spades at the end of the month, so here are a few suggestions for a good-faith effort. Think animal prints, and lots of them.

The costume:

Feather boa — $60, Feather Place

Hoop earrings — $4, Forever 21

Leopard pumps — $70, BCBGeneration

Zebra dress — $99, Macy’s

Don Draper Achieving Enlightenment, Mad Men

The easiest highbrow Halloween costume to come along in years. Get drunk like Old Don and yell at your friends about what that final shot means while dressed up like New Don — though remember, Coca-Cola is the only acceptable mixer. (All other behavior bearing any similarity to that of Don Draper strongly discouraged; make sure to have a Designated Peggy in your life on speed-dial in case of existential crises.)

The costume:

White button-down —$22, JC Penney

Khakis —$40, JC Penney

Blister treatment after walking around barefoot all night — $7, Walgreens

Diane Nguyen, Bojack Horseman

Dressing like a cartoon horse, dog, or cat might take a bit more effort than the casual celebrant is willing to give, but Diane hits the sweet spot between recognizable character and attainable costume. Bonus points for having an arc that took her relationship with Bojack away from unrequited love and toward a melancholy friendship between two lost souls. (Men and/or optimists, if there are any of those in the Bojack Horseman fandom, can go for Todd.)

The costume:

Military jacket — $37, Macy’s

Recorder — $30, Fry’s

Male Entertainer, Magic Mike XXL

Sexy (provided you’ve got the necessary equipment), minimalist (provided you’ve got the necessary equipment), feminist (provided you’ve got the necessary mindset). The perfect topical Halloween costume, assuming your ego can withstand the comparison to Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, and/or Joe Manganiello. Can even be a group effort!

The costume:

All-American pair of jeans — $68, Levi’s

Yearlong intensive gym membership — price varies

Kimmy Schmidt, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

A Titus Andromedon costume might be a tad unwieldy, so get the Auto-Tuned theme song stuck in everyone’s heads and make NBC jealous by dressing up as the star of Netflix’s latest breakout hit. Bonus points for keeping up a relentlessly sunny demeanor while braving hordes of drunken idiots in true Kimmy fashion.

The costume:

Yellow cardigan — $22, Target

Floral button-down — $19, Orvis

Pink jeans — $20, JC Penney

Backpack — $36, Jansport

Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton

Now that the soundtrack is on Spotify, Hamilton now qualifies as a genuine artifact of popular culture and not that thing your friend in New York with several hundred dollars to blow on a ticket can’t shut up about. Celebrate by turning out in your 18th-century, hip hop-influenced best this Halloween, straight from the musical theater stylings of Official Genius Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The costume:

Ruffled shirt — $39, Medieval Collectibles

Overcoat — $28, Rose Wholesale

Waistcoat — $39, ASOS