This year, my costume selections are veering toward popular culture. I went on a MEME kick, and man there are some funny ideas out there that, if you’re hip to what’s hip, you will really love. You will not find disgusting “slutty vampire”, “naughty nurse”, or “sassy pirate” costumes in this bunch, because we costume people really don’t need to pander, do we? It’s not called “Whoreloween”; it’s HALLOWeen. Hallowed evening – the most special night of the year for costume designers. I have put together twenty-five or so costume ideas for you. I have included the original reference from pop culture or the internet for all costumes, and I have included links to sites where you can buy costume pieces to complete your look. So, without further ado, here are my 2011 Halloween ideas:
1) PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME
This is a YouTube video that went viral and has been parodied on Family Guy for one. Peanut Butter Jelly Time is almost guaranteed to cheer up even the most despondent person, therefore making it a great costume – not just for Halloween, but also for year-round use.
2) MEME CAT TRIO (good for a group)
This is a good idea if you want to do a group costume that is pretty off the wall, but hilarious. Each cat is quite well known in his/her own right, and each has a very distinctive personality. I had a hard time finding just the plush cat jumpsuits by themselves, so I included options here with sculpted heads – you don’t have to wear the giant heads if they are unwieldy.
This is the laid-back cat of the bunch. He gets into his groove while playing a nice Casio keyboard. He is the Paul Schaeffer of cats.
This is the guy who constantly cracks corny science and chemistry jokes. He’s the nerdy science teacher. He’s Bill Nye, Science Guy.
Business cat is your boss. He’s in upper management, and he’s kind of like Gary Cole from the movie Office Space. But he’s a cat.
3) DOUBLE RAINBOW – Requires 2 People
The video has millions of hits. We will all have what he’s having. And now you can provide that kind of mind-blowing experience for your friends. With two people dressed as rainbows, you will be truly… Double Rainbow!
4) CIGAR GUY
Personally, I think this is a stroke of genius. This guy photo bombed Tiger Woods, and then has (with the help of Photoshop) successfully photo bombed his way through history. Wearing this costume, you have free license to photo bomb everyone, all night long.
5) HIPSTER MERMAID/HIPSTER DISNEY CHARACTERS (good for a group)
Taking the Disney concept deep into Silverlake, or better yet, DTLA (Silverlake is so mainstream), just add a pair of thick-rimmed glasses to your Disney costume. Pump up the esoteric music and get your judgmental sneer out. You’ll know you’re doing it right when someone says that they like you better than Helvetica.
6) DOUBLE DREAM HANDS (good for a group)
This poor guy is cranking his hands off to demonstrate the dance routine of your dreams. It’s a simple costume, but it will require you to dance throughout the evening, so please take a look at the reference video and learn it. Thanks.
7) TIGER MOTHER
We all complain about our mothers from time to time, but the Tiger Mother is a special breed (no pun intended). Let your inner sadist out with this costume, and feel free to hurl insults all night long. Remember: Second place is first place for losers!
8 ) PAULA DEEN/PAULA DEEN RIDING THINGS
Singlehandedly perpetuating the diet that made America morbidly obese, Paula Deen is, for better or worse, a contemporary culinary icon. Her fondness for butter sends shivers down any nutritionist’s spine, and she just might be America’s number one food-pusher. Whether you want your Paula to ride things or not – your call – your costume will be a big juicy hit.
Props: Boxes of butter, cupcakes, basket of fried chicken
9) CAPTAIN OBVIOUS
We all know people who constantly state what is readily apparent. Let’s celebrate these people by creating a super hero just for them. It’s Halloween, and what could be more obvious that Captain Obvious’ awesomeness? Uh, nothing!
10) CANDY STRIPER WITH PATIENT
This is less a meme/internet reference and more of an American cultural icon reference. The candy striper, volunteer at the hospital, dutifully helps her patient navigate the dark Halloween streets and crowded parties. After enough pumpkin punch, the walker might come in handy!
The costume (Patient): Hospital gown, slippers, wheelchair or walker optional (if you purchase a walker or wheelchair, please be a pal and donate it to a disabled veterans organization when you are done!)
11) Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny/Santa Claus/Perfect Man or Woman/Big Foot/Abominable Snowman (good for a group)
The idea here is that (shhh, don’t tell the kids) these are all myths. Editorialize to your heart’s content with these costumes, but when you are all out together, people will definitely want to get a picture with you to prove to the kids that they really do exist.
The costume: Tooth Fairy
The costume: Easter Bunny
The costume: Santa Claus
The costume: Big Foot
The costume: Abominable Snowman
12) Pan Am/Retro Stewardesses (good for a group)
Notice, not “Mile-High Airlines” stewardesses. Pan Am. It’s still plenty sexy without being totally trashy. I have included suit options (for the purists) and then a cheaper one-piece option. You may need to take up the hemline on these suit options, but put some black pumps with it, and you are cleared for takeoff.
13) Diana Nyad
I love what famed American swimmer Diana Nyad set out to do – her goal was to swim from Cuba to Florida. She’s attempted it a few times, but this time her journey was cut short by a debilitating jellyfish sting. Let me tell you, one little jellyfish will never diminish her accomplishments (swimming around the island of Manhattan in under eight hours?!), so I think it only fitting that we celebrate her with a good Halloween costume. Live long and never give up, Diana!!
14) Toddlers and Tiaras (mom and child)
On a personal level, the show makes me queasy. Have you seen it? Ugh, these are stage moms from hell. However, this high-level grotesquery makes for awesome Halloween costumes. This costume idea is social satire in the purest sense. Just make sure your young daughter, niece or cousin is up for the joke, and make sure they can at least blow kisses to their adoring fans.
Halloween resources in LA:
Cinema Secrets (makeup and special effects)
Frend’s Beauty Supply (makeup)
Halloween resources in NYC:
Halloween resources in Chicago:
Have fun everyone, and enjoy our special costume holiday!!! If you have a good costume that you’d like to share, please email me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to include it here. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!