Halloween Costumes For When Reality Is Too Spooky

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Ah yes, welcome to mid-October — the unofficial period of furious brainstorming and planning for this year’s Halloween costume. Or, at least it was before we entered the time warp that is 2020 (hint: Rocky Horror is always an acceptable costume choice so let’s call that a pun!).

Are people still dressing up this year? The short answer: maybe. The long answer: they should be! Although we are unable to have our annual festivities of trick-or-treating and parties (read: excessive social interaction), it is important for us to maintain a semblance of normalcy and have some fun whilst in the comfort and safety of our bubbles.

As long as you’re not appropriating any culture that is not your own or dressing as something/someone that is non-inclusive and harmful to others, you should let yourself have a little respite from reality! While I suppose it should go without saying, this also means that you should refrain from dressing as a coronavirus or anything that is politically charged (e.g., a cop, President Trump, Senator Kamala Harris, Vice President Joe Biden). Honestly even a doctor, nurse, fireman feels uncouth right now. . . do you see where I’m going with this?

Ultimately, the goal is to escape from reality and pretend everything is not in shambles for a moment rather than drag out our world’s current dismal state. But, please make sure that you do this all over Zoom. . . or whatever else you choose to do with your bubble whilst remaining socially distant.

Here are some Covid-19 Halloween costumes that say, “I’m a socially conscious individual who is confident, witty, and very budget-friendly.”

1. The Ghost of Your Pre-Quarantine Self

pre-quarantine self

You know, when you were more likely to be “put together.” I challenge you to literally dress up for the things you were going to do in 2020 but can’t. For example, wear that funky rave outfit! Wear your best Pride get-up! Don that new suit you got specifically tailored to your body for that super big corporate conference you were supposed to attend. I don’t know, maybe take your wedding or bridesmaid’s dress out for a spin (sorry, that’s dark)?

2. Zoom Meeting

zoom meeting box

Take your Halloween look from day-to-night with a Zoom meeting costume. I’m sure you know it well: business on the top, pajamas on the bottom. Bonus points if you build yourself a cardboard Zoom box!

3. Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Fauci costume

Dr. Fauci has had his fair share of attention this year, including a multitude of thirsty tweets and even a superhero toy that bears his likeness. All you need is a nice black suit, navy dress-shirt, black tie, simple glasses, gray hair (wigs to the rescue!) and a wholesome smile. You can even add a little superhero cape.

4. Sourdough Loaf or Sourdough Starter

sourdough loaf and starter

Quarantine went on so long that we created new stereotypes for the experience, such as baking copious amounts of bread and cultivating your own sourdough starter. Grab all the brown you own (head to toe) and you’ve got yourself a sourdough loaf costume! Got a spare loofah? Pop that on your head (you can glue it onto an old headband), feed on lots of sugar, and call yourself a sourdough starter.

5. “The Fly”

mike pence fly

Ever since a fly was brave enough to land on Vice President Mike Pence’s hair last week, “The Fly” has become an (almost) ubiquitous pop culture reference. Twitter went bonkers for the wee insect and SNL even impersonated it twice in one sketch, so what are you waiting for? Join the club — all it takes is an all black outfit and some pipe-cleaner antennae.

6. Anna and Maya from PEN15

pen15

Right now, dressing up in early-2000s garb is exactly the call back to childhood that we need. Although most of our adolescent lives were not a walk in the park, the times of cringey Middle School drama and awkward forays into pubertal development feel simpler when compared to what 2020 has given us thus far.

For both gals, you need low rise jeans, a short-sleeved cotton graphic or striped t-shirt, a pink backpack, and old sneakers. If you still have your retainer, sacrifice your comfort for a little while and rock that iconic piece of dental fashion. For Anna, keep your hair down and straight, but make sure to braid a couple pieces in the front for some flair. If you’re going as Maya, you better be prepared to recreate her iconic bowl cut by either cutting your own hair (please) or finding a comparable wig (e.g., you can cut a longer brunette wig).

7. All The Ladies of the WAP Music Video

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion

You can choose from Megan Thee Stallion’s black-and-white tiger print outfit, Cardi B’s cheetah print outfit (or, Kylie Jenner’s), Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s pink and yellow outfits. . . the list goes on!

8. Doja Cat in the “Say So” Music Video

doja cat "say so" rainbow dress

Doja Cat’s video offers many lovely looks, but perhaps her rainbow dress is the easiest to achieve with its laidback yet 60’s GoGo dancer turned 70’s diva vibe. I bet that you can find a similar piece in your local thrift store or Goodwill, and all you need to add is a pair of chunky heels, sassy pigtails, big hoops, white eyeliner, and false eyelashes. Oh, and don’t forget to memorize the TikTok dance.

9. Dua Lipa

dua lipa physical monochrome outfit

Dua Lipa’s new album serves as major fashion inspiration and makes me yearn for the days that we could dance in clubs with strangers while wearing fun outfits. You can rock her black cut-out bodysuit from her MTV performance of “Don’t Start Now,” or you can easily replicate her myriad monochrome outfits from her “Physical” video! If you already have a blond/brunette mixed bob, wow. If you have a bob of any color hair, incredible. If you need to opt for a wig, that’s okay! They exist and the full Dua Lipa look will be yours in no time.

10. Bernie Sanders’ “I Am Once Again Asking For You. . .”

Bernie Sanders meme

I will accept the Bernie Sanders, “I am once again asking for you. . .” meme because honestly it’s become more nostalgic than divisively political and will remain forever relevant. All you need is a big taupe parka/jacket/hoodie, wire glasses, white hair (wig or not), and a piece of paper taped to your jacket. Make sure to fill in the latter half of the meme’s sentence with your favorite line!

11. Carole Baskin

tiger king Carole baskin

Early on in quarantine, Tiger King’s Carole Baskin was an instant favorite for the internet. Perhaps the overwhelming number of memes and impersonation videos are due to her alluring affinity for leopard-print clothes or her adamant assertion that she did not kill her husband. Or, maybe it’s because she says super rad lines like, “Hey all you cool cats and kittens.” Either way, you too can get her look by flaunting a stellar flower crown and megawatt smile!

12. Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek

moira rose schitt's creek

Moira knows how to live through a schitty situation with class and pizazz and so can you. Find yourself a shiny faux leather jacket, a white button-down, a quirky skirt (e.g., feathered, fringe, etc.), layers some chunky costume jewelry, don the biggest sunglasses you’ve ever seen, and sport a bright red lip. Honestly, if you want to stay in your pajamas then just throw on a vest, a statement necklace, a bold lip and you’re good to (not) go!

13. Stevie Budd from Schitt’s Creek

stevie schitt's creek

Stevie (the humbly snarky complement to the series’ main characters) has a pretty easy look to nail down. All you need is a pair of baggy jeans, a loose fitting t-shirt, a big flannel/plaid button-down, and some dirty old sneakers. To make sure you’re really communicating that you’re not just your quarantine-self hanging around the house, you have to rock the long barrel waves and constant smirk. Bonus points if you already have locks as luscious as hers, but you can also get a pretty cheap wig that’ll do the work for you (probably). Don’t forget the name tag — you’ll need it for when everyone inevitably forgets your name.

14. Nurse Ratched from Ratched

nurse ratched

Nurse Ratched’s look may be a little hard to pull off and may go against my aforementioned statement that you should keep from dressing as an essential worker… but her whole deal is iconic. Sift through your local thrift store or Goodwill and see if you can find a teal long-sleeved dress (if possible, pop a teal collared shirt underneath). Try making a nurse’s hat our of a teal napkin or a wash cloth, tie your hair back in a rolled bun, and swipe on some red lipstick. Quarantine Halloween is all about making it work (Tim Gunn style).

15. Paul Rudd as a “Certified Young Person”

paul rudd mask psa

Paul Rudd’s mask PSA is the perfect comfy Covid-19 costume! All you need is a yellow sweatshirt, a NY baseball cap, over-the-ear headphones, a skateboard, and a mask! To ensure that the public doesn’t assume you’re just dressing like yourself, you must drop as much 20-something lingo as you can. Lit!

16. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

RBG costume

The late RBG deserves all the respect possible right now, so please do her justice and wear her costume with pride. Go for a long black dress, sensible shoes, a white lace handkerchief tied around your collar, a tight bun, and a pair of reading glasses (tip: drugstores have cheap non-prescription frames if you don’t have impaired eyesight!). If you’re into layered (yet respectful) jokes, dress up as Kate McKinnon’s RBG and add in the Q-tips as dumbbells.

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