Halloween means different things to different people. To some, it’s a chance to scare the shit out of neighbors and friends. To others, it’s an excuse to ignore the scale and binge on candy. But for the bulk of us, it’s an opportunity to be whoever and whatever the fuck we want to be for one blissful night.
For the uninspired ones among us, here are seven costume ideas based off of iconic outfits worn by artists in the last decade or so. If you see anyone out on the town wearing any of these, you know who to blame.
1. My Chemical Romance
You will need: a black suit, red necktie, and eyeliner galore
Just because you obliterated all evidence of your high school MySpace selfies and cut off your side bangs doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes miss those halcyon Black Parade days. So come on, get the crew together, rock all black everything, scrawl liner all over your lids, and boom: It’s 2006. Except now teenagers actually do scare the shit out of you.
2. Lady Gaga’s VMA meat dress
You will need: 10+ raw steak filets, fishing wire, and nose plugs for everyone else
There are costumes that are not for the faint of heart, and then there are costumes that require you to wrap yourself into a meat dress. We can guarantee that this costume will not result in the most pleasantly aromatic night of your life, but everyone will know exactly who you are and applaud your commitment – from a distance, that is.
3. Rob Thomas in the video for “Smooth”
You will need: a black tank top, a short sleeve button-up with a garish exotic design, and slacks
What better way to pay tribute to the ultimate turn of the millennia banger than by channeling the one-and-only Rob Thomas? You won’t get away with wearing a shirt decorated with Chinese-ish dragons on any other day of the year, so it’s now or never. Add a “Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa” for a couple costume that hits all the right late ’90s nostalgia notes. Man, it is a hot one.
4. Cher in the “Turn Back Time” video
You will need: a black lace leotard, fishnets, leather jacket, three gallons of hairspray, and a battleship
Cher has so many iconic outfits to choose from, but nothing compares to that little black lace get-up (complete with a thong!) that she used to torture an entire platoon. You might not have a navy on call, but you can still get the look if you’re willing to lift and spray your hair to new heights. File this one under “not for the company party.”
5. Missy Elliott in the video for “The Rain”
You will need: black garbage bags, supa fly shades, dark red lipstick, and a fan
Only Missy Elliott could get away with rocking inflated garbage bags in a music video, but there’s no shame in trying it for yourself. You’ll be stranded next to the fan so as to keep your bag-dress at maximum inflation, but with a costume like this, the party is wherever you are. Add giant gold hoops and a Lil Kim cameo for maximum effect.
6. Britney Spears’ VMA performance – the one with the snake
You will need: a green bikini top, a blue skirt, and a python
So, “I’m A Slave 4 U” isn’t exactly the most unproblematic pop song of the last 20 years, but Britney’s jaw-dropping animalistic performance at the 2001 Video Music Awards means it’s a part of our pop culture lexicon forever. Skip the school girl outfit because, well, gross, and embrace Britney at her baddest. It’s Halloween, bitch.
7. Beyoncé’s “Hold Up” outfit
You will need: a yellow dress, platform heels, and a baseball bat
Maybe don’t get into full character with this one – unless you’re a fan of property damage fines and getting arrested. But how better to get in formation than with a flowing yellow dress and a Louisville Slugger? You probably don’t have quite enough dough for the exact Roberto Cavalli frock, but any dress that seems to pass for “mustard” should do the trick. Boy, bye.