Trick or Treat

10.21.13

Miley Cyrus, Walter White, Oprah: Your Pop Culture Halloween Costume Guide

Uninspired by the options at Party City? Can't be a slutty piece of candy corn again? From Miley Cyrus in ‘Wrecking Ball’ to Oprah Winfrey’s Instagram, see our guide to Halloween costumes inspired by pop culture.

Miley Cyrus in the “Wrecking Ball” Video

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YouTube

Miley Cyrus twerking will be the most popular costume this year. We’re better than that, people. We’re bolder. Sexier. “Just being Miley” has moved beyond that. It’s being naked on construction equipment as it swings through the air. Granted that’s a little trickier to pull off. Allow us to help you: 

1) Get naked. (Or as naked as you’re comfortable with. Pasties/underwear are acceptable, we suppose.)

2) Remember those bouncy balls you used to hop around on as a kid? Remember how fun they were? Buy one of them. Spray paint it gray. Grab a broomstick, spray paint that gray, and attach it to the bouncy ball.

3) Boom. Wrecking ball. Hop around naked all night.

Baz Luhrmann’s Vision of Jay Gatsby

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

There’s a Jay Gatsby costume you could wear for Halloween that you could have worn for any Halloween since F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book was first written. Just dress like a dapper man in the 1920s, slick your hair into a side part, and just be devilishly dashing all night long. But there’s a Jay Gatsby costume you can only wear now that Baz Luhrmann has gifted us his with his fever fantasia of razzle dazzle and flash and flair of his recent 3D adaptation of the novel on screen. That is the version of Jay Gatsby you should be for Halloween this year.

1) Gussy yourself up in those traditional Jay Gatsby duds—sleek suit, sleek hair, sleek charm.

2) Remember pipe cleaners from all those ridiculous arts and crafts projects at summer camp? Buy a lot of those. Mold them into fireworks, nonsensical swirls, and random color bursts.

3) Attach them to your costume like dozens of trippy antennae until you’ve basically recreated this epic .GIF.

Britney Spears and Her “Work Bitch” Bitches (Group Costume)

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YouTube

Everyone has their favorite iteration of the joke about Halloween as an excuse for girls to walk around in skimpy outfits judgement-free, yada, yada… Let’s stop obsessing over what is now an annual expectation and instead be clever about it. Celebratory about it. Honorable about it. And what could be more honorable than rounding up your besties to pay homage to a hallowed pop deity? And why dress up like Britney Spears when you can dress as an entire scene from her brilliant new video—namely the one in which she freaking has her backup dancers on leashes. First, have the fight with your girlfriends over who gets to be Brit Brit. (Hint: It’s the one with the best abs.) Then, head to your nearest lingerie shop.

1) She Who Is Britney will need a black bra and hot pants. The more bondage-friendly accoutrements to the top, the better.

2) Britney and each of her backup dancers will require fishnets and what can only be describe as ass-kicking boots.

3) Britney’s “work bitches,” if you will, should all sport a variety of bustiers, corsets, lingerie, and leather. Lots of leather. This next bit is so important, because at this year’s bar crawl, you’re literally going to be crawling. Knee pads are key.

4) Collars. Leashes.

5) Show me how you work, bitch.

All the Different Stages of Walter White (Group Costume)

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AMC

Some of us (all of us) are having trouble getting over the end of Breaking Bad. One way to mourn, though it only provides meager solace, is, well, by playing dress up. But how do you choose what Walter White to pay tribute to? Do you recreate the iconic BB image: gun-wielding Walter in his tighty whiteys? Doing what he did best: making meth in his yellow jump suit? Or one of his darker times: bald and suffering from cancer? Or how about you do it all. Forget the faux pas of showing up to a costume party in the same costume as someone else. This year, you and all your buddies should dress as your favorite version of Walter White. 

1) Heisenberg: The porkpie hat, obviously, is the center piece here. AMC even sells a limited edition collector’s version. The rest of the pieces are pretty easy to wrangle: some wayfarers, a long trench coat, and a goatee (just lay off the razor for a week—maybe two, if you’re Irish).

2) On the job: Walter White in his yellow hazmat suit is a pretty easy-to-obtain costume. For the ladies in the group, there is—really—a “Sexy Walter White version available. As if you’re surprised.

3) The icon: The image long used to advertise Breaking Bad was Walter White in the desert holding a gun in his underwear. This is the most low-budget Walter White costume of the mix (steer clear of that pair actually worn by Bryan Cranston auctioning for almost $10,000), but also the one that requires the most…uh…balls to wear.

4) Dying Walter White: This one’s pretty simple to pull off, though a bit macabre. Recreate that brilliant final tableau from the series by dressing as Walter when he laid dying on the floor of the meth lab in the finale. How? Raid your dad’s closet—Walter’s wardrobe could simply be described as “dad clothes”—and put some ketchup on the shirt near where your abdomen would be.

Cressida Bonas Getting Judged by Kate Middleton (Couple Costume)

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Getty

Remember when Prince William got engaged to Kate Middleton and she was the personification of class and poise and grace and beauty and basically a walking, talking “how to be a princess” guidebook? And then remember when Prince Harry’s started getting serious with a woman and her name was Cressida Bonas (!) and she wore overalls with holes in them and her hair was in a rat’s nest and she had a scrunchie on. A scrunchie! Princess Kate’s hair would surely fall right out at mere contact with such a thing. What better couple costume, then, than the oddest royal couple of them all, out for what is surely an incredibly awkward night out on the town.

The Corpses From the Game of Thrones Red Wedding (Group Costume)

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HBO

You could dress like Tyrion Lannister for Halloween this year. Or Robb Stark. Or Jon Snow, Daenerys Targarean, or any of the many (many) Game of Thrones characters. Or you could recreate the most devastating, exquisitely staged television scenes of the year, the slaughter at the end of “Red Wedding.”

1) Locate your finest pelts, furs, and armor to dress as different members of the Stark family and Robb Stark’s army.

2) It’s essential that one member of the group dress as Robb’s pregnant wife.

3) Bloody everything up. Have arrows and swords sticking out of chests and abdomens at various angles. The woman dressing as Ned’s wife should have a dagger sticking out of the belly.

4) Carry around some severed heads, just for fun.

Oprah Winfrey’s Instagram

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@oprah

A go-to Halloween costume in the digital age is dressing as a Facebook profile. So 2006. This year, up the ante and go as an Instagram account. Specifically, go as Oprah’s Instagram account.  

1) Mimic the idea of the Facebook costume: use cardboard to construct a detailed recreation of Oprah’s Instagram page but be sure to leave a square hole in the middle that should stretch from your head to your chest.

2) Dress as Oprah and recreate one of her classic Instagram photos. Perhaps showing off your tomatoes. Perhaps throwing up your thumbs during a picnic lunch on Serengeti. Or perhaps hula hooping. No, definitely hula hooping.

3) Life your best life. This part’s non-negotiable.

Dana From Homeland

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Showtime

There are two options to go for when dressing as the Homeland character who has alternately been called the “worst” character on TV and “the most lifelike teenage character since Freaks and Geeks.”

1) Dana takes a topless selfie: We all remember where we were when we cringed the hardest we’ve ever cringed in our entire lives. It was the season three premiere of Homeland. We’re watching, biting our lips in anticipation of what will happen next in the Carrie-Brody terrorist saga. And instead of finding out, we’re treated to (tortured with?) an extended plot about Dana Brody’s breakdown, reaching its wincing apex when she strips off her top and takes a selfie with her cellphone. The costume is pretty easy. Walk around topless—wear a bra if you’re one of those modest types—and constantly have our arm outstretched, taking a selfie with your cellphone. Smelled-a-fart sexy face is a must.

2) Nagging Dana: This version of Dana, the one we all know and love, is the one that was brilliantly parodied by Nasim Pedrad on Saturday Night Live. To pull this off, you’ll need an oversized hooded sweatshirt. But it’s less about the outfit than the behavior. Just drift aimlessly around your Halloween party fidgeting your fingers and absent-mindedly asking everyone and no one in particular, “Dad? Dad? Dad?”

Video screenshot