Dress For Halloween Success

I’m kind of deviating a bit from the theme of my blog here.  Instead of my normal exercises of futility, I’m going to treat this Halloween-themed blog entry as an advice column.  Christmas isn’t the only season of giving, you know!  Despite the fact our mother forced us to wear winter clothing underneath our costumes and would divide all candy evenly between us (those extra Snickers bars were in recognition of my awesome devil costume, dammit!), October 31 was greatly treasured by myself and my siblings.  The nostalgia I have for this holiday leads me to keep certain Halloween rituals in my adult life. This often includes wearing a costume.

With an infinite amount of options out there, it still seems to be so difficult to find a suitable Halloween costume. Originality is the name of the game on Halloween. None of us want to show up to a party wearing the same ill-fitting Batman costume that you wear every year. Yes, you can pull off Adam West quite well, but everyone knows you were going for Christian Bale.

I’m also going to avoid some of the more modern trends in costume choices. You won’t see any characters from Game of Thrones, nor will you see me suggesting some form of Robin Williams homage costume. I will not get wrapped up in the zombie apocalypse craze, and I’d be stepping out of my comfort zone to suggest a viral video celebrity. All my suggestions are basically some things I like and that stand out visually in some fashion.

You’ll note that I include male and female suggestions.  Don’t feel you have to stick to your own gender.  Experiment!!  This is the time of year you can learn a lot about yourself.

Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Twin Peaks)



  • Red/Blue Glasses

  • Frizzy Hair / Afro / Perm

  • Beard

  • Earring

  • Hawaii-themed clothing



The cult TV series Twin Peaks has recently been resurrected for a comeback for sometime in 2016.  Dale Cooper would be the obvious choice to go as, but the whole black suit FBI look is a bit too generic in comparison to other characters.  While considering characters like Bob, Nadine Hurley, and The Log Lady (or, in a man’s case, Windom Earle as The Logy Lady), I went with this bizarre oddball.

Dr. Jacoby started out as a very intriguing character during the first season of Twin Peaks.  His strange mannerisms and special connection to Laura Palmer as her psychiatrist made him a person of interest in the mystery of her murder.  What dark secrets did he and Laura share?  What about the recordings of their sessions together? Did their conversations contain clues to the identity of her killer, or just shared laughter over an even larger question: James Hurley or Harold Smith – Who is more emo?

If you are often told that you are a bit of a creeper, play up that part of your personality. In true Jacoby fashion, make your presence felt in the first half of the party, and like the second season of Twin Peaks, just blend in with the wallpaper (not too difficult if the house is in dire need of a makeover).

Who You Might Be Confused For:


General Jack Ripper (Dr. Strangelove)



  • Cigar

  • General’s Uniform

  • Graying Hair



I know the temptation to go as the titular character is strong, but your German accent is more horrible than you can imagine, and not all parties are wheelchair-accessible. Ripper may be the most quotable character in the whole movie. He’s so damned paranoid about the Ruskies, but you can easy throw in some of your own prejudices and deep fears to improv in character. Who knows when his thoughts would wander to the next conspiracy.

As an added bonus, women love a man in uniform, but you must remember: Deny them your essence!

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • Oliver North

  • Colonel Trautman from the one scene in First Blood where he doesn’t wear a beret

  • Just about anyone associated with wearing some form of military uniform (like Captain Crunch going through an Alex Trebek-inspired clean shaven phase)


Dr. Phibes



  • moppish hair

  • moustache with sideburns

  • clothing from the 1800’s (with a bit of late-60s thrown in)

  • neck audio attachment



In keeping with the doctor theme, why not spend your Halloween costumed in a tribute to legendary horror actor Vincent Price.  While he’s more known for movies such as House of Haunted Hill and House of Wax, his Dr. Phibes character has a unique look with a great back story to match.  Blaming a bunch of doctors over the death of his wife, he seeks revenge by tracking them down and killing them in manners inspired by the plagues of the Old Testament.

One notable part of his character is that he has to speak with the assistance of an external voice box that he plugs himself into. Be on the lookout for young tricksters looking to rig up a Dark Vader voice changer into the circuit while your mind wanders to lament the lack of any lasting friendships in your life. Maybe you should only kill the doctor that was responsible for your wife’s death instead of putting an entire profession on notice.

Need another good reason to go as him? Any chance you can make your date portray someone as stunning as Phibes’ assistant Vulnavia, you take it.

Who You Might Be Confused For:


Dr. Ellie Sattler (Jurassic Park)



  • Blue/purple tanktop

  • Pink button-up shirt

  • Khaki shorts

  • long blonde hair



You should be honoured to go as Ellie. If you’re a lady going to a Halloween party alone, do you want to attract douche-bags scanning every inch of your bust? Be like Ellie. Lure them with your brain and strong personality. Not to say that Laura Dern is unattractive. She always seemed to have that under the radar-type of beauty that can captivate your attention like the girl next door. Of course, they may realize you have none of her qualities and go off to chat up the nearest girl dressed as a sexy maid / bunny / filing cabinet.

Beware of Ian Malcolms.  You can show up with a date, have a ring on your finger, or make fun of his sense of fashion in a deliberately hurtful manner, yet you still find these characters trying to drive it to the hoop.  Laugh at his lame jokes to be polite, but act like you have to be some place else even though you were the first to RSVP on Facebook.

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • Lara Croft (after a much needed reduction)

  • Jane Goodall (back when she was a hottie)


Jeff Lebowski aka “The Dude”



  • Bath robe

  • T-shirt/undershirt

  • Shorts

  • White Russian

  • Long/shaggy hair

  • Goatee

  • Slippers

  • Sunglasses (optional)



This one isn’t that obscure an idea for a costume, but it’s always a classic to portray “The Dude”.  It may be one of the least difficult costumes to throw together since most of the outfit consists of items that you should already own (in all fairness, some women have whiskers).

His personality is very easy to adapt.  You’re at a party anyway, so just be chill and the character will come to you.  “The Dude” is a pacifist by nature, so if you are a violent drunk, switch the White Russian to milk.  If you’re lactose intolerant, go as Walter instead.  A Folgers coffee jar can carry plenty of candy.

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • Sammy Hagar on laundry day

  • Your unemployed step-dad

  • Costume? What costume?


Harold Lloyd



  • glasses (circular)

  • vintage clothing circa 1910-1930



I think Harold Lloyd doesn’t get his fair shake for his role in silent cinema.  He’s famous basically for the clock tower scene alone, but it often gets erroneously attributed to Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton.

You have your pick as to how you decide to dress. You could go with his football uniform or the college boy look in The Freshman, the sailor suit from A Sailor-Made Man, or the sheriff duds from The Kid Brother.  They don’t make these styles of threads any more, so why not get into true Halloween fashion and raid a cemetery to unearth some classics.

Actually, don’t raid a cemetery.  There are plenty of businesses that specialize in customizing vintage clothing. Besides, you should have watched enough horror movies to know not much good can come from this.  Is the address numbered 13 or 666?  Is the lot in question an Indian burial ground?  Is it a cemetery that was built on top of an Indian burial ground?  Does the gravedigger have a hunchback or lobotomy scars?  I know that’s all most likely a bunch of nonsense, but either way, I would want you wasting your time in the event your grave robbing turns up nothing but leisure suits and outdated prom tuxes.

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • World-record tallest man Robert Wadlow (between ages 5 and 9 depending on your own height)

  • The lone anonymous guy in that old photo from when your great-grandfather was a child


Baroness (G.I. JOE)



  • glasses

  • long black hair

  • form-fitting black jumpsuit/armor

  • a cool weapon or two



There’s something about a woman in glasses that gives her a bit of mystique.  By that, I mean that when you see a woman with glasses these days, you can’t even be sure if she needs them.  To get your hands on glasses back in the day, you either had to inherit your poor eyesight or develop atrocious vision by trying to break your personal record in Simon.  That being said, a girl can look adorable with a third and fourth eye.  Never mind the awkward phase from when her parents would grab the cheapest specs covered by their medical plan.  Rejoice in the moment that finally brought her to an attractive frame.

I would have thought this character had dropped considerably in popularity due to the critical failures that the recent movies were, but a simple Google image search reveals otherwise.  My only experience with the character is through both the cartoon and comic books that were made in the 80’s.

Here’s a chance for stereotypes to be broken.  It’s often said that women aren’t as funny as guys, but sometimes the humour can arrive unintentionally. Baroness has one of the more over-the-top accents I’ve heard in a cartoon.  Her accent makes Yakov Smirnoff sound like he’s from Vermont.

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • a dominatrix

  • a pro-literacy super hero (Biclops??)

  • a foreign exchange assassin


“Macho Man / Macho King” Randy Savage



  • beard

  • long hair

  • tight-fitting clothing

  • championship belt

  • it wouldn’t hurt to grab a pack of Slim Jim’s



It’s a common tradition for hipsters to dress up as recently deceased people for Halloween. I remember seeing endless photos of people wearing Michael Jackson and Steve Irwin costumes the years that they died. I know that the Macho Man died in 2011, but his death seemed to barely get a mention. He may not have had the popularity of Hulk Hogan or Andre The Giant, but he was a huge personality in the most popular years of wrestling.

Like any larger than life wrestler (they literally were, often listed at least 5 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than their actual measurements), Macho Man is as fun as hell to imitate. The interesting thing I find with the way he speaks is that it sounds as if he’s holding back rage, yet he always sounds incredibly pissed off. To get the right amount of rasp in your voice, shoot for Waldorf from The Muppet Show, but as if he were trying to swallow Statler whole.

Like Dr. Phibes, you’ve got another reason to bring a date.  The dainty Mrs. Elizabeth serves as the perfect contrast to your muscles and machismo.  Feminists may get upset that I’d suggest that you use women as essentially accessories to your costume by role-playing as significantly more marginal characters, but as long as men continue to be the butt of most jokes in commercials, let us have this one.

Excluding a few essentials, wardrobe choice is limited to your own imagination. I’ve just shown a few variants above.

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • a pimp you definitely don’t want to meet in a dark alley
  • a gym rat of a hippy who never exhales


Sonya Blade (Mortal Kombat)


  • athletic wear (sneakers, headband, sportsbra, etc.)



Video game characters are always fun to dress up as. Last year I wore a Luigi costume.  Why Luigi instead of Mario?  My brother was Mario, and I’m used to being the least popular brother (sigh). Plus his voice is even more annoying than Mario’s if you can believe it, so I could have a little more fun with it.

For the most part, I’ll always remember Sonya Blade as being dressed similar to the image above.  It’s far from the most obvious of video game characters to dress as, but I feel it’s the way to go.  A part of me wants to say if you’re choosing from the ladies in Mortal Kombat, go as Mileena.  Actually, a huge part of me wants to say that.  Heck, I’m fighting my entire being not to hit delete and write how empowering it would be to dress in such impractical clothes for a martial artist.  But, then again, there’s that whole veil thing.  While I like a good nightmare as much as the next fellow, I prefer a good smile.

Deep down, I like the sporty women.  They take pride in their appearance, and don’t feel the need to thrust their cleavage forward to draw eyeballs.  Keep in shape, but keep it classy.  I’ll admit that there have been characterizations of Sonya that have been super-sexualized, but what female figures have not been violated by the twisted minds of artists?  In all honesty, I say as long as you can draw it, I can respect the perversion in a weird way.  They created their dream girl, so let them dream, and make that dream our reality.  True artists don’t settle.  Would you rather live in a world where John Coltrane composes “Giant Steps”, or one where he stays content practicing “Three Blind Mice” his whole life?

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • Kimberly, the Pink Ranger (that’s the colour blind for you!)

  • Your girlfriend’s intimidating yet arousing self-defence instructor
  • The woman at the gym that asked you to stop wearing the half shirt


Lord Flashheart (Blackadder series)



  • Moustache
  • Your pick of WWI military/pilot gear or 16th century swashbuckling outfit



I dismissed the Robin Williams costume because I know it will be popular. Actor Rik Mayall also passed away this year, and while his death made headlines in North America, I find that his body of work rarely gets discussed over here. The same can be said for British comedy in general save for Monty Python.

Good news for the fellas is that many of Mayall’s most popular characters were perverts. Going to Halloween parties, where scantily clad women gather like Mormons to a bus stop, would be the perfect environment for these characters. I’m going to choose Flashheart because he is chock-full of catchphrases, and he had somewhat of a more confident and masculine manner compared to the likes of Rick from The Young Ones or Richie Richard from Bottom. He’d be bound to churn out a good pearl or two no matter how the ladies dress up.

Little Red Riding Hood?

“The only hood you’ll be riding tonight doesn’t need to be strapped on. This wolf’s brought his own basket, sporting two ripe cantaloupes and a sausage big enough to feed a small country. Woof! Woooof!!”

How about Catwoman?

“Don’t get the claws out, darling. You can climb up my tree any day.  If your tongue ever gets numb from all that grooming, I’d be more than willing to finish off those hard to reach places.”

Wonder Woman?

“You don’t need to use the lasso of truth on me to get this confession: You’re damned sexy!   That invisible plane of yours wouldn’t do me any good.  Not when I’m packing the kind of cargo that can be seen from space.  The kind that makes the Martians think “We’ve got this whole probing thing backwards.””

I don’t think I can do him justice, so allow yourself to study from the master.  Develop a plausible come-on for Jason Voorhees’ mom and you’re well on your way.

If you see a Flashheart at your party and want to cut to the front of the line of admirers (trust me, there’s always a line), tell him your name is Bob.  Drives him wild.

Who You Might Be Confused For:

  • Colonel Mustard

  • The frontman for medieval-themed hair metal band Chivalry

  • Certainly NOT a poof!!


That should give you a good amount of ideas you may not have considered.  Of course, I won’t even be following my own advice, and am going off the board.  I think I’m going to figure out what I can do with these.


Have a safe and happy Halloween!


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