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Halloween costumes inspired by pop culture

By Sophie Leppanen

It’s 2020. While we can’t control time or predict the future, let’s take solace this year in celebrating some iconic characters whose beloved stories and valuable lessons transcend time itself.

Hua Mulan

This year, Walt Disney Pictures brought to the world a live-action adaptation of its 1998 animated film, “Mulan.” Disguised as a man, this heroic female Chinese warrior goes to battle in place of her father, Hua Zhou. The character of Mulan was first celebrated in Chinese folk songs dating back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 A.D.). Girls have rocked the planet a long time, and you can, too, this Halloween!

Wardrobe ideas: Dress up in true ancient Chinese warrior fashion. Red robe, tan pants, brown boots and a silver-plated skirt (tinfoil works well). Your hair can be up in a high bun or down for the windblown warrior look.

Prop: Remember you’re going to battle so don’t forget your sword. If you’re sweet on the ’90s’ version of “Mulan,” you might incorporate Mushu into your costume with a stuffed animal dragon from Goodwill’s toy aisle. If a lucky cricket is more your style, check out Goodwill’s home décor section for a candle lantern or bird cage.

The Baby-Sitters Club

Originally a series of novels by Ann Martin from the 1980s and remade into a TV series this year, “The Baby-Sitters Club” teaches us about friendship’s important role in helping us overcome life’s challenges. This story also captures something wonderful about the American entrepreneurial spirit, with four young friends venturing into a start-up business together called the Baby-Sitters Club. The four original members are perfectly suited for their club roles. Get your friends together for a group costume this Halloween and decide whose personality fits who best!

President (Kristy): Forward-thinking, trend-setter
Wardrobe ideas: Yellow sweater, gray turtleneck, jeans, sneakers, hair with a center part
Prop: Wear a backpack

Vice President (Claudia): Creative, bold
Wardrobe ideas: Big earrings, colorful scarves, a fashionable onesie
Prop: Carry an old-school corded phone, which is one of her contributions to the club (see what you can find in Goodwill’s electronics section!)

Treasurer (Stacey):
Personality type: Sophisticated, good with numbers
Wardrobe ideas: A print blouse, classic jewelry (think pearls), hair down
Prop: Wear reading glasses on top of your head

Secretary (Mary Anne): Serious and by the books in the best way possible
Wardrobe ideas: Jeans, button-down cardigan and classic braids
Prop: Carry a notebook and pen

Tiger King/Joe Exotic

This might be the one exception … Joe Exotic from “Tiger King” is definitely the first of his kind to ever walk the planet Earth — unapologetic, uncensored and unpredictable.

Wardrobe ideas: Blonde mullet, handlebar moustache, animal-print shiny button-down shirt (keep a few of those buttons unbuttoned), baseball cap or sunglasses over the head, brown working boots, necklace, leather fridge jacket, leather gun holster, silver hoop earrings.

Prop: A tiger stuffed animal or “Vote for me” pin

Couples costume: Who better for Joe to walk with than Carole Baskin? Any and everything animal print will work for her costume. And be sure to tell the story of how you met your first husband the entire night.

Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson from “Grease”

These two characters depict a classic American high-school couple from the late 1950s. Most remembered by the 1978 romantic comedy film starring John Travolta (Danny) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandy), “Grease” the film was inspired by a musical written in 1971 by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Looking for a fun duo costume idea this Halloween? Look no further!

Danny
Wardrobe ideas: Black leather jacket or long-sleeve black hoodie, T-Birds logo paper cutout taped to the back of the jacket, a white T-shirt, rolled-up jeans and slicked-back (“greased”) hair
Prop: Carry a comb and use it often

Sandy
Wardrobe ideas:
Ankle skirt, white blouse, button-down cardigan (try to match color of skirt) and ankle-strap wedges or sturdy heels
Prop: A notebook or “No smoking” sign

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