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Album Covers Turned Halloween Costumes

Halloween costumes

Halloween doesn’t have to be all gore. Last year, The Spec set readers up with last-minute Halloween costumes of musicians and this year we’re doing the same but taking it to the cover – album cover.

Don’t settle for being a sleeve face. A little face paint, trip to a thrift store or journey through the depths of your closet will get you these do-it-yourself costumes.

Check out eight simple music costume ideas for men and women below…


Grace Jones costume

Grace Jones in Island Life

Nighclubbing may be an easier look to copy, but Halloween is about going all out and for those who use the holiday as an opportunity to be sexy, Island Life is the way to go. Thank me later. Try a nude-colored leotard and use scraps of old clothing to add the bands around the chest (a pink bandeau bra can work too), arm, wrist, leg and ankle. Bonus points if you bring a microphone and stand in the same position when asked.


Madonna costume

Madonna in The First Album

This costume is for the ladies (and gents) who don’t want to be one of those people who dresses up “Like a Virgin.” We’re going way back to Madonna’s beginnings — her first album as the Queen of Pop in training, if you will. There is another cover associated with The First Album and it too features Madonna with big hair, black top and a lot of bracelets.

Wear a black off-the-shoulder top with arm swag (before it was called arm swag by fashion bloggers, Madonna had it), big hair, a big black cross earring, red lips and the signature mole (makeup pencil should do the trick). If you’re going to pretend to be the Queen, you have to have the right attitude and presence. Bonus points if you can pull of reinventing yourself (that doesn’t include sober, tipsy, drunk) throughout the night a la the Material Girl.


Britney Spears in …Baby One More Time

If you’re trying to reinvent Britney Spears’ cover look from her 1999 debut, go to the thrift store. To be frank, she’s wearing commoners’ clothes. A typical outfit you would see on a lady living in the ’90’s. Search eBay or dig through a local thrift store for a red button-up top that can be paired with a white tank top. Add a jean mini skirt or the like and nude wedges. That’s it. If you don’t have similar hair, consider a wig. Bonus points if you sit in the same position as Brit Brit at the Halloween event you attend.


Tina Turner costume

Tina Turner in Private Dancer

Turner’s Halloween heyday may be over, but we think you should consider being the sultry singer this year. All you’ll need to get the look from Turner’s ’80’s album is a black top or dress, sheer black tights, black patent heels, red lipstick and big hair (or a Turner wig). The getup is similar to that of Madonna, but do the two women ever get confused? Bonus points if you answer every “Who/what are you?” question with “private dancer.” You can elaborate on the Turner part later.


KISS costume

KISS in Dynasty

To get the KISS look, you’ll need black and white face paint. The face paint crayons may be best for getting the precise design. If you do it all wrong, you might be mistaken for ICP. Scary thought. Stop at the face paint, if this is already too involved. If not, add a black wig and dress yourself in black and white clothes that are preferably tight and leather. Bonus points if your tongue can channel Gene Simmons’ tongue.


Andrew WK album

Andrew WK in Get Wet

Andrew WK is known for his white-on-white outfits, so cover yourself in white clothes. Then, wet your hair or use products that make it look wet and add some fake blood to your nose, mouth, chin and neck because Halloween isn’t really Halloween if fake blood isn’t involved. Bonus points if you party like Andrew WK or implement more than one of his famous party tips. Godspeed.


David Bowie costume

David Bowie in Aladdin Sane

Album covers don’t get more classic than Aladdin Sane. To get this look, you’ll need makeup and/or face paint. It would be wise to get a little help from a friend to get  your face in order. If you have short hair, brush it up and back, and add red hair spray. There are Bowie wigs for sale, but your best bet is finding a mullet wig and making it work. If walking around shirtless is not an option, consider a nude or white top. But face it, the neck up is what matters here. Bonus points if you walk around with your eyes closed all night.


Jay-Z costume

Jay-Z in Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life

Let’s be real. If you wear all black, you’ll look like nearly all of Jay-Z’s album covers. It’s likely that no one will get your reference, but you have to admit that everyone looks good in all black and if nothing else, you’ll look dapper. Add a parental advisory patch for good measure. That should help. Bonus points if you talk about Illuminati in every conversation, which is not characteristic of the Jigga man at all, but conspiracy theories are fun.

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