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Last-Minute Halloween Costumes

The parties, costume crisises, candy overload, and overall spook that filled the weekend was just preparation — today is Halloween.

If you need a costume, you’re in luck.  We’ve put together some do-it-yourself getups that channel late and great musicians.  They’re easy to assemble and dirt cheap (maybe even free). In the true spirit of the holiday, feel free to zombify any of these costumes. After all, the music these artists made is undead.


To put together a Michael Jackson costume, look no further than your closet (and maybe  a few thrift stores). The King of Pop wore a lot of things, but if you want to be recognized, consider black pants, a white t-shirt or oxford, a black jacket, white socks, and black shoes.

MUSTS: White tape (for fingers), white socks (flaunt them, if you’ve got them)
OPTIONAL: Wig, black fedora


There’s no denying that Freddie Mercury was a showman. As captivating as his stage presence, was his style. Mercury’s flamboyant getups can be done when time is not an issue, but for time’s sake, we’ll stick with something more basic. Grab a white a-shirt, light wash denim jeans, studded black belt, studded bracelet (to place around your bicep), and white Adidas (Hercules, Samba).

MUSTS: Mustache (fake or real)
OPTIONAL: King accessories, chest hair (fake or real), Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses


Johnny Cash had a simple but refined style. To be the man in black, you should wear all black. Try these clothing items: leather jacket, oxford shirt, jeans or pants, and boots. Don’t forget that the final touch to Cash’s swoon-worthy style was always a tailored fit.

MUSTS: Pompadour (wax or pomade may be necessary, if you’re using your natural hair, or purchase a wig)
OPTIONAL: Guitar (prop)


When you think of Kurt Cobain, you think of a lot of things, including grunge. Cobain’s style is easy to emulate — flannel shirt (with optional graphic t-shirt underneath), blue jeans with no frills (unless you want patchwork or holes), and Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers.

MUSTS: Chuck Taylors, flannel
OPTIONAL: Blond wig


Bob Marley‘s style was casual. Like Mercury, he was often seen in Adidas shoes and apparel. For a simple Marley look,  pair a classic oxford shirt with boot cut pants or jeans, and boots. Dreadlocks are a signature of the Jamaican musician.

MUSTS: Dreadlocks, shoes or apparel
OPTIONAL: Beanie or wool cap, Rastafarian colors



Amy Winehouse took the beehive hairstyle and winged eyeliner to a higher level. If you want to capture her  in a costume, try a short, flirty dress with pumps.

MUSTS: Beehive hair, winged eyeliner
OPTIONAL: fake tattoos, her imfamous ballet flats, headscarf or hair bow


Billie Holiday exuded classiness. To match her style, try a long, glittery gown. Add accessories such as diamond earrings, a white flower to your hair, lipstick, gloves, and a pearl necklace.

MUSTS: white flower in hair
OPTIONAL: lipstick, pearls, white or black gloves


Janis Joplin‘s style was carefree. Though her look was much different than Holiday’s, Joplin added flare to her outfits in the same way — accessories. To dress like Joplin (this should be easy, 1960’s fashion is coming back), wear drapey pants, a form-fitting shirt, vest, and boots or sandals. Bangles, beaded necklaces, a headscarf, and a pair of oversized glasses can be added for effect.

MUSTS: Layered jewelry
OPTIONAL: Colorful, cosmic, tie-dye patterns


As part of the group TLC, Lisa Lopes often wore outfits that coordinated with her group, but her style alone was tomboyish, yet sexy. Consider pairing a form-fitting blouse or crop top (maybe even a sports bra) with boyfriend-cut or loose-fitting jeans. Don’t forget the line under your eye.

MUST: Black line under left eye
OPTIONAL: Chilli and T-Boz, funky hairstyle


Selena had a girly-girl fashion sense. Beading and sparkles were a must. To recreate an iconic look of the singer, add beading to a white bra and match it with white pants or jeans, and boots. For more costume inspiration, watch the Selena movie featuring Jennifer Lopez!

MUST: Red lipstick, high-waisted bottoms
OPTIONAL: Shiny or sparkly jewelry, clothing, or accessories


If you’re looking for a place to wear your costume, check out these local events:

WHAT: Shannon & the Clams, Liam & the Ladies, JJCnV, The Rebel Set show
WHERE: The Trunk Space
WHEN: Monday, Oct. 31, 7:30 P.M.
HOW MUCH: $10 without costume, $5 with costume

WHAT: Sean Watson’s Halloween Costume Ball
WHERE: Crescent Ballroom
WHEN: Monday, Oct. 31, 9 P.M.
HOW MUCH: Free
*Costume required

WHAT: Wild Flag, Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives
WHERE: Rhythm Room
WHEN: Doors at 8 P.M., show at 9 P.M.
HOW MUCH: $14-15

 

 

One Comment

  1. Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote infoarimtve articles.

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  1. Album Covers Turned Halloween Costumes - The Spec Blog | The Spec Blog - [...] doesn’t have to be all gore. Last year, The Spec set readers up with last-minute Halloween costumes of musicians…

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