Go Retro this Halloween

Monday, October 19, 2009
If you're a fan of all things retro, then Halloween is a great time of the year for you. Now's your chance to take on a past persona. That got me thinking about some Halloween costume ideas for this year. Sure, you can go as a Mad Men guy or gal. But if you're looking for inspiration for some other costumes, here's some that you don't see too often at Halloween parties...and that I think would all be recognizable, at least to anyone over the age of 35:

Amelia Earhart

With the Hillary Swank movie "Amelia" set to open this weekend, Earhart is sure to be in the forefront of people's minds this Halloween season. Considered an icon of style, it's easy to get her high flying look. For a cute couple costume idea, have your significant other dress as Charles Lindburg.

What You'll Need:
* A bomber or similar style jacket
* Goggles
* Parachute pants or a jumpsuit (check out eBay)
* Boots - preferably hiking ones or Doc Martins
* A long scarf or men's tie

Julia Child

The popularity of the movie "Julie & Julia" is the yummy inspiration for dressing up like the French Chef this Halloween. Just pull a few key items together and declare "Bon Appetite!" in your best Julia voice.

What You'll Need:
* Any regular ladies blouse
* Tea length skirt, that ends just below the knee
* Heels (because Julia was over 6 feet tall)
* Pearls or another simple necklace
* Apron
* Cooking utensil such as a wooden spoon or mallet

Buddy Holly

Elvis is sooooo copied. Stand out from the crowd. Skinny and/or, dare I say, nerdy guys can fill this sometimes forgotten music star's shoes just fine.

What You'll Need:
* 1950s hornrimmed glasses
* Skinny tie
* Jacket
* Toy guitar

Tippi Hedren from The Birds

Now granted, this one isn't my idea - Joy Behar wore this costume creation a few years back for a Halloween edition of The View. Even though we all know birds are harmless, I think a costume inspired by the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie would give anyone chills.

What You'll Need:
* A vintage style suit, preferably in green
* Fake crows and sparrows, or similar birds (these can usually be found at Michael's and other craft stores)
* Some way of attaching them to your hair and clothing
* Fake blood on your face, for added effect

John Lennon

All we are saying is give peace...and a John Lennon costume a chance. For added fun, have your girlfriend/wife dress up as Yoko Ono (but please don't ask her to sing.)

What You'll Need:
* Military style jacket
* Long haired wig if your hair is short
* Granny glasses
* Peace symbol button

Mr. T

I pity the fool who doesn't think this would make an awesome costume...unfortunately, you do need to have the physique to pull this one off. I also recommend having the skin tone, as I don't think showing up in blackface would make you a hit at a party.

What You'll Need:
* Mohawk wig
* Lots and lots of jewelry - especially gold necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings
* Toned enough biceps that look good enough to show off

Needless to say, this is just a sampling of famous people that could be easily imitated this Halloween. If you have one you'd love to dress up as, I'd love to hear about it.


  1. I don't know if I will dress in a costume but I could go as Pippi Longstocking. I saw, in another blog I read,how to make those flippy ponytails she had or maybe the Wendy's gal.

  2. I dressed up as Tipi Hedren back in 2004. It was a pretty fun costume to do. You can see a photo here:


    I bought an angel's halo, removed the feather fluffy and added styrofoam birds on strings. It was irritating to have the birds smacking me in the face all night and NO ONE recognized me, even though I had The Birds playing on the television in the background. :(

    It was fun, though!


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