Boo! Nerds! It’s that time of year again where I admit to all of you that I am not in a place to give you any sort of Halloween advice. Like last year’s very successful Halloween playlist, I leave it to the Commissioner of Halloween himself, Abel Charrow. He has put together a wonderful spin on Halloween this year, and I sincerely hope you enjoy.
Without further ado… Take it away, Commissioner!
It’s Halloween! Which means it’s perfectly acceptable to dress as your favorite obscure pop culture reference, and then ridicule those who don’t guess it correctly! In the spirit of the season, here are ten costumes that are guaranteed to require repeated explanation.
1. Psy of “Gangnam Style”
Polls have shown 70% of the population is already considering a Psy costume (the remaining 30% is split evenly between dressing as Unemployed Big Bird or a “binder full of women”). But don’t let that discourage you! There are plenty of Psys to go around: sun-bathing Psy; granny-bus Psy; speedboat Psy; black/blue/pink tux Psy, etceterpsy.
- What you need: The key to this costume are the accessories: sunglasses, untied bowtie, & two-tone shoes. Authentic Thierry Lasry sunglasses (identified thanks to kpopcommentary) will set you back a few hundred, but you can get these knock-offs on Amazon for $10. If you don’t want to purchase a traditional bow tie, grab an old, black shirt, and use fabric scissors to cut the long-necked coke-bottle shape out of its side. The two-tone shoes should be easy enough to find in any thrift shop.
- What you do: Learn that dance. Here’s a tutorial. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to arrive at the party with either a thoroughbred racehorse or a break-dancing Korean child in tow.
2. Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”
If you can’t find those two-tone shoes to complete your Psy ensemble, consider the much more wallet-friendly Macklemore. What, you haven’t heard of Macklemore? Just last week his album debuted on iTunes at number one! (If you choose this costume, you get to say snooty stuff like that all night long. You condescending hipster.) Watch the excellent music video above, and pay attention to the lyrics; Macklemore basically provides a shopping list for your costume.
- What you need: Twenty dollars in your pocket.
- What you do: Go to your local thrift shop and see how far that $20 gets you.
3. Hologram Tupac
Too rarely are we privileged to witness the coalescing of technology and art, which transcends our cultural differences, unites us in wonder and awe, and reminds us of our shared glory and frailty. On an unrelated note, Hologram Tupac performed at Coachella this year.
- What you need: baggy stone-washed jeans, Timberlands, Jesus piece, tattoo marker, microphone, about 5lbs of body glitter, abs.
- What you do: Keep a minimum distance of 50ft from everyone else (to preserve the optical illusion). Occasionally yell, “What the fuck is up, Halloween???” If possible, exit a room by bursting into a million stars.
4. Barfing Bieber
I respect Justin Bieber immensely. I enjoy some of his music. I even own a Justin Bieber t-shirt, unironically. Observe:
That being said, losing one’s lunch on stage will always be funny, and no one gets a free pass in that department. And, honestly, doesn’t this make the Biebs even more likable?
- What you need: Bieber wig (Go with the old, bowl-cut, otherwise, no one will recognize you), skinny jeans, hoodie vest, Macy’s Bieber Someday eau de Parfum
- What you do: Eat a big plate of pasta. Drink a glass of milk. Chug the bottle of Bieber perfume. Hit the dance floor.
- If there’s too much swag in that approach for you, simulate a vomit stain on your shirt with a can of creamed corn. Use a cheap Halloween make-up kit to give your face a sickly, green-grey tint.
5. Barfing Lady Gaga
Follow the instructions for Barfing Bieber above, but substitute Gaga’s Fame eau de Parfum for Bieber’s Someday.
6. Chris Brown’s Neck Tattoo
Few performers in modern music are as divisive as Chris Brown, for whom popular opinion is split between those who believe he is a hot-headed, misogynistic douche-bag, and those who believe he is a talented, hot-headed, misogynistic douche-bag. This costume is for the ladies who’d like to poke some fun at his latest antics.
- What you need: Basic Halloween make-up kit to decorate your face like a battered, half-skeletal woman.
- What you do: Vaguely resemble Rihanna. Have an exasperated publicist insist you are not Rihanna.
7. “Ni**as in Paris”
Jay-Z and Kanye’s culture-bridging masterpiece was, and remains, one of the biggest hits of the year. From the Eiffel Tower to the Watts Towers, this costume will delight with its poetically disparate personality.
- What you need: Mix and match between French clichés and ‘hood clichés. Example: Carry a bag of baguettes, wearing baggy pants; double-fist with a 40 in one hand and a bottle of merlot in the other, simultaneously smoke a long cigarette and a fatty blunt; wear a beret on your head and a beretta in your belt; refer to yourself as “Le Gat Noir”; if you’re going to wear chains and ice, wear the Hope Diamond.
- What you do: Find a way to explain your costume in public without saying the title of the song out loud. Good luck.
8. Zombified recently dead musician
If you’re one of those knuckle-breathing, mouth-draggers who gets off on hearing your friends say, “Too soon, bro,” then here’s the costume for you! To help you on your way, here’s an incomplete list of recently deceased, brilliant musicians: Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Etta James, Davy Jones, Andy Williams, Earl Scruggs, Robin Gibb (of “Disco Inferno” fame, a popular Halloween party song). Rest In Peace.
- What you need: Poor taste, lack of originality
- What you do: While I’d love to see your Zombie Earl Scruggs costume, please do everyone a favor and just stay home.
10. Couples costume: Lil Wayne & Attorney Pete Ross
Lil Wayne is no stranger to the American legal system. So it should come as no surprise that he so artfully and gracefully dodged Attorney Pete Ross’ questions in this recent, fascinating disposition.
- What you need: For Pete Ross- a suit, a briefcase, a list of questions to frustrate Lil Wayne. For Lil Wayne- a hoodie, dreadlocks wig, tattoo marker, a list of answers to frustrate Pete Ross.
- What you do: Harbor an obvious, mutual disdain for one another. .
11. Couples costume: LMFAO (post-breakup)
Redfoo and SkyBlu assure us its not a break-up, just a break… an “indefinite” break. Say it ain’t so, LMFAO! Before we mourn the evident end of party rocking (by burying our leopard-print leotards and shuffling to Taps performed on a synthesizer), let’s get it poppin’ one last time.
- What you need: You can actually buy licensed LMFAO costumes at Target. Rejoice.
- What you do: You and your partner show up to the party separately. Upon noticing each other, act pleasant but uncomfortable. Spend the rest of the evening intentionally ignoring each other at opposite ends of the room. Avoid the prying questions of your mutual friends. Nonchalantly glance over your shoulder. Pretend like it doesn’t bother you when your partner starts talking to another Skyblu. That’s fine; you’ll just talk to a younger, hotter Redfoo. Have a drink. Have two drinks. Keep it together, man. Don’t do anything stupid…
If none of these costumes work for you, here’s one last idea: My buddy John and I were out the other night and saw this guy who, no joke, looked like the lovechild of Skrillex and Waldo (of Where’s Waldo). We dubbed him “Skrildo.” Go as Skrildo.
Do you have an stellar costume that yearns to be shared? Post it in the comments!
Abel “Scarecrow” Charrow
Commissioner of Halloween