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Quintessentially spooky Halloween costumes, step aside: There’s nothing more terrifying than what we’ve all been through *cue warbling ghost voice* in real life.
OK, while that’s a bit of an exaggeration, we have witnessed plenty of costume-worthy moments over the past year. Need a last-minute look? ASAP Rocky wore a thrifted quilt to the Met Gala. Happen to be a scrawny white guy with long hair and a beard? Step out in some black boxer briefs and you might be mistaken for Bo Burnham a la Inside.
Take a walk down memory lane—if you dare—with costume ideas inspired by some of the biggest recent pop culture moments (and some tips on where to find them).
Scandalous Halloween costume, but make it 1813—this December 2020 Netflix series based on the romantic novels by Seattle author Julia Quinn gained quick notoriety for its historic(ish) wardrobe, featuring puffy sleeves, empire waists, panniers, and some extremely tall hair. Commune with the promiscuous elite of the Regency era by pairing costume gloves with a fancy dress and a Marie Antoinette wig, or a top hat with...just about anything.
Bernie in Mittens
Joe Biden eked out a victory over 45 less than a year ago, which means it’s been a mere nine months since everyone’s hearts exploded over images of Bernie Sanders sitting down and wearing mittens. It’s the ideal costume for anyone who wants to commit to strapping that mask on, looking the tiniest bit perturbed, and sitting down for the entire party. AKA every Seattleite we know.
Horror movie idea: “Welcome to Flavortown,” Guy Fieri shouts, face red and sweaty with anticipation—but Flavortown isn’t there. Seattle’s been haunted by these delivery-only setups, often bolstered by the celebrity clout of guys like Fieri and David Chang, since early this year (though some local businesses have been doing it longer). Some say they’re as scary as they sound. Some say Momofuku fried chicken, phantom or otherwise, is worth the risk. We say throw on a ghost costume and a chef hat, carry around a bag full of takeout, and you’ll be the undead life of the party.
Macklemore at the Kraken Expansion Draft
It’s finally time to resurrect that Thrift Shop–era Macklemore costume—this time, wearing the beautiful disaster the local rapper brought out during his appearance at the Seattle Kraken’s NHL expansion draft. Don’t be fooled: The guy’s a fashion icon (I said it!) with an impressive new golf line. But this look was, as sports blog Fansided put it, “completely ridiculous.” It’s also ridiculously easy to emulate with a logo fedora, big tortoise sunglasses, and a Kraken polo.
Naysayers have been mourning the death of the city for at least 50 years, yet we’re still kicking. Um, does that make Seattle a zombie? Poke fun at all those ahistorical complaints with some zombie makeup, whatever Seattle apparel you’ve got lying around, and maybe one of those classic knife headbands for good measure. Then go have the time of your life out on the (ghost) town.
Jeff Bezos in Space
Some astronauts say that the experience of traveling to space—seeing the entirety of human civilization beneath them, a fragile blue planet floating in eternity—causes a profound shift in perspective. Not sure whether that happened to Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the known universe, when he spent a few minutes rocketing through that wild frontier this July. But he did wear kind of a cool hat! Find a cowboy cap of your own at Ballard-based Gold Dogs and complete the look with blue Dickies coveralls.
This one’s for all the five-year-olds out there: That missing front tooth is Halloween costume gold. Those lucky enough to be born sometime around 2015—just a bit after Seattleites started campaigning for a hockey team in earnest—are likely to get a visit from the tooth fairy just in time for the Kraken’s first NHL season, making them just a jersey and a hockey stick away from looking like a defenseman themselves. Jamie Oleksiak would be proud.
Given that we’re all still reeling from the final episode (no spoilers!) of this South Korean Netflix drama, we’re willing to bet—because apparently we have learned nothing—that Squid Game–inspired looks will prove to be the most popular costume of the year. Slip on the white Vans you bought for your "Damn, Daniel!" costume in 2016 or nab some red coveralls from Portland-based Wildfang and get ready to wade through a bar full of players 420 and 069.