Okay, so you look good in red. And, you have a pair of Duane Reade devil horns. C'mon, you can do better than that. But, breathe — if you're having a panic attack because you don't have a kick-ass getup to rival Heidi Klum's, we're here to provide some costume Xanax. Whether you're celebrating this Saturday, on the 31st, or every day for the rest of the month (#ambitious), we've got a list of spooky sartorial ideas straight from the disguise pros.
Get scared (or scary jealous), because these 26 Halloween-obsessed New Yorkers' transformations cover the funny, some bone-chilling, and in between. Zombie Boy? Check. Pixelated porn? Obviously. A male nun with his flock of Madelines? Clearly, you've come to the right place. If you're in need of inspiration, just plain lazy, or costume curious
, don't be shy (these guys certainly weren't) when it comes to surfing our creeptastic cheat sheet. We'll show you ours if you show us yours!
Sam Shipley and Allison Sires, of Shipley&Halmos and Thomas Sires, as Censored Porn
"Allison and I are super into the costumes — she's got a box in our closet that's just filled with random thing she's collected her whole life. Halloween's about fun and reinvention. This was just a simple idea that came together pretty damn well!"
Photo: Courtesy of Sam Shipley.
Connie Wang, Refinery29 global editor, and Nathan Reese, music writer, as Dr. Zizmor and patient
"Here I am as a before-and-after acne patient, and my guy is Dr. Zizmor, of the famed NYC subway advertisement. The zits were made out of dried Elmer's glue, foundation, and lots of red eyeshadow... and made my face break out in real zits the day after. Still, it was totally worth it."
Photo: Courtesy of Connie Wang
Pepin Gelardi, partner at Tomorrow Lab, as Death By Pasta
"Last year's costume was entitled 'Death By Pasta.' Anyone who knows me knows that my very favorite thing on earth is pasta. I was going for a De Niro in Goodfellas, but a version in which he's murdered by a giant piece of penne rigate instead of going to prison."
Photo: Courtesy of Pepin Gelardi
Beatrix Carroll, news writer for The Rap Insider, as Larry King Live
"Some people have dressed as Larry King in the past. Larry King does it daily. But not even Larry King has ever dressed as Larry King Live."
Photo: Courtesy of Beatrix Carroll
Jenna Sauers, writer for Jezebel, as René Magritte's painting 'Collective Invention,'
"My favorite costume so far was probably the one I wore in 2009. I went as the subject of René Magritte's painting 'Collective Invention,' better known by Google as the 'reverse mermaid.' It's the woman with the head of a fish. I made the costume myself — one of my Halloween rules is I don't believe in bought costumes (number two is that I don't believe in going as anything 'sexy') — with a concealed harness made of leftover curtain tape, a couple of bent wire hangers that formed a frame to support the fish head, and a lot of stretch lamé. It was a lot of fun to wear and I'd love to bring it out of retirement, but the third of my Halloween rules is no repeating costumes."
Photo: Courtesy of Jenna Sauers.
Alexa Chung, model/TV presenter and Fiona Byrne, blogger, as Evil Eye and Katy Perry
"My intention was to do Katy Perry, but let's be real, the result was actually 'Drag Katy Perry'. She'd done the famous Sesame Street appearance, hence the Elmo bag. Dolce & Gabbana loaned me the shoes and they were so tall I fell down the steps at Westway (glamorous) and had the biggest bruises I've ever had for weeks. I also changed out of the shorts at Westway and LOST them. Did I mention there was a freak snowstorm and I was in THIS outfit? I ended the night at 5 a.m. eating bacon with my friend Michelle at Veselka. So, uh, THAT was my Halloween 2011."
Photo: Courtesy of BFAnyc.com
Piera Gelardi, Refinery29 creative director, Jambi
"Meka leka hi meka hiney ho! Going as Jambi was my wish come true (Wish?! Did someone say wish?!). I made the whole costume from scratch—from sewing and bedazzling the turban to doing the facepaint (a first for me) —I won't lie, I was pretty proud of how it all turned out."
Photo: Courtesy of Piera Gelardi
Katie Gallagher, designer, as a black-and-white Sally Doll
"'Polka dots, checks, and stripes' is a childrens song they used to play on the Disney Channel. Do you remember this
? Mine was obviously a dark version."Photo: Courtesy of Katie Gallagher.
Johnny Wahba and Roanne Adams, of Ro&Co, as Beetlejuice and Lydia Deetz in their wedding clothes
"The actual Lydia Deetz costume was impossible to find so I had to piece this together. Both of us created our costumes by searching the internet for 'burgundy sui', 'red dress,' 'red stocking' and a 'red lace tutu.' It was all sort of scraped together at the last minute. We put pomade in our wigs to get them to look like their hairstyles."
Photo: Courtesy of Roanne Adams.
Kerin Rose, founder/creative director of a-morir, as Cher
"I don’t believe in role models but if I did I’d have believed in Cher since I was a skinny brunette single-digit dressing like an asshole with a nose I hadn’t grown into and a tenor singing voice. She saw the visionary of Bob Mackie and the joy of costuming before anyone else did, and celebrates the art of dressing up. So, who better to homage? And, what better way than on Halloween? When you love Cher, having a candy corn tattoo, candy corn throw pillows, and candy corn orange hair every day is kind of Halloween. So, when Halloween actually comes about and my friends rifle through my daily wardrobe for costume ideas I have to up the ante and show these kids how it’s done."
Photo: Courtesy of Kerin Rose
Maayan Zilberman, designer of The Lake & Stars, as a halftone cartoon character
"The idea for my costume was to be a macro version of a cartoon character in halftone. When you blow up old comic strips they're all made of dots. I've also always thought of myself as a Veronica..."
Photo: Courtesy of Maayan Zilberman
Serena Haller, accessories designer at Loeffler Randall, as Charo
"This was actually from two years ago. I was dressed as Charo — a talented, crazy sex bomb. Who better to dress up as for a night of partying? It was hilarious dressing up and it was the first time I actually had to pad my bra. Wearing panty hose and a beaded dress was a highlight of the evening, too. It felt kind of geriatric, but in a sexy way!"
Photo: Courtesy of Serena Haller
Julia Anderson, Refinery29 associate director of brand integration, as Day of the Dead
"I'm pretty morally opposed to the 'dress as scantily as you can' memo that usually goes out come Halloween — I much prefer amping up the shock factor. Last year, my best friends and I decided to dress up as Day of the Dead characters complete with Mexican muumuus, a full face of spooky makeup, and handmade floral leis. We definitely got a few looks of terror when we strolled into the corner bodega!"
Photo: Courtesy of Julia Anderson
Sam and Shira Wheeler, of Aux Armes and Ro&Co, as 'The End Of The World'
"With Doomsday believers in the headlines last year and Melancholia just out in the theater, my husband Sam and I papier-mâchéd ourselves into earth and comet globes. I ran into him all night at top speed, and together we were THE END OF THE WORLD."
Photo: Courtesy of Shira Wheeler
Gabriel Bell, Refinery29 staff writer, as Terry Richardson
"That year, I decided to dress as the creepiest thing in the whole wide world — Terry Richardson! Obviously, the young lady I ran into at that year's big Williamsburg rager had the same idea (though I think my fake mustache was better). Double the horror!"
Photo: Courtesy of Gabriel Bell
Patrick Dugan, office manager at Anonymous Content,
as Zombie Boy
"I was Zombie Boy from the Lady Gaga video— it took two hours to paint on, only to be unceremoniously smudged by an encounter with a cop in hotpants very early on in the night."
Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Dugan
Lorenzo Martone, founder of The Martone Agency, as Liza Minnelli in Cabaret
"I get super into Halloween every year. Last year I had four costumes, but Liza Minnelli was the highlight. This year I'm going all out, too. I'm going to use this catsuit that's been laying around my house."
Photo: Courtesy of Lorenzo Martone
May Kwok, DJ, as Chinese Zombie
"I was a hopping Chinese zombie last year, inspired by my weekly pop up party at Red Egg."
Photo: Courtesy of May Kwok
Andrew Abshere, Refinery29 director of product management, as Ms. Clavel
"We dressed up as the book Madeline, with six people dressed up as her and me as Ms. Clavel, their teacher. One of the Madelines, however, was the truly special one...the one with the beard, that is. Our experience was hysterical— I'd walk all the girls (and one guy) down the street in two straight lines. Guys would be walking the other way, whistling or hollering at all the pretty ladies. Then, as they got to the back of the line, they'd see my friend Brennan, then they'd see me, and I could tell that they were suddenly wondering if ALL the Madelines were men."
Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Abshere
Ilirjana Alushaj, founder the Pop Manifesto, as a Gothic Ice Skater
"I was playing a show around Halloween and decided to step up my stage outfit for the occasion, with a look called 'gothic ice-skater'. I totally was inspired to keep this look running for future shows. I now own five or six similar outfits."
Photo: Courtesy of Ilirjana Alushaj