I’m not ashamed to admit that in my younger years, as soon as the calendar read October 1st, I was planning my Halloween costume. It was weeks of preparation choosing the right character… and then carefully crafting all of the pieces needed. It’s no secret that Theatre people love donning costumes and pretending to be someone else. Halloween was made for nerds like us! So what better time of year to showcase your Broadway love than All Hallows Eve?
While many costumes are available to buy online, it can get expensive. Plus, half the fun is in putting the ensemble together yourself. Thrift stores are a great place to find items that you need or check out stores like Forever21, Asos or Zara if you have a little more money to spend.
So whether you need a solo or group costume, here are some ideas for Broadway inspired Halloween costumes:
How does an in school, dirt poor, son of a – nope, that’s all I’ve got. I’ll leave the rhymes to the genius Mr. Miranda. But if you are looking to embody one of his characters this Halloween, get out your military-style jacket (thrift stores are your asset here). Stone colored pants are a good start, with a white dress shirt and a vest. A scarf will help you to make an ascot for your collar and some tall boots will complete the look. A long jacket enhances the costume but isn’t completely necessary if you haven’t got one. Add some accessories like a large book, a feather (quill) and you’re ready to “rise up”.
Bonus: Watch to get more Hamilton costume inspiration
Elle Woods reporting for duty! Break out anything pink in your wardrobe and your blonde wig. Of course, a pink dress works perfectly. But if you are feeling crafty, get yourself a white t-shirt, some pink paint and lettering stencils to make your own Harvard t-shirt to wear under a pink blazer with some skinny jeans. Don’t forget your accessories! Try some sunglasses, a couple of textbooks, and a purse with a stuffed toy Chihuahua in it.
First things first, you will need your green face paint. A long black dress is ideal, but if you only have a short one, throw on some black or green tights. Styling your hair in Elphaba’s classic braid will ensure that your witch’s hat will fit. Not into the green face paint? Try green eyeshadow or lipstick instead and add green accessories like earrings or circular glasses. Top it off with the infamous broom and you are ready to defy gravity.
For a different Elphaba, try a navy blue dress and beanie with braided hair and glasses to master her school look. For some DIY accessories, use brown paper and art supplies to make textbook covers for classes at Shiz University, like Sorcery.
Even better, grab your squad and make it a group costume! Add in a Galinda, Fiyero or even Chistery the flying monkey.
Bonus: check out this Elphaba makeup video tutorial
Phantom of the Opera
There are so many costumes in this show, the options are endless. But if you are going for the classics, the Phantom and Christine are both easy to do. For the Phantom, if you’ve got a black suit, that’s perfect. If not, black pants and a white dress shirt will work fine as well. Accessories can include a black cape, gloves, sheet music and a red rose. For the iconic mask, buying one is always an option or try making your own using white paper and paper mache paste (check out easy recipes on Pinterest or Google).
If you are more of a Christine, a white nightgown with smoky eye make up and teased curly hair are an easy way to achieve her look. Carry around a red rose and some sheet music to accentuate your character even more.
Bonus: check out this Phantom Mask makeup video tutorial
My love for this musical has been renewed since the NBC staged Grease Live! a few months back. This is another musical that is great for a group costume or a solo act.
A Bad Sandy costume is easy to come by if you are up for a DIY version. If you are like me, you gave into the faux leather leggings trend a long time ago. If not, they are easy enough to find on sites like ASOS. You could also use a pair of regular black leggings or skinny jeans. Off the shoulder tops were also hugely popular this past summer so you may already have a black one. If not Zara, Forever21 and ASOS all have super affordable options. Or you can take a black tank top and pull the straps down past your shoulders. Now add a black belt around your waist, your highest heels (bonus if they are red) and some large hoop earrings. Black leather jackets are a nice cherry on top, but not totally necessary if you don’t have one. Sandy’s hair can be achieved using a curling iron or the old fashioned way of twisting and securing your wet hair to dry overnight, and then teasing the curls to create volume. Finish things off with some smoky eye makeup and bright red lipstick. Tell me about it, Stud.
Or perhaps you are more of a Danny Zuko, we’ve got you covered there too. Black pants with tucked in white or black t-shirt and some black sneakers will help you look the part. Throw on a leather jacket if you’ve got one and slick that hair right back with some styling gel and Danny’s favorite comb. Feeling adventurous? Think about putting the T-bird logo on the back of your jacket.
This costume is so sweet it doesn’t need a spoonful of sugar. Grab a white button up blouse and use some red ribbon tied around your neck for the bowtie. Add a navy blue or black skirt and tights with black shoes or boots. Don’t forget to accessorize by including a black brimmed hat with a red flower on it, an umbrella and a bottomless bag.
Dance on the rooftops as Bert by donning a pair of black pants and a button up shirt and vest in white or grey. Don’t forget a red scarf around your neck, a newsboy cap, suspenders and a broom. Grey eyeshadow is perfect for smudging all over your face to look like soot. I will note that this costume also works if you would like to be a Newsie instead. Just trade out the broom for a newspaper and you’ve got a whole other musical.