11 DIY Pop Culture Costumes


For some, the primary theme for Halloween is “go big or go home.” Luckily, television and movies have provided ample opportunities for the DIYer in search of an impressive costume. We provide the ideas — all you need is a little craftiness and a few supplies.

For the Guys


Who doesn’t want to be a Greek demigod and super hero? Attach a long flowing red cape to the shoulders of a black and steel breast plate for the warrior look. Then add in shin pads and forearm guards spray painted black and tarnished chrome to match. For the head gear, add cardboard wings to any bicycle helmet and paint them in the same tarnished chrome and black theme. A Styrofoam block with a wooden dowel handle quickly becomes Thor’s hammer with a little more of that handy spray paint. Of course, if you do not have long blonde locks, wigs are available that can be cut and styled to finish off the look.

Irving Rosenfeld (American Hustle)

2Start with a giant and obvious comb over — consider using a wig to get the full effect. Combine a plaid 1970s style suit with oversized lapels and lightly tinted aviator glasses. For those final touches pad your stomach to paunch over the belt of your pants and tuck a scarf into the shirt. Accessorize with a fully trimmed beard/mustache and stack a chunky gold men’s bracelet with a bright gold watch.

Jay Gatsby

3The dashing and clever Gatsby depicted by Leonardo DiCaprio is a debonair Halloween costume. Dress up with a white linen three-piece suit, dress shirt and contrasting tie (think pink with yellow or navy with green). Add in a little hair pomade to make the front swoop and top off with a thin cane, flashy cufflinks, pinky ring, and snobby attitude. Don’t forget the ambiguous British accent.

Pat (Silver Linings Playbook)

4This simple costume is more about character attitude, but you can not go wrong with a grey hooded sweat suit draped in a black plastic garbage bag. Buzz your hair to about a ¼ inch and lace up some very worn looking white running shoes (try the thrift store). Carry around a football and act paranoid. Do not be afraid to speak your mind and talk as quickly as possible.

Mark Zuckerberg

The easiest of all men’s costumes requires a zippered hoodie, loose blue jeans, a vintage-looking t-shirt, and Converse sneakers. They all need to look appropriately worn and rumpled. Add in the curly hair (or wig) and act socially awkward.

For The Gals

Megan Draper (Mad Men)

5This TV character has just a touch of sweetness that makes her irresistible. Replicate her look with a super short black dress with sheer sleeves and a rhinestone collar necklace. Fishnet stockings and shiny black high heel pumps are the finishing touch for the outfit. The makeup, however, is all about the eyes. Use black eyeliner to create a cat eye look with fake eyelashes. For some extra glam, use fake eyelashes. Top it all off with a pale pink lipstick and a perfectly manicured bob (or wig). Speak with a sexy but nondescript French accent and flirt with everyone available.

Moira (American Horror Story)

This is a classic Halloween costume with a little creepy horror story flair. Find an extremely short French maid costume that will show off the garter straps and tops of the fishnet thigh highs. Unbutton the top to show off a sexy black bra with just the right amount of cleavage. The red wig in an updo adds the character link for this outfit. Be sure to pile on the sexy attitude and sultry voice to bring the outfit alive.

Katniss Everdeen

6One of the hottest movie characters to emulate is still Katniss. Wear a black V-neck t-shirt with olive green cargo pants and dark hiking boots. Cover up with a shiny weather-proof hooded jacket and wear a long, slightly messy side braid. Next, strap on a bow and arrow to bring it all together.

Daenerys Targaryen

7The “mother of dragons” is also the mother of all costumes. Start with a white wig pulled up half way with loose curls and add in a long blue dress with a tight fitting top and V-neck collar. For footgear, wear knee-high brown boots and bone, thorn or steel jewelry. Keep your eyebrows dark and your attitude fierce. Top it off with a set of dragon’s eggs or toy dragons to complete the look.


This costume is easier than it looks and is full of creepy fun. Wear a long sweeping black dress with a turtle neck collar. Cover up with a full and flowing black cape with a high collar. Paper-mache horns, spray paint them shiny black, and then attach the horns to a satin hood using super glue or a hot glue gun. It’s easy to hide your hair under a wig cap and secure the horned hood by tying it under your chin. Accessorize with ultra-long clear nails, bright red liptstick, large black rings and a creepy looking black staff.

Rosalyn Rosenfeld (American Hustle)

8This is the perfect opportunity to be a crazy mix of sexy, bossy, and flat-out nuts. Pair blonde hair or a wig in a fancy and elaborate updo with perfectly applied 1970s makeup, then add the crazy with a leopard print muumuu, yellow rubber dish gloves and high heeled slippers. For an added touch, carry around an empty martini glass, set a microwave on fire, and talk as loudly as possible. Don’t forget to bring a nameless date in a leisure suit who isn’t allowed to talk.