If you’re racking your brain for Halloween costume ideas this year, the staff at Berklee Online have got you covered. While you could go as your favorite artist (Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers have iconic enough looks that you’ll get recognized), but that’s not as much fun as showing off your affinity for music and puns by dressing up as a song. We’ve included hits from the past year as well as a few classics. Without further ado, here are 10 Halloween costume ideas inspired by song titles:
Recently certified double platinum, do this BTS hit justice starting with a stick of butter costume. To take it to the next level, incorporate the line “like a criminal undercover” by wearing a ski mask, a striped black and white shirt, and carrying a bag of fake money. Martha Stewart has some tips to DIY the criminal part of the costume (quite possibly from personal experience).
Devil with the Blue Dress On
Originally released on Soul—Motown’s subsidiary label—in 1964 by Shorty Long and William “Mickey” Stevenson, and covered by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in 1966, “Devil with the Blue Dress On” requires a blue dress and your typical devil accessories: horns, a pitchfork, and a pointy tail. Throw on a wig, shades to match, high heel shoes, and an alligator hat (this one’s a crocodile but no one will know the difference). Top off your costume with a string of pearls and a diamond ring and you’re good to go! Be sure to introduce yourself as “Miss Molly.”
After the Weeknd’s halftime performance at the 2021 Super Bowl, a take on “Blinding Lights” would certainly be topical this year. Start with the red blazer like the one the Weeknd wore. You can probably find one at a thrift store, and if you’d like to add some sparkle, they sell glitter fabric spray at craft stores. Next get yourself some battery-operated string lights that you can wrap yourself in. Throw on a pair of sunglasses, and some fake blood dripping down your mouth is a nice touch (which you’ll see in the music video). The great thing about this Halloween costume idea is that it’s super safe for trick-or-treating on dark streets.
There are a few directions you can take with a “Lady Marmalade” costume. The song was most notably recorded by Patti LaBelle in 1974, and revamped in the new millennium by All Saints in 1998 and by Christina Aguilera, Mýa, P!nk, and Lil’ Kim for the 2001 Moulin Rouge! movie. Given that the song is about a prostitute in New Orleans, you could definitely go the burlesque route, and there are plenty of costumes available for that. You can also dress up as your favorite fruit preserve. We recommend these marmalade label T-shirts. You can also go so far as gluing fake fruit to your outfit.
Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie
This is a fab option for a couple’s Halloween costume. As you may know, Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie are the lonely subjects of the 1966 Beatles hit. If you’re going as Eleanor Rigby, go to a thrift store or raid your grandma’s closet for a dreary outfit and pair with practical shoes. Accessorize with a basket of rice and a jar with a face on it. If you’re going as Father McKenzie, find a priest costume and make it pop with a ripped white sock that you can pretend to darn. This couple did a good job bringing these characters to life.
Born to Run
Be the boss of your upcoming Halloween party by wearing a roadrace bib and some adult diapers (they also sell adult baby costumes). Write “1975” on the bib, which is the year that Bruce Springsteen released the Born to Run album. Throw on a pair of running sneakers, add some sweat bands around your wrists and forehead. If you’d like, keep warm with a black leather jacket.
To pay homage to one of the most popular disco songs of all time, get yourself a sequin jumpsuit, or go for a pair of bell bottoms, platform shoes, and a satin button down shirt with a large collar. Again, you have a good chance of finding these pieces at a thrift store. To stay true to the second word in the title of this Trammps song, go with this flame wig and consider trying this makeup tutorial for fire-inspired eyeshadow.
A Horse with No Name
Recorded by the band America, and criticized for its lyrics, with lines such as, “There were plants and birds and rocks and things,” the first thing you need to bring this song to life is a horse costume. Next you need a name tag, which you could leave blank, or to really get your point across write “No Name.”
Because 2021 was the year of Olivia Rodrigo, going as her for Halloween is a very timely choice. There are a lot of articles about how you can replicate the outfits from her music videos, and from her visit to the White House. But I’d recommend you take a more literal route and actually dress up as Rodrigo’s driver’s license. Drawing inspiration from Ted Mosby’s “Hanging Chad” costume from How I Met Your Mother, you’ll need a poster board, a rope, and a Sharpie.
If you open up the Spotify app and play the song, you’ll notice a looping image of Rodrigo on a California driver’s license. Use this as your template, either printing out an image of Rodrigo, or drawing one yourself.
Though dressing like Boy George would be interesting in itself, you certainly won’t blend in if you come as a “Karma Chameleon!” Start with this chameleon costume as your base. Next you’ll want to get a black top hat and hot glue some braided ribbons on the rim. If you have long locks, you can braid the ribbons into your own hair. Finally, really do up your eyes with some colorful shadows and liner.
Thanks to all of the Berklee Online staff members who eagerly jumped in for a brainstorming session on these Halloween costume ideas.