Spooktober is finally here, and you know what that means! It’s time to add the finishing touches to that Halloween costume you’ve been working on since Nov. 1, 2015. What’s that? You don’t even have an idea yet? Costume idea proposals were due last March! What have you been doing this whole time? Anyway, 2016 has been a crazy year in pop culture, news and general everything-ness. There is no shortage of available costume ideas, so allow me to enlighten you.
All right, let’s address the demogorgon in the room. Everyone is going to have a “Stranger Things” costume this year. The Netflix series has struck a nerve in the zeitgeist by doing what Stephen King and Steven Spielberg have been doing for decades, but on a lower budget. I don’t mean to knock the show or the idea of Halloweening as one of the characters. But if you want your costume to stand out from the crowd, you should put a creative twist on it. For example, if you’re going to have your group of friends dress up as the “Stranger Things” gang and you’re assigned the role of Will, you should just mysteriously disappear at the beginning of the night. Everybody will really appreciate your commitment to the character. If you’re lucky, your friends might even be so genuinely concerned by your absence that they’ll get the local sheriff involved, like in the show!
Contrary to popular belief, Netflix’s love letter to the ’80s was not the only thing that happened in 2016 pop culture. There are other group costuming opportunities besides the “Stranger Things” squad. Why not celebrate the final season of a masterful period piece and take the party by storm as the “Downton Abbey” squad? The elegant costuming may take an entire British working class to stitch, but critics will call it a tour de force! Or, you can be the female Ghostbusters! Just a heads-up, though, make sure you’re aware of how society will respond to this. No matter how much work you put into your female Ghostbusters costumes, no matter how perfect they are, people will simply not accept them.
2016 was a sloppy year for western politics. Do us all a favor and keep your Halloween costume away from the sloppiness. It doesn’t matter if you look good with a spray tan or you think your Brexit costume is a witty concept (what would that even entail?). The last thing that a cheerful Halloween partygoer or trick-or-treater wants is to think about is the miserable reality that our world is hurtling toward its ultimate demise at the tiny hands of autocratic bigots. Instead, take the high road. If you want a political costume, go for the northern neighbor who everybody likes– Justin Trudeau. He’s the least controversial new politician of the year and unquestionably the sexiest.
What a year for technology! A new form of transportation emerged and slowly began to replace feet as the primary means of transportation. The hoverboard, or self-balancing scooter, or “swagway,” rolled the human race into the future…and then it exploded in our faces. When the glowing, two-wheeled gadgets began to spontaneously combust, they did not take any lives, but they sure did cause a lot of hubbub and damage. So on Halloween, people will know exactly what you’re going for if you costume as a hoverboard burn victim. This would require the device, some bandages and a reckless attitude. Another tech costume, and one of the easiest costume ideas for Halloween 2016, is the iPhone 7. All you need to do is be sopping wet at all times to show off your water resistance and always speak at a loud yell because you don’t have a headphone jack for discrete listening. Sure, people will absolutely hate you. But at the end of the day, they will still flock to you.
Still not inspired? Okay, it’s time for the lightning round. I’ll rattle off a bunch of 2016 things that could make great Halloween costumes. An empty SCOTUS seat. The blurry, bewildered Mr. Krabs meme. George R. R. Martin. A fresh glass of Beyoncé’s new album. The Oscars (just wear white). Ex-president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff. A pair of Birkenstock sandals. The “V” from Batman v Superman. The new squirt gun emoji. Michael Phelps and his therapeutic back hickies. Finally, if all else fails, you can go with a Vassar-specific costume. If zombies can teach us anything, it’s that no ending is certain. Those who die can be reanimated and those who leave their administrative position for other opportunities will always be welcome to come back. Celebrate those two universal truths by showing up on Halloween as Zombie Cappy.