At Chicago Costume, owner Mary Hickey Panayotou is making Ruth Bader Ginsburg collars.
The shop is seeing strong interest in Black Panther costumes, a tribute to the actor Chadwick Boseman, who died in August at age 43.
Baby Yoda is hot; and starry-eyed kids are also going for essential worker costumes, particularly firefighters, according to Chicago Costume general manager Courtland Hickey.
Timely Halloween costumes are always in style, but 2020, with its avalanche of news and pop culture, has yielded a particularly striking array of options for DIYers, renters and buyers alike.
Here are the top 10 ways to stand out, pay homage or make a statement:
‘Tiger King’ —or queen
Fascination with the swashbuckling big-cat owner Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage continues, with full-fledged costumes available online and plenty of accessories for DIYers, from cowboy hats to sequined shirts and blond mullet wigs. Consider teaming with a family member dressed as a tiger. If you go with Joe Exotic’s nemesis, Carole Baskin, you’ll want a leopard-print shirt, animal-print leggings, flowing blond hair, and a garland of flowers to top your head. Bonus points for a flower-festooned bicycle with a stuffed tiger in the basket.
Baby Yoda, from the “Star Wars” TV series “The Mandalorian,” is internet royalty by now, and a new installment of the show launches Oct. 30. Costumes abound, including a ridiculously cute crocheted baby option from Amazon and a ready-to-go offering from Chicago Costume.
2020 dumpster fire
This has been a tough year for humans but a good year for memes, including “2020 Dumpster Fire,” which lends itself well to DIY efforts. You’ll need a cardboard box painted dumpster green, with poster board flames emerging and 2020 written across the front.
Chadwick Boseman’s 2018 performance as Marvel’s trailblazing Black superhero is on our minds again, due to the beloved actor’s untimely death. Interest is strong at Chicago Costume, one of many sources for a complete look. The first major superhero movie starring an African character, “Black Panther” was a critical and commercial success and a cultural milestone.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Supreme Court Justice was already a star, an acronym (RBG) —and a Halloween costume —before her death Sept. 18 refocused attention on her legal accomplishments and her role as a champion of women’s rights. The costume is simple: a black robe, a lacy collar, big dark glasses and hair tied back smoothly in a small, neat ponytail —scrunchy optional.
Beyonce in ‘Black Is King’
Here’s your chance to model some of the most iconic looks of the year —the animal print bodysuit, the graphic black and white suit jacket with shoulders a mile wide, the head wraps, mirror glasses, the glitter and the feathers.
In 2020, Disney brought “Hamilton” to the people with a televised edition of the blockbuster play. Now you can bring Hamilton —or one of the spirited Schuyler sisters —to your Zoom Halloween party.
With the fight over control of the U.S. Supreme Court reaching a fever pitch, the Handmaid costume is once again timely. Everyone from Etsy to Spirit Halloween to Target is offering an option. Or maybe you still have your costume from last year.
‘Among Us’ spacemen
You could go for your favorite character from the blockbuster video game “Animal Crossing,” which won over quarantine-weary Americans with its sweet domestic pleasures and cooperative candy-colored animals. But Chicago Costume reports there’s a new video game sensation in town. Twenty-somethings are embracing the spacemen murder mystery “Among Us” and looking for ways to make DIY costumes. Basically, you’ll need monochrome pajamas —preferably onesies —and lab goggles or a space helmet.
A nod to the bread-baking craze of early quarantine, this is one you will probably have to DIY. Starter is pale and bubbly, and often displayed in a glass Mason jar. Think white or cream-colored poster board, and cotton balls or small pale balloons for texture. Add a “Sourdough Starter” label, and you’re good to go.
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