It’s officially October—time to start planning your Halloween costume! Sure, you could go for an old standby, but why not pay tribute to some of this year’s headline news? Washington was the backdrop to plenty of costume-worthy events and characters, making it the perfect inspiration for spooky season. Here are eight ideas.
Inauguration Bernie Sanders
The Vermont senator donned a casual look for the inauguration ceremony, instantly becoming the viral meme of the day. And yes, his ensemble has already been transformed into a “sexy Bernie Sanders” costume.
What you need: Brown rain jacket, cozy wool mittens, and a disposable face mask.
Bonus points: Post up in a chair for the entire night with your arms crossed. Speak to no one.
In all the inauguration fashion news, let us not overlook Senator Bernie Sanders’ mittens pic.twitter.com/BlZivZ8cMP
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) January 20, 2021
The perfect group costume doesn’t exi— Gather a crew of five friends to pay homage to the zebras that broke free in Upper Marlboro, capturing our hearts in the process.
What you need: Black-and-white striped outfits, animal ears, and an indomitable spirit.
Bonus points: Leave the Halloween party without saying goodbye and then go off the grid for a month (and counting).
Space cowboy Jeff Bezos
The owner of the Washington Post took a 10-minute trip to space in July with his rocket company, Blue Origin. The Amazon founder inexplicably donned a cowboy hat before and after the launch.
What you need: Spacesuit, cowboy hat, and Western boots.
Bonus points: Buy all the Halloween candy. Hoard as much of it as possible.
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) July 20, 2021
After 17 years of chilling underground, the Brood X cicadas dominated this summer’s airspace. The more people you can get involved in this costume, the better.
What you need: Red sunglasses, costume wings, and antennas.
Bonus points: Be as loud as possible all. night. long.
AOC at the Met Gala
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used the costume gala’s Americana theme to make a political statement. The representative wore a gown created by activist and designer Aurora James bearing the message “tax the rich.”
What you need: A long white dress inscribed with red paint.
Bonus points: Redistribute the wealth (king-sized candy bars) to trick-or-treaters.
.@AOC is wearing a “Tax the Rich” dress to the #MetGala tonight, an ultra-exclusive event that caters to some of the wealthiest people in the country https://t.co/dA5CTpIwkC pic.twitter.com/1aHvBGhGHI
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) September 14, 2021
Joe Manchin and kayak protester
This couple’s costume is perfect for the partners who always seem to be fighting. Protesters kayaked to the West Virginia senator’s houseboat—named “Almost Heaven,” naturally—to challenge the centrist’s resistance on the latest budget reconciliation bill.
What you need: Orange life jacket and a kayak paddle for the protester. Suit, salt-and-pepper coif, West Virginia flag for Manchin.
Bonus points: Argue all night about abolishing the filibuster.
Flotilla for a full deal!
Progressives take to the water next to @Sen_JoeManchin’s Washington D.C. houseboat! We’re demanding Democrats #SealTheDeal for climate, care, citizenship, and our communities! #BuildBackBetter! 1/4 pic.twitter.com/5JUbWOhiCN
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) September 27, 2021
Sexy Capitol Fence
Fencing was installed around the Capitol following the January 6 insurrection, remaining intact for six months—much to the exasperation of Capitol Hill residents. The barrier later returned ahead of September’s far-right rally. But who says security theater can’t also be sultry?
What you need: A section of chainlink fencing, fishnet stockings, and barbed-wire headpiece.
Bonus points: Overstay your welcome. Then, once everyone thinks you’re gone, come back again.
The Arizona senator is known for her eclectic ensembles, including colorful wigs on the Senate floor. But lately she’s been in the news for a far less fun reason: slowing down the passage of the reconciliation package without publicly explaining her rationale.
What you need: A bright-colored or platinum blond wig, funky glasses, and a festive frock.
Bonus points: Throw up a thumbs-down whenever you’re asked a question.