News & Politics

7 DC-Themed Costumes to Wear This Halloween

Show off your pop-culture knowledge with these ideas.

The White House decorated for Halloween in 2022. Photography by The White House/Flickr.

If you haven’t yet decided on this year’s Halloween costume, consider this a reminder that the clock is ticking. Here are a few DC-themed ideas, plus the supplies you’ll need, to get your creativity flowing.

Individual Costumes


Remember the manatee that was spotted swimming in the Chesapeake Bay last month? Pay homage to its trailblazing spirit with this DIY costume.

What you’ll need: A groutfit (all-gray outfit), a fake snout, and gray face paint.

Bonus points: Venture too far from home and try to make your way back without a GPS. (Just kidding.)


John Fetterman


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A post shared by John Fetterman (@johnfetterman)

The Pennsylvania senator is one of the most talked about fashion icons of the year. Be warned though, this costume may not be the best choice if your Halloween plans involve a dress code.

What you’ll need: An oversized hoodie, sweatpants or gym shorts, and sneakers.

Bonus points: Throw on a bald cap and a fake mustache or beard to really commit.


Bob Menendez

Political scandals, at the very least, provide great material for DC-themed Halloween costumes. Senator Bob Menedez has been making headlines since September for allegedly accepting bribes in the form of cash and gold bars. Among the reported evidence: the senator’s custom-embroidered jacket stuffed with cash.

What you’ll need: A navy jacket, fake cash, and gold bars.

Bonus points: For those handing out candy to trick-or-treaters–gold candy bars… you see where we’re going.


Trump’s Mugshot

You’ve seen the photo and the subsequent memes, now you can put your own spin on it.

What you’ll need: A white collared shirt, red necktie, and a navy suit jacket. Make your costume more recognizable with bushy eyebrows and a “platinum blonde cotton candy wisp of hair.”

Bonus points: If you can perfect the grimace.


Couples/Group Costumes

Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and Xiao Qi Ji

Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji. Photograph courtesy of Smithsonian's National Zoo.
Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji. Photography courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Honor one of DC’s national treasures, the National Zoo’s giant panda family, before bidding them farewell on their journey back to China. Make this group costume work for up to six people by including Mei Xiang and Tian Tian’s other cubs who were once DC residents—Bei Bei, Bao Bao, and Tai Shan.

What you’ll need: A panda onesie or black-and-white outfit, panda ears, black and white face paint.

Bonus points: If you carry around your passport and/or convince a friend to dress as a zookeeper.


Rowdy Brunch-Goers

Boozy, bottomless brunches can lead to badly behaved brunchers, and DC has plenty of both. To bring this caricature to life, you’ll have to fully embrace the mannerisms–be loud and exaggeratedly stumble to the bathroom every half-hour.

What you’ll need: An over-the-top brunch outfit, whatever that means to you. Think: cocktail dresses, two-piece sets, collared shirts, heels, and lots of accessories. Don’t forget to BYO champagne flute in case of mimosas.

Bonus points: 1. This costume is not an excuse to forgo tipping your bartenders. 2. Your party hosts will appreciate it if you don’t throw up in their flower pots.


Commander Biden and Secret Service Agent

Commander in the Rose Garden, February 23, 2022. Photography by The White House/Flickr.

Another headline-maker this year has been President Biden’s German shepherd Commander, who was on a spree of biting Secret Service agents. He’s since been removed from the White House.

What you’ll need: A black and brown outfit and fake dog ears. Plus, a black suit, dark sunglasses, and a “beware of dog” sign.

Bonus points: See how many people you can bite before you get kicked out. For Commander, it was 11. (Just kidding, we don’t condone that either.)


President and Supreme Court Barbies

According to Google Trends, “Barbie” is one of DC’s most-searched Halloween costumes this year. We expect to see plenty of stereotypical Barbies and Kens, and probably a few Weird Barbies, but we can’t think of anything more culturally relevant than showing up to a DC party dressed as Barbieland’s supreme leaders.

What you’ll need: A pink jumpsuit or dress and the iconic president sash. Barbie Justices can dress in black robes or wear matching pink jumpsuits.

Bonus points: For pink gavels and heels.

Brooke Spach
Editorial Fellow