7 Pop Culture–Inspired Halloween Costumes You Can Shop for Locally
For us, Halloween is a time to dig through the year’s tabloids, TikToks, tweets, and Instagram posts to give second wind to the buzziest news items of the last 12 months.
On the big screen, 2022 has been the year of the rebooted classic, be it your favorite 1993 witchy classic starring Bette Midler and a pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker or flyboy buddy drama rich in nicknames and Kenny Loggins tracks. On TV, we’ve seen a fresh take on the valorization of a few different types of kitchen heroes. And on the great bottomless pit that is the internet, we’ve seen a whole bunch of Bella Hadid and a viral second-grader reminded us of just how delicious one of the world’s first domesticated crops actually is (“It’s corn!”).
Portland is full of weird and incredible shops year-round. We’re not fair-weather witches, or the types to make just one annual trip to the vintage store come October. But our fair city's robust spread of Halloween-friendly shops makes throwing together a costume without leaving city limits a virtual a non-issue, no matter how familiar you are with the apparel scene.
Tired of reading about The Bear? We think it’s time to gear up for season two. The good thing is if, like the internet seems to believe, “line cook energy” is truly everywhere, you probably already have the crux of this costume. A white T, navy apron, and some chef clogs—plus a few Sharpied tattoos—will get you pretty close to Carmy’s look. If you want to go for Ayo Edebiri’s Sydney, a stylish head scarf and a swap for white clogs gets you an elevated kitchen fit (and hopefully a slightly cooler temper). A kitchen towel hanging from the apron is the chef’s kiss to send this costume over the top.
The Bragard Travel Apron is the one, available locally at the Portland Knife House.
Check out Footwise for Birkenstocks, the go-to for classic kitchen clogs.
As the woman who wakes up every day and decides what the internet is going to fawn over, emulating Bella is a bit of a challenge. She is the wired it girl. She single-handedly brought Matrix glasses in vogue. The good news is, there’s a lot of material to work with. Cargo pants and gas station sunglasses will get you pretty far. As will a simple white dress, and maybe a friend following you around with scissors modifying it as the night goes on?
Buffalo Exchange has rows of cheap sunglasses to pick from.
You might be able to snag some cargos while you’re there, but if you’re using Halloween as an excuse to make an investment, these “workshop pants” from Frances May’s house line will certainly do the trick.
Austin Butler’s Elvis
Bad movie, great costume. Breathe new life into the perennial classic with the spirit of Hollywood’s most recent method-acting obsession. For one night, you too can “be Elvis.” Or, be Austin Butler being Elvis. An Elvis costume lends itself to a blend of Halloween store caricature items and some fun vintage finds.
Score an Elvis wig from Spirit Halloween and the right tasseled jacket from Looking Sideways Vintage.
Try your luck at Hollywood Vintage for a (preferably satin, preferably pink) vintage suit.
Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick pulled many of us off of our couches and into a movie theater for the first time since the pandemic hit. Whether you’re after Maverick, Iceman, or Rooster (Miles Teller, the nickname never really landed for us), a flight suit or pilot’s jacket and aviators will get you most of the way there.
Check out House of Vintage for jackets and flight suits, and snag some aviators from the gas station across the street.
The Corn Kid
You may’ve been distracted by the extremely quotable material, if not the glorious titular corn, but the corn kid has a variety of signature looks, including a ringer tee that’s decked out in double-decker buses. In the video that kicked off the corn revolution, Tariq wore a soccer jersey-type shirt, but without numbers or a team name. In this New York Times profile (yes, they did) he’s seen wearing a chambray button up. Of course, the crux of any corn kid costume is an ear of corn on a stick—“the big lump with knobs.”
Our favorite spot to score a cob of CORN! is Rubinette Produce inside Providore Foods.
Check out Crossroads Trading Co. for a T-shirt that says (figuratively) “I’m seven.”
The Sanderson Sisters
We couldn’t help but wonder: is a Sanderson sisters group costume still cool? Nearly 30 years after the premier of Hocus Pocus (1993), and on the tails of Hocus Pocus 2, the answer is an emphatic yes. Sarah Jessica Parker is having quite the renaissance of reboots. And if you’ve learned anything from this list, reboots make the best costumes.
Check out Skeleton Key Vintage for witchy finds, and grab a self-described “witchy AF” Portland-made broom from Queen Meb.
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling’s Barbie and Ken Doll
There’s something inherently cool about dressing up as characters from a movie that isn’t out yet. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is slated to hit theaters in July 2023, but a few paparazzi shots from the film’s set have made the rounds on social media. Head to toe washed denim, electric blond hair, and of course, abs, make up most of Gosling’s look. Robbie has been seen in a campy fuchsia western look, but the matching neon roller blade getups are, we think, most iconic.
Five Stride Skate Shop has a huge selection of roller skates, plenty with colors bright enough to round out a Barbie fit.
Check out Zero Wave Vintage if you’re going the washed denim route.