Give me the Halloween that Alvin and the Chipmunks always dreamed of.
October 18, 2011 6:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to a costume party for Halloween. The theme is 80s and 90s cartoon characters. Help me find a costume that won't be expensive or challenging to move around in, but will be awesome.

I am a 5'10" woman who wears about a size 12. I'm white and have shoulder-length curly red hair (and no desire to dress up as Annie). I own a standard selection of fairly boring women's work and casual clothes, but I own very few special props or costumes. Possibility of roping friends (a 6' man, a 5'6" man, and a 5'4" woman) into joining if the idea is good enough.

I suspect that while the theme is cartoons, I'd get points for any pop culture figure or phenomenon that would have captivated as a child a person who is now 25-35 years old. So, live action is okay, celebrities, etc., but kid stuff.

Things I would prefer:
- Not to wear a box or a cardboard sign or anything else that would make it difficult to sit down.
- Not to carry a lot of props in my hands (props attached to the costume are fine.
- Something with full coverage. If I could wear it with normal clothes, that's great, but as long as I don't have to bare a lot of skin, that'll do.
- No body paint. Some amount of makeup on the face is okay, but if you tell me I have to paint myself siver, that's out the window.
- Homemade
- But not terribly elaborate. I can't spend hundreds of dollars on props, and I don't have hours of free time to sew a dress from scratch. Also, I suck at sewing.

In theory, weather will be in about the 50s-60s, possibly raining, and I'll spend time both indoors over the course of the night. Thank you!
posted by decathecting to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Miss Frizzle! Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! The hair would be dead on, and a simple dress with some shiny paper cut outs glued on with big fun earrings would make it instantly recognizable. And oh maybe an iguana! Can you get an iguana?
posted by Syllables at 7:07 PM on October 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


80s: Lisa Hayes from Robotech? Her hair's more brown than red, but hey, poetic license. Get a white skirt and suit from the thrift shop and modify.

90s: Powerpuff Girl Blossom. Pink dress, black belt, huge bow on head. Maybe your friends can be the other 2 PPG and Mojo Jojo.
posted by methroach at 7:07 PM on October 18, 2011


The Mask (Jim Carrey film), Beetlejuisce, and Ghostbusters all got good cartoons

I am a 5'10" woman who wears about a size 12. I'm white and have shoulder-length curly red hair
April O'Neil
Linka from Captain Planet
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:08 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, I had a great detailed answer before my internet crashed. Long answer short:

She-Ra: White leotard & leggings, red & gold cape (you could glue the cloth together for quick & easy), plastic toy sword. Blond wig, maybe.

Her red-haired side kick Castaspella who, while maybe not as recognizable, was a red-head.

Rainbow Brite: Blue leotard & skirt thingy, blue cloth safety pinned to some winter boots, and a side pony tail. You can probably even find rainbow leggings.

But super-easy for you -- Strawberry Shortcake. Blue jeans, pink shirt, pink hoodie 'round the waist, and a pink gardening hat on sale or from Goodwill and glued over with pink fabric. Put your hair in pin curls and you don't need any props!
posted by motsque at 7:11 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pippi Longstocking
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:11 PM on October 18, 2011


Seconding Strawberry Shortcake.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:13 PM on October 18, 2011


Gadget from Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers?
posted by functionequalsform at 7:19 PM on October 18, 2011


Punky Brewster would probably meet your requirements. And if anyone gives you a hard time, yes, she was also a cartoon character. You could probably pull this off by wearing baggy jeans with a bandanna tied around one leg, a colorful t-shirt, mismatched Converse high-tops, and a purple vest. If you have a real or toy golden retriever, so much the better.

Punky is surrounded by some awesome friends, if you're inclined to dress up yours.
posted by corey flood at 7:22 PM on October 18, 2011


Daria skews a little more teenage than child, but she's iconic, easy, propless, and an excellent conversation starter for people in the 25-35 age bracket.

Plus, she has friends/family members/nemeses who are also easy to dress as.
posted by ausdemfenster at 7:25 PM on October 18, 2011


April O'Neil would be great - beige coveralls, cardboard camera. You definitely have the necessary height - I could never pull it off, but you would look great.
posted by jb at 7:25 PM on October 18, 2011


Judy Funnie from Doug. The hardest part would be finding those awesome purple boots, but the rest of it is simple.
posted by lilac girl at 7:26 PM on October 18, 2011


April O'Neill.

Alternatively - Daphne from Scooby Doo. Unless (like so many women), you much prefer Thelma.
posted by jb at 7:27 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


VELMA. I have no brain (and also can't read).
posted by jb at 7:28 PM on October 18, 2011


lilac girl! WHO WAS I COMING IN TO SUGGEST?

I always thought the cast of Doug would be great for an ensemble Halloween getup. Bonus: if you dress up as Judy, you get to be the aloof artsy one. But you have a ready-to-go cast of Doug, Skeeter, and Patty, it seems like. DO IT!

That said, April O'Neil is an awesome alternative.
posted by therewolf at 7:32 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I first thought of Mary Jane Watson...but there's nothing very distinctive about her.

I was going to suggest Wilma Flintstone (not very 80s, but it was definitely broadcast during the 1980s even if it didn't peak in popularity then).

Then I read Syllables comment:
Miss Frizzle! Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! The hair would be dead on, and a simple dress with some shiny paper cut outs glued on with big fun earrings would make it instantly recognizable. And oh maybe an iguana! Can you get an iguana?
Yeah, that's the best idea ever for what you want. Shut this thread down. No only would I instantly recognize Ms Frizzle, if there are any nerds there they will want to hang out all night with you for the hopes that you have interesting facts. If I was going to a drag costume party I would go as Ms Frizzle. AH! So many good catchphrases! Burn rubber to discover!
posted by midmarch snowman at 7:34 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


April O'Neil would be great - beige coveralls, cardboard camera. You definitely have the necessary height - I could never pull it off, but you would look great.
posted by jb at 7:25 PM on October 18 [+] [!]


April O'Neil wore a yellow jumpsuit. But otherwise, yeah, April O'Neil.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:35 PM on October 18, 2011


Is Frieda too obscure?

That said, I was thrilled that a little girl at school is planning on being Jem. She's picked out her whole outfit at our neighbourhood thrift store.
posted by peagood at 7:44 PM on October 18, 2011


Penny from Inspector Gadget. Simple red t-shirt with a white stripe around it, pants with patches on the knees, digital watch, pigtails, and carry a a big book.

Bonus friend costumes could include Gadget and Brain (the dog).
posted by Atalanta at 7:54 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scarlett from the 80's G.I. Joe cartoon. Your friends can also wear appropriate military gear as supporting Joes.
posted by JDC8 at 8:14 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Daphne would be perfect because your friends can be Fred, Shaggy, and Velma!
posted by bluedaisy at 8:18 PM on October 18, 2011


Jessica Rabbit

Also JDC8's idea was great too. Really you just need to decide which best fits your personality.

Then get a blue dress and iron on patches and go as Ms Frizzle already. C'mon, you're not going to beat that! There should just be a separate Halloween MeFi site were people just post criteria and MeFites post costume ideas, cause honestly these are basically the best ideas ever.
posted by midmarch snowman at 8:23 PM on October 18, 2011


My first thought was Jessica from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - then I noticed your request for something that doesn't show too much skin. So that won't work.

For a more modest character, consider Jessie, from Toy Story 2 (1999), especially if you can yodel.
posted by kbar1 at 8:27 PM on October 18, 2011


Daphne please!. Purple dress, purple headband, green scarf, all done.
posted by bq at 9:09 PM on October 18, 2011


Also your friends can then go as the rest of the scoobies.
posted by bq at 9:09 PM on October 18, 2011


Yeah, thirding Scooby Gang.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:05 AM on October 19, 2011


Light blue tshirt (glue a felt planet on the front), long green shorts, square purple glasses (tape some purple cardboard over real frames). You're Chuckie from Rugrats.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:02 AM on October 19, 2011


The robot or the gossipy little neighbor girl from Small Wonder.
posted by MsMolly at 8:39 AM on October 19, 2011


My friend dressed up as Ms. Frizzle a few years ago and it was a fun costume. I had no idea who she was, and no one in their late 20s/early 30s did either. People who were 23 and under found her instantly recognizable though.

I was Velma from Scooby Doo last year which is an easy go-to costume and have been Rainbow Bright in the past (also super fun!). I had been considering Punky Brewster for this year and concluded it would be an easy and comfortable costume and I think most people in the older end of your age range would know who she is.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:01 AM on October 19, 2011


Quintessentially 90s, female, tall, wearing actual clothing: How has no one suggested Carmen Sandiego? You'd have to find a red trench coat (non trivial) but I wonder if you could buy a standard thrift store trench and dye it.
posted by aint broke at 9:26 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is super-late, and you've probably already decided on a costume, but I just thought Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop would be the most adorable costume ever and probably instantly recognizable to everyone at the party who grew up in the early 90s, but something nobody would come up with on their own.
posted by lilac girl at 1:57 PM on October 29, 2011


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