What dead rockstar do I resemble enough to be for my friend's 27-Club party?
September 21, 2009 6:12 AM   Subscribe

I need to dress up for a friend's party as "my favorite dead rockstar." Given my looks (brunette and curvy) and my budget (low), who can I be?

According to the invitation, the definition of "rock star" is being stretched considerably: Beethoven, Django Reinhardt, and Frank Sinatra would all qualify. Basically, if someone was connected to music, and is famously dead, I think I'm okay.

I would really like to work with my looks rather than against them. I'm white, and pale on top of that. I have fairly long, wavy brown hair, and although I can do it in a few different styles, I'd rather not wear a wig. I have some fun playing around with makeup, so I would be happy to experiment with different styles depending on the suggested look or time period.

But my main distinguishing feature is an unusually curvy hourglass figure -- a 36DD bust and a waist-hip ratio of about 0.65. I am around a size 10, not technically plus-size, but I generally read that way due to my large bust/hips and relatively small waist. My personality is pretty demure and quiet, but my body nowadays has more in common with a comic book.

Right now, all I can come up with is Mama Cass. However, that's not really attractive or even practical -- these outfits will be worn on a bar crawl, so muumuus are less than ideal, and I don't want to be stuck carrying a ham sandwich.

My budget is ideally around $20, although it could go higher if I could reuse the piece next month for a Halloween costume. (Either way, please no Joan Holloway suggestions -- similar body type, but everything else is wrong.)

Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (32 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Brunette and curvy?

How do you feel about Patsy Cline? Anything that's vaguely cowgirl-ish would suffice.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:16 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Suggesting that you go as Janis Joplin - bring on the beads!
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:17 AM on September 21, 2009 [4 favorites]

Definately Janis Joplin. She wasn't as hour-glassy but it wouldn't affect the overall look.

Otherwise there's Laura Nyro - she was a long-haired wavy brunette and pretty curvy, but possibly not that 'famously dead'?
posted by freya_lamb at 6:32 AM on September 21, 2009

I immediately thought of Janis Joplin as well, since you have long, wavy brown hair. It would be really easy to do- just grab some hippie clothes at a goodwill/thrift store, throw on some beads, and carry an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

My other suggestion? Judy Garland. You could go as Dorothy or as the older, boozier version.
posted by emd3737 at 6:32 AM on September 21, 2009

This Judy Garland look would be fun to do. Just in case you don't want to be one of a gaggle of Janis Joplins at the party.
posted by emd3737 at 6:36 AM on September 21, 2009

You could have some fun with this. Put on a fake mustache, carry some drumsticks in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other and go as John Bonham. Maybe wear a paisley shirt or a led-zep t-shirt.
posted by bondcliff at 6:39 AM on September 21, 2009 [3 favorites]

I third? fourth? Janis. As for the bottle of jack.... you might not want to empty that all by yourself.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:46 AM on September 21, 2009

Ann Margaret. From Bye Bye Birdie or Viva Las Vegas. Please.
posted by dinger at 6:50 AM on September 21, 2009

I immediately thought Janis Joplin.
posted by OmieWise at 6:55 AM on September 21, 2009

Ann-Margret = not dead.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:00 AM on September 21, 2009

I think you're going to have to go with Amy Winehouse. How much longer can she last? (okay, that was totally inappropriate, but really, it's the first thing that popped into my head)
posted by nax at 7:11 AM on September 21, 2009 [3 favorites]

Ann-Margret = not dead.

Inconvenient, if you're a stickler. But if the definition of "rock star" can be stretched, so, presumably, can the definition of "dead".

And how wonderful for Ann.
posted by dinger at 7:30 AM on September 21, 2009

How about Maria Callas?
Soprano Galatea Amaxopoulous, who sang in the chorus, later recalled, "Even in rehearsal, Mary's fantastic performing ability had been obvious, and from then on, the others started trying to find ways of preventing her from appearing."[3] Fellow singer Maria Alkeou similarly recalled that the established sopranos Nafiska Galanou and Anna (Zozó) Remmoundou "used to stand in the wings while Mary was singing and make remarks about her, muttering, laughing, and point their fingers at her". - from Wikipedia
Here's a section on her weight - I suppose she would have been a range of shapes while she went from "no more than 200 pounds" to "svelte" and "possibly the most beautiful lady on the stage."

To be clear, I'm not at all implying that size 10 is overweight; just noting this in case you see some photos where she looks overly thin.
posted by amtho at 7:37 AM on September 21, 2009

just a note for authenticity (pedanticism?): if you're going with Janis, her drink was not Jack Daniels, but Southern Comfort.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:41 AM on September 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

Billie Holiday.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:45 AM on September 21, 2009

You should think of guys too, that takes your obsession with your figure right out of the picture. It's a costume, be creative.
posted by Palerale at 8:06 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to wear something truly outrageous and possibly forgo your no-wig stipulation, you could go as Wendy O. Williams.
posted by googly at 8:07 AM on September 21, 2009

You could rock out a sweet Jim Morrison, circa 1969.
posted by mkultra at 8:07 AM on September 21, 2009

I think you'd rock a Judy Garland costume (a la emd3737), from the way you descibe yourself. There will probably be a million Janis Joplins.
posted by somanyamys at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2009

I know you said you'd rather not wear a wig, but it sounds like you could do a good Marilyn Monroe. Hey, if Frank Sinatra qualifies, so does she!
posted by yawper at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2009

http://thedeadrockstarsclub.com/deadrock.html -- this site may help you do research.
posted by mephron at 8:22 AM on September 21, 2009

thank you, namewithoutwords...I was trying to keep my "authenticity" to myself, but the lack of a southern comfort reference was making me crazy. if you do go for Janis, make sure there's some velvet, too. Joplin loved her some velvet.
posted by squasha at 8:25 AM on September 21, 2009

I would also suggest Maria Callas who is widely cited as the paradigm for opera singers who also act and are glamorously famous. Plus, you get to wear that awesome eye make-up.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:31 AM on September 21, 2009

Brunette, curvy and dead--sounds like Selena to me.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:32 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Edith Piaf - black dress and dramatic makeup and away you go. And a fine excuse to blather about with a fake french accent.
posted by Jilder at 8:41 AM on September 21, 2009

But if the definition of "rock star" can be stretched, so, presumably, can the definition of "dead".

Agreed. For Halloween one year, our group went as dead "rock stars" which included Elvis, Patsy Cline, Jim Morrison, Bob Marley (me!), Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and yes, Keith Richards.

I immediately thought of Janis first, too, but dlugoczaj's suggestion of Selena sounds good for you as well.
posted by ourroute at 10:06 AM on September 21, 2009

Wanda Jackson is not dead but I would take any excuse to reprise that skirt she's wearing under that link. She is the queen of rock so why not?
posted by dabitch at 10:20 AM on September 21, 2009

I'm another one who immediately thought of Janis Joplin.

A young Ethel Merman is another option. A dress (ideally 50s or 60s shape, with a belt) would suffice, or you could go for the "Annie Get Your Gun" look.
posted by sueinnyc at 11:08 AM on September 21, 2009

Definitely Janis Joplin. Lots of rings, bracelets, messy hair, light colored sunglasses a plus. Modern fashions are helpful, too, floaty tops and jeans just about nail it. She often wore feathers in her hair or boa-type things. Easy to do on a budget! Good luck!
posted by Lynsey at 11:15 AM on September 21, 2009

Why do they have to be dead? I bet you could doll up easy to do a great Ann Wilson, from the 70s on she's had great styles, just pick a tour and head to the thrift store with that twenty to get the right accessories or velvet dress.
posted by dabitch at 11:18 AM on September 21, 2009

Second a Selena. She was known for tight pants and bra tops so that should be a pretty easy costume. For images of her concert wear, search "Selena Quintanilla" and avoid the wash of Selena Gomez photos.
posted by caveat at 1:58 PM on September 21, 2009

follow-up from the OP
Sorry, guys, I wasn't trying to come off as "obsessed" with my figure (that's why I'm anonymous). It's just that it's my only unusual/distinguishing feature, so I didn't know if it would work better for anyone in particular. I also forgot to mention I'm on the tall side, about 5'9" or 6' in heels.

The person in question does definitely have to be dead. My friend is turning 27, so the party has a 27 Club ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club ) theme, expanded to all dead rockstars. Amy Winehouse could work as a joke, but not anyone obscure of questionable deadness, since the "famously dead" is kind of the point here. The rockstar aspect is less literal -- Marilyn Monroe did sing, Beethoven was a figurative rockstar, etc.

Janis Joplin would be easy, so I may go that direction, but Judy Garland would be fun if I could do it well. Maria Callas is an awesome, really fun idea, and I think we would match well, too: she's obscure enough that I'd be the only one, famous enough people would recognize her, and we have a lot in common (the nose, the dramatic dark eyes/eyebrows/hair but pale skin, the 80-pound weight loss). I'd just need to find a sufficiently glamorous outfit and costume jewelry! I'll be haunting thrift shops, but I'm still not sure it'll be possible for $20. Suggestions for New York City? Most thrift stores I know of here carry $800 pieces for $200, which is all very well but not helpful for me.

I was also considering, before reading these comments, just going for my actual favorite: Freddie Mercury. The difficulty is that if I don't resemble the person at all, the focus will be more on the costume/props, which will be a lot more challenging on my budget.

Please keep the suggestions coming! I'll let you know if I figure something out. Thanks again!
posted by jessamyn at 3:14 PM on September 21, 2009

« Older Is This A Digestion Issue?   |   Help me buy a computer in South Africa fast. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.