Celebrity costume conundrum
January 5, 2011 8:43 PM   Subscribe

A friend of my partner has decided to have a celebrity-theme fancy dress party for her birthday. Help me – a short, round, very non-celebrity looking lady – come up with some sort of costume.

So one of my partner’s friends has decided to celebrate her birthday with a dress-up party where everyone comes as a celebrity. And I’m really stumped for a costume.

Complications: I have a bad back and knees, so anything requiring shoes with any heel at all is out. (I spend my day in orthotics and without them I’m in quite a lot of pain).

It’ll be March in the Australian Outback. The aircon at the venue is not great, so it’ll be reallllly hot. Tempting as it is to source a Dorothy the Dinosaur costume, or similar, from somewhere, it’d be verry uncomfortable.

Can’t go as something with my partner. He’s already organised a celebrity pair costume with a buddy. I’m fine with that, but it’s not helping me find something to wear!

Saving graces: I do have a while to source something and will be visiting two large (Australian) cities a couple of times before the party. I’m OK with shopping online. And I’m pretty handy with needle/thread/glue/makeup etc. Although I don’t have a sewing machine at the moment.

Vital stats: girl, 5’4, 180lb, big boobs, apple shaped tummy, wavy brunette bob with a fringe.

Aim: I’d like to look nice, rather than ridiculous. And I’d prefer not to wear something I’ll be tugging/adjusting all night or that’s super constricting or embarrassingly revealing.

Wah! Metafilter, what on earth am I going to wear?
posted by t0astie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Marilyn Monroe? I know she usually wears heels, but if you get the white halter dress, wig ( although that might be hot) and mole right, I think you'd be fine. Plus you'd look very nice and it will make your boobs look great!
posted by sweetkid at 8:49 PM on January 5, 2011

Is Ricki Lake at all famous in Australia, or rather, was she ever famous in Australia? As a fellow round brunette who needed to dress up like a celebrity (a washed-up one, however) for a group costume this past Halloween, a Ricki costume was pretty easy. Think this era rather than the more recent Ricki. All you need is a dated suit or blazer you can pick up at a thrift shop, a microphone (also possibly thrift shop, no need for it to work), and a cardboard card like the one she's holding here which serves both as part of the costume and a good cue for people who might not know who you are immediately. Memail me if you need a logo for the card, I couldn't find a full picture of it anywhere so my boyfriend created one for me.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 8:56 PM on January 5, 2011

What if you went as a paparazzo? All you'd really need is a camera; beyond that, you could dress however you like. You could even glue some twigs and leaves to your outfit to make it look like you're hiding in the bushes.
posted by kitty teeth at 9:05 PM on January 5, 2011 [4 favorites]

posted by elsietheeel at 9:17 PM on January 5, 2011

Edith Head, as she appears in The Incredibles as Edna Mode.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:19 PM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure how famous she is in Australia, but Beth Ditto is the first round brunette(ish) with a bob cut and bangs I think of. Bonus points if you can cover your eyebrows up somehow. She has a lot of...questionable wardrobe choices, but something like the first dress here would be comfortable, cool, and not super-revealing. All that you need after that is dark eye makeup and red lips.
posted by kro at 9:25 PM on January 5, 2011

Best answer: Mimi Bobeck , Dolly Parton
posted by Sal and Richard at 9:30 PM on January 5, 2011

Marilyn Monroe or May West. I personally would love to go as Mae West. What a hoot that would be!!
posted by wandering_not_lost at 9:32 PM on January 5, 2011

Yeah, Beth Ditto!
posted by equivocator at 9:33 PM on January 5, 2011

Response by poster: Oo, great ideas. Re Mimi, Divine, and Beth Ditto... I love them all but, despite the poundage quoted, I'm a bit smaller. (Australian size 14.) Also suspect they might be a bit obscure for the crowd going. Altho... if I went as Mimi I could wear a kaftan maybe? Very tempting. I love kaftans. Who else wears a kaftan? (Now googling "celebrity kaftan"...)

Dolly Parton awesome idea too... big blonde wig, jeans and a country shirt?

Keep 'em coming - I'm feeling so much better about the whole thing already!
posted by t0astie at 9:41 PM on January 5, 2011

Something with America Ferrara? Dressing up like Ugly Betty could be fun.
posted by smalls at 9:46 PM on January 5, 2011

I am assuming the haircut is non-negotiable because wearing a wig can be uncomfortably hot even in winter. This is actually, I think, a bigger challenge than the height-weight aspect, the heels problem, or the celebrity part.

So. Curvy bobbed brunettes: Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Dorothy Parker, Anais Nin. All might be too obscure, though.

If you're blue-eyed or can score blue-violet contacts, Elizabeth Taylor has had every length of hair possible, and of course if you're game to try to build a Cleopatra headpiece you don't even have to think about it. For that matter, you could skip the middle-woman and just go as Cleopatra.

Cartoon ladies: Betty Rubble, from the Flintstones, Betty Boop, Velma from Scooby Doo.

If you could deal with extensions, you might consider Elvira, or Morticia Addams, both of whom are pretty va-voom curvy (and wear long enough dresses that you could wear flats without apology.) Or Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz - find a pair of sparkly red flats and a basket, add ponytail extensions and make yourself a blue gingham dress and you're set.
posted by gingerest at 9:49 PM on January 5, 2011


Cleopatra in general would be great - she was totally a celebrity in her day.
posted by Sara C. at 10:25 PM on January 5, 2011

Have some gender-bender fun? Danny DeVito?
posted by ambient2 at 11:02 PM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

I offer you Don Corleone. I suggest you do not refuse my offer.
posted by dougrayrankin at 11:15 PM on January 5, 2011

Jesus? big white gown, sandals, wig, crown of thorns. plus, the one-liners practically write themselves. (wine? oh, don't bother...just give me a glass of water, I'll make my own (and etc))
posted by sexyrobot at 12:04 AM on January 6, 2011

Kirstie Alley or Rosie O'Donnell? I was gonna say George Costanza, but the whole having hair thing might make it more work than it's worth.
posted by spr at 1:50 AM on January 6, 2011

If you like kaftans... Demis Roussos
posted by ComfySofa at 2:49 AM on January 6, 2011

Dawn French
posted by jadepearl at 4:10 AM on January 6, 2011

Dawn French? (Youtube link)
posted by lioness at 4:12 AM on January 6, 2011

Susan Boyle?
posted by Grither at 4:43 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

3rding Dawn French.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:45 AM on January 6, 2011

Caftans? Bea Arthur as Maude.
posted by CathyG at 6:55 AM on January 6, 2011

Caftans? How about Mrs Roper from Three's Company?
Just shrilly yell out STANLEY every once in a while & look sex starved.
posted by jaimystery at 6:58 AM on January 6, 2011

Best answer: "Dolly Parton awesome idea too... big blonde wig, jeans and a country shirt?"

Ideally red, white, and/or blue on the shirt, and ideally bedazzled/spangled in some fashion and EXTREMELY boobalicious. And remember to name your boobs "Shock" and "Awe" and wear appalling quantities of eye makeup.

(I love me some Dolly.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:16 AM on January 6, 2011

Beth Chapman, Dog the Bounty Hunter's wife. Elizabeth Taylor.
posted by defreckled at 7:17 AM on January 6, 2011

Anyone of any size, age or gender can do lady gaga. I went as her from the Telephone video. Hot glue some cigarettes to some cheap sunglasses, put on crazy makeup, put your hair in diet coke "rollers" and then wrap yourself in police tape. The most expensive part of the costume was the cigarettes.
posted by whoaali at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Four for Dawn French! Vicar of Dibley was the first thing I thought of.
posted by lhall at 9:55 AM on January 6, 2011

Response by poster: Dolly by a country mile. Thanks for reminding me about shock and awe!
posted by t0astie at 12:05 PM on January 6, 2011

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