As soon as I hit 22, I became a procrastinator, even as it pertains to putting together a plus size Halloween costume (read: a last minute plus size Halloween costume). I don't know what happened, really. In the two decades before then, I was always on time for everything. I had organizational skills that could rival Olivia Pope's. I would always hand in my homework early. I never rushed to finish a final paper. And my Halloween costume would always be planned and ready a solid month before Oct. 31 (plenty of time for practice runs was essential). These days, however, I'm pretty lucky if I can successfully brainstorm an outfit the evening before a "big day."
I don't mind my procrastination so much (maybe it gives me personality and adds a dose of excitement to my life, OK?), but when you add to it the sheer lack of plus size Halloween costume options the world usually has to offer, things can get a little frustrating.
In my experience, most of the plus options at big chain retailers like Party City or Spirit Halloween sell out within days. But fear not, Halloween lovers and fuller-figured friends: Putting together a last minute Halloween costume with the help of your favorite plus shopping destinations actually isn't all that bad. With your creativity firing and your mouse hovering over "two-day shipping," you should be ready for Halloween madness in no time. Especially if you're interested in portraying a television character or topical celebrity. Then the inspiration is endless.
1. Joan Holloway
To pull off your Joan Holloway ensemble, you must rely on all things red. I'm talking red dress, red lips, and red locks. Joan is a gal unafraid of taking ownership over her body, often opting for body-hugging silhouettes that put her more voluptuous figure in the spotlight. Her unapologetic nature is definitely a lesson in self confidence.
Ava Dress in Red, $114, pinupgirlclothing.com; Pearl White Sparkle to Die For Purse, $52, unique-vintage.com; Refined Your Purpose Heel in Monochrome, $69.99, modcloth.com; Joan Harris Wig, $33, citycostumewigs.com
To channel Ms. Harris, opt for a vintage-inspired red dress in a semi-bodycon fit but with retro details for authenticity. Keep your accessories minimal (black and white hues are your best friends), but make sure to get yourself a bejeweled pen necklace. Joan's staple accessory was no doubt a symbol of her ability to run an entire office and never fail to look poised and put-together while doing so.
Holloway Handmade Pen Necklace, $19.99, etsy.com
Vintage Look Medium Cigarette Holder, $9.99, etsy.com
Seeing as this was the '60s and every episode of Mad Men was essentially one long cigarette commercial, you'll want to get yourself an Audrey Hepburn-approved holder. Keep it classy; keep it Joan.
2. Ilana Glazer
If you value comfort above all else on Halloween, channeling Broad City's Ilana Glazer is a surefire way to stay comfortable yet cute on Oct. 31. This ensemble from Season 1's "P*$$Y Weed" is one of my personal favorites. It's so emblematic of her perfectly mismatched style, and her ability to turn basics into statement-makers.
The amazing thing about this outfit — besides its sheer cuteness — is that it'll also keep you warm on a chilly All Hallow's Eve.
Complete your look with white high-tops, long socks rolled and bunched at the bottom of your feet, and minimal makeup. Now get ready to queen-it-up.
3. Cookie Lyon
Empire's Cookie Lyon has one of the fiercest, most statement-making styles on TV right now. From furs to fedoras to silks, nothing is too fancy or too luxurious for her. To nail her look, you'll want to think OTT. Just follow this simple sartorial rule: More is more, and less is just boring.
Recreating Cookie Lyon's iconic leopard print look is pretty easy: Just gather every single leopard print item you can possibly imagine, put them all together, and get ready to dance to the tunes of hip hop's finest.
Like I said, you really do need leopard everything.
4. Miley Cyrus
The trick to pulling off a Miley Cyrus outfit is this: Put on every single piece of eclectic fashion you own. That's it! What's so special about Cyrus' look is perhaps her total disregard for so-called sartorial rules. She doesn't care if things "match" or "look presentable." She doesn't care if her nipple pasties make you uncomfortable. She certainly doesn't care if you catch her smoking weed. If you want this Halloween to be an IDGAF-kind-of-Halloween, then Cyrus is your girl.
Vintage Dreamsicle Floral Top, $32, shoptunnelvision.com; Fluttershadow Pleated Skirt, $48, redressnyc.com; Walkin' Into Spiderwebs Mesh Tank, $36, shoptunnelvision.com; Turquoise Glitter Pot Leaves Pasties, $10, etsy.com
If you're feeling especially daring, opt for the pasties underneath the mesh tank. Otherwise, go for a trippy velvet-y top that's as colorful as Miley herself. For an added touch of authenticity, feel free to purchase a Miley Cyrus-inspired wig, stick your tongue out, and paint the town in rainbow glitter.
Miley Cyrus Costume Wig, $29.99, citycostumewigs.com
Queen Bey isn't afraid of a little minimalism. Well, a little minimalism with a dose of sexy. Why not honor the woman who constantly tells us how flawless we are by recreating one of her performance looks?
This bodysuit plus knee-high boot combo is simple, but instantly recognizable. Plus, it makes for a three-piece costume of wardrobe essentials that you can basically combine with every single outfit on the planet after Halloween. I'll take it. Your costume will show the world that you know you're flawless, too.
6. James Dean
Somewhere between 1955 and 2015, James Dean became the go-to for all things greaser-inspired. His iconic Rebel Without A Cause look consisted merely of a white tee, a leather jacket, and boot cut jeans, but that look was enough to grant him sex-god-status and the love of thousands of fans the world over. If your style is more androgynous, you just love '50s culture, or you just feel like being totally laid-back this Halloween, his look will have you sorted.
Upon further reflection, it seems the "James Dean" look is just code for Every New Yorker's Favorite Ensemble. You'll look chic, cool, and totally badass. Don't forget to accessorize with some black boots (steel toe not required).
Sole Diva Chelsea Boots Wide Fit, $49.99, simplybe.com
7. Rebel Wilson
If you want to give a little shout out to one of Hollywood's favorite plus size sweethearts, why not recreate Rebel Wilson's look from the 2015 MTV Movie Awards? Wilson's "THINK" trousers felt like a body positive message to everyone watching. They served as a reminder that plus size women have every right to wear whatever they want and feel confident while doing so. Perhaps she was even urging anyone who had a problem with her outfit to think about how they'd feel if a straight size person was sporting the same thing.
To recreate Wilson's look, all you really need is some leather-look leggings, an out-of-the-box bra of your choosing (preferably something with funky cutouts or a lot of sequins), and oversized angel wings. If you're feeling especially crafty, you can also print out some glitter letters from the Internet to spell out "THINK" on your bottom and shut up any body shamers along the way. You can even introduce yourself as "Fat (Insert Your Name Here)" to channel Fat Amy's unapologetic self acceptance.
The best thing about all these costumes is that each and every item (with the exception of the angel wings and cigarette holder, perhaps) is totally reusable. Whether you're feeling like a biker babe, a total queen, or even a laid back bro, these costumes will be sure to make your day to day 'drobe a little more eclectic.
Want more Halloween fun? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more inspo!
Images: Courtesy Brands; AMC (1); Comedy Central (1); FOX (1); Warner Bros (1)