Tired of zombies, ghosts, and vampires every Halloween? We are too. Recreate some of these unique looks, based on objects and images from our traveling exhibitions, past and present.
10. Apollo astronaut
First, layer up your clothes to create bulk. Don a white sweatshirt and sweatpants as the top layer. (Real spacesuits are approximately 3/16" thick, with 11 layers of materials.) Add red and blue bottle caps to the chest to serve as "good" and "bad" air connectors. Finish off with a fun mission patch and American flag. Check out real #spacesuits from our Suited for Space exhibition.
9. #Titanoboa, the Monster Snake
Wrap your self with green felt, add scales and an enormous bulge near the belly. For extra flair, add plastic crocodile parts protruding from your mouth. Massive snub-nosed crocs were appetizers for the 48-foot monster snake that lived some 55 million years ago.
8. Mad Tinkerer
Rotary phones, old toasters, clocks, whatever. Smash them up, and glue the disassembled bits on you for a look that says, "Maker meets mad scientist." Inspired by the upcoming exhibition Things Come Apart, exploring the world of engineering, art, and tinkering.
7. Blue Senate Guard from The Phantom Menace
No list of costumes would be complete without a nod to the #StarWarsCostumes exhibition Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars ™ and the Power of Costume. The New York-showing of the exhibition features more than 70 original costumes, including a few new designs and accessories from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! For the Senate Guard look, drape yourself in blue fabric (the real costume is luxurious velvet) and spray paint an old football helmet. Use a broom to create a giant crest on your helmet.
6. Vernon Evans
We love Vern, who became the salt-of-the-earth poster child for our Journey Stories exhibition. Vern left drought-stricken South Dakota in 1936, saying that "It got so bad in South Dakota, you couldn't even buy a job." On the road, he claimed to cover about 200 miles a day in this Model-T Ford on his way to Oregon. Costume: Baggy jeans, cinched up at the waist with a slim belt; white shirt; disshelved, wind-blown hair, barbed wire (optional). Have a roll in fresh dust to complete the look. Read more about Vern's story.
5. Pepé Le Pew
The amorous skunk created by classic animator Chuck Jones in 1945, for the film Odor-able Kitty. Black and white clothes, a little bit of fur, a French accent. Voila. "Hello Cherie, all is fare in love and war, aye darling?" From our popular traveling exhibition What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones.
4. Leafcutter ants (group costume)
Oval rust-colored head, thorax, abdomen, flexible antennae. Pass a giant leaf from one costumed ant to the other. Real leaf cutters can carry up to 10 times their weight, so make the leaf at least 1,000 pounds for an accurate effect. You can marvel at the strength of ants with Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.
Forever cool. Especially in his super skinny white tie. Add some hair gel, and you'll rock the house like he did in this 1956 photo by Alfred Wertheimer, taken in the washroom of a train enroute to Memphis, Tennesse. Elvis was the subject of our traveling exhibition Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer.
2. Mas Amedda, Senate Robes from Revenge of the Sith
This one's only for the serious cosplayers. Good luck.
1. 1970s Groovers
Totally doable! A well-stocked thrift store is the key to success for this costume, lovingly selected from our traveling exhibition Searching for the Seventies: The Documerica Project. The exhibition is a partnership with the United States Archives, which maintains an amazing and enormous collection of photographs from the #Documerica initiative, an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to catalog emerging and existing environmental threats. Check it out.