Image: Archi Banal.
Image: Archi Banal.

SocietyOctober 27, 2023

Your last-minute Halloween costume, sorted

Image: Archi Banal.
Image: Archi Banal.

Not everyone can be Barbie and Ken.

Ghouls and witches and blood seem to be on the way out. Trade Me has been eyeing up what kinds of costumes people are searching for, and apparently they’re taking “a fun approach to their costumes this year and steering clear of scary looks”, said spokesperson Millie Silvester. While the Trade Me searchers have looked to blockbusters, celebrities and TV shows for inspiration, we have looked to local goings-on too to spark inspiration this weekend.

Weird Barbie

(Image: Warner Bros Pictures)

Trade Me has experienced a surge of interest in all things Barbie, so expect a tonne of Barbies to be hitting the streets. I would expect that the hot girls willing to spend lots of money already have rollerblade, cowboy and dreamhouse Barbie covered so we get Weird Barbie, everyone’s favourite. 

You do not need to do a whole lot to achieve a convincing weird Barbie. Splatter paint on a pink dress, draw on your face, and cut your hair. Make sure to use big scissors and then lots and lots of hairspray. You’re going to smell great.

James Mustapic

As he was getting ready for Celebrity Treasure Island’s final treasure hunt, James Mustapic said,“I’m wearing my pinks, you know. I would like to have quite an iconic look for the final so that people can dress up as me for Halloween.” The resulting look – a pastel pink bucket hat, a pastel pink T-shirt, bright pink pants, and the show’s orange buff around his neck – was very cute. Everyone has their own pinks in the wardrobe, put them on and top it off with an AS Colour bucket hat for $30, and what I’m pretty sure is the exact same buff from Hunting and Fishing.

He’s already won $107,500 for Gender Minorities Aotearoa, but if you dress up as him, all Mustapic’s dreams would have come true. 

Auckland’s poopy harbour

For 20 days this month, raw sewage rushed into the Waitematā Harbour, thanks to a sinkhole in Parnell that decimated a wastewater pipe (see below). The current fix is temporary and probably going to leak, so don’t worry about this costume idea being out of date. 

I would think of your body as the gush coming from the opening. Wear a poop-coloured brown from head to toe, attach clumps of toilet paper, then open a can of sardines and stick the dead fish on too. Gorgeous.


The mysterious College Hill crater (Photo: Stewart Sowman-Lund, design Archi Banal)

Sinkholes, and other types of holes (think pot), have been hot topics in popular culture this year. What isn’t terrifying about a hole opening up, possibly breaching the divide between Earth and Hell and then crumbling away at the edges of life as we know it? The challenge with this costume will be to not be toooooo scary. 

I suggest starting with a voluminous black base, perhaps a loose dress or a swath of black fabric with a hole for your head. Get a brush and shovel and collect all those little stones that come loose on the road – you will need plenty, like half a bucket. Then, draw a large circle on your black base with PVA glue. Proceed to stick the little stones on the outside of the circle. This definitely looks like a road with a hole in it. If you’re feeling fancy, add a little upturned toy car to the middle of the hole. I recently saw some for sale at Geoff’s Emporium, and from memory they are 30 cents. It will need to be stitched on because PVA is not that strong.

National volunteer campaigner as Chris Luxon

There is something absolutely terrifying about something that looks almost human and yet is very wrong. I read a pop-science book years ago that said it’s some sort of leftover from when neanderthals hunted us. I do not know if this is true. In any case, masks of human faces, on human bodies, is very, very scary, and there have been blue-clothed hordes of these around the streets recently, campaigning for Christopher Luxon. 

I always thought making masks of someone’s face was done to humiliate, but some genius in the National campaign team turned this around. You know what to do for this costume.

Winston Peters (on a horse)

Winston Peters (on a horse)

It is very important to get the details right here. A crisp but unbuttoned chequered shirt, an oilskin coat (worn is better – have a look in your local army surplus or hipster vintage shop), and an excellent hat. Cotton On currently has a wide brim felt hat on special for $34.99, which will do you well. If you don’t have a horse, I hope you have a friend willing to get down on all fours. The outfit is not really worth it without this.

If you go for this charismatic dress-up, be prepared to have the same conversation all night – how is rodeo pronounced, exactly?

Wet, whiny and inward looking

Why not dress as how the incoming prime minister describes us, and double down on our national traits – out of patriotism, of course. Put on your Red Bands, board shorts and a polar fleece T-shirt, and pour a bucket of cold water over your head. 

Linda the laser kiwi

An egg passing through Linda the laser kiwi’s cloaca.

Linda stole our hearts on election night. She was the star of Three’s coverage and perhaps the biggest winner of the night. Her lasering of MPs into splats of red was questionable, but because she’s our rather rotund and almost fluffy national icon, we hardly batted an eyelid. 

To be Linda, you will firstly need a very long beak. I would buy this large piece of brown card from Warehouse Stationery, ignoring the other bird in its name. Fold it in half lengthwise, then using the fold as the middle of the beak, cut a lovely elegant long beak. Hole punch the edges of the widest bit (it’s going to go on your face over your nose) and attach elastic to go around the back of your head. For the laser eyes, fashion something that attaches out of neon pipe cleaners. Bring along a 12 pack of eggs and throw them into the corner of the room every once in a while.

Sir Karl Jenkins

Not Meghan Markle

First an unidentified guest at King Charles’ coronation and then an internet sensation, the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins has quashed rumours that he is Meghan Markle in disguise, a jewel thief, one of the Beastie Boys, or the star of an upcoming Netflix series. Considering he has sported his handlebar moustache since he was 18 and his tinted large frames for almost as long, the confusion was straight-up rude. “I look this way all the time!” he said in a social media video.

Sadly, we do not have the time to grow authentic facial hair, but what we do have is access to a matching moustache and wig combo for only $18, though it is sadly called “Blonde creep with mo”. I am in no way saying Jenkins is a creep, I think he looks like a stylish and perfectly fine man. You will have to trim the wig, especially at the back, which I suggest doing outside, and not while it’s on your head, unless you want to find synthetic hair in all your crevices until Christmas.

A vial of mojo

The mysterious mojo that the country has been lacking, now captured. But how exactly can a human pass as a vial? Firstly, dress all in one bright colour. I reckon a bright orange is best. Then, open a Google document, write Mojo, make the typeface Courier New, because that’s scientific, and make it as big as the page width allows. Print it for free at work or, if you’re unemployed, at the library. Then cut the corners to be rounded, because that’s also scientific. Stick it on your chest. Wrap yourself in Glad Wrap and we’re done.

Keep going!