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5 (Mostly) Awesome Mad Men Halloween Costumes

If 60s fashion floats your boat then you’ve probably considered dressing up as your favorite character from AMC’s hit drama Mad Men. Fashion plays a pivotal role on the show as costume designer Janie Bryant goes to great lengths to stay true to the styles of the era. While you may not have the same costume budget to work with, a little thrift store hunting should be all you need to put together your own amazing costume. For a little inspiration, here are some of my favorite Mad Men Halloween costumes from around the ‘net.

Don Draper

Don Draper costume
Image by JFrey via reddit


This guy’s got the basic ingredients right: dark suit, white shirt, skinny tie, hair full of pomade. The booze and smokes are a nice touch as well. Yet something seems to be missing from his Don Draper costume. Maybe it’s the lack of tailoring in the suit (1960’s suits were always well-tailored). Maybe it’s that he’s missing a fedora. The tie could be skinnier, the suit a bit lighter (maybe a nice light gray). Overall not a bad effort though.

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Bane Costume From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Owning a pair of army surplus pants, a faux-sheepskin jacket and a leather fingerless glove may make the neighbors nervously consult the Crime Stoppers website, but these articles will come in handy for Halloween. With one more step, a great Bane costume from the new movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” is complete.

Arch-Nemesis or Date-Night Savior? You Decide.

As Batman’s nemesis and fellow alum from the League of Shadows, Bane favors a typical, vaguely Eastern European thuggish style. His most prominent feature is his mask, which covers his mouth and wraps around the sides and in a single center line over his forehead. His shaved head can be simulated with a bald cap from any costume store, and there are several options for creating the mask.

Tutorials on making the mask can be found here or here. Most of the DIY mask options are very labor-intensive. A quick and great-looking alternative is a half-faceplate ventilator or respirator, purchased at any hardware store or online. Worn for painting, spraying or working with fumes, these masks are available for less than $30.

Bane Mask (Black)

Deluxe Bane Costume and Mask

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3 Katniss Everdeen Costume Ideas From ‘The Hunger Games’

katniss everdeen costume

If the odds are ever in your favor, you’re planning to come as Katniss Everdeen for Halloween this year. Dressing as Tiananmen Square as a symbol of revolution is too complicated, plus you’ll look much hotter in a braid. Dressing as the Mockingjay offers a wide variety of costume opportunities. Here are three Katniss costume ideas from ‘The Hunger Games’.

1) Wedding dress Mockingjay: Start with a thrift store white wedding dress. Carefully apply a black feather boa or black feathers from a feather duster along the hem, using fabric glue or stitching them down by hand, moving up the skirt to simulate the mockingjay feathers emerging from below. Above the feathers, apply an orange and red sequin or fire print border as the dress “burns away.” Pair the dress with a wedding veil and a bow and arrows.

2) Opening ceremonies Katniss: Wear an all-black unitard from a dance supply store, paired with a full black cape. Using red and orange glitter fabric paint, paint flames along the inside and outside hem of the cape. This costume is also wonderful paired with a partner whose hand needs to be clutched tightly the whole evening.

3) Arena Katniss: Pair a green shirt and a pair of brown pants with an orange backpack and a gold Mockingjay pin, easily cut from cardboard and spray painted gold. Add a bow and arrow and if possible, some fake dead yellowjackets stuck on an arm to simulate Trackerjackers. Carry a handful of blackberries and be ready to eat them if the conversation takes a boring turn.

The Girl on Fire costume is irresistible to bakers and hunters and it exerts a potent effect on sushi-rollers, fry cooks and those guys at Benihana as well. Use with discretion and be ready to defend yourself if you appear to be used as a tool by anyone, Capitol or not.

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The Avengers’ Black Widow Costume

Black Widow CostumeThe impact of Russian sex bombs deployed to take out enemies can be measured in the millions. Take into account the James Bond film series, Anna Chapman and Natasha of the Bullwinkle cartoons. Ride the wave to fame by appearing as Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow from the blockbuster film The Avengers this year.

An Avengers Black Widow costume consists of:

  • a skintight black jumpsuit
  • a small utility belt
  • thigh garters holding pistols
  • wrist cuffs (the so-called ‘Widow’s Bite.’)


Her shoulder-length red hair and knee length black boots are also important parts of the costume.

Start with a long sleeve black unitard, available at a dance supply store or online for $20-30, but beware: if your Widow’s Bite is more like a bite of donut, this is not the right costume for you. Scarlett Johansson has personal trainers and a costuming department, while you will be alone with no superpower to stop muffin top in your unitard.

An Army-Navy surplus store is a great resource for your utility belt and spent ammunition cartridges, which can be glued onto a strip of cloth for wrist cuffs. Black water pistols glued to

two-inch black elastic bands make excellent thigh garters, and any standard knee high combat boot will do.

black widow belt

belt side view

This costume lends itself well to groups. Ideas for group costumes with a Black Widow include being accompanied by Hawkeye, her archer boyfriend; teaming up with Iron Man, Hulk or Thor; or for establishment of excellent geek credibility, several other girls in identical Black Widow costumes.

True followers of the series will remember that Natasha is just one of a series of identical fighters bioengineered by the Soviets, including her frenemy Yelena Belova, with whom she switches identities at one time. To keep up appearances in costume, limit alcohol consumption. It is said that Romanoff’s enhanced metabolism allows her to drink a tremendous amount without impairment, and of course, dodging a bullet at point blank range and other tests of agility are more difficult after a round of shots.

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Halloween Jubille: Queen Elizabeth Costume

Get your mind out of the gutter: ‘Diamond Jubilee’ is not here to give you a lap dance. Instead, tip your hat(s) to history and consider dressing as Queen Elizabeth for Halloween this year.

queen elizabeth jubilee

2012 represents 60 years’ of Her Majesty’s reign, hyped as her ‘diamond jubilee.’ The People’s Republic of China, the VW Bug and the Polaroid camera also came to power about 60 years ago, but finding the props for a Queen Elizabeth costume is infinitely easier. As a national symbol, the Queen of England is legally unisex. So don’t worry about gender when selecting this theme for your costume.

queens corgiComing as royalty for Halloween this year doesn’t mean having to send 45,000 Christmas cards, as the Queen reportedly does. Instead, start by finding a corgi to accompany you out. The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, and currently keeps three at the palace. Marshal your friends to follow you admiringly, and refer to this parade as ‘Trooping the Color’ in the manner of the queen.

Once you have your corgi and your entourage, you can choose which queen style suites you best.


1) Traditional Queen: a dowdy pastel dress, topped with a three-strand pearl necklace and a large hat. Decorate the hat with random ribbons, tchotchkes and stuffed animals found around the home for a typical British look.

2) God Save the Queen: show everyone that punk is not dead. Download the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee seal here and draw it on your arm as a tattoo. A safety pin in one ear, 20-hole Doc Martin boots and a ripped tank top provide the base of the look. Spitting and moshing are optional, but encouraged.

3) Drag Queen: same as #1, but with huge stiletto heels, fake DD breasts and a butt-length weave.

4) Queen Queen: same as #1, but accompanied by “Bohemian Rhapsody” throughout the evening.

If done correctly, this costume may earn you another 60 years of notoriety.

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