Up until a couple weeks ago, I had my heart set on dressing as alternate-1985 reluctantly-married-to-Biff Lorraine McFly for Halloween. Honestly, I'd had my heart set on a law being passed that required all Halloween costumes this year to be related to the Back to the Future trilogy, considering this marks the 30th anniversary of the first movie and October 2015 is the where (when?) Marty, Doc and Jennifer visit in the second.
But when I went and had my hair dyed green a couple weeks ago, I folded up my Lea-Thompson-shaped dream and tucked it away for another year, as my hair would no longer jibe with my original costume plan.
I know what you're thinking: You could just get a curly, blondish wig, Marci. Well, why doncha just tell me to get a splinter and a canker sore and a wedgie, too, while you're at it? Sadist.
Cheap-o Halloween wigs are the worst. I truly despise wearing them, and I'm not about to invest in some fancy, intended-for-daily-life wig for a costume. In more than three decades of pretty consistent Halloweening, I've actually managed to avoid ever choosing a costume that required a wig, and that's been very deliberate, much like how I've avoided wearing socks with really thick seams at the toes. I just can't feel comfortable wearing them!
So, since I fully intend on dressing up this year, I've had to come up with green-hair-friendly costume options—easy ones, because time's a-tickin'. And because I'm such a mensch, I've also come up with options for those of you who have other nontraditional hair colors and a similar hatred for crappy wigs.
Enid from Ghost World
This is currently my front-runner. It's as simple as a ringer tee, black jeans, black leather jacket, and glasses. Plus, I've always wanted to try a faux-bob. And OMG, I live in the same neighborhood as Steve Buscemi—what if I run into him while in this costume?! That would be epic! (It's not that far-fetched an idea; he totally trick-or-treated around the corner from my apartment with Elvis Costello last year.)
As a woman, I'd already be bending the Joker's traditional gender if I chose this costume, so I'd probably take additional liberties by plucking some of my favorite elements from each screen version, like Nicholson's bright-purple blazer, Ledger's unevenly scarred smile, and Romero's flippy waves. Like just about everything on this list, the outfit can be assembled from items you already own or could easily find at a thrift store.
Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Perfect for someone with a shorter haircut and a love of this movie as deep as mine is, a Ramona Flowers costume is exceedingly easy—any hooded sweater, casual jacket and boot-leg jeans will do. Wear in-line skates for bonus points (bonus points come in the form of butt bruises).
Give a big ol' middle finger to the live-action bastardization Jem and the Holograms movie coming out next week and dress as the original mid-80s cartoon version of Jerrica Benton's rockstar alter ego. A whole lotta hair volume; geometric, overflowing pink eyeshadow; and pretty much any pink dress will create an instant Jem vibe. Star-shaped earrings and a mic make for excellent extra details.
Frenchy from Grease
Pink, above-the-shoulders curls—especially with bangs—are unmistakably Frenchy. And even if you don't have a retro uniform, almost any late-'50s-esque ensemble will work for going as Grease's most sequel-agreeable character on Halloween.
Yeah, same Ramona Flowers. Couldn't hurt to match at least one piece of your outfit to your hair, as the character is wont to do.
I realize that mimicking Marge's gravity-defying hair could be a bit of a challenge, but as long as you're wearing a strapless, green dress, you could definitely get away with going as Sexy Letting-Her-Hair-Down Marge Simpson. (Yellow-painted skin so very optional.)
Veronica from Archie
Ideal for those with blue-black hair, Betty may not seem like an obvious choice, but the way she was traditionally illustrated showed highlights in her hair drawn blue. Wear yours straight with flipped ends atop a retro outfit and you'll look damn near perfect.
You get it.
If you've got a purple bob—or you're willing to try your hand at a faux one—and a leather and/or metallic jacket, just slap on a black eye mask (homemade or even a store-bought plastic one) and this Kick-Ass character makes a kick-ass costume. (Holy shit, the last part of that sentence sounded sponsored as hell.)
Leela from Futurama
Long purple hair? This costume couldn't be easier. Throw it up in a high ponytail and throw on a white tank top with black pants and boots.
OK, so the one-eye thing isn't exactly easy. But if you're committed to going full cyclops, you can cut an oval from a paper plate and draw a pupil in the middle; poke a couple holes in it so you can see through it (hopefully—I haven't tested this), and attach it to a clear elastic band.
Or just be your two-eyed self. People will still know who you're supposed to be.
Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone
I love this costume idea because you don't have to invent the "sexy" version if you want one—it already exists!
I can be beautiful, lovely and fair
Silvery voice, long purple hair...
But it's only skin deep
For zim zabberim zim
I'm an ugly old creep
Madam Mim in her natural form is a short, so-not-cute-that-she's-actually-quite-cute witch in a patchy purple and pink ensemble that looks quite comfy. But if you're feeling a little foxier, just trade in those raglan sleeves for pink lipstick and you're all set to go as "lovely and fair" Mim.