Five Totally Original Music-Inspired Halloween Costumes

Halloween costumes used to be about novelty and flexing your creative muscles. I distinctly remember the simple pleasure of spray-painting a couple of boxes silver, slapping some bicycle reflectors on the front and calling myself a robot. Who cares if I was five and inexplicably being allowed to play with paint cans? That shit was fun.

And who says that adult costumes have to abandon that same artistic whimsy?

This year, before you head to the store for an overpriced package of flimsy nylon that at least 50 other people will also be wearing, try brainstorming up something a little, you know, original. And if you lack your own originality, no excuses: Here are five fun, musically inclined ideas to get you started.

1. Bret Michaels and the "Rock of Love" Whores Girls This is a group costume, ideally realized by one aging bachelor and a gaggle of women in slutty clothes, willing to abandon any and all dignity for five seconds of attention. Not to be confused with normal occurrences of the same behavior observed on Washington Avenue any given night, this costume requires a bad '80s rocker wig and cheesy bandanna.

2. Britney and Christina (or any annoying '90s pop stars, for that matter), post-Celebrity Deathmatch Back when claymation and MTV were things people watched, Celebrity Deathmatch pitted Play-Doh versions of celebs against one another in a fight to the finish. Pick two beatdown-worthy musicians from the era, which should be easy since its spawn included Dave Matthews, countless boy bands and Vanilla Ice. Then grab a friend and pick up some fake blood. (Just be careful, because that stuff never comes out.)

Also works well as a couple's costume that will retain enough ambiguity to keep you from looking cheesy like those douchebags dressed like a salt and pepper shaker.

3. MJ's Ghost I've seen Elvis's ghost before. And there have been many a zombie Michael (a la "Thriller")... Mix it up and do The Ghost of Pop -- an ideal last-minute costume choice for anyone who's lazy and/or cheap and also needs an excuse to put off laundry day.

One white bedsheet (stain-free, please, people), one sequined glove and a pair of black sunglasses are all you'll actually need. Matching glitter shoes and Jheri-curl wig are optional.

4. Sexy Miley Cyrus It's Halloween tradition for women to create "sexy" costumes out of inherently unsexy things (see: beloved children's characters, construction workers, hamburgers, skunks and various inanimate objects).

I now challenge you to make this look sexy. Free original cassette single of "Achy, Breaky Heart" goes to whoever pulls it off.

5. The Cure, The Jesus and Mary Chain or pretty much any literal interpretation of a band's name. Okay, so I didn't actually make this one up but had two friends who did it in college. And it was awesome.

"The Cure" can be embodied in a basic black shirt that has been plastered with pills (or pill bottles, if you prefer to keep your costume at a low-toxicity level). The Jesus and Mary Chain requires a plastic chain from the costume store, plus some cheap, kitschy figurines depicting, you know, Jesus and Mary. Both slightly controversial -- and one perhaps a tad sacrilegious -- these costumes are guaranteed conversation-starters, and no one can go wrong with a hot glue gun and a little imagination.

Plus, this one can be taken in a million different directions. If you're really and truly apathetic, throw some mismatched pieces of clothing together and call yourself The Clash.

So there they are, Houston. Five completely original, music-inspired Halloween costumes guaranteed to save you some dough and a trip to the skank aisle at Party City.

Got some totally original ideas of your own? Feel free to share 'em here.

Happy costuming, y'all!


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Leila Chemam-Alfaro