Seven Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas for Locals Only

L.A.-inspired outfits, plus how to pull them off

A week from today is the darkest day of the year—and I don’t mean the latest Carmageddon or some awards show. It’s Halloween, when everyone gets their costumed freak on at one of the city’s endless options of festivities (Elina Shatkin recently rounded up this year’s 50 best over on Culture Files).

What will you be? The best costumes are funny, maybe even a little bit sexy, and absolutely topical. Instead of being a character from Orange Is The New Black or an Ice Bucket Challenge parody, why not pull inspiration from the city of around you? Consider these locals-only ideas an early holiday treat:

Concept: Be our dry body of water, that constantly-being-revamped treasure that runs from East to West L.A.. One civic bonus: This costume does double duty as a billboard for the river, which more and more people should visit.
How to do it: Wear head-to-toe blue with red stickers to denote various parts of town. Add branches, a little trash, and a few murals to your sides and you will be set.

If there has been one breakout Los Angeles-based entrepreneur this year, it’s Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal. She climbed lists with her book and hashtag #GIRLBOSS—and you may even run into her around town during Halloween. How flattered would she be if you were her? I think very.
How to do it: Wear a black, plunging Nasty Gal dress, a black spiked Nasty Gal necklace, and a blunt black bob. Tape a white foam board poster to your back and carry a copy of #GIRLBOSS.

While LACMA is a Halloween costume landmine—You could be Levitated Mass! You could be Michael Govan! This year’s LACMA costume of choice is the hypothetical new design Peter Zumthor gave it earlier this year. It’s controversial, contemporary, and a big puddle of black.
How to do it: Cut out a bulbous lowercase f from black foam board that covers the entire body. Cut out a hole for your face and place a LACMA sticker on your forehead. (Note! For extra credit, put a picture of the old LACMA on your back.)

Go as Mr. Kardashian’s latest public persona.
How to do it: Top an all A.P.C. outfit with a Los Angeles Trade Technical College hat and carry arounda copy of Yeezus.

If you are looking for a couple’s costume, and in any way are related to local design, you have to be Charles and Ray Eames. The people who get who you are will love your costume. Those who don’t deserve a tip (which you’ll give them) to check out the Eames Foundation.
How to do it: For Charles: Wear a large corduroy blazer, khaki pants, a pastel collared shirt, and an oversized bowtie; For Ray: Wear a shirt with a round collar (in the same fabric as Charles, if possible) and an A-line skirt. For both: Check out these typographical stamps for your face, blocks of your house, and/or furniture for additional inspiration.

Perhaps the most popular store owners in the city right now, Ted and Angie of the Arts District’s Poketo are perfect to copy because of their basic—yet quirky—style. Note: This is also an excuse for a shopping spree at Poketo.
How to do it: Copy this photo, exactly—including the accessories.

Some Angelenos are somehow still not taking the drought seriously enough… but we all must! So—because sex sells—you should wear nothing but succulents and tumbleweeds to raise awareness of this statewide issue. People may think you’re Eve from the Garden of Eden but, really, you’re her much thirstier, much needier sister.
How to do it: Select some of the items listed above, body paint for effect, an empty water bottle or pail, and—if you want to lighten things up by showing some skin—a nude bodysuit.


Kyle Fitzpatrick is a writer, an infrequent performer, and a lover of dogs, art, shorts, champagne, and L.A. You can find his musings Fridays on CityThink. For more, check out his locally focused art, design, and culture website, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.