8 Costume Ideas Inspired by Your Favorite Shows

  • By Kim
  • 14 October, 2013
  • Comments Off


Part of the fun of Halloween is getting to dress up completely out of the ordinary. Whether you are going out to a party, taking the kids trick-or-treating or just trying to make your friends laugh, Halloween is a terrific excuse to play pretend for a little while. Characters from popular TV shows are particularly fun if you love the show. I’ve put together a few inspiration boards that will hopefully inspire you to put together your own costume. Actually, I should say that I’ve put together a few boards, and I’ve posted a few *amazing* boards from some folks who have a terrific eye for style and design. It’s my first time using Polyvore, and those folks put me to serious shame!

Downton Abbey:

We’ll start off with possibly the swankiest outfits on TV. Downton is pure costume porn. All the pieces look absolutely sumptuous! I sometimes can’t help but wish that I lived in the 20s until I remember that being a woman probably sucked, and that corsets were a gigantic PITA. You were basically waiting around for someone to marry you, while wearing extremely restricting underwear! NO WAY. Anyway, you can probably find a flapper-esque costume, but if you want to put together a DIY outfit, try to find a drop-waisted dress, or something tea length. It’s also all about the hats on Downtown, so find yourself a cute cloche or a straw number.


Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey by yestotallykim featuring a mini pump


Doctor Who:

Okay, so there is already a lot of cosplay for this one. Below, I posted an inspiration board for the 11th Doctor, but feel free to go with any of the other 10. Or maybe you could go as one of the companions or even the TARDIS itself. Baddies are also very popular, so you could turn yourself into a Dalek or get really ambitious and go for a Weeping Angel. Really, there is no shortage of how you can interpret a Whoniverse costume.


11th Doctor outfit
11th Doctor outfit by yestotallykim featuring black jeans


Mad Men:

Of course I’m going to post about Mad Men. There are so many looks to choose from inspired by this iconic show. Pick a character and start from there – each character has a distinctive take on the 60s. Mod like Megan? Working girl like Peggy? Bombshell like Joan? Take your pick. Same with the guys. Not everyone has to be as dapper as Don Draper. You could go for the Harry Crane sort of nerd 60s looks, or even stoner Stan with his sweaters. The decade was such an interesting time for fashion that you’ll have a wide selection to choose from. It helps to do a little bit of research when you’ve selected the character you want to go as. Check the internet for colors, patterns, and general trends (ie. collars, hemlines, makeup, and hair styles).

Mad Men Throughout the Seasons
Mad Men Throughout the Seasons by designsbytraci featuring a pearl charm necklace


Mad Men Throughout the Seasons
Mad Men Throughout the Seasons by coeurdcoeurs7 featuring a roland mouret dress


Game of Thrones:

Here is an excellent way to recycle that medieval costume you picked up a few years ago. You can easily re-purpose it for a Game of Thrones character with a few props and maybe a patch displaying a house sigil. (Check HBO’s website to see what your house sigil is. You can also find them in the various GoT wikis.) Below, I’ve posted inspiration boards for Daenerys Targaryen and Ned Stark. Dany’s look can be created using a ready-made “Greek” goddess-type of costume, a blue maxi dress, or even a silver prom dress (for her wedding dress). Accessorize simply and be sure to braid some strands of that blonde wig. It would be cute to carry around a dragon stuffed animal or figurine if you have one. Ned’s costume is a straight up medieval dude’s outfit (as long as your costume isn’t a knight.) You just need a tunic, some dark colored pants and boots or boot covers. I’ve added the fur cloak in for good measure. You can make a cloak or buy one, and then sew on the fur lining if you are handy. Grab the official “hand of the king” pin and you’re all set.


Game of Thrones - Daenerys Targaryen
Game of Thrones – Daenerys Targaryen by yestotallykim featuring an empire maxi dress
Game of Thrones - Ned Stark
Game of Thrones – Ned Stark by yestotallykim featuring a hooded cloak


Once Upon a Time:

This is a really fun one to do because you can choose to be characters in either their true form, or in their “real world” identity. Maybe you could figure out a way to do both?! Anyway, the two boards I pulled from Polyvore are for Emma Swan and Regina aka The Evil Queen. Emma is in her trademark red leather jacket. Once you’ve acquired that, the other pieces are pretty basic that you can probably put together quickly. Regina is a super fun costume to pull together since she’s both outrageous AND fashionable. In either identity, she looks put together, expensive and regal. If you’re going for the Evil Queen outfit, look for pieces in rich dark colors: black velvets, purples, blood reds and even hot pinks. Look for a distinctive element to these pieces – maybe it’s a high collar, or ruffly details on a jacket. Don’t forget the poisoned apple!

Emma Swan
Emma Swan by elsabear featuring Frye
OUAT The Evil Queen/Regina Mills
OUAT The Evil Queen/Regina Mills by becky-86 featuring antique bathroom accessories



Breaking Bad:

Again, so much to choose from! If you and your friends all wanted to do a group costume, you’d have a bunch of great characters to choose from. Here’s my inspiration board for Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Walt changes his look, so feel free to pick Underwear Walt, Hazmat Walt, Mr. Lambert Walt and Heisenberg of course. Jesse’s costume is pretty easy to do – just remember to get really baggy clothes. Be sure to carry around some blue meth candy in your pocket for slinging. The AMC store also has lots of cool stuff. You can pick up the official hazmat suit costume, as well as shirts for Vamanos Pest and Los Pollos Hermanos.


Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad by yestotallykim featuring baggy jeans


True Blood:

In the next few days, Asma is going to show us how to up your vampire game, but you can also take some inspiration from the fangers on True Blood. At minimum, get yourself a sleeveless shirt, some fangs and smear yourself liberally with blood. BOOM. 3/4 of the people on the show. The HBO store sells Sookie’s Merlotte’s waitress uniform if you are looking to get the official gear. The inspiration board I pulled is for Pam since she has always been a snarky favorite of mine. Pam doesn’t mess around, and she’s always looking hot whether she is rocking black leather, or a hot pink sweater. Just be sure that it’s form fitting and aggressive. I’m sorry, but I am not going to help you dress up like Sookie. She’s just so … ugh. I can’t with her anymore.


8. PAM SWYNFORD DE BEAUFORT by lovelylauraa featuring leather knee boots


The Walking Dead:

Last but not least are the folks from the Walking Dead. They have it tough. Their outfits need to be durable, camouflaged and uhh easy to wash the brains out of. Luckily for us, you probably have a lot of the pieces. Nearly all the characters wear jeans or dark pants. Since they’re in Atlanta, they’re usually wearing tank tops or t-shirts of some kind. The details are in the accessories. Certain characters like Daryl and Michonne have signature weapons. Carl has his hat. Get some good props for your character, and don’t be afraid to grime yourself up. Smear some fake blood on yourself and apply some makeup to look like dirt or smudges. After a day of killing Walkers, you shouldn’t look fresh from the showers. I’ve pulled a Maggie board from Polyvore, but you can apply similar garments for whichever character you choose.

The Walking Dead - Chicnova 12
The Walking Dead – Chicnova 12 by par0dise featuring a bullet bracelet



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