14 Amazing Costumes Inspired by DC

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It’s almost Halloween and while you and your kiddos could dress up as any goblin or ghoul, why not trick-or-treat with some hometown pride? Let your little one fly to the moon in a UFO costume or roar through the streets as DC’s original inhabitants, the dinosaurs. We’ve got some locally inspired costume ideas that only district natives can truly pull off. Happy Halloween!

photo: Courtesy of Kiwi Crate

Conspiracy Costumes

UFOs have recently gone from taboo to hot topic in the DMV. Get in on the unidentified fun by dressing your swirling ball of energy as an out-of-space aircraft. Make it a family affair by walking the streets while wearing tin foil. 

photo: Meghan Yudes Meyers

Honor Inductees

Blast off back in time with a Marty-inspired costume. While McFly might never have stepped foot in DC, his car recently did! THE DeLorean featured in the 1985 hit, Back to the Future, graced the mall as part of the Cars on the Capitol exhibit celebrating this year's newest inductees in the Library of Congress's  National Historic Vehicle Register

photo: Katy Walter

Choose to Dissent

Possibly the easiest costume to pull off (all you need is, you guessed it, a lace collar). If you want simple yet profound Halloween look, top any black outfit with one of these lace collars.

Fly the Coop

During the peak of the pandemic, Mo Willems hopped online to bring Pigeon-inspired art lessons to kids at home and, for that, he will always be our hero!  This year, the pigeon  along with some other Mo favorites popped up on the Kennedy Center opera truck for a traveling sloper-istic show. Honor the myth, the legend, the bird with these easy DIY instructions to create your own feathered friend

Flag This Idea

DC is home to over 175 embassies and ambassador residencies. From a national costume to a colorful representation of a flag, you can pay tribute to your family's cultural heritage while also making a nod toward Embassy Row this Halloween.

Executive Decision

There is no shortage of inspiration when it comes to the Executive Departments that call the District home base. Farmers, teachers and pilots are all fair game on Oct. 31. Independent agencies, like NASA and the CIA, also make stellar Halloween-inspiration. You can really "blast off" with some of these ideas!

 

Get Cinematic

What's better than wearing a superhero costume on Halloween? Going full cosplay with an authentic backdrop on all Hallow's Eve. If your little one loves Captain America, Iron Man or the Transformers, then suit up for the ultimate trick-or-treat experience. Relive the magic of the movies in your favorite DC hood.

Turn Back Time

Before DC was politics-central it was home to the dinosaur (and other prehistoric animals). Celebrate all things dino with a roar-some costume. You can go big with a blow-up or keep it simple.

Natural Wonders

DC's architecture gets all the press, but it's the parks, gardens and green spaces that make for family memories. If you and your brood spend most of your days outdoors, spend trick-or-treat night dressed as your favorite native fauna or furry friend. Or celebrate the DMV's many butterfly gardens with your own little monarch butterfly

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photo: iStock

Iconic DC

DC is known for its iconic images. So, bring them to life! Tape a white stripe on a blue rectangle. Attached that to your shirt and suddenly, you’re the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Adorn you and your crew with flowers and walk the streets as the Cherry Blossoms. Or, go one step further and add a kite costume to bring the entire Cherry Blossom Festival to life. From a group of tourists to a collection of Food Trucks, the sky is the limit when it comes to personifying DC’s classic images with your family.

Foodie Fun

There’s the obvious—Half Smoke, Mambo Sauce, or anything from Ben’s Chili Bowl. But what about avocado toast? Cupcakes? Bao Buns? As a melting pot of some of the best food in the world, pretty much anything goes when you want to resemble something edible.

 

 

Museum Inspired

We’re lucky to live so close to so many amazing museums You'll find obvious inspiration here, like a nod to Air and Space with an Amelia Earhart costume or dress your crew as Dorothy and friends (we're looking at you, National Museum of American History). 

photo: Katie Brown

Get Presidential

If you want to be truly presidential for Halloween, you have quite a few options to choose from (46, to be exact). Go historic with a Washington, Lincoln, or Adams. Or go obscure and teach your little one about Harrison (either of them), Tyler (got Congress to pass the annexation of Texas), or Hayes (the first president to use a telephone).

 

Sports Fan

If you're a fan of DC sports, chances are you already have some of the necessary pieces in your kiddo's closet to make this out fit work. Batter up to a Nationals costume, get goal-oriented with a Washington Capitals costume or root for Washington Football! 

—Meghan Yudes Meyers and Tricia Mirchandani

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