The Best NYC-Themed Costume Ideas, Halloween 2021 Edition

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As most of us learned last year, you can’t stop Halloween in NYC—even if it means elaborate candy-delivery systems to keep things safe! (If you do decide to venture out this year, take precautions—like wearing a mask—to stay healthy.) Looking for some Halloween costume inspiration? We of course love a good New York City-themed costume, and have rounded up our favorite ideas for 2021. From family costumes to baby costumes and lots of easy costumes, this is how to show your NYC pride!

photo: Katy Walter

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Channeling your inner RBG is never a bad idea. The Supreme Court Justice hailed from Flatbush, Brooklyn, and it's easy enough to pull together a costume on your own, but you can also get the basics here. Of course, another option is to go the Notorious RBG route and add a slightly askew gold crown. And for the first-timer? Can't go wrong with this

P.S. Let's not forget that Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor is also an NYC native, who was born and raised in the South Bronx—so you have your choice of impressive jurists!

 

photo: photo: Ashley Bailey

King Kong Tableau

Have a few trick or treaters you need to outfit? A trio of the Empire State Building, King Kong and damsel in distress (or not) is a formidable ensemble. This particular iteration is the work of Ashley Bailey, the inspired Atlanta area photographer and mom behind the site "Stellaween." The month-long celebration of October's biggest day started with Bailey dressing and documenting daughter Stella in a new homemade costume each day, with a pair of twins joining in a few years ago. (You can see Bailey's shots of other people's kids at her site, September Morn Photography.)

photo: Vy H. Via Yelp

Little Island

A little high concept and definitely not for the crafting-challenged?  Sure, but we think a whole bunch of plastic funnels with some little trees and people on them would be instantly recognizable. 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Ghostbuster

Genius sibling idea! Get a brown jumpsuit, a backpack, some hose and a DIY Ghostbusters patch and you're good to go.  For a family costume, incorporate Slimer, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man, Zuul, etc. 

Fearless Girl

Even though it involves some potentially messy bronze face makeup and maybe spraypainting some clothes, we think it could be worth the trouble. We bet you know a fearless girl or two who could rock this costume hard. Bonus points if you do a family theme with other members taking on the roles of the Charging Bull, a tourist, stock trader, etc. 

photo: photo: Ashley Bailey

New York's Finest

We don't mean any disrespect. Of course cops don't just sit around eating donuts. But how cute is this costume? NYPD for the win!

photo: photo: Ashley Bailey

Hipster

Another costume idea that's open to a lot of interpretation, the Hispter is a little more subtle. This is Bailey's take on it, and we think the mustache solution she came up with is genius.

 

 

 

 

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Subway Car

An MTA train car is a quintessential NYC choice for Halloween, and it's a project, but an easy one. Nice touches include personalizing with your neighborhood's main line,  or with your child's initial. (Yes, there can be an "H" or "T" train.) Pizza Rat really takes this version over the top. 

photo: East Midtown Partnership

Statue of Liberty

Another costume that's simple, easy, instantly recognizable, and can be worn with absolutely anything underneath. An aqua-colored sheet, foam crown and torch and you're done.

photo: Ashley Bailey

Sesame Street

Why pick one character from the Street when you can be all of them and the Street itself?

 

Times Square Elmo

Another, more subversive take on the Sesame Street crowd, the Times Square Elmo is easy to achieve. You just need an Elmo costume that looks a little...wrong. Thrift stores are filled with Elmo costumes that have seen better days. Give your child a five-dollar bill and a bad attitude and you're all set.

 

 

 

iPhone

OK, obviously this is not a costume applicable to NYC alone, but we're going to claim it because A.) New Yorkers have to be some of the most phone-dependent beings and B.) this costume is so cute, easy, and a dream to get around.

 

Bagel et. al

This family went all-in with the NYC-themed costumes: Bagel with cream cheese, Metrocard, Statue of Liberty. (Click through to see the full ensemble.)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

We're  betting at least one kid in the Bronx or Queens steps out in this. (If you see them, please send photos.) A hard sell? Maybe. But maybe not—AOC is pretty inspiring. A nice companion to Fearless Girl, this is super easy to pull together (especially if your kid has long dark hair). Still, some bright red lipstick, a House of Representatives Seal or Green New Deal material, and you're good to go. 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Naked Cowboy

Easy. Hilarious. Cute. What more could you ask for? Obviously an indoor costume only, this one is perfect for your diaper-wearing tot. Just scrawl "Naked Cowboy" on his (or her) butt, throw on some kiddie cowboy boots, a hat and ukulele and call it a night.

Mimi O’Connor

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