Halloween is fast approaching, and with it comes the opportunity to step into the shoes (or hooves) of a one-of-a-kind New Jersey icon. For example, these DIY costumes will help you show your Jersey pride on Halloween. Plus, these costumes are even cuter in miniature form. So come on, on October 31, get your Jersey Halloween costumes on!
Bruce Springsteen (Born in the U.S.A. Era)
No one embodies the spirit of New Jersey quite like Bruce Springsteen, and most residents of this fine state worship him for it (and rightly so, in my humble opinion). Bruce presents the opportunity to throw on a bandana, rip the sleeves off your shirt, and demand that people call you “The Boss.” There are clearly no negatives here.
What You’ll Need: You most likely have everything you’ll need to become The Boss sitting right in your closet. The basic Bruce costume simply requires a pair of light-wash jeans, a white T-shirt, and a red bandana. If you’d like to jazz your costume up a bit (and show off those guns), swap the white tee for a plaid or denim shirt with the sleeves cut off. Accessorize with some aviator sunglasses, and a guitar if you have it.
Group Ideas: The Boss rarely hits the stage without the E Street Band behind him, and you don’t have to foray into the ’80s without your crew either. Though some band members are better known than others — Clarence Clemons, Steven Van Zandt, Patti Scialfa — there are plenty of Halloween costumes for all of your friends to fill!
Standing proud outside of Werbany Tire Town in Gloucester Township, New Jersey’s very own Uniroyal Gal sports a superhero costume and proudly hoists a tire in her left hand. Fun fact: The Uniroyal Gal was reportedly based on Jackie Kennedy.
What You’ll Need: This Halloween costume calls for a few basic pieces with some DIY touches. You’ll need a blue skirt, red long-sleeved shirt, and white t-shirt. Create stars of various sizes out of white felt, and use fabric glue to secure the stars onto your skirt. Pick up some gray and red fabric paint to decorate the white T-shirt with Nitro Girl’s design, and layer the T-shirt over the red shirt. Be sure to wear white gloves, white knee-high boots, a headband decorated with silver stars, and a black wig styled into a bob with bangs. And don’t forget your tire!
Group Ideas: Uniroyal Gal is the female counterpart of the famous Muffler Man roadside attraction — and there is a Muffler Man (now holding green carpet) in Jersey City. Sounds like an ideal couples costume!
To millions of TV viewers in the late ’90s, Tony Soprano was New Jersey. And, if we’re being honest, this isn’t the worst representation we’ve had (*cough* Jersey Shore *cough*). The mafia boss is one of the most iconic TV characters ever to appear on screen, and his classic, casual outfits make him a great choice for anyone looking to dress up like its 1999.
What You’ll Need: Tony’s go-to shirt was a loose-fitting, patterned button-down, in any color, with elbow-length sleeves, paired with black pants and black dress shoes. Accessorize with a cigar, gold jewelry, a capicola sandwich — and a cold, hard stare at anyone who tries to cross you — and you’re good to go.
Group Ideas: The mafia is not just one man, and there were plenty of amazing characters that kept Tony company. Have a pal throw a little baby powder in the sides of their hair, and — voila! — instant Paulie Walnuts!
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more classically cool New Jersey figure than Frank Sinatra. For those of you looking for an excuse to get fancy, Sinatra is the way to go. Doo-be-doo-be-BOO!
What You’ll Need: A Hoboken native, Sinatra was the epitome of cool. To pull off this look, you’ll need a 1960s-style suit and a matching fedora – Sinatra always wore a fedora, so this piece is key. And if you really want to channel the suave singer, blue contacts are a must. Hey, they didn’t call him Ol’ Blue Eyes for nothing!
Group Ideas: Frank Sinatra was a member of the infamous Rat Pack, whose notorious members include Humphrey Bogart, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Pete Lawford and Joey Bishop.
Jon Bon Jovi (’80s Era)
Arguably the most fun costume on the list, Jon Bon Jovi embraced all of the crazy style choices and hairspray — there was a lot of hairspray —that the ’80s had to offer. For that bravery alone, he deserves some recognition on the only day that it’s socially acceptable to replicate his look.
What You’ll Need: This one requires a wig. A voluminously feathered, blonde wig, styled with tons of hairspray (of course). Grab the most insanely patterned vest you can find — no undershirt necessary — and pair that with skin-tight black leather pants. Accessory-wise, almost nothing is off-limits here, but must-haves include a scarf fashioned into a headband, layered necklaces, and some funky earrings. Add in a statement belt, and some black leather boots to finish off the look.
Group Ideas: Bon Jovi is band, so you’ve got some options. But with only four members besides Jon Bon Jovi himself, you might have to have your friends audition for their parts.
Jay and Silent Bob
The drug-dealing, metal-loving slackers, played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, first earned cult hero status in Smith’s beloved 1994 hit Clerks. The characters’ names adorn Smith’s Red Bank comic-book store, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash.
What You’ll Need: For Jay, you’ll need a long blonde wig, a dark beanie, a graphic tee, and an oversized yellow or black hooded zip up. Throw on some loose black athletic pants and a pair of black sneakers to finish off the look. Silent Bob is equally as casual, in a black T-shirt, light-wash jeans, a long black trench coat, and black sneakers. Finish off your Silent Bob look with a light khaki snapback, shoulder-length brown wig, dark beard, and unlit cigarette dangling from your lips (candy cigs should do the trick).
Group Ideas: The dynamic duo came across some interesting characters on their travels, any of which make great additionshal. There’s the muse from Dogma, Dante from Clerks, and, of course, the criminal all-girl gang from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
A Plate of Disco Fries
Disco fries are a thing of beauty. French fries smothered in brown gravy and topped with melted mozzarella cheese, this Jersey institution is quite possibly one of the most delicious creations to come out of the food-obsessed Garden State. It also makes a fantastic costume.
What You’ll Need: Cover yourself with yellow pool noodles, paint them with brown splatters for gravy, and then glue on some white felt “cheese.”
Group Ideas: Sure, Disco Fries are a meal unto themselves, but it doesn’t hurt to add some ketchup, or maybe pair them with a milkshake! (In Halloween costume form, in case that wasn’t clear.)
The Jersey Boys (aka, The Four Seasons)
The Four Seasons were one of the most successful bands of their time, and their music has proven to be as timeless as your costume will be this year. The Jersey Boys kept it classy in well-tailored, black suits.
What You’ll Need: Four identical black suits are necessary. Opt for a retro fit, which is a bit tighter than your modern suits, and throw a white dress shirt and black bow tie underneath. Most importantly, you have to gel your hair within an inch of its life. This will come easily to some of you who went to high school in Jersey. (C’mon, you know who you are.)
Group Ideas: There were four Jersey Boys, so it’s a built-in group Halloween costume! And it wouldn’t hurt to harmonize a bit, so people know that you’re the Four Seasons — and not four caterers.
The Jersey Devil
Legend has it that the Jersey Devil roams around South Jersey’s Pine Barrens in all of its shrieking, livestock-badgering glory. Described by those who claim to have encountered the Jersey Devil first-hand, this creature is said to have a build similar to that of a kangaroo, but with huge bat-like wings and the head of a goat. This costume goes in the will-terrify-children category, especially when you factor in the recent sighting in Galloway Township.
What You’ll Need: The wings are key, and can be made using wire hangers; then you’ll need very thin black fabric and fabric glue. Though the actual color of the Jersey Devil is unconfirmed, we think black clothing is a safe bet. Attach a long, forked tail and be sure to pick up a goat mask to complete the look. For some extra fun, the Jersey Devil is known for its blood-curdling scream.
Group Ideas: With no known accomplices, the Jersey Devil is a bit of a loner. But if your friends wants to dress up as your victims, all they need is some fake blood — and a convincing, terrified expression on their faces.
Parkway Exit Sign
The easiest way to identify where a New Jerseyan is from is to ask which Garden State Parkway exit they use. We’ve all seen the big green signs and felt the comfort of coming home; or the excitement of finally reaching our favorite vacation spot. Now, it’s time to rep your favorite place in Jersey for all the world (or maybe just friends) to see.
What You’ll Need: For this Halloween costume, get a large piece of green foam board and some white paint. Cut the foam board into a rectangle, paint on the exit number and information of your choosing, and you’re done!
Group Ideas: There are seemingly unlimited options on the parkway — from Cape May to the Thruway — so you might want to buy that foam board in bulk.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © AnGennadiy Poznyakov/ Dollar Photo Club