Create An Epic RBG Costume For Kids Using What's Already In Their Closet

by Cat Bowen
Originally Published: 

Halloween is my favorite time of year, but it can also quickly become prohibitively expensive. One great way of making things more economically manageable is to buy costuming that can be re-worn for regular, day-to-day clothing. The key to doing this is by building a costume out of everyday fashion that your children will wear over and over. Personally, I find that making a homemade Halloween costume for your kid, using clothes they already own, is one of the easiest and most affordable ways of putting together a memorable holiday look.

There are lots of good strategies for making costumes out of regular clothing. You can either choose a character and build the costume around that, or you and your kid can imagine a whole new character and build a costume around their existing closet. (Think a broom and swimming goggles for a witch who can also fly (swim?) underwater.) To give you some ideas, Primary, a brand that sells basic clothing for kids, has created a series of DIY templates for costumes ranging from RBG to Rosie The Riveter, making costuming your kid even simpler.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This RBG realness is made using a knee-length long sleeve black dress layered over a white collared shirt. Pin some white lace at the collar for that judicial look and don't be shy about accessories. You'll need glasses, earrings, and don't skimp on a fabulous statement necklace — a RBG staple.

Rosie The Riveter

This no-sew Rosie The Riveter costume just calls for a blue collared onesie and joggers in a matching blue hue (to make it look like baby's wearing a jumpsuit), plus a red bandana. Props of you can get your baby's arm in a position that somewhat resembles her showing off her baby muscles. Bonus: Should you need it, the bandana works as a napkin or makeshift burp cloth should you need it during your Halloween outing.

Kiki From Kiki's Delivery Service

Courtesy of Cat Bowen

Two years ago, my daughter was obsessed with the movie Kiki's Delivery Service by Hiyao Miyazaki. She watched that DVD every single day for months on end, eventually quoting huge swaths of it. When it came time to pick out a Halloween costume, no one was surprised she wanted to be Kiki.

I bought her a purple long-sleeve dress (Kiki wears short sleeves, but it can be really cold in New York over Halloween), a pair of gray sweater tights from the local dance store, and topped it off with a red ribbon for her hair. The broom she carried was handmade by me, and she toted around a stuffed black cat candy bucket around with her. It was so simple, and so cute.

My daughter wore that dress until this summer when it was finally too short in the sleeves for her to wear any longer.

Cardi B

Yes, you can have your very own Bodack Baby by dressing your baby up as Cardi B. All you need is a little craftiness, a little patience, and a yellow tee to recreate the rapper's bejewled top shown above. They have included instructions to make a facsimile of Cardi B's famous jewelry from the video, and it is seriously one of the cutest costumes I've ever seen. Guaranteed, you'll see more than a few of these in the Bronx this year, and I am here for it. They've even included directions on how to make the baby blue headwrap and gold hoop earrings so that they're safe for babies and toddlers, and it really completes the whole look.

The point is, don't feel like you have to go all out and drop serious cash on an elaborate costume that you'll only wear once. Chances are, there are tons of creative ways to use the clothes that are already at home, whether they're pulled from your kid's closet or even your own.

This article was originally published on