A few weeks ago, my daughter and I sat down to watch the Netflix original series, Stranger Things. Like the rest of the world, we were hooked after one episode. The characters' perfectly period '80s garb inspired me to put together some pieces that would be perfect for Stranger Things Halloween costumes for babies and kids (because grown-ups started cosplaying Stranger Things on the day it was released.)
I grew up with the iconic '80s movies to which Stranger Things plays homage. I kept telling my daughter, "This reminds me of E.T." or "This part is just like Stand By Me." The series made me nostalgic for some of my favorite movies such as Gremlins, Poltergeist, Carrie, and The Goonies.
What makes Stranger Things the perfect inspiration for Halloween costumes and cosplay is that the characters' midwestern '80s attire is just so darn hideously realistic. It's far-removed from the stereotypical neon, lycra, leotard, off-the-shoulder and side ponytail look everyone falls back on for their '80s-themed parties. Stranger Things kindly reminds us that the '80s were more than sequined and lace gloves a'la Michael Jackson and Madonna or the hot pink florescence of Miami Vice.
Here is how you can dress your baby up in realistic '80s attire this Halloween inspired by the most memorable characters on Stranger Things.
Turn your baby into the baddest kid in Hawkins, Indiana. Start with a cute pink smocked dress, a blue jacket, some very '80s tube socks and some white sneakers. You can finish off the look with a blonde wig. If you need extra Baby Eleven inspiration, check out photographer Laura Izumikawa's baby, Joey, who is nap time dress-up star on Instagram.
Who can resist Dustin's adorable smile? You can make your own Baby Dustin by pairing a graphic tee, with some jeans, a brown jacket and top it all off with his signature red, white, and blue trucker cap.
For more inspiration, check out how Laura Izumikawa dressed baby Joey during one of her recent naps.
Barb had one of the smallest roles in Stranger Things, but she's arguably one of the most popular characters. Dress your baby like Barb with a plaid ruffled onesie, a pair of corduroy pants, some big '80s-style glasses, and a little red wig.
Check out baby Joey's "Barb look" courtesy of her mom, Laura Izumikawa.
Mike rocks the iconic '80s look while nursing a huge crush on Eleven. Recreate Mike's look with a little khaki canvas jacket, a striped tee, some totally '80s corduroy pants and pop a walkie-talkie in the stroller for the full effect.
Steve is the iconic '80s jock and bully. But I'd like to think he redeemed himself a little at the end, and that is how I want to remember him. To dress your baby up like the nicer Christmas Steve, you will need a Christmas sweater, a red polo onesie, and some beige corduroy pants. The Steve look would not be complete with a wig to sport his signature hair.
The kids would have never figured out the Upside-Down with the help of their teacher Mr. Clarke. Your baby can be Mr. Clarke this Halloween with a dress shirt onesie, black tie, sweater vest, a pair of corduroy pants, and a mustache pacifier.