EDITOR'S NOTE: In light of conversations around Halloween costumes and cultural appropriation, we encourage readers to check out the arguments against dressing as Moana characters for Halloween.
It's no secret that even a year after its release, Moana is one of the most loved "princess movies" ever. Although she's technically a chief's daughter, Moana lacks almost all of the traditional princess movie qualities (like, you know, waiting to be saved by a handsome prince), making her an empowering and inspiring example to girls and adults alike. If you're wanting to learn how to dress like Moana for Halloween (because seriously, she's not just a hero to kids), you'll make a statement while looking conveniently awesome whether you've got a party to attend, candy to pass out, kids to impress, or an island to save. Moana is brave, strong, beautiful, self-sacrificing, and a great singer — what better subject for your Halloween shenanigans this year?
If the ocean is calling you too, you're in luck, because dressing like Motunui's princess is a fairly easy task. Although you could likely pick up a Moana costume at any costume store, making the costume using pieces you own, buy new, or find at thrift stores adds another layer of uniqueness to this amazing costume idea. You only need a few pieces to make the basic costume and from there, you can add weather appropriate layers, makeup, and hair to complete the look.
1. The Skirt
To start the costume, you'll need a tan grass skirt ($7, Oriental Trading). Although it's hard to tell exactly what Moana's skirt is made of, it has flowy layers that look convincingly like a grass skirt. From there, you can add a layer to give the skirt more coverage and to achieve the layered look of Moana's skirt.
2. The Top
From there, add a red tube top ($10, Amazon). It can be a simple bandeau top, or something with a little bit of embellishment like Moana's top. If you want to get a little crafty, find a scrap of crocheted lace fabric and sew it across the top of your tube top to make the shirt a bit more accurate.
3. The Seashell Necklace
Now you've got the basics of your costume, but the smaller pieces are perhaps the most important pieces of Moana's outfit. Her seashell necklace held the heart of Te Fiti, but yours can be a simple seashell necklace ($20, Etsy) (you know, without any magical powers).
You could even find an oval shaped rock, paint it green, and call it Te Fiti's heart if you want to go all out.
4. The Oar
If you live near the water, you may already have an oar on hand, but on the off chance that you don't paddle your own canoe regularly, knowing how to make an oar like the one Moana sails from island to island with is an important piece of your costume.
You can learn how to make an oar from a broom handle and a few sheets of cardboard using this Youtube tutorial from The Prop Master's Handbook. You'll be amazed at what you can create using duct tape, brown paint, and cardboard.
Although Moana doesn't wear shoes in the movie, unless you live on a tropical island, you'll probably want to at least find a pair of gladiator sandals ($23, Target) to accompany you on your Halloween festivities.
Whether you're called to a kid's trick-or-treat party, an adults only shindig, or you're having a relaxing evening at home with your family, dressing up as Disney's most empowered and (dare I say) un-princess-y princess might be your best idea of the night. Who knows how far you'll go.
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