TAKE IT FROM SOMEONE who has dressed up as Madonna on three different Halloweens: She is a fount of easy and amazing costume ideas. Her look is so versatile! You can repurpose last year's sexed-up Sandy from Grease outfit into Madonna's iconic "Papa Don't Preach" vampy black bustier and capris. Have a bloodied zombie getup from three years ago? Paint a tooth gap between your front two chompers... Madonna the Dead! Only own lingerie? Madge approves of this fashion choice—you could say you're the Material Girl in dozens of iterations. Hell, she even dressed up as a Boy Scout at the GLAAD Awards in 2013—and those unis are a dime a dozen at thrift stores.
With 30-plus years of noteworthy outfits to choose from, Ms. Ciccone could inspire Halloween costumes for the rest of your life. The following are just a few ways of channeling your inner Queen of Pop. Just remember this handy motto: When in doubt, let your butt hang out.
Like a Madonna
This one's immediately recognizable as "Madonna." Combine tutu, bustier, gloves, belts, and baubles—all easily found at your local thrift shop. Rat up the hair, apply the beauty mark, and tubularize the makeup. And if there's another Madonna at the Halloween party? Just claim to be the nearly '80s-identical Cyndi Lauper. TWOFER!
Blond Ambition Madonna
For her 1990 tour, Jean Paul Gaultier dressed Madonna like a drive-thru cashier with I Dream of Jeannie hair, and girl rocked cone boobs like you wouldn't imagine. The look's easily recreated with a Bluetooth headset, high ponytail, taupe Spanx onesie, black tights, and DIY cone bra (shellac some conical coffee filters to stick on a tired old bra).
Madge always means business. Find yourself a large power suit à la the "Express Yourself" video (check the men's section at Goodwill), finger curl your hair, and wear a corset beneath that huge blazer. Accessorize with monocle. When partygoers inquire about your costume, respond only by vogueing or thrusting your crotch. For maximum biznessing, carry around a briefcase full of Sex books or cassingles.
Combining Desperately Seeking Susan Madonna with Twin Peaks Donna Hayward is too delicious to resist—bad girl '80s meets good girl '90s. With a tiny bit of crafting you can convert your Dickies work jacket into Susan's kickass pyramid jacket, then layer it over a plaid skirt and cashmere sweater. Accessorize Susan style. Garnish with cigarette.
This sounds like another silly mashup, but srsly, Madonna has pretty much worn the Godfather's iconic tux and made offers a person couldn't refuse (see: so many stage kisses). Rent or thrift a black tuxedo jacket, tie, and white starched shirt, and then put a red rose in the lapel and cotton in the mouth. Pants and lapcat are optional.
Hirsute Madonna—draw on huge Who's That Girl eyebrows and apply armpit-hair merkins.
The Madonna Issue