Due to *gestures widely* all of this, chances are you haven’t been planning an elaborate costume for your annual Halloween party.
You may feel a bit stressed or annoyed, then, when your workplace announces a mandatory Zoom party, or when your group of friends decides last-minute that they actually do want to do a virtual costume contest.
Not to fear – we’ve put together a list of quick and easy costume ideas that allow you to utilize things you may already have at home, so you don’t have to leave the house or wait for weeks for your order to arrive. And, technically, if you’re on Zoom you won’t even need the bottom half!
We decided to celebrate our Asian pride by making all of these costumes Asian/Asian American-centric, because why not? We all remember that our only Asian representation as kids came in the form of the Yellow Ranger or Bruce Lee – we might as well take advantage of some of the iconic figures we know and love today, as well as some classics.
For the past few years, every workplace has had at least one Asian American employee show up as comedian Ali Wong, with their cat-eye glasses looking sharp and a smothered pillow pushing that body-con dress to its limits. What’s perfect about this costume is that it’s so simple and requires no frantic online purchases, yet people will instantly know who you’re supposed to be. And if they don’t, you can just crack a crude joke about pregnancy or childbirth to jog their memories.
Zoom background: Stage
Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender
To celebrate the fact that ATLA is finally available for binge-viewing on Netflix, why not shave your head and draw on an arrow?! While making the decision to chop off your locks has always given people pause in the past, we’re in a pandemic, baby. You’re not going anywhere anytime soon, and you have no one in your house to impress. For a fun trick, you can aim your fan at a nearby curtain or piece of paper and say you’re airbending.
Zoom background: The sky, Appa flying in the air, or Zuko coming after you so he can capture you and regain his honor
Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek
This one will be easy if you already own a yellow sweater. All you have to do is throw it over a black shirt (extra points if you have a turtleneck), print out and tape on the Starfleet logo, and settle into your seat. Congratulations – you’re navigating the Enterprise! If you get a chance to talk, a simple George Takei “oh myyyy” will suffice.
Zoom background: The bridge aboard the USS Enterprise
Lara Jean Covey from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
I dressed up as Lara Jean a couple of years ago after deciding on my costume two days before Halloween, so trust me when I say that this one is easy. Because our favorite teen rom-com heroine wears so many (cute) outfits, you can pick your favorite. What really ties this look together are the props: snap a hair scrunchie on your wrist or tie your hair up, and have your handwritten love letters ready to show off. You can also use this opportunity to write actual letters to send to friends you haven’t seen since March.
Zoom background: Lara Jean’s bedroom or shirtless Peter Kavinsky in the hot tub
I’m piggybacking off of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before here, but the yogurt drink made another appearance on Netflix in 2020 when The Half of It came out. I love the idea of throwing on a red hat to act as the top, and all you have to do to complete the look is tape the Yakult label on a cream-colored shirt. Having a box of Lactaid to wave around is a nice touch.
Zoom background: Any scene where Yakult is present in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before or The Half of It, or just a picture of Yakult on grocery store shelves
Group Costume: The Cast of Parasite
Was it really this year that Parasite took home armfuls of Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director?! A Google search tells me that it is, which means it’s timely to dress up as the cast with your pals. All you have to do is mimic the iconic movie poster by placing a black bar where your eyes are – get creative with this one. One of you can find a large rock in your backyard and lug it in. You can also enjoy some Korean ramyeon (aka ramen) together while you hang out virtually.
Zoom background: The background from the movie poster
Group Costume: BTS or Blackpink
K-pop has taken the world by storm and is especially relevant this year since numerous groups have 2020 comebacks. While some of these groups’ costumes are complicated, it’s not difficult to find a group look that everyone can work with. Because BTS’s latest single is Dynamite, your group of seven can easily coordinate pastel-colored outfits. Have more than seven (BTS) or four (Blackpink) in your group? Everyone else can be ARMY or Blinks at your concert!
Zoom background: Any still from the music video of your choice