Costume inspiration from the National Archives!

Still trying to think of a clever costume to wear on Halloween? We’ve listed some of our favorite suggestions below. (And if anyone actually takes us up on these suggestions, please send us a picture!)

I Like Ike!

Are you a power couple? How about combining the the upcoming election with some historic campaign fun into a matched costume?

Ike and Mamie wave from the back platform of the campaign train. September 27, 1952.

This costume might be the easiest! You’ll just need two bathrobes and a hair ribbon to recreate a lighthearted moment on Ike and Mamie’s whistle stop campaign when their train stopped in Salisbury, NC. Mamie persuaded Ike to let the press snap their in dressing gowns. Bonus points if you make “I like Ike” buttons and hand them out at the party.

America the Beautiful

Another option for a pair of friends is to go as an unfinished Mount Rushmore.

Washington completed, Jefferson in progress, 09/1935 (ARC 5604020)

Take a white board and sketch out a mountain side. Cut two curves in the top corner to rest your chins on. Apply white costume make up liberally to your faces. The person portraying George might need a wig. For the unfinished Jefferson, some white play dough stuck to your face should help convey a sense of unfinished stone. This costume might be easiest to manage with just two people, but you could skip the Village People costume and do all four heads of the completed version.

In honor of American Archives Month

Tell everyone you were too wrapped up in your work at the National Archives to put together a costume!

An Archives staff member shows off the cellulose acetate used for the lamination of documents. (ARC 3493252)

Seriously, it’s a new twist on the librarian costume. And then you can tell everyone that October is American Archives Month!

And finally, if you like to keep things simple, how about . . .

The Classic Kids Look

You can always go the classic route, with a spooky witch costume like Caroline Kennedy’s. It’s fun to be creative with capes, dresses, pointy shoes, and tall hats in dark and mysterious colors. You can also pick any sort of character and make it scary, like John Kennedy, Jr.’s creepy clown garb. (Or you could go as JFK himself! Find a snappy suit and coif your hair just right—voilá!)

Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr., visit their father in the Oval Office, October 31, 1963. ARC194260

Happy Halloween!

One thought on “Costume inspiration from the National Archives!

  1. While the person portraying George Washington might need a wig, one interesting fact is that, contrary to popular misconception, Washington never wore a wig. He wore nothing over his natural hair.

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