Costume design by Kat Brooks, photography by Team Lily, words by Carol Shih

For Halloween, we’re taking recent news — from the gender pay gap to the popularization of Rep. Maxine Waters’s (D-Calif.) “reclaiming my time” — and turning it into party-ready outfits.

Some are news-inspired, others are just plain punny. Better yet: They’re all DIY, doable and rich in references. (The hallmarks of a great costume.)

They’re also meant to inspire meaningful dialogue.

So take these ideas or drum up your own. After all, Oct. 31 is just another golden opportunity to showcase your ingenuity and talent.

Go forth and create.

Aviva Loeb is a digital designer at The Washington Post.
Aviva Loeb is a digital designer at The Washington Post.

Millennial Pink

Estimated cost: up to $100

Props: Jacket, hat, shirt and pants from Amazon. Water bottle, phone and shoes are model-owned. (The Lily is part of The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos.)

The conversation starter: Dusty pink, salmon pink and warm pink: these shades — and more — describe the millennial generation’s Instagram fascination with this color. And brands are capitalizing on it.

Model:Aviva Loeb is a digital designer at The Washington Post.

Donna McCullough is a graphic designer at The Washington Post.
Donna McCullough is a graphic designer at The Washington Post.

Clap back

Estimated cost: free

Props: Outfit is model-owned. Clap emoji was printed, cut out and taped on.

The conversation starter: According to Urban Dictionary, the authority on all slang, a clap back is returning an insult with another insult. It’s been around since 2015, but it’s becoming more prevalent these days.

Leilah Reese is a news aide for The Washington Post.
Leilah Reese is a news aide for The Washington Post.

Reclaiming my time

Estimated cost: $50 to $60

Props: Crown made from clock hands. Headband, wire, iron-on letters and watches from Michael’s. Shirt from Amazon. Additional thrifted watches.

The conversation starter: You heard the anthem, read the memes and watched the original video. Waters’s no-nonsense phrase made headlines back in August, when she chastised Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for wasting her time.

Amy King is the editor in chief and creative director of The Lily.
Amy King is the editor in chief and creative director of The Lily.

Running for office

Estimated cost: $25 to $50

Props: Thrifted suit from Ann Taylor Loft. Sweatbands from Amazon. Race bib designed from iStock.

The conversation starter: Women are increasingly running for office — a trend that picked up after the 2016 presidential election. This past spring, women-focused workshops like Rutgers University’s "Ready to Run” faced overwhelming interest.

Nikita Mandhani is a video editor for The Washington Post.
Nikita Mandhani is a video editor for The Washington Post.

Girl power

Estimated cost: up to $20

Props: Power cords were pre-owned.

The conversation starter: Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of toy company GoldieBlox, is changing the conversation around STEM subjects for young girls. Her company features toys, apps, books and videos that challenge gender stereotypes.

Jessica Bell is a developer at The Washington Post and producer at DC Tech Stories.
Jessica Bell is a developer at The Washington Post and producer at DC Tech Stories.

The DivaCup

Estimated cost: $20 to $50

Props: Thrifted purple glass. Menstrual cups from Amazon used as earrings. Feather boa from Michael’s. Dress is model-owned.

The conversation starter: The majority of women in the United States use menstrual products every month for decades of their lives, with little information about what’s in their tampon, pad or menstrual cup. Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) has introduced a bill which would require companies to provide a detailed list of ingredients.

Ashley Nguyen is a digital editor for The Lily (and the woman who writes your Monday newsletter).
Ashley Nguyen is a digital editor for The Lily (and the woman who writes your Monday newsletter).

Woman on the $20 bill

Estimated cost: $5 to $10

Props: $20 bill was designed from iStock, printed out and glued on posterboard. Poster board from Staples.

The conversation starter: Women haven’t appeared on U.S. paper currency since Martha Washington made a brief appearance on the $1 silver certificates over 100 years ago. Mnuchin will not commit to carrying out the Obama administration’s plan to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

Hannah Jewell is the pop culture host for The Washington Post and the author of “She Caused a Riot,” coming March 2018.
Hannah Jewell is the pop culture host for The Washington Post and the author of “She Caused a Riot,” coming March 2018.

The pay gap

Estimated cost:$20 to $40

Props: Thrifted shirt and wig from Amazon. Pants are model-owned.

The conversation starter: Women earn an average of 79 cents for every dollar paid to men. For black and Latina women, it’s worse. Recently, President Trump decided to halt an Obama-era policy aimed to shrink the pay gap for women and minorities.

Carol Shih is a producer for The Lily (and the woman who writes your Thursday newsletter).
Carol Shih is a producer for The Lily (and the woman who writes your Thursday newsletter).

Female statue

Estimated cost: $50

Props: Dress, wig and paint from Amazon.

The conversation starter: There’s a dearth of statues honoring women in the United States. An app called The Whole Story is trying to fix that. Using augmented reality, people can create and submit their own female statues.


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