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How to DIY a “Yellowjackets” Halloween Costume

So you want to be a Yellowjackets character this Halloween, but you’re not sure where to start. I’m here to help! Even if you’re on a budget, if you take the time to do a DIY approach, you can pull off a great Yellowjackets costume that’ll be perfect for the gay Halloween gathering, going out, or just photos with your friends or partner.

My approach to making your own Halloween costumes is a little mix of lite DIY elements that don’t require too many skills and taking the time to search for pieces at thrift stores or on sale online. I also tend to prefer elements/clothing that can be used beyond the costume! Sometimes, it’s easier — and can be cheaper, in some cases — to just buy a ready-made costume. But they’re also often cheaply made and will only be worn maybe once or twice. Spirit Halloween works in a pinch, but there’s something I enjoy so much about the process of cobbling together my own costume and giving it some personal touches. So today, I’m going to tell you how to put together your own Yellowjackets Halloween costume.

Yes, you can buy the officially licensed Yellowjackets soccer uniform from Spirit for $45. It only comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large (and in my experience, Spirit costumes run small). But what’s the fun in that! The best Halloween costumes are the ones that require a little more creativity.

The official Yellowjackets varsity jacket, by the way, has been sold out ever since they did the initial limited drop. I’m lucky enough to have a friend that gifted me one for my birthday, so I can dress up as a Yellowjacket at the drop of a hat. You can sign up for notifications for when it’s released again, but that’s likely not going to happen before this Halloween, which is right around the corner.

So! There are a few routes you can go with a DIY Yellowjackets uniform. If you want to dress like a specific character, I made a fashion guide for adult and teen Taissa that could provide some inspiration. If you want to be Other Tai, just cover your face in dirt and maybe carry a fake heart around (RIP Biscuit!).

It’d be really easy to dress as adult Misty. All you need are: transparent frame fake glasses ($9), cat or owl print scrubs ($15, but you can get them for cheaper by shopping in person at CVS or Walgreens), and — if you don’t have her signature curls naturally — a wig (with some finessing, I think you could make a wig meant for a Bad Sandy Grease costume work).

Adult Nat would be easy, too. If you’ve got a bit of a goth/riot grrrl aesthetic, you might even already own some components for it in your closet, but if not: ripped black denim shorts (on sale for $30), a Pixies shirt ($27), and black Doc Martens ($170). Live somewhere chilly? Throw some ripped black tights underneath.

You could also channel Van in a co-ed naked soccer shirt ($24) and cargo shorts, but I regret to inform you that my fiancee already epitomized this look soooo good luck trying to beat her:

This season, we got to meet Adult Lottie, and she would make a GREAT costume. A Morticia Adams wig ($25) can be reworked here. And then all you need is a flowy dark yellow kaftan ($28) and an air of mommi mystery.

If you want to be Adult Shauna, I think you should carry around Bruce the goat ($16)

But if you’re willing to go the extra mile for a Yellowjackets Halloween costume — or even better, execute a group costume with your pals — there are two routes you can go: Antler Queen/a cannibal group costume or a Yellowjackets soccer team group costume. I’ll break down options for both.


Antler Queen/Cannibal Yellowjackets Halloween Costume

A pair of antlers on a mannequin head

After a failed attempt at making my own antler crown for my birthday last year, I went with Etsy. There are some very realistic — and therefore expensive — options like this $125 antler crown. I went with something less realistic but both cheaper and also less obtrusive. I didn’t want to be knocking into people or things with giant antlers, so this $33 crown was for me. At $89, I found a glam one that falls in the middle of that price range.

To channel season one’s Doomcoming, pair the antler crown with a floral dress. If you want something as close as possible to the style Lottie actually wears when we first see her place antlers atop her head (which, if you remember correctly, was actually Laura Lee’s dress!), look for a white dress with pink flowers that buttons up. The goal is a Laura Ashley-style dress without paying Laura Ashley prices.

Lottie wears an antler crown in Yellowhackets

The “Doomcoming” episode of Yellowjackets lends itself SUPER well to a group costume! Gather your fellow cannibal queers and shop together for your bacchanal looks! Fall/winter is not the easiest time to find floral printed dresses, but you could hit up some thrift shops or sales sections to find clothing from last spring/summer. Online, you might be able to find some options, too. Or, if you are able to find something cheap enough that you don’t care about destroying it or already own a dress you were planning on getting rid of anyway, then you can really lean in a add rips and dirt stains (with costume makeup or makeup you already own) to make it look like you’ve been running and howling through the woods. Make your own flower crowns as a group activity or buy them premade from Etsy ($19+).

In season two, the fantasy sequence portraying the Yellowjackets having a Greek feast as they’re quite literally eating Jackie would also lend itself well to a group costume. Just get yourself a Greek goddess costume ($41) or make one from bedding. Add a gold leaf crown ($38) and get a prop gold goblet ($5) and FILL IT WITH BLOOD.

the Yellowjackets having a Greek feast

On that note, no matter what path you take here, fake blood is really going to take the costume to the next cannibal level. I somehow always own at least a few tubes of fake blood at all times. You never know when you might need to whip up a last minute costume, and fake blood comes in handy for that. Slather some on your faces to make it look like your crew has just finished a tasty meal. Spirit Halloween has a lot of fake blood options, but I like the spray-on best ($8).

Soccer Yellowjackets Halloween Costume

A navy tee with yellow trimDon’t want to go the Spirit Halloween route but still want to make your own Yellowjackets-esque soccer costume? Easy! Couple a customizable sports shirt with a team sticker. Or get a plain navy t-shirt from Michael’s add yellow iron-on numbers and letters spelling out Yellowjackets, your name, or a character’s name. Buying with a group? You can buy these navy shirts with yellow trim in bulk. Hit up the sales rack at Dick’s Sporting Goods for navy athletic shorts (or get these $14 mesh shorts from Target) and wear athletic socks and sneakers that you perhaps already own! Youth soccer balls — while maybe not regulation size — are cheaper and good enough for a costume. Or maybe you can borrow a soccer ball from the soccer gay in your life. Or maybe you ARE the soccer gay in your life and own a lot of these things already. Throw some yellow ribbons in your hair like some of the Yellowjackets did at the pep rally before their lives went sideways.

On that note, to spice up this group costume, you COULD still apply fake blood. Why not? Get creative. I’m delighted by the mere thought of a bunch of queers dressed like cannibalistic soccer players. Warms my heart.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 817 articles for us.

5 Comments

  1. Too many friends moved out of town which is sad because I want to throw the Yellowjackets bacchanal of my dreams and serve this charcuterie platter https://ghoulatheart.com/amputated-appetizer/ (they also have an excellent brain slaw and grub platter) and turn my macabre chic studio into a creepy cabin. Plus I don’t yet own a life sized skeleton and that would be a good excuse to buy one, you know? A well, a ghoul can dream

  2. Create your own ‘Yellowjackets’ Halloween costume inspired by the hit TV show! Start with a rugged jacket resembling john dutton quilted jackets for that wilderness vibe. Pair it with distressed jeans or cargo pants and sturdy boots for a survivalist look. Accessorize with faux wilderness gear like a compass, flashlight, and first aid kit. Complete the ensemble with faux dirt and blood stains for that authentic ‘Yellowjackets’ survivor aesthetic. Have fun recreating the suspenseful wilderness atmosphere of the show!

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