Top Five Gillian Anderson-Inspired Halloween Costumes

I can’t say that you’ve definitely ever had a crush on Gillian Anderson — I mean it’s possible you haven’t — but probably you haven’t been able to ignore the cultural impact that she and/or her characters have had. Especially on queer ladies. And she’s a lady who likes other ladies in real life, even!

As the season of wearing costumes recreationally approaches, you may be interested in leveraging Gillian Anderson’s icon status for yourself. Fear not! We have you covered with a plethora of Gillian Anderson based costumes, from the well-loved and recognizable to the delightfully obscure. They’re all over the map, but you’ll want to make sure you have the one thing that they all have in common: red hair. In the past, I’ve gotten this wig and trimmed it as seemed appropriate. Good night and good luck.

1. Dana Scully Gillian Anderson

gillian anderson dana scully

The classic. This one is pretty easy to throw together at the last minute using some basic professional clothes — you just need a sober-colored skirt- or pantsuit, a white button-down, and some no-nonsense pumps. Don’t forget to forge yourself an FBI badge with some markers and pin it to your blazer. Bonus points for towering shoulderpads and some brownish-nude lipstick.

2. Punk Gillian Anderson

gillian anderson punk

Also very easy to throw together with some stuff lying at the bottom of your closet is this adorable homage to a younger, more idealistic Gillian Anderson who probably listened to a lot of The Clash and didn’t respect her curfew. If you’re using a wig, backcomb the hair to get it appropriately ratty. You have a lot of room to be creative with eyeliner style, so go wild. Please report back and share what you went with.

3. 2001 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Gillian Anderson

gillian anderson dress

For the BOLD and DARING Gillian Anderson fan. Why not test others’ knowledge of awards shows from the last decade or so and recreate this iconic early-oughts outfit? Probably you should marry the first person who recognizes what this outfit is, it will be worth the effort of wearing sunglasses at night. Seriously why was she wearing tinted sunglasses? The world may never know.

4. Morticia Addams Gillian Anderson

gillian anderson morticia

It’s possible that there’s another Morticia at this party, but it is extremely unlikely that there will be another Gillian-as-Morticia, and there’s nothing more satisfying than having a sliiiiiiightly higher-concept costume than someone else. Who will be your Cousin It? That’s up to you, not me. The important thing is the intense dress and the bold-lip-arched-eyebrow concept. Do you have a cigarette holder? Get your head in the game.

5. Miss Havisham As Played By Gillian Anderson


Speaking of high-concept, where were you in 2011? Was it watching the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations? If so, you would know that Gillian Anderson played Miss Havisham. This is truly an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Halloween costumes. It’s super intense and spooky and crazy and allows you to imperiously correct people if they don’t guess it right because they don’t get classic literature, and also Gillian Anderson. You definitely want some serious pallor here, and a uniquely ancient head of hair. Here’s what Gillian had to say about Miss Havisham’s hair, keep it in mind when you’re using method acting techniques to get into character.

“There was a specific grey I felt her hair should be, which they were able to find. It’s kind of opaque and translucent but at the same time holds light. It’s not white, it’s not too grey, it’s just this middle non-colour.”

Bonus: Moro of Princess Mononoke As Voiced By Gillian Anderson


You didn’t see this coming, did you? No, you did not. Probably because you had no idea that this character was voiced by Gillian Anderson, which is totally fair. This is an advanced-level Gillian Anderson costume, probably a good fit only for those who are looking forward to constantly explaining their costume concept everywhere they go. And/or are just super into wolves, whatever. Either way, you get a wolf onesie. Enjoy.

wolf onesie

Autostraddle cannot exist without the generous support of our readers. We need to raise $175k in the next 2 weeks — or we won't make it to Pride. And a world without Autostraddle would be a loss on so many levels. Help us keep this indie queer media boat afloat! Every dollar helps.

Go to our Fundraiser!


Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Actually I’ve only just now got around to Netflixing The X-Files from the beginning (because I figured I am no longer a tiny child who has any business being frightened of that show), and so far my main takeaway is how ADORABLY SMALL she looks in her oversized 1993 suits. But other than being adorably small in 1993 suits she is A) the sex and B) so fahking good in everything she does, and should probably be honoured with a costume tribute every day of the year.

  2. I DID dress up in school as Scully in 12th Grade for Halloween. Except, that I have very long blonde hair, and didn’t manage pumps…for some reason I figured a shirt, dress pants and a trenchcoat would automatically turn me into *the*FBI badge either.
    Shame nerdiness only got popular two decades later…

    this is the one year that i have decided on my halloween costume in advance. THE ONE YEAR. i’ve bought everything in advance!! I coordinated costumes with my roomate!!! i’ve figured out how i’m going to do my makeup and everything!!!
    and THEN you guys keep on throwing these brilliant costume idea lists at me and it’s making me reconsider ALL MY LIFE CHOICES

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!