Your Best Halloween Costume Ever: How To Throw A Private Party Dressed As Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard

I meant to post this post yesterday but was waiting to see if Shopstyle would recover from its storm-damage so I could access the lookbook spreads and links I built for you chock-full of Julie & Brandy Fashions, but alas Shopsense (Shopstyle’s interface for affiliates/developers) remains broken so I will plow forward nonetheless and add that section to this post when Shopsense is back up! 

Are you stuck at home due to inclement weather? Has your Halloween parade been cancelled? Have you chosen a niche Halloween costume that nobody will think is funny besides you and your internet friends? Well, I know how that feels. I mean, I live in Berkeley, California, so there’s no inclement weather (there’s no weather at all here, actually, not ever), but all my friends live in Los Angeles and New York so there’s nobody to dress up for and FURTHERMORE, this year my girlfriend Marni and I decided to dress up as Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard, a relatively niche selection.

Julie Goldman, world’s funniest lesbian, and Brandy Howard, G-d’s gift to beer commercials, are best known to Autostraddlers as hosts of the hit webseries Julie & Brandy In Your Box Office:

As the editor for said webseries and an intimate pal of the zany duo, I spend a lot of time looking at Julie and Brandy’s faces and therefore felt totally prepared to pay tribute to them at a private Halloween Party.

cheers to a special halloween behind-the-scenes

The best part of having a private costume party is that it facilitates multiple costume changes, you don’t need to pick just one! All you need is a relatively simple concept and a camera, and you can be celebrating Halloween in your very own special way.

brandy spends a lot of time making sure the shot is in focus and they’re both in

If you, too, want to be Julie & Brandy, you can probably throw something together from what’s lying around the house or, hopefully, hanging nicely in a closet. Brandy generally prefers hoop earrings, cute boots with a very flowy dress, or a loose t-shirt with jeans or a skirt, often topped off with a cute jacket/blazer, cardigan or plaid shirt. Julie usually wears diamond stud earrings and favors Sambas, dark jeans and a graphic tee or a button-up shirt either open or with a vest and tie.

Furthermore, for extra authenticity, we recommend the following accessories:

  • Water bottle filled with Vodka
  • Vintage Blackberry
  • Supersoaker
  • Xanax
  • Doritos
  • a guitar
  • lipgloss
  • multi-colored nail polish
  • two dogs

Are you ready? I sure am.



Private Costume Party: Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard Edition


Julie & Brandy Look #1: Calendar Girls Photoshoot

For this look, Marni donned a white shirt and we cut a pair of black underpants into the shape of an untied bowtie! This photoshoot took place in our “backyard” which we refer to as “The Grove.”


Julie & Brandy Look #2: Lesbian Executive Realness

we’re talking about how much we hate men in the backyard

Julie & Brandy are very serious about bringing you lesbian executive realness in the form of coordinated formalwear.

Unfortunately, I finally donated that one sweater vest I never wore to Goodwill in August, so our interpretation of this costume is incomplete, as I should be wearing a sweater vest. But I think you can still get the basic idea.

is this purified

You can also rock this look with fake glasses, as per the opening credits of IYBO. I didn’t wear fake glasses for this though because they’re red and therefore made me look like Sally Jessie Raphael.

julie talking about how she can’t stand something


Julie & Brandy Look #3: Talking About Movies On The Couch

Julie and Brandy host their program from one of two locations:

A) Couch

B) Backyard

Occasionally Julie & Brandy will don thematic outfits for their conversations. For Black Swan Black Swan Did You Really Happen, Brandy slaughtered two entire black swans, and then re-fashioned them into stylish earrings. Julie, inspired by the dancing theme of Black Swan, selected a “dance practice” ensemble including a red sweatband, a modified workout shirt and black leggings. In order to sex up the place, Brandy forewent underwear, but did don a pair of opaque black tights.

sitting on the couch talking about “Black Swan”

For The RunagaysJulie and Brandy played with the “rock star” theme: Brandy feathered her hair and wore a leather jacket with a red scarf, whereas Julie selected a musically-themed graphic tee and wrapped a giant sheath of fabric around her head.

sitting outside talking about “the runaways”

Usually, however, Julie and Brandy just wear everyday clothing while sitting on the couch talking about movies, although thematic drinks are often involved, such as wine for Sex and The City and Bloody Marys for The Hangover 2.

For our interpretation of Julie and Brandy Sitting On the Couch, I wore a boyfriend cardigan with a deconstructed white t-shirt and a denim mini-skirt and Marni was adorned in a graphic tee and cargo shorts. Accessories included my dog Tinkerbell playing Brandy’s dog Nacho, beer, a water bottle filled with vodka, a black leather bracelet, and a bag of Doritos.

brandy doesn’t understand why winona ryder was in the movie

brandy and julie give it four fingers

Julie & Brandy Look #4: Pool Party

Being a Professional Lesbian involves a lot of lesbian pool parties, such as Dinah Shore. For this look, I paired a bikini top with a denim mini-skirt and Marni paired cargo shorts with a t-shirt folded to appear as if the sleeves had been cut off. We topped off the look with aviator sunglasses.

You can get great tips on how to beach it up like Julie via our Swimsuit Guide, but this outfit is generally quite simple.

Well, that about wraps it up! I hope you have the happiest Halloween and if you now feel the urge to watch every episode of In Your Box Office in a row, I want you to know that it’s perfectly normal and I support you.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3228 articles for us.


  1. i don’t even know what to do right now. riese, i think you & marni just saved halloween for this east coaster.

  2. I’m dying laughing at my work computer now. Riese, you’re rocking the blonde wig so well & Marni gives ridiculously good “Julie-face.”

  3. I suggested this as an idea last year but my friend didn’t know who they were so we’re obviously not friends anymore.

    But also – that calendar photo shoot split screen is SO GOOD.

  4. This post is EVERYTHING! I fucking WISH that I looked that good in a bikini. You two make being us look veeeeeery sexy. Love you guys.

  5. so this is basically the first thing i saw on my fb feed after being without power/internet for days – you guys i can’t even

  6. I was totally over Halloween bc it was like three weeks too long this year BUT I am totally loving this. what if real Brandy and Julie had been able to hang out with fake Brandy and Julie… that would be scary/confusing/awesome.

    • Yes! I tried showing my (straight) friends this post to share the joy it gave me and apparently Julie/Brandy costumes are a niche market. But seriously I about fell of the couch when I saw this. Perfection.

  7. I LIVE IN BERKELEY CALIFORNIA TOO!!! I thought I was the only one! How could I have not known this before!?!

    …also, it’s an awesome costume… I guess… If you like… I don’t know, lesbians and movies… Pshhh

  8. I hope you were chewing gum during this shot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Brandy without gum ever.

  9. “water bottle full of vodka” Brandy, how many times do you think you said that phrase while at camp? Not judging. water bottles full of vodka have totally saved me numerous times. Pride, blizzards, firefly marathons. . .

  10. this did in fact make me want to watch all the episodes…
    i’m done with season 1… on to season 2!!!

    • first situation in my life where i was the one putting makeup on somebody else because i was the one who knew more about makeup

  11. So I had one of those costumes that pretty much no one got except a few select friends scattered about the country. I was feeling pretty lame until I realized (from this article) there are awesome people out there who do the same thing! THANK YOU!

  12. We need to have an Autostraddler Dressed As Other Straddlers tumblr going around. I think I saw on the Camp FB page someone dressed up as Carmen, AND THEN THIS HAPPENED OH MY GOD.

  13. Love those “Lookalikes” and “Dressalikes”. They’re making Julie’s vests and Brandy’s alcoholism famous!!!

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