20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Categories: Fashion, Holiday

Miley Cyrus. VMAs. 2013. It was the performance that launched a thousand thinkpieces on just about everything from the appropriation of culture and slut-shaming to wondering why Robin Thicke was getting off relatively easily. This Halloween, you can take the easy way out and throw on a flesh-colored bikini, sport a teddy bear backpack, and some itty-bitty buns on your crown, but seriously?

The Bangerz-era Hannah Montana look is going to be a dime a dozen, and unless you're this amazing pooch, you're probably not going to win any costume contests. All artists have their hangups, but if you're looking for a little more musical and sartorial sophistication for your Halloween costume than Ms. Cyrus... or for style tips in general, here are 20 talented ladies that are probably better bets for your rep and your sanity.

See also: Halloween costume ideas, 2012: Music icons

Fiona Apple
Please be Fiona circa "Every Single Night." You'll literally only need two things: 1) Get a sea foam slip. 2) Put an octopus on your head. (It's pretty easy to secure a stuffed animal cephalopod to a headband so it doesn't slip away.) Haunting, beautiful, weird... and easy as pie.
Taylor Swift
Red. The title of her last album, and the color of your next costume. Sport a long blond wig (curly, straight, T-Swift does 'em both), a scarlet dress, and some fire-engine red lips, and you'll be feeling like you're 22.
Tony Nelson
Taylor Momsen
This girl hasn't worn pants since... well, we can't really remember the last time we saw her in that oh-so-constricting article of clothing, but boy can this girl rock. What you need to become Taylor Momsen isn't a Grinch and definitely not an Upper East Side wardrobe -- just an oversized tee, some hot pants (if you're into "modesty"), and some ripped up thigh-highs with garters. Oh, and remember to line your eyes with as much kohl as possible -- the phrase "raccoon eyes" should be an understatement when referring to them.
Bushy brown hair, full eyebrows, and a slick stripe of liquid eyeliner are this New Zealand musician's trademarks, so you'll have to embrace 'em all if you want to go "Royal" for the evening.
Nicki Minaj
Nicki's been through several style evolutions, but her video for "Starships" featured the singer in a lime-green mermaid wig and a hot pink bikini. While bikinis in October are for the incredibly brave or those impervious to cold, we recommend you fly with the mermaid look and get a bright pink skirt instead of barely-there bottoms. Or you could always just go with leopard spandex.
Joan Jett
Girl is still rocking the ultra-dark, ultra edgy '80s hair, and damn does it look good. You'll probably need a wig, unless you're ready for a serious style change. For her contemporary look, get a black tank top and some skin-tight pants. For her old-school look, try out a black tank, a blue kerchief, and a hot-pink blazer a la I Love Rock-n-Roll.
Katy Perry
Katy's been changing her look constantly since her days of blue hair and cotton candy clouds. These days, she's rocking her jet-black locks, and you can channel her "Roar" with a leopard print top, a flower crown, and a grass skirt. Plus, you can reuse this when you want to have a tiki-themed party later on in the year.

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