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20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

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

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

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.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

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.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus
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.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Lorde
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.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

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.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

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.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

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.  

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Haim
These three sisters might've just burst onto the national scene this year, but they've got some serious So-Cal style. If you can, you should definitely find a couple of friends to unite with you as Este, Danielle, and Alana, because sisters are the best accessories. Just kidding. Each of these ladies holds her own, and together they're a sonic force to be reckoned with. Make sure to part your hair down the middle, wearing it long with a slightly beachy wave. Throw on some wayfarers, skirts, denim vests, or leather jackets, and you'll be the sisters Haim.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Janelle Monáe
Pile your hair into a neat pompadour and rock a well-fitted suit in monochrome, either black or white -- she's rocked both styles impeccably. Tie up that shirt collar with a long black ribbon, and you're good to show off your "Dance Apocalyptic" moves all night long.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Carly Rae Jepsen
It's been said before, and it'll be said again -- this lady is the Zooey Deschanel of pop, you won't see her without those ubiquitous bangs. While she's nearing her late 20s, the singer still dresses in sweet, girl-next-door looks from plaid shirts and shorts to cute mini-dresses. Throw one of those on and pick up a vintage phone to tote around throughout the night, and when someone says "Call me, maybe?" you can just reply with a cool, "Call me Carly."

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Rihanna
Go for Ri-Ri's '90s-inspired duds from her "We Found Love" video for an outfit you'll be able to recycle again on pretty much any given weekend on the West Bank. Throw on a denim skirt and top paired with ripped thigh-highs and creepers. Curl your hair and pin it on top of your head, and hold the style in place with a red handkerchief. One look in the mirror, and you'll fall in love -- with that outfit.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Robyn
Besides "dancing on her own," Robyn's known for her super short platinum undercut hairstyle and embracing the edgy ice queen look. For a stark contrast with her ultra bright hair, glue some rhinestones to a black top and black pants, and slip on some creepers.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Karen O
Pair a full fringed bob with a stripe of blue eyeshadow across your eyes and the bridge of your nose, some metallic lame spandex, and some Chuck Taylors, and you've got the Yeah Yeah Yeah singer's early style down pat.  

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Beyoncé
Queen B. Need we say more? From her "Single Ladies"-era body suit and her Audrey Hepburn-esque "Countdown" look to her housewife style in "Why Don't You Love Me" and her actual royalty-inspired outfit announcing the Mrs. Carter world tour... Beyoncé does it all with sass, panache, and talent to boot.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

TLC
Find a couple of friends to be the T-Boz and Chilli to your Left Eye. Coordinate your outfits with a smidge of individuality. We're fans of the baggy pants paired with matching tank tops, and mesh shirts with the letters "T," "L," and "C," spelled out on them. Or you can go for their matching navy jumpsuit look. Just remember some pasties. And it doesn't matter if it's Halloween or not: no scrubs.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus
Erik Hess

M.I.A.
M.I.A. is fearless with both her music and her style. Go '80s with a neon windbreaker and some crazy-patterned spandex. Scrunch your hair a little for a deep wave. Top off your look with some heavy eyeliner and a swipe of bright pink lipstick.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

La Roux
It's in her name... and that shock of red hair gelled into a pompadour that defies gravity is a must for your look. Besides that, don a shirt or jacket with lots of embellishments around the collar line, some leggings... but you can always remix her style with some of your own.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus

Gwen Stefani
Gwen's been sporting her long platinum locks for just about ever, and she's been doing those little hair buns for just as long, too. While we love Gwen's current look channeling a mix of rocker chic with old Hollywood glam, we can't help but swoon for her old-school style. Pull your hair back into a high ponytail, throw on a white tank and some baggy athletic pants, and you're just a girl... ready to hit the town.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus
Erik Hess

Channy Leaneagh
Short hair, don't care, that's Channy's style all the way when she's performing for Polica around the country. Put on an effortless, yet stylish outfit -- from black tank tops and skinny jeans to sweet sundresses, she sports 'em all.

20 female musician Halloween costumes... besides Miley Cyrus
B Fresh Photography

Lizzo
Get yourself a Marijuana Deathsquads "Sunglasses and Bail Money" tee, knot that baby in the front and toss a denim shirt over it. Grab a captain's hat and a black leather skirt, and you're there. Maybe carry around a stick of butter... or -- less melty -- some Glam Doll Donuts to munch on, as seen in her recent video for "Batches and Cookies."

For a few more music-inspired costume ideas from Iggy Azalea to Amanda Palmer go to Halloween costume ideas, 2012: Music icons.

Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, and another Nicki Minaj look are at: High fashion Halloween: Costume tips and tricks.

Kreayshawn, Azealia Banks, and Bob Dylan tips can be found here:
Halloween costume ideas, 2012 edition: Easy disguises.


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