Dressing up for Halloween can be trickier than meets the eye; costumes can get pricey, labor-intensive, or run into cheesy or distasteful territory fast.
So if you’re not looking to spend the bulk of your paycheck on something that you’ll never wear again, consider these easy, DIY costumes inspired by the best pop culture moments of early-aughts — think the glory days of Britney Spears or Paris and Nicole, circa The Simple Life.
The best part? You can pull most of them together with things that you already have in your closet and a healthy dose of nostalgia. Here, five easy Halloween costumes that pay homage to the best moments of the early 2000s.
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Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the 2001 American Music Awards
When it comes to couples costumes, Britney and Justin’s all-denim look is veritable #relationshipgoals. Although the pop princess and former NSYNC crooner eventually broke up, their Canadian tuxedo style will last forever.
How to get the look: Raid your closet for any and all denim. Proceed to wear as much denim as you can. Add rhinestone costume jewelry and tinted shades for a true Brit + Justin authenticity. If you want to go the extra mile, consider investing in a frosty brown lipstick a la Britney or bleaching the tips of your hair like Justin.
J. Lo in the "I'm Real" video
Is there a better J. Lo music video than this? Definitely not. J. Lo not only links up with Ja Rule to dance and sing this truly exceptional song, but she does so stylishly in the best fashion trend of the early 2000s — the Juicy Couture track suit in the shorts style.
How to get the look: To channel J.Lo at the height of her Jenny from the Block era, reach deep back into your closet or head to eBay to procure a pink velour sweat suit (bonus points if you spring for the rhinestone-embellished Juicy Couture version); complete the look with a pair of white sneakers, hoop earrings, and layers of gold necklaces.
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie during the peak of The Simple Life
Forget the Kardashian/Jenner sisters — Paris and Nicole were the original pioneers of reality television celebutantes. Their irreverent escapades on The Simple Life paved the way for reality television and changed the way we saw celebrities forever.
How to get the look: To get Paris and Nicole’s look, just reach for a bandage dress or slinky cocktail dress, pair it with platform stiletto heels, a blowout for your hair, and apply eyeliner and lipgloss with a very generous hand. Toting small dogs is optional, saying “That’s hot!” in vocal fry is not.
Kanye West in his notorious "pink polo and backpack" phase
When Kanye first appeared on the rap scene in the early 2000s, he was a box-jawed producer-turned-aspiring rapper who favored preppy polos, sweaters, and blazers. The sartorial choices that Yeezy made in the beginning were memorable and remain a point of contention with the rapper, who’s referenced his pink polo and backpack days on no less than four of his albums.
How to get the look: Channel ‘Ye by sporting a pastel-colored polo shirt and slim-fit jeans and assuming resting cranky face; add on a leather backpack for the full effect. Go the extra mile by making sure the backpack is Louis Vuitton (they don’t call Kanye the “Louis Vuitton don” for nothing) and adding a gold Jesus piece. Humming “I even had the pink polo, I thought I was Kanye” from “I Love Kanye” would also be an excellent way to get into character.
Destiny's Child at the 2001 Grammys
Destiny’s Child’s M.O. was showing up in coordinating dresses thanks to the design genius of Miss Tina, Bey’s mom, and the 2001 Grammys were no exception. Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle picked up their six Grammys in green dresses with artful cut-outs.
How to get the look: The key to achieving Destiny’s Child’s look is to enlist the right friends to be your Kelly and Michelle. Once you’ve found the right pals to dress up with, get dresses in a uniform color, wield a pair of scissors, and ask yourself, “What Would Tina Knowles Do?”