mask costumes

Marisa Losciale/The Daily Dot

10 Halloween costume ideas with a face mask

Halloween costumes with masks are so 2020.


Marisa Losciale


Posted on Oct 9, 2020   Updated on Oct 18, 2021, 8:58 pm CDT

Costumes with masks are nothing new for Halloween, but the types of masks you’re thinking of aren’t going to protect you from the spookiest thing of all in 2020: COVID. Despite the insult to injury that Halloween is on Saturday this year (with a full moon to boot!), a surgical mask doesn’t have to ruin your costumed vibe.

The last time I can recall being scammed out of Halloween was October 2012. Hurricane Sandy had just ravished Long Island (and the rest of the eastern seaboard). Devastation and loss engulfed us–people had no electricity, no clean water, no heat, some didn’t even have houses anymore. But they had Halloween candy. And what I didn’t realize until penning this piece was how, despite having to hike over downed 100-year-old trees and power lines, all of the havoc paused for a moment. Kids took to the streets, reverse trick-or-treating while their parents checked-in with elderly neighbors. It was no longer the day after Hurricane Sandy hit or day one of a very long clean-up—it was just Halloween.

We may not have the opportunity to cohort with our usual coven IRL and the CDC may have warned against trick-or-treating. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in the joy of what is the spookiest holiday. Safely, of course!

That’s why we are sharing the best masked Halloween costume ideas for people of all ages. Whether you plan to trick-or-treat or stop by an outdoor gathering, you can do so confidently.

Halloween mask costumes that will keep you safe and spirited

All the costume ideas listed below require the use of surgical masks, which we recommend as the safest face mask on the market.

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It’s very important to note that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask. And while a surgical mask over a costume mask might ~*aesthetically*~ seem like the way to dress up, that is providing zero protection from COVID to you or others. You need a mask that creates a seal around the face and nose and surgical masks are ideal because they also block 99.2% of aerosolized particles.

1) Go back in time to the wild, wild, west

What you’ll need: A fringe skirt, long dress, or a blazer with denim or slacks, a cowboy hat, cowboy boots or pointy shoes, a bandana (to either be worn over the mask or around the neck) or bowtie, and any color surgical mask.

If you’re looking for a pre-made costume, Amazon has rancher kits ranging in price ($18-$50).

2) Rep the most relevant emojis of our time

What you’ll need: Two surgical masks, an emoji face mask (available in a 6-pack on Amazon for $5.95) of your choice, and some tape for adhering one of the surgical masks to the emoji face. The second surgical mask is for you to wear as a protective measure under the emoji mask if you so choose. You can also DIY an emoji mask with some yellow poster board, string, googly eyes, and a Sharpie. (Bonus points for those of you who make a life-size costume and not just a mask!).

3) Alec Baldwin’s character, Dennis, from The Spongebob Movie is here to make sure everyone keeps their mask on

What you’ll need: Since the pandemic closed the Salty Spittoon for good, Dennis is now working security for every Halloween celebration and group of trick-or-treaters. He’ll scare people into keeping their masks on, easy. Just grab a black cowboy hat, a black vest, your favorite black jeans, a t-shirt, sunglasses, a surgical mask, a bold belt, black bike gloves, and a red bandana to wear over your mask. The knife necklace might be a safety hazard, so we recommend making one out of cardboard or forgetting about it all together.

If you don’t own any of these closet staples, Amazon has a variety of biker costumes and accessories for cheap!

4) Have the lambs stopped screaming, Clarice?

What you’ll need: A straight jacket (full restraint costumes are available on Amazon for $20) or white button-up shirt to be worn backward, an orange tee to wear under the jacket, and a surgical mask. If you really want to sell the fit, you can wear Hannibal Lecter’s infamous goalie mask ($13 on Amazon) and buckle some belts to your chest with the buckle-side on your back.

5) Zoidey wanna buy on margin!

mask costumes

What you’ll need: A lab coat (available on Amazon for $14+), this red beard beanie ($13, Amazon) or craft foam to cut and fit your own, flip-flops, a red surgical mask to wear under the beanie, a pair of red socks, and lobster oven mitts ($20 on Amazon).

6) Behind this mask…is another mask

What you’ll need: A surgical mask, a green vest, a navy sweat set, a dark headband, a pair of navy bike gloves, a white wig, navy neck gaiter (to go over the surgical mask since we know neck gaiters are actually worse than not wearing a mask at all when it comes to COVID-19), and black sandals or slides.

Officially-licensed Naruto Halloween costumes with masks are available for sale on Amazon. But we’ll warn you that most of them are only available in kids’ sizes.

7) Reenact the hospital scene Gumby: The Movie

mask costumes

What you’ll need: A Gumby costume (available on Amazon for $15-$70 depending on the style and seller) and a surgical mask.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you watch the movie. ’90s flicks are the best! But for those opposed, here’s the clip:

8) Let’s play a game of cat and mouse…

What you’ll need: A pink or light-colored surgical mask, cat or mouse ears (Amazon has them for about $9), Sharpies, a fully-black or gray outfit of your choice, and a tail if you’re feeling it. Instead of drawing the cat or mouse nose and mouth on your face with makeup, you’ll be drawing it on the mask with Sharpie! This works for almost any animal, so let your imagination flourish. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you could also embroider it.

9) It’s not unreasonable for you to be frightened, Tier thinks you should value it.

What you’ll need: A white or light-colored surgical mask, Sharpies, a blonde wig ($25 on Amazon), a cropped white zip-up hoodie ($12 via Amazon), a white crop top, and white bottoms. You’ll be recreating her iconic tooth mask using the surgical mask, Sharpies, and your finest art skills. If you want a more official Halloween cosplay, Amazon sells versions of Tier’s fit but they’re pretty expensive ($76-$130).

10) Casually remind folks about the dangers of not wearing a mask while looking very official

mask costumes

What you’ll need: Scrubs (available on Amazon for about $25), Crocs ($20+ via Amazon), and a surgical mask. You can easily tweak this outfit to cater to your specific liking. Add a disposable hair net and shoe gloves ($8 via Amazon) to be a surgeon. Or a stethoscope ($17 via Amazon) and pen to cosplay a nurse. You can even add the nametag of your favorite Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, or Private Practice star to really get into character. The possibilities are endless!

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*First Published: Oct 9, 2020, 3:09 pm CDT