Students prepare to fill Oakland with movie character, rapper costumes this weekend


Image via Silar, Wikimedia Commons

Halloween accessories at a store.

By Sarah Demchak, Staff Writer

No trick-or-treating? That’s fine — college kids are still dressing up to party, having photoshoots with friends or exploring haunted houses. Many Pitt students this year decided to choose their costumes based on convenience, style and budget.

Cameron Chase, a senior environmental studies major, is dressing up as Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw from the 2022 film “Top Gun: Maverick.” According to Chase, this character typically wears a pilot uniform. However, Rooster also wears a more casual outfit when he sings the iconic song “Great Balls of Fire” during a bar scene while he plays the piano. 

Chase said she decided to dress up as Rooster during this specific scene because of its iconic recognizability and simplicity. She just needed a tank top, Hawaiian shirt and aviator sunglasses. 

“I like costumes that you can just use as regular clothing, and I recently saw that movie,” Chase said. “I had some of the stuff, but I had to buy a Hawaiian shirt and aviators on Amazon because I was short on time. It was probably about $40 for both, which isn’t that bad.”

Similar to Chase, Jared Renz, a fifth-year chemical engineering major, decided to dress up as Ansel Elgort’s character Miles “Baby” Prower from the 2017 film “Baby Driver.” 

The costume consists of sunglasses, earbuds, a white shirt, blue jeans and a bomber jacket. Renz said the costume was easy to create, and all he needed to purchase was a bomber jacket. 

Renz headed to the Target in East Liberty where he found one for about $40. He said this price was reasonable because the jacket is just adding to his closet — he will wear the piece for more than just the costume’s sake. 

To make the costume even more realistic, Renz looks very similar to the character. He said this is what inspired him to make the costume.

“I have been called — by my relatives — ‘Baby Driver’ before, so it’s been in the works for three to four years,” Renz said. “I figured the easiest costume was one where you already look like the character and you already have like 90 percent of the costume in your wardrobe.” 

Gilly Ortiz, a senior chemistry major, decided to go with a classic witch costume this year. She said she enjoys wearing cute outfits, doing pretty makeup and styling her hair. Because of this, Ortiz wanted to still dress nice this Halloween, while also wearing a costume. 

Her costume consists of a black dress, a corset, sheer-patterned tights, high-heeled boots, a broom and a witch’s hat. Ortiz said the costume was cheap to assemble because she only needed to buy the hat and broom. 

Ortiz added that she loves the 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus” because it reminds her of her childhood. The film is about three evil witches, so her costume idea stemmed from this love of early-2000s Halloween. 

“I used to watch “Hocus Pocus” with my younger siblings every year and it’s a good memory,” Ortiz said. “Since I’m not home this Halloween, I kind of wanted to keep that little tradition alive, but also use what’s in my closet.”

Chloe Washburn, a junior business major, gathered a group of friends to match costumes this Halloween. Each group member will dress up as a type of fruit. Washburn is dressing as a strawberry because her closet consists of mostly red clothes. She said the group costume was easy to assemble and cheap to create.

“We already had all the supplies for it, it’s pretty cute and it’s pretty cheap,” Washburn said. “And all I had was red, so I couldn’t be any other fruit. I guess I could have been an apple, but strawberry was better in my mind.”

Washburn will wear a red skirt and crop top, black heart-shaped sunglasses to represent the seeds, black Converse sneakers and she will have her hair up in a green scrunchie to represent the stem.

Joseph Hernandez, a 22-year-old Oakland resident, will wear a couples costume. He and his girlfriend plan to dress up as the characters Julian and Lucy from the 2001 sitcom “Trailer Park Boys.” The two decided to use these costumes because the sitcom is their most recent TV show binge. 

Hernandez said he will wear a black t-shirt and jeans, dye his hair black and will carry a drinking glass as a prop. This costume was cheap as he only needed to purchase the hair dye. 

“This costume is super convenient,” Hernandez said. “Plus, my girlfriend is going to help me with the dye, so that makes it even easier.”

Jenn Mytych, a junior psychology major, is dressing up as her favorite rapper — Pitbull. She will wear a suit she found at Goodwill, a bald cap purchased from Amazon, sunglasses from Dollar General and facial hair drawn on with a marker. Mytych decided on this costume based on love alone.

“I’m going to be Pittbull, Mr. Worldwide, Mr. 305,” Mytych said. “I love Pitbull. He is my idol, so I want to be him.”

Pitt students probably won’t trick or treat for candy, but they may get some condoms. Two anonymous Pitt juniors will deck out in Trojan this weekend. After they won “The Condom Collective” from Advocates for Youth, the pair decided to follow the organization’s mission and hand out condoms around campus to promote safe sex. 

“We got 500 Trojan condoms from a survey, so I got us shirts made with the Trojan logo on it in gold and on the back it says, ‘Wrap it before you tap it,’” the student said. “We’re going to have fanny packs full of condoms and we’re going to hand them out.”

Oakland will have many cool costumes this weekend. Renz suggests that if students don’t have a Halloween costume figured out yet, they should get creative with their closets and use what they have.

“Seeing your clothes from your wardrobe and putting together a costume that people would recognize is the best way to go,” Renz said.