Halloween Costume How-To: Win Gold As The Fierce Five

by Jessica Marshall

When it comes to Halloween costume contests, there's some fierce competition out there. But with just a little dedication, you can bring home the gold. Actually, in this case, you start out with the gold, because you're dressing up like one of the members of the 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. women's gymnastics team.

The five be-glittered young ladies—Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross—took the gymnastics world by storm this summer in London, just as you and four of your friends will blow away the local Halloween scene by dressing up like them. With just a few simple and inexpensive items, you can reproduce their look from the memorable gold medal ceremony.

To recreate the glory, start with a pair of simple black yoga pants ($12.58, Target). You can actually buy the same gray Nike MS Reflective Windrunner the girls wore atop the podium, but it will run you upwards of $350. Instead, you can find a number of similar-looking windbreaker jackets at more decent prices, like this gray fleece jacket ($29.95, H&M). Cap off the apparel with a pair of loudly colored running sneakers. The team actually wore lime green Nike Flyknit trainers ($150, Nike.com), but a less expensive option may be these Phreze Retro Joggers ($29.99, Payless).

You're only half done. Anyone who is familiar with the world of sports like gymnastics and figure skating knows that makeup and hair are just as essential as apparel. Start by pulling your hair back into a high and tight ponytail—so tight that your eyebrows get a lift. Then spray the crap out of your head with extra-firm hold hairspray, and subdue any errant fly-aways with small hair clips or bobby pins. You need to look like your head was shellacked when all is said and done. For hair accessories, a sequined scrunchie is a must (5 for $20, etsy.com). But only pull your pony halfway through when you're fitting the scrunchie, so there's a big bulb of hair on top of your head with some loose ends hanging out. Then finish off the do with a generous spritzing of hair and body glitter spray ($5.99, Walgreens).

Next, it's on to makeup. Much like Effie Trinket would do, the louder and glitzier the makeup, the better. Load on the eyeshadow, glitter, blush and mascara, and add some color and gloss to your lips. Then smile for the judges! If you want to really go the extra mile, you can wear a leotard ($22.00, Amazon.com) underneath your activewear. You might be picking a wedgie all night, but the judges will definitely award extra points for the effort.

And finally, no champion is complete without her gold medal. Hit up a party store and grab five for you and your teammates ($3.99, Party City).

While McKayla may not be impressed by your efforts, your fellow Halloween revelers are sure to be.