My Nerdy Halloween Costumes

If you’re anything like me, Halloween is just another time to shout to the world, “Hey! I’m a nerd!” (Because it’s not like people can already tell.) It may still not for be nearly two months, but I just thought of an awesome costume today and I’m so excited! Therefore, I would like to share my previous Halloween costumes

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2011 – Sexy Scientist

Because being a scientist for Halloween is just a given. I took an old lab coat of my dad’s and altered its size so that it fit well. I decided to wear spandex shorts underneath to make it really seem like the lab coat was a dress. After that it was pretty simple. I took gloves from my lab, put on my lab goggles from undergrad chem lab, and bought a new 500 mL erlenmeyer flask as a prop. I saw a few scientists that year on my way to a Halloween party, but surely none of them were as cool as me. Want to know why? The erlenmeyer flask wasn’t just a prop, I drank out of it! If you do this though, make sure to buy a brand new flask. You can get them pretty cheap on amazon.

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Image2012 – Xenon: The Noble Gas

I wanted something even more different to top my scientist costume. Therefore, I came up with being an element. I picked xenon because when an electric current is ran through it, it emits purple light. I already had shiny purple spandex leggings from Ragstock that my friends had bought me for some reason and I had a long purple tank top, so I had the majority of the outfit good to go. All I had to do after that was use puff paint to write out the periodic symbol on a piece of white fabric and sew it on to the tank top. I also bought a cheap crown from the party section at target since xenon is a “noble” gas. I got purple glow sticks later in the night (not shown) that actually looked like a xenon lamp.

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Mrs. Frizzle2013 – Mrs. Frizzle

I had a throwback to my youth this year as Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. I left my hair wavy and put it up in a bun. I mimicked her space-themed dress with a solar system bodycon dress from Amazon. A lot of people thought I was just a galaxy for Halloween, but I added the school bus to my purse to add to the Magic School Bus theme.

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Marie CurieAlso 2013 – Marie Curie

With three Halloween gatherings this year, I couldn’t just have one outfit. Thursday I brought back the Xenon costume from 2012, Friday I rocked Mrs. Frizzle, and Saturday I brought back 2011’s Sexy Scientist with a twist – Marie Curie. I used the same lab coat and wore a black dress underneath (Marie Curie is usually just depicted in a black dress but the lab coat was for clarification). I also added my own “radium” by cutting open a couple green glow sticks and transferring the contents to a test tube. It looked really cool but was unfortunately difficult to manage to not spill. Next time, I’ll have to get a cap for the tube so I can put it in my pocket and not have to hold all night.

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Other nerdy costume ideas that I may eventually rock:

  • Schrodinger’s cat
  • Dark matter

If you have any other cool ideas, let me know!

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Hanna is a MD/PhD student at the University of Illinois and an aspiring physician scientist who aims to specialize in hepatobiliary cancers. She is also passionate about teaching, leadership, and advocacy. The energy she once used to pep up crowds as a college marching band member is now directed toward exciting and educating others about science and medicine, especially through her tweets at @MDPhDToBe and her blog at www.mdphdtobe.com.

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