Political costumes are a great way to show all your friends how much smarter you are than them. But thanks to the patriarchy, they can also be boring—a suit with a red or blue tie? I mean, no thank you! When I go out for Halloween, I like to do it full out. Follow these simple guides for costumes that say “My greatest accomplishment is my family [wink].”

Hillary Clinton

The essentials: This Armani Collezioni jacket and skirt set feels about right, but if you happen to find another skirt or pant set that screams, “I care about a clean line and de-escalating crisis,” then by all means, go in that direction.

To really nail it: Spend approximately 30 years with everyone in the world telling you you’re terrible except for a group of 20 friends who tell you you’re perfect, until every bit of your skin is scar tissue. Then, use a pumice to rub away at the scar tissue until your skin is raw but soft to the touch.

Jim Webb


The essentials: A regular suit, but make sure to have the tailor put an extra button and hole in your shirt collar to give the impression that your neck is toothpaste coming out of a tube.

To really nail it: Go to a tanning salon with enough tanning beds that they won’t immediately notice if you overstay your allotted appointment. Cook on either side for 40 minutes at about 435 degrees. The salon staff will try to escort you out of the building. Do not allow this to happen. Be creative. Do you get it? You are going to have to kill a man.

Ben Carson


The essentials: Buy any normal suit and sew lead sheets into the lining so that you’ll appear physically and mentally drained anytime you do anything.

To really nail it: If possible, arrange to be born into poverty. Work tirelessly to improve your position and secure the best educational opportunities. Become a world renowned surgeon! Make a difference! Save lives! Then, have a friend slam you in the face with a frying pan.

Martin O’Malley


The essentials: Any fucking suit, but you’ll be more convincing if you are able to live a life of restraint, discipline, and affluent-ish whiteness in preparation for the big night.

To really nail it: Lobotomize yourself and then replace your brain with that of a robot from the early ‘00s that knows how to hug and sing one song.

Bernie Sanders


The essentials: Disinter your grandfather and lovingly remove the suit he is wearing. It is your suit now. Do not dry clean before wearing.

To really nail it: As a youth, watch your mother get disrespected in some kind of bureaucratic building, and have the burden of retribution become physically attached to your back. It is heavy and you will feel it every day. It will give you migraines and make you cranky. The only thing that will temporarily alleviate the pain will be a specific kind of reuben sandwich. Continue on.

Ted Cruz


The essentials: Light blue button down shirt, old sport coat, khaki pants, all purchased a size or two too big. Put the clothing in a damp bag and leave it in a hot car for 6 hours. Hang dry, then wear.

To really nail it: Cruz’s signature concerned smugness is hard to pull off because it necessitates believing so totally that you not only are the best human, you are also a divinely generous human for agreeing to help elevate everyone else from their sinful lives. So, I recommend enlisting a friend a few months before you want to dress up to gaslight you into thinking you are an actual prophet.

Donald Trump


The essentials: Usually I like to advise people to avoid masks—they are tacky and rarely look anything like the person they’re supposed to resemble. Not the case with Trump! This mask from Toynk.com is actually very lifelike and convincing. Pair this with the best, most beautiful suit at the suit shop and you’re good to go.

To really nail it: Twenty years ago, flirt with all your female teachers, have them report you to the principal, have your parents donate an athletic center to the school. Go to college, repeat. Then, on the night of Halloween, fill a couple garbage bags full of medical waste and carry those around as symbolic representations of your ego.

Lincoln Chafee


Oh dear God, give this man a break.

Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

Images via Getty and DavidGraham86/Shutterstock.