Golden Girls: A Group Costume for Women (and Men)
Thank You for Being a Friend!
If you're anything like me, you probably think The Golden Girls is one of the best sitcoms of all time. I know my grandmother agrees with me. I put together this guide to help you, my fellow Golden Girl Groupies, create a seriously epic group costume. Gather up three of your best friends and make this thing happen for Halloween or Comic-Con. Best of all, your group can consist of men, women, or anyone in between. It's original, hilarious, and equally fabulous, regardless of who makes up your quartet.
The photo above is the perfect example of a well-done group costume. Please note that this particular group consists of all dudes. Fabulous. Here are some general tips for making this costume work:
- Unless you're a Sophia, go for a bigger size than what you'd usually wear. Nothing should be too tight or clingy. Boxy, loose, and draped fabrics are your friends.
- Shoulder pads are also your friends.
- All the ladies (except Sophia, sorry Sophia) wear lipstick. I recommend Revlon "Spicy Cinnamon" for all three.
- Don't be afraid to cut, hairspray, comb, or style any wigs you buy. It's often the key to getting an authentic look.
- There aren't many recurring characters on The Golden Girls outside of the main four, so if you have another member in your group, I'd only consider adding Stan Zbornak. You can always double up on the costumes and have multiple Sophias, Blanches, Dorothys, or Roses.
- Come to think of it, having ALL Sophias, Blanches, Dorothys, or Roses would be hilarious.
- You can go for a theme. Some ideas: midnight cheesecake (night-gowns, robes, and housecoats), night-on-the town (a ton of sequins), or business casual (pastels, pastels, pastels).
- Thrift stores are the perfect place for finding cheap Golden Girls swag. For authenticity, however, I'd try to find some of the more character-specific costume pieces online.
- Don't just limit yourself to Halloween. The Golden Girls makes for an unexpected cosplay choice for Comic Con, and could be a big hit at themed or fancy-dress party at any time of year.
Sophia Petrillo Costume
(as played by Estelle Getty)
- Sophia is all about prim, old-lady couture. She's fully covered, and rarely has more than an ankle or wrist exposed.
- Think frilly collars, classic cardigans, and sensible, non-draped fabrics.
- Her glasses are clear plastic, have a dropped temple, and are often adorned with a sweet lady chain.
- If you're doing a group costume, Sophia should be the shortest, most petite person in your group.
Your fashion buzzwords are: dicky, brooch, shirts that button all the way up, tucked-in shirts, twin set, muumuu, house coat, and grandma pants.
You can't be Sophia Petrillo without Sophia Petrillo's Purse. This straw bag is a close match to Sophia's signature bag in shape and size, but more importantly, it is the cheapest I could find. You can also find a simple straw bag and paint two white stripes on the front (similar to the costume photo in this article).
I realize Sophia's hair is not actually a 'fro. That said, it is white and curly, so I'd recommend buying a cheap one like this and trimming it down with scissors if necessary (they often look bigger/fuller in the product photos than they actually are). As a bonus, Estelle Getty did wear a wig on The Golden Girls, so a wig is more authentic than you'd even intend it to be.
Rose Nylund Costume
(as played by Betty White)
- Rose Nylund is a businesswoman. She wears lady suits more than any other member of the Golden Girls, but she's also one most frequently seen in cheesy prints worthy of St. Olaf.
- For Rose, go for a more structured look, but don't go too crazy with fitted pieces. This is the '80s after all.
- If you're doing a group costume, Rose should be the sweetest member of your group.
Your fashion buzzwords are: pant suit, skirt suit, dress suit, double-breasted, monochromatic, and country print.
Yup. Rose Nylund hair is exactly the same as Marilyn Monroe's. It makes it super easy to get the hair right.
Dorothy Zbornak Costume
(as played by Bea Arthur)
- Since we're going for extremes, and we want each Golden Girl to be different from the other, your best bet is to have Dorothy Zbornak literally dripping with fabric. Think loose, flowing layers.
- Think linen, light cotton, and satin.
- She rarely wears casual skirts or dresses, as she's more of a pants kind of gal, but if your going for glam Dorothy, she will partake in sequined frock from time to time.
- If you're doing a group costume, Dorothy should be played by the tallest person in your group.
Your Dorothy Zbornak fashion buzzwords are: cowl neck, shawl sweater, dolman sleeve, batwing sleeve, drape, necktie, and sleeves rolled to the elbow.
This wig is the right cut and color for the full Dame Dorothy Zbornak effect. What a classy broad.
Blanche Devereaux Costume
(as played by Rue Mclanahan)
- Blanche is the minx of the Golden Girls quartet. You'll find her in higher hemlines and more figure hugging clothing, with lower cut tops.
- Remember, we're talking "figure hugging" and "low cut" for the Golden Girls. It's still pretty tame.
- Out of all the Golden Girls, Blanche is the one who is most recognizable in evening wear.
- If you're doing a group costume, Blanche should be the sauciest of the group.
Your Blanche Devereaux fashion buzzwords are: ruching, sheen, decolletage, kitten heel, bunched sleeve, dropped waist, and defined waist.
Blanche's hair is a lighter brown, with lots of lift up top. This wig is nearly perfect. If you want a more authentic Blanche, you can always trim or hairspray-up the bangs up front to make them a little shorter.