Barbie’s nostalgic run at the box office unleashes a surge of Halloween costumes around the do-it-all doll

The summer of 2023 belonged to Barbie, as Mattel’s 64-year-old doll became America’s sweetheart once again — thanks to Margot Robbie and a star-studded cast.

 The movie has earned in excess of $1 billion worldwide, making life in plastic utterly fantastic!

 As you can imagine, Goodwill Central Coast loves an old-fashioned throwback. Yes, everything old can be new again. That message is behind our mission to create jobs and remove obstacles to employment through the magic of thrift.

 When it comes to nostalgia, there is nothing quite like Barbie. And with Halloween right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to share some thrifty ideas on how to bring Barbie (and Ken) to life at your end-of-October celebrations.

 Shopping at any of our 16 GCC stores is a lesson in thrift, and provides a treasure trove of items to put together any costume — at a fraction of the cost seen at big-brand costume shops.

 And that includes Barbie!

 It seems people are desperate to get back into their toy box and want to relive their moments they had in their childhood. Even if you’ve never played with Barbies before, there is something inherently fun about the era, and how the movie brings it all back to life in a different way.

 With Barbie love at a fever pitch, it’s the perfect time to start pre-planning a Halloween costume based on everybody’s favorite do-it-all doll. The film is positively packed with costume ideas, from the classic, to the kitschy, to the “you could only get away with this on Halloween, meaning that no matter your style, there’s a look for everybody.

 We’ve gathered some of the most recognizable ensembles from the film, plus the essential items you need to pull off the looks, so you can show off your Barbie cred this Halloween.

 At GCC we like to separate our clothes by color, so finding pink is easy. But not everything is pink — even during the Barbie craze. So remember, you can always dye white clothing to a perfect shade of pink. It’s made easy by using a commercial dye in your own washing machine that will agitate the clothes and spread the dye evenly.

 Here are some Barbie costume ideas to get you started:

  • Dream House Barbie: In Barbie’s first signature film look, the dream doll looked positively perfect in a pink and white gingham fit and flare dress with white floral jewelry. Don a set of your own, and you’ll look like you just stepped out of your very own dream house.
  • Cowgirl Barbie: The rules are simple: cowgirl aesthetic, but make it pink. You can bring this look together in five short steps: a pink vest, flare pants, a bandana, a cowboy hat, and last but not least, cowboy boots. You can find many of these accessories at a GCC store (even in white, that can easily be dyed pink). Better yet, you can wear the pieces separately once Halloween is over.
  • Barbie on the road: Stop traffic on Halloween night in Barbie’s ’60s driving outfit. Any blue-and-white striped top or dress will do (bonus points if it’s a cute backless situation like the one Margo Robbie wears in the movie). And don’t forget the headband.
  • Parisian Barbie: Barbie is an international superstar. Turn any Halloween party into the City of Lights when you show up and show out with a beret and a cute pink dress — along with a pink bow in your hair, of course.
  • Weird Barbie: Want something slightly less conventional? Weird Barbie is your bet. While you should definitely take the chance for an over the top look (neon!). It’s really the spiked up hair and marker makeup that brings the whole look together. So don’t hold back — it’s Halloween, after all.
  • Rollerblade Barbie: Turn up the volume with a 1980s-tastic look full of neon colors, radical patterns, and that sweet biker-shorts under swimsuit combo. You may be able to scare up some old rollerblades and knee pads at GCC, but be careful out there!


 While the world certainly revolves around Barbie at the moment, we certainly can’t forget about Ken! Here are a few ideas for Barbie’s sidekick:

  • Beachy Ken: Perhaps the most classic Ken doll costume of all is that of his beachwear! Find a striped matching short and shirt set and you’re good! At GCC you can find pieces that are similar to Ryan Gosling’s film attire. And instead of lugging around his big blue surfboard, why not grab a smaller bodyboard or make your own accessory with cardboard and paint.
  • Denim Ken: If you’re looking for a Ken costume that’s totally a 10, try a cool head-to-toe denim ensemble. An unbuttoned denim vest paired with jeans in the same shade really shows Ken in all his Ken-ness. Scare up some white sneakers and you’re ready to party!


 Over the years, GCC has proven itself to be Halloween costume headquarters. With little money and a lot of imagination, you can put together an ensemble that you will remember for years.

 Do you know what else is memorable? The idea that every purchase helps uplift others through the power of employment — and that thrifting is easy on the planet at the same time.

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