Happy Halloween darlings! I’m here with another Carmen Miranda costume because how could a girl just do one?!

We’ve all seen several iterations of the Lady In The Tutti Fruitti hat before (including mine from yesterday’s post) but in the spirit of remembering the legacy of women (especially women of color) who came before us with my Halloween DIYs, I chose to do a Carmen Miranda costume that’s not as popular. The intention is to get folks (who are not as familiar with her work) to inquire about who she was and what she did.

If you'd like to learn more about Carmen Miranda, you can read my post here or check out an excerpt below from one of my favorites books Bad Girls Throughout History.


This costume was inspired by Carmen’s performance of "I, Yi,  Yi,Yi, Yi" in the 1941 film, “That Night In Rio.” Carmen performs in a beautiful black and white ensemble and wows everyone with her remarkable white feather turban.  


It might be a little too late for you to attempt this DIY since today is Halloween but perhaps you can try it for next year or if you’re going out this upcoming weekend to a costume party you definitely have time. 


  • Assortment of white feathers  
  • Headband (this bat one is from the H&M kids section and came in handy as I glued the feathers to top section) 
  • White Turban  
  • White long sleeve top  (I got mine from H&M)
  • Shoulder pads  
  • Beaded bracelets & necklaces in shades of brown, turquoise, purple, burgundy and silver  
  • Glue gun
  • Black sequin skirt or sequin fabric (I used 2 yards of fabric for my costume)  
  • Matte red lipstick  

Start by testing out the arrangement of your feathers. I placed mine in a position that made them sit a bit asymmetric on the headband. Once you’ve figured out your placement start glueing the feathers in place.


Easy peasy and you’re done! I added some decorative feather hair pins to mine as well. 


I didn’t have a floor length black sequin skirt so I did a little trick with some fabric and a skirt. I basically pulled on a figure hugging black jersey pencil skirt and draped the black sequin fabric around me like a maxi skirt. Once I had the shape I wanted,  I tucked the fabric into the waist of my skirt all the way around and pinned it in the back (shhhh don’t tell a soul).

To get the effect of Carmen’s 40s style structured top, I added some bulky shoulder pads to it. I got the shoulder pads from an existing 80s style dress I have and tucked it under my bra straps, securing with safety pins as well. To finish up the outfit I pulled on my tshirt and layered up with beaded necklaces and bracelets.

For the hair, I created two victory-style rolls out of pigtails and secured closer to the nape of my neck with bobby pins. With the rolls in place, I pulled on my white turban and fixed the feather headband on top. Be sure to add bright red lips and red nails if you can!