Halloween is my favorite holiday. This often surprises people, because as an INTJ personality type I tend to be reserved, serious, and quick to avoid social obligations. But many INTJs love Halloween, maybe because it’s one of the few big social events where we have a project to focus on (the perfect costume) and can impress people with our creativity instead of our attempts at charm.
With that in mind, I found myself wondering: what would be the perfect costume for an INTJ? The real answer, of course, is something we’ve customized or designed ourselves, showcasing how we come up with out-of-the-ordinary ideas. But there are a few costume themes that feel like a natural fit for us, and I thought I would call out five of the best ones—with links to plenty of props, masks, and outfits you can use as a starting point.
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1. Tin Man
This costume is one that’s near and dear to my (wait for it) heart. Years ago, a good friend insisted on having a Wizard of Oz costume party for her birthday. At first I was ambivalent, but she took one look at me and said, “You can be Tin Man. It’s perfect!” She was right. Maybe it’s the obvious INTJ symbolism of the quest for a heart. Maybe it’s because Tin Man was arguably the most competent of Dorothy’s companions, without an annoying voice (I’m looking at you, Lion). Or maybe I just look good in silver. Whatever the explanation, it was one of the first times in my adult life where I felt like a costume had personal significance.
Making a Tin Man costume is not as simple as it sounds. Many off-the-shelf costumes aren’t silvery enough, or don’t include any parts that really look metallic. I started with a shirt spray painted metallic silver and made a real metal headpiece. If you want to make things easier, here’s a high quality basic Tin Man costume and the most amazing Tin Man mask ever.
From personal experience, I can also tell you to leave the fake axe at home. It makes you look like a serial killer, and Tin Man is recognizable enough without it. Instead, try getting this surprisingly realistic oil can, much more iconic of our hero.
2. Hillary Clinton
You can’t go anywhere right now without seeing or hearing about Hillary Clinton. Besides running for President, she is simultaneously one of the most accomplished women in the world and one of the least popular people ever—a situation that many INTJs can relate to. That’s no coincidence. It’s widely speculated that Hillary Clinton is an INTJ herself, and she typifies many of the best (and worst) traits that INTJs are known for.
That doesn’t mean every INTJ out there wants her to be president. To the contrary, the INTJs I’ve spoken to fall all across the political spectrum. But, supporters or not, most INTJs can relate to the way Hillary makes decisions and how she’s run her career. Some people hate that she changes positions or wheels and deals, for example, but to INTJs that’s just how you get things done.
That’s why I suggest Hillary Clinton as a great costume for INTJs of any political stripe. Whether you wear the pantsuit proudly or make it part of a parody, a Hillary costume is easy to do, comfortable to wear, and highly recognizable. Just snag a Hillary wig and hit your local secondhand store for the rest. Bonus points for cross-dressing male Hillarys.
3. Nerd and/or Sexy Nerd
Yeah, I hear you laughing. I get it—most INTJs are nerds in real life. In fact, this costume idea was inspired by an INTJ friend’s photo of a past costume on Facebook: “Me as a nerd for Halloween, and the other 364 days of the year.”
So what exactly makes a group of people who are almost universally nerdy want to double down and go out as nerds on Halloween? It could just be a light-hearted willingness to poke fun at ourselves. Or maybe there’s something profound about taking control of a label that was used to mock you when you were younger. Or, heck, it could just be this exciting moment in our culture when being a nerd is finally laudable—or at least not cringe-worthy. Thanks, tech industry!
So the perfect nerd costume is about going beyond your normal smart-but-uncool look and into TV nerd territory. You want to be an outrageous, Steven Q. Urkel, Data-from-Goonies type nerd. You also have to solve the perennial costume conundrum: regular nerd or sexy nerd?
4. Mad Scientist
Okay, I hate to play into stereotypes, and I know that mad scientist is the most overused trope for INTJ-kind. But you have to admit two very important points:
- Being a mad scientist is fun.
- Most young INTJs really do dream of being one.
I’m not kidding on that second point. For years I was convinced I would be an “inventor” when I grew up, which sounds innocent until you realize that most of my planned inventions were death rays (one was solar powered, a concept I still believe was way ahead of its time). I also managed to finagle a white lab coat from my dad’s workplace one Halloween, which I promptly covered in fake blood and glow-in-the-dark paint to make a “scientist” outfit that would not be okay with Bill Nye.
Fortunately, grownup INTJs generally leave their experiments in the realm of the strictly hypothetical (with some notable exceptions), or follow boring “ethics” rules. But it’s fun to pretend one day a year, which is why I think mad scientist is the perfect INTJ costume.
For the true mad scientist look, go beyond a lab coat and test tube and add some over-the-top touches. This wild wig is a good start, although I personally would not leave the lab without these LED light goggles (always wear your eye protection, kids). If you want an all-in-one costume as a starting point, this is the best one I’ve seen.
5. An ENFP
Some of the most fun costumes you’ll ever wear are the ones that are completely different from who you really are. So the best costume might not be something science-y at all, but going as our near-polar-opposite: the ENFP personality type.
If you’re not familiar with ENFPs, they are simultaneously a hot mess and exhilarating—sort of the not-in-Kansas tornado of personality types. ENFPs are extroverted, fun loving, unpredictable, quirky, passionate, and unable to resist helping injured or broken things. In other words, they’re everything INTJs are not. And that makes them both strangely alluring and, at times, utterly perplexing to us.
So, how do you switch to Team ENFP for a night? The first step is probably to rehearse some songs and dances you’ll “spontaneously” break out in. But you can also choose from a wide range of over the top ENFP accessories, such as:
- Rainbow unicorn tutu costume
- Colorful Anime wig
- LED flashing sequin gloves
- Neon light up suspenders
- Chewbacca cosplay hoodie
- Literally an ENFP wristwatch
What are your costume ideas for this year? What are some of your favorites from past years? Is Halloween a good INTJ holiday, or do you skip it and stay in? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
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