hillary clinton halloween costume
Five-year-old Ashlyn Baugher, dressed in her Halloween costume as U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, poses for photographs at a campaign "Meet and Greet" in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Oct. 16, 2015. Reuters/Brian Snyder

National political figures and their personas are often caricatured in the media. Whether it’s an opening sketch for NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" or an impersonation by late-night talk show hosts, being a leading presidential candidate has for decades meant the occasional skewering by comedians.

It also meant that each Halloween during the election season, revelers choose their favorite candidate, or perhaps the least favorite, as a costume. This year, there were at least 15 presidential candidates to choose from on the Republican side and five candidates on the Democratic side.

The most popular costumes have undoubtedly been Democratic front-runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, along with Republican leaders Donald Trump and Ben Carson, based on a non-scientific perusing of social media and Halloween tip websites. Some of the candidates don’t require extensive makeovers or expensive materials to pull off their likenesses, tipsters said.

How To Dress Like Hillary Clinton: The former U.S. secretary of state and her tailor-made pant suit have become ubiquitous. But procuring something from the St. John Collection could set revelers back several hundreds of dollars. Second-hand stores, like the Goodwill, typically stock women’s pant suits. As for pulling off her gaze and hairdo, there are a couple of options: donning a skull cap and a short blond wig or securing a Clinton mask, which have been available in U.S. costume shops since her days as the country’s first lady.

Becoming Bernie Sanders: The balding 74-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont often sports uncombed white hair on the left, right and rear sides of his head. This look might require a flesh toned skull cap, usually found in costume shops, and patches of white hair. Sanders has glasses and typically wears an ill-fitting business suit, whether he’s on the campaign trail or the debate stage. Second-hand stores stock affordable men’s business suits. A pair of nonprescription glasses can be found in most costume or pharmacy chain stores. Even babies are getting into the Sanders look.

The Donald Trump Costume: The real estate business mogul has been a popular Halloween choice, long before he made his presidential aspirations official for the first time this season. Trump has an unmistakable blond combover hairdo. His business suits and ties are rarely ill-fitting and are expensive-looking. Recently, Trump took to wearing his slogan, “Make America Great Again,” on a baseball cap during campaign events in the early voting primary states.

Spooky Ben Carson? This celebrated neurosurgeon can be done a couple of ways as a Halloween costume. Carson wears business suits or a non-matching blazer and slacks, during most public appearances. Other than his glasses, there are few additional distinguishing features. Wearing a “Vote Carson” button could solve that. That button could also be pinned to a physicians’ coat or surgical scrubs. (Note: The author of this post strongly discourages the donning of black face for Carson costumes.)

Presidential Candidates | InsideGov