We wanted a family costume that was a little more unique than all the ones we’ve seen. Our daughter was only a year old so she didn’t have any preferences & we could pick whatever we wanted for her, but of course had to keep in mind her comfort level & how cooperative a baby would be. Instead of the typical fairy princess type costumes for girls or fuzzy animal costume for babies, we went with Richie Tenenbaum’s pet hawk, Mordecai, and my husband and I went as Richie and Margot Tenenbaum from The Royal Tenenbaums.

For the Mordecai costume we just dressed her in all brown, and I made cardboard wings that I painted brown and glued brown & white feathers to them that I got at a craft store. I found a child’s aviator cap that I had to sew to fit her baby head, and I printed out the brass-looking “Mordecai” nameplate and glued it onto the front of the cap, above aviator goggles and a cardboard beak that I made & painted. The whole head piece was one piece together so it was easy to remove if she got fussy & didn’t want to wear it. The wings were just attached with bands of brown felt so they could be easily removed too.

Margot’s costume was pretty easy: I scoured thrift stores to find a blue striped jersey tee-shirt dress with a white collar (I sewed on the collar from another shirt), old brown loafers & brown purse, a blonde bob wig with a red barrette, an old fur coat from my parents’ attic, lots of eyeliner–and a deadpan expression–and, of course, a wooden finger that I made out of cardboard and used to hold my fake cigarette all night.

Richie’s costume was also pretty simple, a red/white/blue athletic headband ordered online, aviator sunglasses & a tan blazer for my husband.

The best part was seeing everyone’s reactions when they realized who we were dressed as. Everyone thought it was so funny & cleaver–and our baby was the cutest little pet hawk you’d ever see!