A few years ago, I was working my way through college by nannying after school. I thought I was a pretty cool nanny, but as amazing as I was, I couldn’t hop through sidewalk sketches and into imaginary worlds, my snapping fingers never cleaned up any bedrooms, and I couldn’t sing quite as beautifully as Mary Poppins. But I could still pretend to be as practically perfect as Mary Poppins, at least on Halloween. I looked into my closet, which was embarrassingly full of thrifted ’70s clothes, and I surprisingly found pretty much everything I needed for a Mary Poppins costume. (All that was missing was a hat!) I put together the entire outfit using things I owned or found at the thrift store, and you can too! Check out my instructions in the slideshow below.
1. What You Need
Check your closets to see if you have any of these supplies, or check your local thrift store:
- white silk daisies and little red flowers
- black straw boater hat, or straw hat and black spray paint
- red ribbon tied in a bow with a safety pin to attach it
- white blouse- preferably with no fold-down collar
- gray or black blazer- puffed sleeves are a bonus!
- long black skirt
- black tights
- gray or black pumps- the more Victorian-styled the better!
If you’re missing any of these items, and can’t find them from a friend or thrift store, check out the next slides to buy it online. And if you’re an overachiever, you can add an umbrella with a bird’s head handle and a carpet bag too!
2. Make Your Own Hat
If you don’t happen to have a Marry Poppins’ style hat laying around your house (I didn’t either, no worries), you can make your own! All you need is a straw boater hat, black spray paint, and some artificial flowers. I artfully arranged mine — above — with a little hot glue. Quick and easy!
3. Embellish A White Blouse
I found a vintage white blouse similar to at a thrift store. It only cost a few dollars, and I actually had worn it several times before being Mary Poppins. To make it more authentically Mary Poppins’ style, I pinned on a red ribbon that I had tied in a bow.
4. Find A Victorian Style Blazer
Victorian and prairie style clothing were pretty popular in the ’70s, so they’re usually not difficult to find at thrift stores, at least where I live in Ohio. I found a pretty gray velvet blazer before deciding to be Mary Poppins for Halloween, but it was perfect for my costume! If you don’t have a blazer that you think would work, and you can’t find one at the thrift store, here’s a blazer that would work for the costume and also be a great piece to add to your personal wardrobe.
5. Find A Black Maxi Skirt
The long black skirt was not part of my wardrobe before deciding on my costume. I found it for a few dollars at the thrift store, of course. I’m sure you’re noticing a trend, here! The thrift store is your friend at Halloween (and other times of the year). I knew I probably wouldn’t wear this skirt again, so I wasn’t too picky about the fit or how much I liked it. These days, maxi skirts are at the height of fashion, so it’s probably much easier to find a black maxi skirt that you would actually want to wear again, in case you don’t plan on dressing up as Mary Poppins every day.
6. Add A Pair Of Pumps
Honestly, don’t be too picky about your shoes. You’ll want to be comfortable if you’re trick-or-treating, or bar hopping, or whatever it is you’ll be doing to celebrate Halloween. And if you’re wearing a maxi skirt, your shoes won’t be too noticeable anyway. I happened to have a pair of mid-height pumps that looked a bit Victorian, so I lucked out. But anything will work.
7. Put It All Together
After assembling your outfit, you’ll want to pull your hair up in a bun that sits right below the brim of your hat. I had thick bangs at this time, but I parted them in the middle and used a lot of hairspray and a few bobby pins to keep them in line.