Asian-Inspired Costumes

“A man is judged by his clothes, a horse by its saddle.” – Chinese proverb

We examine people based on their outward appearance. In fact, it’s been said that you have seven seconds to make a good first impression. Shakespeare, himself, said that “the apparel oft proclaims the man” (Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 3).

Autumn brings a bit of relief because we can be creative in our attire. Yes, it’s that time of the year when the wind nips at our cheeks, the leaves burst into color, and pumpkin spice floats in the air: costume season.

Let me detail my past history of costume attempts and then tell you about my top three Asian-inspired costumes. Here are some highlights in my dress-up resume, in semi-chronological order:

  • Wonder woman. You put on a mask, and bam, you’re an instant superhero! We had a bag of masks in our closet that we rotated every year, so that each kid (siblings and cousins) in our group could get a “new look” for Halloween.
  • Photographer. This was a last minute get-up when I realized that the school parade was happening that very day. It consisted of a long-wannabe-trench coat and my dad’s camera.
  • Belle (from Beauty and the Beast), bookworm style. I was inspired by my schoolmate who, the previous year, took a yellow towel and transformed herself into Snow White. It didn’t work so well for me; people kept stopping me and asking me who I was. Next time, perhaps a little more fancy golden ballgown and a little less blue-kitchen-apron-over-white-dress-shirt look?
  • Jasmine (the only Asian Disney princess at the time). I visited the local Salvation Army and looked around for items that would work. Do you think I pulled it off?


Now, my exciting list of top three Asian-inspired costumes:

  1. Mulan. Thankfully, Disney finally portrayed a Chinese princess–and a warrior one to boot. (So what if the history isn’t exactly accurate?) You can buy the official Disney version at its branches, but like all Mickey Mouse’d items, it’s a tad pricey. (But you can find coupons at online sites, like
  2. Chun-Li. Confession time: I really liked playing Street Fighter 2 as a child. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t any good and just jabbed at the buttons. I didn’t know the precise special codes, like “Back, Back/Down, Down, Forward/Down, Forward, Punch” for her fireball (thank you,, but I adored Chun-Li’s upside-down helicopter kicks.
  3. Boba. I actually saw a friend in this outfit. They re-created a plastic cup and straw and plastered multicolored fuzzy balls all over their body. You can see a similar version here, found on Lollicup’s Pinterest page.

What’s the best costume you’ve ever worn or seen?

Foodie Friday: Deep-Fried Char Siu
Foodie Friday: Taiwan Toast


  1. Mulan is one of my favorite Disney Characters. ^_^

    Also, I like your Jasmine get-up.

  2. Love the picture. My kids are all trying to figure out what they’re going to be for Halloween.

  3. I love the pic! I also stink at costumes, and can’t contribute much except support for yours :)

    • jenniferjchow says

      Thanks, Liz! Nowadays, I keep a store-bought costume stored away just in case my creations don’t come out quite right…


  1. […] Well, there were some Ni Hao Kai-lan ones, but I had wanted a soft baby doll back then. It was a sad sight to see the lack of beautiful Asian girls in the toy section (even Disney princesses are rare). […]

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