There’s nothing idle rich ladies love more than publicly eviscerating their enemies, but even that gets a bit tired. For a change of pace, why not eviscerate your enemy in a fun costume? Here are some of the best Real Housewives costume parties ever.
Kelly’s Halloween Party (New York City)
One of only two actual Halloween parties on this list (it’s a surprisingly scant Housewives genre, I guess due to filming schedules), this shindig takes place at the height of everyone’s season two Kelly wariness, right around the time she was blowing off her charity obligations and seething about being called Madonna. In true Kelly style, she arrives hours late to her own party with a cadre of handsome men, confused but unruffled that her new friends have already gotten fed up and stormed off. Bonus points for everyone’s wonderfully in-character costumes: Bethenny as Rollergirl from Boogie Nights, Kelly as a Playboy bunny, Jill as Marie Antoinette, LuAnn invoking her heritage in a haplessly tone-deaf “Native American princess” outfit, and Alex and Simon as Sarah Palin and a moose (“we weren’t the only Sarah Palin and moose at that party, but we were the best”).
Nicole and Bobby’s First Responders Party (New Jersey)
I’ve always had a soft spot for RHONJ‘s objectively awful sixth season, Jerry Springer nightmare that it is. This event encapsulates its trashiness beautifully. In a salute to our nation’s first responders, the women chuck on Party City cop and nurse costumes, and Nicole Napolitano rips out a chunk of Amber Marchese’s hair. Amber’s hair is one of the weirdest and most potent symbols of the season (she’s been growing it out since she lost her hair to cancer, a photo of which she keeps in an eerie shrine in her living room), so to see it defiled by a woman in a sexy firefighter outfit is a true collision of the sacred and profane. High art.
Kenya’s Icons Party (Atlanta)
Our earliest recorded historical tableaus, etched into the walls of caves by our forebears, depict images of Kenya Moore having people removed from parties. So it was here, as Kenya tried to have Porsha dragged out of her party celebrating iconic Black women in entertainment for dressing as Dorothy Dandridge instead of Halle Berry in B*A*P*S. The other women threatened to leave alongside her, and Kenya grudgingly called off her dogs… for now.
(In a gorgeous update to this story, the Atlanta women just released a group pic of their 2017 costumes. Yes, that is Marlo in the back, dressed as Halle Berry in B*A*P*S. Marlo is the true icon.)
Stephanie’s Halloween Party (Dallas)
There’s a true vindictive genius in showing up to someone’s Halloween party as a deformed, monstrous version of the host. By dressing up as “two-faced Stephanie,” undisputed Dallas superstar LeeAnne Locken disrespected a woman in her own home. Gloriously petty.
Anne’s Pussy Galore Party (Auckland)
Landing in episode three of the fiercely underrated Real Housewives of Auckland, this feline fiasco better acquainted us with the moneyed treachery of Louise Wallace, as well as offering a tour of the baroque mausoleum Anne calls home. But really, we’re here for Michelle’s astonishingly catty (pun intended) campaign to harass Angela Stone into admitting she’s plus-sized.
Shannon’s ’70s Party (Orange County)
One of many disastrous Shannon Beador/Kelly Dodd encounters in OC’s generous eleventh season. Shannon tries to scumbag Kelly by planting haters at the party. Kelly confronts her. The ensuing conflict (ft. David having a stereo meltdown at Vicki and Heather Dubrow zipping around on roller skates) is better viewed than described. Enjoy.
Amanda’s Alice in Wonderland Tea Party (Vancouver)
Lovingly transcribed by Gerard in his recent RHOV post-mortem, this party from Vancouver’s series finale (gone too soon!) was the blast zone where the atom of Ronnie and Mary and Jody’s angst was split, leaving the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens irradiated forevermore. Like I said, the best of these parties feature the Housewives in costume as themselves; here, Mary is a sexy bunny, Ronnie is the Mad Hatter, and Jody is the Queen of Hearts. I believe that requires no further elaboration.