Mei Lee Costume Guide

Halloween is just around the corner, and with the release of the highly anticipated Pixar film "Turning Red," a new costume idea is sure to take the spotlight: Mei Lee, the relatable and hilarious teenage protagonist.

Whether you're a fan of the movie, simply drawn to Mei's bubbly personality, or looking for a unique and fun costume, this guide will help you transform into the adorable red panda with ease.

Mei Lee Costume Essentials

How To Dress Like Mei Lee From Turning Red

Mei Lee Halloween Costume

Mei Lee's iconic look is a combination of her youthful school uniform and her playful red panda form. Recreating her outfit is surprisingly easy and allows for personal touches to reflect your own style.

1. Embrace Your School Spirit:

What You Need:

  • Button Down Knit Cardigan: Choose a red-orange cardigan that replicates Mei's signature style. Opt for a slightly oversized fit for a comfortable and playful look.
  • Pan Collar Polo Shirt: A classic pink polo shirt is essential for capturing Mei's school uniform. Look for a fitted style that stays tucked in for a tidy appearance.

How To Do It: Layer the polo shirt under the unbuttoned cardigan, allowing the pink collar and a few buttons to peek out. Roll the sleeves of the cardigan for a casual and relaxed touch.

Bonus Tip: If you want to add a touch of personality, consider embellishing the cardigan with red panda-themed patches or embroidery.

2. Capture Mei's Energetic Spirit:

What You Need:

  • High Waisted Pleated Skater Skirt: A denim or navy blue pleated skirt is perfect for channeling Mei's schoolgirl style. Choose a high-waisted style for a flattering silhouette.
  • High Waisted Leggings: Opt for burgundy or mauve leggings to add depth and warmth to your outfit. They'll also provide comfort and warmth for a long night of Halloween festivities.

How To Do It: Slip on the leggings first, followed by the pleated skirt. Ensure the skirt sits comfortably above your hips for a true-to-character look.

Bonus Tip: Consider adding contrasting knee socks or leg warmers in a vibrant color for a touch of individuality.

3. Channel Your Panda Power:

What You Need:

  • Green Hair Clips: Add a pop of color and a playful touch with green hair clips like Mei's. You can wear them individually or arrange them in a fun pattern.
  • Gothic Lace Choker: A thin black choker adds a subtle edge to your costume, reminiscent of Mei's red panda form.

How To Do It: Clip the green hair clips strategically into your hair, replicating Mei's hairstyle. You can even add a red hair bow or ribbon for an extra touch.

Bonus Tip: For a complete transformation, consider adding temporary face paint or makeup to mimic Mei's panda markings around your eyes.

4. Accessorize with Love:

What You Need:

  • Tamagotchi Digital Pet: Carry a classic Tamagotchi digital pet to represent Mei's love for all things cute and nostalgic. Clip it onto your bag or belt loop for easy access.
  • Silver Round Glasses: A pair of thin silver round glasses completes the look and adds a touch of intellectualism to Mei's character.

How To Do It: Attach the Tamagotchi to your bag or belt loop using a carabiner clip. Wear the glasses comfortably on your face and adjust them as needed.

Bonus Tip: For a more authentic look, search for vintage-style Tamagotchi models online to match Mei's specific device.

5. Step into Mei's Shoes:

What You Need:

  • Pink Ankle Socks: Opt for a pair of plain pink ankle socks to complement the overall color palette of your costume.
  • Skechers Women's Summits Sneaker: Complete your Mei Lee transformation with a pair of gray and pink sneakers similar to her signature footwear.

How To Do It: Pull on the ankle socks first, ensuring they reach your mid-calf. Then, slip into the sneakers and adjust the laces for a comfortable and secure fit.

Bonus Tip: If you're feeling extra creative, you can decorate the sneakers with red panda paw prints or other artistic touches.

In the next section we'll delve into how to bring Mei's personality and energy to life at your next Halloween party.

Mei Lee Cosplay

Mei Lee Cosplay

Now that you're dressed the part, it's time to unleash your inner Mei Lee and truly bring her vibrant personality to life. Here are some tips to help you embody her spirit at your Halloween party:

How to act like Mei Lee at the Halloween party:

1. Embrace Your Optimism and Enthusiasm:

What To Do:

  • Be cheerful and upbeat, just like Mei Lee!
  • Greet everyone with a smile and a warm hello.
  • Show genuine curiosity and interest in others.

How To Do It:

  • Channel your inner child and let yourself be playful and excited.
  • Use positive body language, like maintaining good eye contact and nodding enthusiastically.
  • Ask questions and actively listen to what others are saying.

Bonus Tip: Practice Mei's signature "whooping" sound for an extra dose of fun and energy.

2. Express Your Inner Geek:

What To Do:

  • Talk about your favorite things, whether it's boy bands, anime, or video games.
  • Share your knowledge and passion with others.
  • Don't be afraid to be yourself and let your geek flag fly!

How To Do It:

  • Carry around a notebook or sketchbook and pretend to be writing fan fiction or drawing your favorite characters.
  • Discuss upcoming comic book releases or the latest video game trends with fellow partygoers.
  • Quote lines from your favorite movies or TV shows and see if anyone recognizes them.

Bonus Tip: Prepare some trivia questions or fun facts about your favorite fandoms to engage others in conversation.

3. Stand Up for What You Believe In:

What To Do:

  • Be brave and speak your mind, just like Mei Lee.
  • Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means going against the crowd.
  • Support your friends and family, no matter what.

How To Do It:

  • Respectfully disagree with opinions you don't share, offering your own perspective in a kind and constructive manner.
  • Use your voice to speak out against injustice or inequality.
  • Offer encouragement and support to anyone who is feeling down or ostracized.

Bonus Tip: Remember, Mei Lee's strength comes from her genuine and compassionate nature. Be kind and understanding, even when facing opposition.

4. Let Your Red Panda Out:

What To Do:

  • Embrace your wild side and let your inner red panda loose!
  • Be spontaneous and fun-loving.
  • Dance freely and enjoy the moment.

How To Do It:

  • Engage in playful pranks or silly jokes with your friends.
  • Initiate fun activities like dance contests or karaoke sessions.
  • Don't be afraid to be a little loud and boisterous, just like Mei's red panda form.

Bonus Tip: Practice some simple red panda-inspired dance moves to really get the party started!

5. Embrace Your Family and Friends:

What To Do:

  • Show your love and appreciation for your loved ones, just like Mei Lee.
  • Be present and engaged in conversations with them.
  • Offer support and help whenever needed.

How To Do It:

  • Spend time with your friends and family throughout the party.
  • Share stories and laughter with them.
  • Be a good listener and offer your support when needed.

Bonus Tip: Remember, Mei Lee's core strength lies in her loving relationships. Make sure your interactions reflect the importance she places on her loved ones.

By following these tips, you can confidently step into Mei Lee's shoes and fully embody her unique and endearing personality. Have fun, be yourself, and let your red panda spirit shine!

About Mei Lee

Mei Lee isn't your average teenage girl. Sure, she loves hanging out with her friends, obsesses over boy bands, and strives for good grades. But beneath her playful exterior lies a secret: the ability to transform into a giant red panda whenever her emotions get the better of her.

Character Overview:

Role in: Turning Red (2022) Played by: Rosalie Chiang (voice)

Background and Personality Traits:

Personality: Mei Lee is a vibrant, energetic, and sometimes rebellious teenager. She's fiercely loyal to her friends, passionate about her interests, and unafraid to stand up for what she believes in. However, her impulsiveness and tendency to overreact can sometimes get her into trouble.

Appearance: Mei Lee's human form is characterized by her bright red hair, sparkling brown eyes, and signature red-orange cardigan. When transformed, she becomes a towering red panda, retaining her human emotions but with increased strength and agility.

Role in the Story:

Finding Herself: Mei Lee's journey throughout the film revolves around navigating the challenges of adolescence, balancing family expectations, and embracing her unique identity. She grapples with the internal conflict between her human and red panda forms, ultimately learning to accept and celebrate both parts of herself.

Celebrating Heritage: Mei Lee's story also explores themes of cultural identity and family traditions. As a Chinese-Canadian teenager, she grapples with balancing her family's heritage with her own personal aspirations. Through her journey, she learns the importance of honoring her heritage while forging her own path.

Cultural Impact:

Empowering Representation: Mei Lee's character has resonated with audiences worldwide, offering a relatable and empowering portrayal of a young girl navigating the complexities of adolescence. Her story celebrates individuality, self-acceptance, and the importance of embracing one's true self.

Breaking Stereotypes: Mei Lee challenges traditional stereotypes of Asian girls in media. She's not the quiet and demure character often portrayed, but rather a strong, outspoken, and multifaceted individual. Her representation has been praised for its authenticity and positive impact on young viewers.

Further Reading:

Mei Lee on Pixar Fandom

Mei Lee on Disney Fandom

Rosalie Chiang on Behind the Voice Actors

Who Should Embrace the Mei Lee Costume Idea?

Mei Lee's vibrant personality and adorable red panda transformation make her a unique and captivating costume choice. But is the "Turning Red" protagonist the perfect fit for you? Let's explore who should consider embracing the Mei Lee look this Halloween.

Ideal for:

Fans of "Turning Red": If you've been swept up in the magic of the film, dressing as Mei Lee is a fantastic way to celebrate your love for the story. You can embody her spirit, share your excitement with fellow fans, and bring the movie to life.

Those Who Embrace Individuality: Mei Lee's journey is about accepting and celebrating who you truly are, red panda and all. If you're someone who marches to the beat of your own drum and embraces your unique qualities, then this costume is for you.

Individuals with a Playful Spirit: Mei Lee is a vibrant and energetic character. This costume is perfect for those who enjoy a fun and playful outfit, allowing them to express their enthusiasm and bring joy to the Halloween festivities.

Anyone Who Loves a Good Transformation: The red panda transformation is a visually striking element of the film. If you enjoy costumes with dramatic changes and intricate details, then dressing as Mei Lee allows you to showcase this iconic transformation and stand out in a crowd.

Why it works:

  • Relatable and Beloved Character: Mei Lee's struggles and triumphs resonate with many, making her a popular and recognizable costume choice.
  • Visually Stunning Transformation: The red panda is eye-catching and unique, guaranteeing you'll turn heads and spark conversation.
  • Expressive and Customizable: You can personalize Mei Lee's outfit with your own touches, adding accessories or incorporating elements that reflect your personality and interests.
  • Comfortable and Fun: The costume allows for easy movement and comfortable wear, ensuring you can enjoy the Halloween festivities without any restrictions.

Additional Tips

Now that you have a solid understanding of Mei Lee's style, let's explore some additional tips to truly bring her character to life:

Tip 1: Embrace the DIY Spirit:

  • How to Implement: Repurpose old clothes by adding patches, embroidery, or fabric paint to create unique pieces like Mei's cardigan or customize a plain skirt with fun patterns.
  • Benefit: This approach allows for personal touches and saves you money on buying specific costume items.

Tip 2: Accessorize with Creativity:

  • How to Implement: Use everyday items like hair clips, beads, or jewelry to create your own Tamagotchi digital pet or add colorful details to your hair for a playful touch.
  • Benefit: This adds a personalized element to your costume and allows you to utilize resources you already have.

Tip 3: Group Up for Extra Fun:

  • How to Implement: Coordinate with friends to dress as other characters from "Turning Red" like Miriam, Priya, or Abby. You can even recreate scenes from the movie together. Check next section for details.
  • Benefit: This adds a social element to your Halloween experience and allows you to share the fun with friends who share your love for the film.

Tip 4: Capture Your Inner Red Panda:

  • How to Implement: Practice enthusiastic poses and expressions inspired by Mei Lee, like her signature "whooping" sound or excited gestures.
  • Benefit: This adds an extra layer of character portrayal to your costume and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of Mei Lee.

Remember, the key to a successful costume is to have fun and express yourself! Don't be afraid to experiment, get creative, and embrace your inner Mei Lee.

Couple and Group Costume Ideas with Mei Lee

Whether you're planning a Halloween adventure with your partner, a group of friends, or even your family, Mei Lee offers a wealth of possibilities for exciting costume combinations.

Couple Costumes:

1. Mei Lee and Miriam:

Concept: This classic duo captures the essence of friendship and acceptance. Miriam's supportive nature perfectly complements Mei's vibrant personality.

Costume Suggestions:

  • Mei Lee: Follow the costume guide outlined previously.
  • Miriam: Opt for a graphic tee with a band logo or a funny slogan, ripped jeans, and sneakers. Add a beanie or bucket hat for Miriam's signature look.

Bonus Points: Carry around a skateboard or decorate a backpack with band patches and pins.

2. Genderbend Mei Lee and Miriam:

Concept: Put a unique twist on the classic pairing by switching genders.

Costume Suggestions:

  • Genderbend Mei Lee: Dress as a male version of Mei Lee, incorporating key elements like a red-orange button-down shirt, chinos, and a red panda-themed tie or pocket square.
  • Genderbend Miriam: Opt for a sporty look with a baseball cap, athletic wear, and a pair of sneakers. Add a mischievous grin and playful attitude to complete the portrayal.

Bonus Points: Carry around a stuffed red panda toy or add plush red paw prints to your shoes.

Group Costume Ideas:

1. Turning Red Squad:

Concept: Gather your friends and dress up as the entire main cast of "Turning Red," including Mei Lee, Miriam, Priya, Abby, and even Jin Lee or Ming.

Costume Suggestions:

  • Follow the costume guides for each character as outlined previously.
  • Coordinate outfits and accessories to create a cohesive group look.

Bonus Points: Recreate a scene from the movie or choreograph a dance routine to the film's soundtrack.

2. Animated BFFs:

Concept: Team up with friends who also love animated characters with unique transformations. This allows for a diverse and exciting group costume.

Costume Suggestions:

  • Choose characters like Moana and Te Fiti, Kim Possible and Shego, or Star Butterfly and Moon Butterfly.
  • Focus on capturing each character's key elements and costumes.

Bonus Points: Practice each character's signature moves or create a fun group chant or song.

3. Family Fun:

Concept: Create a heartwarming family costume theme by involving parents and siblings. Dress up as characters like Ming, Jin Lee, and Mei Lee, or choose other family-oriented themes from "Turning Red."

Costume Suggestions:

  • Parents can dress as Ming and Jin Lee, incorporating traditional Chinese attire with modern elements.
  • Children can dress as Mei Lee in human and red panda form, following the costume guide for each.
  • Coordinate accessories like red envelopes or lucky charms for a cohesive family look.

Bonus Points: Plan a family activity like creating your own "Turning Red" themed snacks or playing a game inspired by the movie.

The possibilities are endless! Let your creativity flow, have fun with your friends and family, and enjoy the spirit of Halloween!


Embrace your inner Mei Lee and step into Halloween with confidence! With a vibrant red-orange cardigan, playful details, and a touch of red panda spirit, your costume will turn heads and spark joy. Remember, the most important element is having fun and expressing your unique personality. So, channel your enthusiasm, embrace your individuality, and let your inner red panda roar!

Other Turning Red Costume Ideas

Abby Park
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