Halloween Costume Ideas

Just my luck--I have to go in for jury duty in the morning. That also means I'll have to miss school. So, instead of having to read for my classes, I spent whatever was left of tonight watching the second half of Prison Break, eating dinner, working out, doing things for my own trial, and sorting through some random thoughts. One of those random thoughts was Halloween costume ideas. I have a Halloween social to go to on campus, and I decided against wearing a costume. Nonetheless, it was fun just thinking about it.

Since I'm cheap, I refuse to go out and spend $20 on a costume that I'd wear just once. I prefer using real clothes that I already have and perhaps buy a few cheap props. Here are a few ideas I concocted with a few trendy items in mind. Not all of the ideas are fully conceived, but that means you get the fun of filling in the gaps. Beats going as "yourself," right?

1) Plaid--it's all the rage this season, and very useful for costumes. There's always the Catholic schoolgirl look. You can also wear plaid with overalls (the ones wallowing in the dark depths of your closet, or on the racks of the thrift store), a straw hat, and hiking boots for the farmer look.

2) Skinny pants and boots--I used to hate the jeans tucked into boots look, but I'm starting to come around. The combo can be used for a number of outfits.

-You can be a pirate. Add a billowy, oversized shirt, a big belt, red bandana tied around your head, and a cheap toy sword and you're ready to become the next Jack Sparrow. You can probably make your own eyepatch or get one for cheap from the toy section.

-Alternately, you can create an equestrian look. Add a white blouse (preferrably in a tie-neck style, or if you don't have one, tie a scarf around your neck) and a fitted blazer. You can probably make your own riding crop if you have a thin black stick from somewhere. As for the hat, a black baseball cap is probably the closest you can come to an equestrian hat. You can probably do without one.

3) Stripped tops and wide legged pants--all you need is a sailor hat, Sailor! If you want to get fancier, add a red bandanna around your neck.

4) Fitted, dark-colored scoop-neck vests--this one is inspired by what I saw at Oktoberfest last week. If you have a peasant blouse and an A-line skirt, you can dress up as a village maiden (the vest is worn over the blouse, of course). Add a below-the-waist apron if you've got one. If you can get a cheap garland to go around your head, great. If not, you can let your hair down, twist a section from each side of your head, and tie those together at the back of your head. Or you can braid your hair--it's up to you.

5) Victorian tops--for the obvious Victorian look. You'll need to add a dark ankle-length skirt for this one; a bustle would be too much to ask and is virtually nonexistent nowadays. Tie your hair up in a bun on top of your head. Got a parasol? Even cuter. If you have a wide-brimmed hat, even better. Back in the day, going out without a hat is scandalous. Makes me think of those Manet painting for some reason (no, I'm not misspelling the artist's name).

6) Beads and empire waist dress--I don't know how well this works, but I'm thinking of a wealthy young lady in the early 1900's. I wore this the other day and one of my friends remarked that it looked really 1920's flapper-like:

I think the key elements are 1) the dark color, 2) empire waist, 3) the lacy portion from the cami that peaks out from underneath, along with 4) the lots of beads I used. For the flapper look, I'd tie a scarf around the head like a turban (another trend from the runways that I don't understand). As for the hair, I'm picturing either an up-do or curls on the ends of hair that's down. High heels are a must. The top portion of my outfit looks '20s, but the bottom is trickier. Other than a flapper skirt, it's hard to make it work, which is why I'm suggesting an empire waist dress. The longer, the better--remember, retro hemlines are long.

There are also a couple ideas for the guys, though these involve objects not found in your closet:

1) A few years ago, 2 of my roommate's friends showed up as a pair of ghosts. You'd think wearing a white trash bag would look stupid, but they actually did a good job decorating the bags. One had a smiley face, the other was frowning. The key was drawing the eyes and mouth in big bold strokes. Poke 2 holes for the eyes after you've drawn them in. And Stacie is right--don't suffocate! Cut holes for breathing. This costume idea is for adults only.

2) Another year, a friend showed up seemingly dressed in nothing but a cardboard box covering his bottom half. I thought it was an awesome and ultracheap costume. The trick is to find a cardboard box big enough to cover the waist down the the knees (duh) and making it stay up. I can't remember how my friend kept the box on, but I think it helps to tie ropes on the boxes to make straps that go across the body so that your shoulders can hold the box up. Please, for the sake of everyone else at the party, don't literally wear just a box.

3) I've seen other truly original costumes, but for the sake of preserving originality, I won't disclose the details here. Let's just say, be creative with a play on words, especially homophones. My friend took "serial killer" into a whole different level.


Stacie said...

Hey, be careful not to suffocate if you put a trash bag over your head! Seriously though. When my cousin was a teenager she cut neck and arm holes in a large black trash bag and put a belt around the waist and with some make up and hairspray and some other decorations she was a punk rocker!!! You could wear those skinny jeans underneith.
One other time we dressed up as rednecks. That was pretty easy. We just put on some mens clothes like flannel and jeans, an Agway hat, a hard hat, some shit kicker work boots, and painted mustaches on our faces. When I was in highschool those ugly Joe Camel cigarette jackets were pretty popular with the rednecks, so I fashioned one out of an old windbreaker, colored paper, and tape. Funny stuff. Maybe rednecks aren't abundant in California, but they sure are here in Vermont. It was pretty funny.
Anyway, just a thought. You are right, Halloween costumes can me made cheaply out of stuff in your closet.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Those are pretty fun ideas! Thanks for sharing them. You're right about the lack of rednecks in my part of the country, though I've heard many a story from my Southerner friends.