Halloween is still a few weeks away (not that we’re counting), but you really need to start figuring out your costume now if you want to make an impression at that big party or on Trick-or-Treat night.
You could, naturally, head to Spirit Halloween and hunt down some haunting costumes that’s virtually Hollywood-perfect, but let’s face it: That’s not exactly wallet-friendly, especially if you’re trying to watch your budget right now due to inflation.
So, what sort of costumes can you find for kids, teenagers and adults that won’t break the bank?
Break Out the Onesie Pajama Animals
Let’s start off with a cute idea that is ultimately reusable and virtually guaranteed to keep you and your little ghouls and ghosts nice and cozy if Halloween happens to be chilly: costume onesies.
Whether you’re trying to find something easy to put your toddler in or you’re an adult looking for a costume that will be comfortable to wear while you walk the kids around – or you just want something fun that won’t break the bank to wear to a party, costume onesies are perfect.
Do you want to be a dragon, a bear, a unicorn, a skeleton or a sloth? There are all kinds of onesies out there that will cover you (literally) – and they’re ultimately reusable and wearable throughout the cold of winter.
Resurrect the Sanderson Sisters
Legend has it that it took the Sanderson Sisters, those evil witches, 300 years to return from their graves the first time they died – but it only took them 29 years to make it back for a second round.
Ever since Hocus Pocus came out in 1993, the Sanderson Sisters have been popular costume ideas for friends and family members alike. Now that Hocus Pocus 2 was just released, they’re more popular than ever.
This is a perfect idea for a group costume if you have two besties who are willing to play along – and it doesn’t matter if you’re a tween, a teen or an adult! The only problem you may have is deciding whether to go as Winifred, Mary or Sarah. The clothing can be easily cobbled together from thrift store finds (although costumes are being sold), because the real trick to nailing the look is just the make-up and hair.
Make Yourself Into a Meme for the Night
If you spend any time on social media at all, you know that memes are visual shorthand for a good joke, and they provoke plenty of laughs – so why not take your favorite meme out of the metaverse and into the real word for a while? Depending on the meme you choose, you can easily (and cheaply) whip up a quick costume that will instantly give folks the giggles.
Most memes, like “Change My Mind Guy” and “Grumpy Cat” are best suited to one person, but all you need to pull it off is a long-sleeved dark blue shirt, a dark coffee mug, some poster board and a strap to make a portable “table” with a sign that says “This is a great Halloween Costume: Change my mind” and you’re done.
If you don’t like that idea, consider going as the “Squinting, Still Can’t Find It” lady in pink and carry a sign that says “I’m still looking for the ‘good’ candy!” If pink or blue aren’t your colors, try “None of My Business” tea-sipping Kermit. All you need for this costume is a green hoodie, some green felt for Kermit’s neck fringe, a cup and a Lipton Tea bag and you can pin a sign to your front or carry one that says something like “The other street has better candy, but that’s none of my business!”
Go the “No Costume” Is a Great Costume Route
You know what’s really scary to most people? The “Blue Screen of Death” and 404 Errors on their computer screens. Again, why not playfully (and artfully) bring the terror of dealing with modern electronics into the regular world for a night?
You can easily buy t-shirts with these images printed on them for just a few bucks, but you could also make your own with a Sharpie and add a playful Halloween message like “Only 10% loaded on sugar” or “Halloween candy not found” to the bottom of the shirt.
You can also go with other cultural terrors. A short, blonde wig and a t-shirt that says “I’d like to speak to the manager” to mimic the local “Karen” is sure to scare quite a few people. If you have a pack of stick-on name tags and a pen, you can put random names all over your shirt and jeans and go as an “Identity Thief.”
Flashback to Decades Gone By
Finally, if you have to really come up with something quick, easy and cheap…dig through the back of your closet, your parents’ closets and your grandparents’ closets for clothing from decades past.
If you want to nail the 60s or 70s, all you need is a tie-dye anything and some peace beads and colored round sunglasses. If you want to invoke the 80s, you can go with a matching tracksuit in neon colors or any boxy jacket. Add some big hair and ridiculously oversized faux gold jewelry and you’ll practically create a time warp. The 90s give you some options, with denim overalls (one side artfully unclasped) for the girls, JNCO jeans for the guys and grunge band t-shirts or crop tops with plaid overshirts for just about everybody.
Whether you’re going Trick-or-Treating this Halloween or doing something else, you’re only limited by your imagination. A white sheet and a pair of scissors still makes a reliable ghost, and torn clothes and some make-up can still make a great zombie – so tap into your innate creativity and roll with whatever flows!