Halloween Costume Ideas

By Laura K. Garrison

Hello, Procrastination Nation! Can you believe it’s already October? While you’re gearing up for midterms, don’t forget that Halloween is just around the corner. If you don’t have an idea for your Halloween costume yet, check out our suggestions and get creative!

A little grunge goes a long way.

If you want something cheap and easy to put together, consider dressing as a hippie (trust me, this has been my last minute fall-back for the past couple of years). Between the popularity of maxi dresses and the reemergence of tie-dye, you probably own enough counterculture garb to put together a pretty far-out costume. Similarly, consider being a disco queen or an 80s girl. If you’re really in a rut, you could always hit up your favorite thrift store for vintage pieces off which to base your costume (and add a little flair to your wardrobe in the process!).

For the thrift-store shopper, another personal favorite of mine: gypsy fortune-teller. Try raiding your favorite second-hand store for interesting, unique pieces that could pull together an exotic look. Remember to shop for dramatic scarves, shawls, and vintage costume jewelry to add the final touches. If you or a friend has some dark makeup, use a little around the eyes and some bronzer to truly look the part. To really go all-out, accessorize with a crystal ball or tarot cards and learn to tell fortunes (if your costume is convincing enough, charge a small fee for some extra cash!).

You can tell they’re excited because
Halloween is coming up

If you’re looking for a couple’s costume, my personal favorite is Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. A friend of mine and I did this a couple years back and everyone really appreciated the 90s nostalgia. Official Jack and Sally costumes are available online, but can be costly. Consider getting creative with your own designs! Nothing says Halloween quite like Tim Burton, so consider some other favorite Burton films for inspiration.

Continuing with the movie theme, if frat parties are how you like to celebrate, consider getting dressed up as your favorite character from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In honor of the raunchy cult classic, watch the movie again and dress up as Janet, Magenta, or Columbia. Again, costumes are available online, but do-it-yourself can be a cheap alternative (but time-consuming, if you think about the hair and make-up). Be sure to use that dorm-room mirror to practice your “Time Warp”!

If you want to coordinate a group costume, consider your favorite characters on television. Sex and the City is always an easy option (and would make Cynthia Nixon BC ’88 proud!), as are your favorite group of frenemies from The Real Housewives franchise, the girls from The Jersey Shore, and the Kardashian sisters (consider using SNL for inspiration).

You know you want to.

For the music-obsessed (and adventurous), take your costume cue from the many flamboyant pop stars that consider every day to be Halloween. Find your favorite look from your favorite artist, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Ke$ha, Florence Welch, or Taylor Swift. If you feel more like classic rock, take a look at the styles of women like Cyndi Lauper, Annie Lennox, Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, or Madonna. For another group costume idea, dress up as members of your favorite band (Spice Girls, anyone?).

If your idea of a Halloween costume involves arts-and-crafts, consider this DIY project: using two hula hoops and colored fabric, make yourself into a beloved M&Ms character! If this isn’t too wild for you, fasten some fabric to the hula hoops and hang them in front and behind your body. Don’t forget to paint a large “m” on the front. As do the characterizations of your favorite M&Ms, wear white leggings and a long-sleeved

There are many fish in the sea, but few
can make this costume look sexy. Consider
yourself challenged.

 white t-shirt to complete the look. If you can convince your friends, get a group to participate, and you could be the entire M&Ms crew!

If going green is your goal this Halloween, Country Living has easy costumes that can be made out of plastic bags. Check out environmental-friendly costumes such as a fishbowl, a gumball machine, and a snow globe.

Have a favorite costume idea you’d like to share? Share below! On Halloween, take a picture of your costume and email it to ninewaysofknowing@gmail.com. It may be included in our Halloween Wall of Fame, to be posted the week after Halloween!

Laura Garrison is a first-year at Barnard College and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Photos courtesy of Stotle’s Daily World, The Fab Empire, Toinks and Country Living, respectively.


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