Halloween Ideas

Halloween Ideas

All About the Spookiest Night of the Year!

Costumes

One of the most fun parts of Halloween is choosing or creating a costume to wear! I'm not that big on store-bought costumes. Most of what I've worn over the years are costumes that I've assembled myself from old clothes, things I've found at Goodwill, and pieces that I (or my mother) made at home. What people say about homemade costumes is true, they last almost forever!

The Halloween costume ideas below are mainly classic ideas that demonstrate how you can make costumes from things you have around the house, can find easily at thrift stores, can buy relatively cheaply, or can make yourself.

I don't have pictures of these outfits yet, but I'm planning on adding some as I continue to work on the site.

One of the things that I realized while working on this list is that many classic costumes aren't very gender-specific, which is a bonus. One of the appeals of classic costume concepts is that they are versatile and easily customizable. Several people can show up at a party dressed as witches, sorcerers/sorceresses, or wizards, and no two of them will look alike. That makes them very different from many commercially-produced costumes of licensed characters from movies. Mainly, the classic costumes that are the most gender-specific are the ones that involve skirts or dresses, but then, this is Halloween, so even that aspect doesn't mean much. One of the male teachers at my old high school once came to school dressed as Xena, Warrior Princess (surprisingly convincing, actually), and the year before, he came dressed as his own wife. With this in mind, I'm not grouping the concepts by gender but by category of similar types of costumes, especially ones that might reuse some of the same parts, so that you can see how the same basic costume pieces can be customized or reused.

This is the time of year to let your imagination run wild and get a little creative. The ideas below are just a starting point. Make them your own or explore your local thrift store and see what you can find! Unleash your inner artist!

To help you locate specific sections that may interest you, this is the list of broad categories that I cover:


Magic Users

This section covers witches, sorcerers, sorceresses, and wizards. Besides all of them being characters that use magic, they also wear similar types of clothing and use similar props. Fortune tellers also somewhat fall into this category, both because they are supposed to have special powers and because they can use some of the same clothing and props. I'm also putting stage magicians into this section, for similar reasons.

Sorcerer/Sorceress

This is the least specific of the magic users. When people talk about witches and wizards, they often have a specific image in mind (more about that below), but more general sorcerers and enchanters are harder to pin down. They are generally mystical but not specifically good or evil, and they don't come with many pre-defined characteristics, which makes them great for people who like to design their own characters and costumes. It leaves you free to choose your costume pieces from what you have available or what you can make.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
What really makes this costume is the cloak or cape you wear over your base clothes and the accessories you add. This means that the basic clothes that you wear under the cloak can be as simple or as fancy as you want them to be. If you're in a hurry to put together a costume, I recommend basic black pants or a long skirt with a plain black or white shirt. Using plain colors gives you more opportunity to dress up the outfit with some mystical-looking jewelry. Black is easy and classic, but that isn't your only possibility. You can pick just about any color and use that as your costume theme. If you happen to find or want to make fancy, more mystical-looking clothes, it will enhance the outfit. Old-fashioned or Medieval-style clothing is good. Sometimes, you can find dresses or skirts with mystical patterns, like stars, moons, or spiderwebs on them, which add to the magical look of a sorceress.
Cape or Cloak
This is the essential item for this costume! There aren't many absolute requirements for a sorcerer/sorceress, but a cape or cloak adds the right mysterious/magical element. Around Halloween, capes and cloaks come in wide varieties and prices ranges, and some of them also end up at thrift shops from past years' costumes. You can shop around for the one that looks the best for the best price, or for an individualized look, you can make your own. They aren't too difficult to make, although the cloaks are a little more complicated with the added hood. If you make your own, you'll also need to decide how you want it to fasten. You can sew on ribbons or strips of cloth to tie it closed or use a frog closure. You can buy ready-made frogs at cloth stores or make your own. You can also use a decorative button with a loop to go over it. If the cloak is fairly light, you can use a decorative pin to hold it closed.
Jewelry and Accessories
The right kind of jewelry and accessories can dress up an otherwise plain-looking costume. Jewelry with mystical symbols, stars, moons, dragons, unicorns, bats, or spiders would be right for a sorcerer/sorceress. If the symbols on the jewelry match other symbols on the costume, it's even better. Other possible accessories for this costume would be a staff or a "crystal ball." Props like these can be pretty impressive and are great when posing for pictures, but they can be problematic if you're at a party and have to move around. You'd have to find a place to set them down if you wanted to get some food or dance. You might want to consider if you want to deal with that where you're spending Halloween. Costume shops sell staffs and crystal balls, if you want them. If you want to try to make a crystal ball that can remain in place on a table, I recommend getting one of those frosted or plastic globes that can go over a light bulb. You can find these in the lighting department of hardware stores, like Home Depot or Lowe's. If you put a glowstick or a small battery-operated light underneath it on a tabletop, it will glow.

Fortune Teller

If you have the costume pieces necessary for a sorcerer/sorceress, you also have what you need for a fortune teller. The two can actually be pretty similar or almost the same. The difference is in the emphasis on seeing into the future. Some people might want to play this as an old-fashioned gypsy-style fortune teller, but it's not strictly necessary. The crystal ball is an even more useful prop for this costume, but it's not an absolute requirement because people can tell fortunes by reading palms or using cards, too. If you're into play acting your costume, you might want to consider how far you want to play it. Have you ever had your palm read or ... red? (That's your cue to color their palm with a red washable marker.)

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
There's a lot of room for customization here, depending on how you want to play the fortune teller. The basic clothes that you wear under the cloak can be as simple or as fancy as you want them to be. If you want to be a gypsy-style fortune teller, think about layers of clothing, accessorized with scarves. You can start off very simple, with a pair basic black pants or a long skirt with a plain black or white shirt. A man in black pants and a plain white shirt could use a vest over it and a scarf or bandana tied on his head for color. A woman's skirt could be very colorful with bold patterns, and she could also wear a scarf on her head. Old-fashioned or Medieval-style clothing is also good for this costume. Sometimes, you can find dresses or skirts with mystical patterns, like stars, moons, or spiderwebs on them, which add to the mystical look of a fortune teller.
Headgear
As I mentioned under Base Clothes, scarves are a good option for people who want to be gypsy-style fortune tellers. However, there are other options. You could wear a cloak with a hood, a dashing leather hat, a fez with a mystical symbol, a colorful headband with mystical symbols, or possibly a turban. Some of these are available at costume shops, but you can also make a homemade headband or turban.
Jewelry and Accessories
The right kind of jewelry and accessories are essential to this costume. Jewelry with mystical symbols, stars, moons, bats, or spiders would be right for a fortune teller. Jewelry shaped like eyes or with eye designs are especially good, as it implies second sight. As I mentioned before, a "crystal ball" is also useful for this costume. Props like these can be pretty impressive and are great when posing for pictures, but they can be problematic if you're at a party and have to move around. You'd have to find a place to set them down if you wanted to get some food or dance. You might want to consider if you want to deal with that where you're spending Halloween. Costume shops sell crystal balls, if you want them. If you want to try to make a crystal ball that can remain in place on a table, I recommend getting one of those frosted or plastic globes that can go over a light bulb. You can find these in the lighting department of hardware stores, like Home Depot or Lowe's. If you put a glowstick or a small battery-operated light underneath it on a tabletop, it will glow.

Witch

If you have the costume pieces necessary for a sorcerer/sorceress, you have all or most of what you need for a witch. The two can actually be pretty similar or almost the same. The big difference is that most people picture a classic witch as wearing a pointed hat, like the witch in The Wizard of Oz. I'm not thinking of the Harry Potter kind of witch, which includes Hermione Granger costumes. I'm thinking about covering that in another section about book and movie characters. Right now, I'm just thinking about a classic style of witch. Usually, people think of "witches" as being female, but there are male witches, too. The male term is "warlock," and they're often pictured as being sorcerers or wizards. I'd recommend a sorcerer-style costume for someone who wants to dress as a warlock.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
Because witches are usually pictured as female, the basic clothes are usually dresses or skirts and blouses. Old-fashioned clothing is also good for this costume. Sometimes, you can find dresses or skirts with mystical patterns, like stars, moons, or spiderwebs on them, which add to the mystical look of the costume. However, you can also use a plain blouse and skirt or a long robe or homemade tunic as the base garment and dress it up with accessories, like a belt, an apron, a cape, or mystical jewelry. Part of the reason that this costume is such a classic is that there are so many ways to assemble it from clothes that you already own and customize it. The usual color for a witch outfit is black, but that's not your only option. You can use other colors or combine other colors with black to make the costume look more distinctive.
Hat
This is the one essential element of this costume! Without a pointed witch's hat, this is basically a sorceress costume, which is still good and really pretty similar, but if you're going for a classic witch look, you're going to need a hat. Pretty much everywhere that sells Halloween costumes sells witch hats, and you can get them pretty cheaply. If you're feeling crafty or want to personalize your hat, you can make your own out of construction paper or foam, but the supplies will also cost money, and you probably wouldn't be saving much by making a hat.
Jewelry and Accessories
The right kind of jewelry and accessories can make this costume something special. Jewelry with mystical symbols, stars, moons, bats, or spiders would be right for a witch. You can also add a fancy belt to the costume or tie a long scarf around your waist to make your costume look a little different. Another typical witch accessory is a broom, but that can get in the way at parties, so you might want to consider where you're going on Halloween before you decide if you want one.

Wizard

If you have the costume pieces necessary for a sorcerer/sorceress, you have all or most of what you need for a wizard. The two can actually be pretty similar or almost the same. The big difference is that most people picture a classic wizard as wearing a pointed hat, like Merlin (often blue with stars on it). I'm not thinking of the Harry Potter kind of wizard, but the classic image of a wizard. I'm thinking about covering Harry Potter in another section about book and movie characters. Often, people think of "wizards" as being male, perhaps a counterpartto the female witch, but women can wear wizard costumes, too.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
The key elements of a wizard costume are the hat and possibly a cape or a cloak. There are different options for what you can wear with them. A very classic kind of wizard might wear a long robe or tunic (which can be homemade) as the base garment, especially if it's decorated with stars and moons to match the hat. However, you could simply wear plain-colored pants and a shirt and let the cape make them look more mystical. Classic wizards are often shown wearing blue clothes with gold or silver stars on them, but black or any other color would do as well and make the costume look a little different.
Hat
This is the one essential element of this costume! Without a pointed wizard's hat, this is basically a sorcerer costume, which is still good and really pretty similar, but if you're going for a classic wizard look, you're going to need a hat. Costume shops commonly sell wizard hats (also online stores), and you can get some of them pretty cheaply. If you're feeling crafty or want to personalize your hat, you can make your own out of construction paper or cloth, but the supplies will also cost money, and you may not be saving much by making a hat.
Cape or Cloak
This isn't a strict requirement for a wizard, but a cape or cloak adds the right mysterious/magical element. Around Halloween, capes and cloaks come in wide varieties and prices ranges, and some of them also end up at thrift shops from past years' costumes. You can shop around for the one that looks the best for the best price, or for an individualized look, you can make your own. They aren't too difficult to make, although the cloaks are a little more complicated with the added hood. If you make your own, you'll also need to decide how you want it to fasten. You can sew on ribbons or strips of cloth to tie it closed or use a frog closure. You can buy ready-made frogs at cloth stores or make your own. You can also use a decorative button with a loop to go over it. If the cloak is fairly light, you can use a decorative pin to hold it closed.
Jewelry and Accessories
Because this is usually considered a male costume, the jewelry is usually minimal, but a mysterious-looking medallion can be a nice touch. Another possible accessory for this costume would be a wizard's staff, but it might get in the way at a party, and you'd have to find a place to leave it if you get up to dance or get something to eat. You might want to consider where you're spending Halloween before you decide if you want a staff. Costume shops commonly sell them. Merlin-type wizards also often have long beards, but this is also optional.
To Top

Ghosts, Monters, and Mythological Creatures

Ghosts and monsters are Halloween basics! Some people might consider them a bit generic, but these are classic costume concepts that are easy to customize in many different ways.

Ghost

I might as well start by saying that one of the tricky parts of this costume is making a good one without looking like a member of the KKK. Honestly, what is the world coming to when people in white sheets give a bad name to the decent, upstanding, self-respecting wandering lost souls of the night? No matter. I've given this some thought, and I think I've come up with a solution. The generic, cliched ghost costume is basically an old, white sheet with holes cut in it for the wearer's eyes and mouth, but the problem with that is that is that people trip over long sheets, and it's difficult to use your arms with that much cloth draped over them (unless you also cut armholes). I've sometimes seen people wear a white robe with a separate white hood that mostly covers the face to get around those problems, but that's where we run into the KKK problem, and pictures taken on Halloween can come back to haunt you later. So, my conclusion is that the costume cannot cover the face. Facepaint is another option.

Note: Although I said that white, gray, and silver are the base colors for a ghost costume, you can turn this into a slightly different costume by varying the color. Banshees wear basically the same things, but in some descriptions of banshees, they wear green with a gray cloak. That's a very striking image, especially if the eyes are rimmed with red (makeup) from "weeping." If you wear basically the same outfit but make it all black, you can call yourself a "phantom" as a slightly different variety of ghost (this would be the kind of ghost that would wear one of those scream masks - you can buy those as whole costumes or just buy the mask and put together a costume of your own) or Death/The Grim Reaper (especially if you carry one of those plastic costume scythes).

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
White is traditional for a ghost costume, but gray is also good. People tend to think of ghosts as being white or silvery wisps. You can use a long robe or tunic as the base of the costume or you can wear a shirt and pants or a dress. Any of these will work, but white, gray, and silver are definitely the colors to choose (unless you're trying one of the variations that I mentioned above).
Cape or Cloak
A cape or cloak is a good addition to the costume and helps to make up for not having a sheet or hood over your head. The hood of the cloak can be a head covering, but it's nice that it doesn't cover the face. The cape or cloak should be white, gray, or silver, to match the clothes under it. You can buy one from a costume shop or thrift store, but they're also pretty easy to make. I recommend using a light material, possibly translucent, in keeping with the wispiness of ghosts. If you make a cape or cloak, remember to sew on a ribbon or other closure so that the cape or cloak can fasten.
Makeup
Since you're not covering your face, you might want to use facepaint to make your face look more eerie. White or light gray would be the ideal colors to match the costume itself. Another possibility would be to paint your face like a skull - mostly white but with dark circles around the eyes, for example.

Mummy

Mummies are one of those classic monsters that never go out of style! The tricky part is the wrappings. You can buy a ready-made mummy costume, but if you want to make the costume yourself, you'll need to decide how the wrappings are going to be done. It makes a difference in how easy the costume will be to put on and take off. I haven't made my mummy costume yet, but I have some thoughts about it.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
Like the ghost costume, this costume is mainly white. I recommend starting with either white or light tan pants and a white shirt with long sleeves. The long sleeves will be critical to doing the wrappings.
Mummy Wrappings
As I said, I have made my mummy costume yet, but I have some thoughts about how it can be done. Whichever method you choose, the wrapping will have to be done while you're wearing your base clothes, and it might help to have another person assisting you. Keep in mind that you might have to use the bathroom at some point while wearing this costume, so it's best to do the wrapping in two parts, top and bottom, instead of wrapping yourself in one continuous piece. Wrap yourself loosely enough that you can move easily in the clothes and that you can take them off later
  1. Crepe paper - I've heard this technique before as a cheap and quick way to put together a mummy costume. You just take a roll and wrap it around yourself, doing each leg individually, and then each arm and the main part of your body. Try to cover as much of yourself as you can with the wrappings. You can secure the wrappings with small safety pins. The big difficulty that I can see with crepe paper is that it tears easily, especially if you're going to be moving around a lot.
  2. White medical gauze or long strips of plain white or beige cloth - These will be a little more sturdy that crepe paper and can even be stitched in place, once you have them in the correct positions on your clothes, making the costume more durable. This costume might even be good for more than one wearing, while the crepe paper would only be temporary.
  3. White Duct Tape - It's available and easily adheres to cloth, making the wrappings secure. I got this idea from a classmate who once came to school as Duct Tape Man, wrapped completely in regular gray duct tape. The white duct tape would look a little more like mummy wrappings although not as authentic as using gauze or cloth. The advantage is that those wrappings are guaranteed to stay in place. If you try this, make sure that you're trying it on clothes that you don't care about using for any other purpose because it would be a pain to get all of that duct tape off again.
Headgear
If you are using cloth, gauze, or crepe paper for your wrappings, you can wrap some extra around your head. Another idea would be to secure some wrappings to a white ski mask and use that to cover your face. You can also use white facepaint to make your face match the rest of your wrappings.

Generic Monster/Zombie

There’s a lot you can do with this, depending on whether you want to use masks or makeup. You can go for movie-specific monsters, like a werewolf or Frankenstein's monster, which is probably best to do with a mask, or just create your own monster with imagination and face paint. Zombies would follow the same basic costume, but you would use grayish makeup and possibly fake blood to look undead.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
You can start with something very basic. Torn clothes would be good for a werewolf, Frankstein, or zombie. If you're creating your own monster, you could wear simple cloths of a solid color that matches your makeup, as if they're the body of the monster.
Headgear
This may be optional, depending on what kind of monster you want to be and whether you will be using makeup or a mask. You can use headbands to add horns or antennae, but I've also seen facepainting tips where you can draw horns on your forehead. You may also decide that you'd like to wear a wig with your costume. If you want to make a wig, this YouTube video has good instructions for making a simple yarn wig in any color you choose. To follow those instructions, you will need to start with a basic knitted hat. It's important for the hat to be either knitted or crocheted so that you can hook the yarn hair into it.
Mask or Makeup
As I said in the opening description, which you use depends on the type of monster you're trying to be. There are books with instructions for using facepaint that have examples of monster costumes, including how to make your face look like it has scales, draw horns on your forehead, draw extra eyes to your forehead, and draw fangs coming out of your mouth. One of my favorite things to do in this category is to wear all purple, draw an eye on my forehead, and wear a birthday hat that I covered with purple paper so I can be a Purple People Eater.

Individual Monsters and Mythological Creatures

Since this is such a broad category, I decided to make a list of a few of my favorites. Some of these costumes fall more under the category of mythological creatures instead of monsters, and some of it overlaps with the aliens category.

To Top

Superheroes and Fighters

This is the section for crime fighter and mercenaries (and possibly some villains, depending on how you play it). All's fair in love, war, and Halloween costumes, and this is an equal opportunity field.

Superhero

Every year, costume shops are filled with popular superheroes from movies and comic books, but I'm not talking about any of them. In this section, I want to talk about making your own superhero costume for a superhero that you invent. I got the idea from my brother, who was having trouble deciding what he wanted to wear one Halloween. We were browsing around at Goodwill, hoping to stumble upon something that would spark a costume idea, when I suddenly spotted a neon yellow shirt that was so bright that it hurt my eyes to look at it. I had to show it to my brother, and he pointed at it and said, "That's my costume! I am ... Neon Man!"

Homemade superhero costumes aren't quite as cool as the commercially-made, character-specific, true-to-the-movie types of superhero costumes, but that's not the point. When you make up a superhero costume for a superhero that doesn't exist anywhere except for you own head, you're trying to be funny more than being cool, and in a way, that actually makes it more cool than wearing soemthing that a hundred or a thousand other people also bought at Target or Walmart. When you make up your own superhero, it can be as funny or cheesy or just plain bizarre as you want it to be, and that's the fun of it. Also, it's usually a lot cheaper than buying commercial costumes. Added bonus!

Creating your own superhero is equal parts figuring out what you have to work with and deciding on your character's special theme. All superheros have a special theme or backstory that makes them what they are. They often have a unique superpower or weapon that they use against the bad guy, and this figures into the design of the costume. Case in point, Neon Man's costume was eye-searingly bright, so he would blind any evildoer who looked upon him (and quite a lot of our friends, although that costume looks great under black light). So, perhaps the best way to start is to see what you have to work with and decide what kind of theme it can fit. Mostly, this type of costume requires imagination and a sense of humor, and the rest is just improvised. The characters in the movie Mystery Men are good examples of this, especially the ones who show up to the superhero audition.

Actually, the same rules for creating a superhero costume can also be applied to creating a supervillain costume, depending on how you want to play it. If your friends are creative types and have a sense of humor, you could probably throw an entire Halloween party with a superhero/supervillain theme with the only requirement being that none of the superheros or supervillains can be ones that actually exist in popular culture; it all has to be invented and improvised by the party guests. No two people would show up in the same outfit, and the results would be hilarious. Just explaining the costumes and character backstories to the other party guests would be an activity by itself.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
Literally anything! Well, you actually do have to be wearing something, or you'll end up being arrested for public indecency, but apart from that, there are practically no limits to what you can use for this costume. Search through your closet and/or visit your local thrift stores for the strangest and most interesting clothing pieces that you can find that might fit a common theme. You could even just start with fairly normal clothes and use markers or fabric paint to draw on the superhero symbols of your choice. (My brother used a marker to draw a lightning bolt symbol on the neon yellow shirt.)
Cape or Cloak
Always appropriate for a superhero. They're fairly easy to make, or you can buy a simple, plain one. On the other hand, maybe a long coat could be another option if it would fit the theme of your superhero better.
Headgear
I recommend wearing a small face mask, the kind that goes mainly around the eyes. You could make the kind of mask that the Ninja Turtles wear, which is basically a strip of cloth with eyeholes cut into it. Really, the more homemade it looks, the more that it fits with the general look of this costume, like a new superhero who just recently discovered their power whipped together a costume at home to get started fighting crime. Everyone's on a budget, you know, and it can be difficult when you're getting started in a new field.
Accessories
Anything that fits the chosen theme of your superhero. For example, Spatula Man would wield a spatula (maybe two of them - he can dual-wield).
To Top

Girls in Gowns

I know that I said that I wasn't sorting costumes by gender, but some of these were difficult to classify otherwise because they tend to rely on dresses and skirts as the basis for the costume. The wearer can be anybody (and in some cases, switching it up might be hilarious), but the point is that the costumes in this section require a dress or skirt of some sort. Sometimes, in the costume descriptions, I note what a male counterpart might wear.

Princess or Queen

A very basic costume that many girls have done at some point. However, this costume can still be customized and expanded. It partly depends on the style of the dress, and it's partly about the props. It's possible to be a princess from many different periods of history, and their outfits vary considerably. (I might elaborate more on that later. At the moment, I'm just getting started with some general ideas.) There are different possibilities of crowns and circlets at costume shops, and some fairy-tale princesses wear a tall, pointed hat. A very standard sort of princess or queen would wear a long evening gown or ball gown with a crown. Adding wings (like the fairy wings that you can buy at a costume shop) makes the costume into a fairy princess or queen. However, you can take the costume in a different direction and turn it into a prom queen or beauty queen. The prom queen or beauty queen would wear a shorter, more modern type of evening gown and might have a sash with their title written on it.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
An evening dress of some kind. As I described above, the style of dress changes what type of queen or princess the costume represents. Old-fashioned or period clothing would make a historical princess.
Headgear
This depends on the type of queen or princess. There are many possibilities, and costume shops have a wide variety of different crowns and hats. If you'd like to make a crown at home, there are different ways of doing it.
Accessories
Possibly a sash if you want to be a prom queen or beauty queen. An even better "accessory" would be a prince or king, if you have someone who is willing to play the part.
Prince/King
The prince or king's costume depends on the type of princess or queen. For a very general sort of prince/king, I'd recommend either a suit or tuxedo or possibly a pair of nice dress pants with a button-up shirt and a decorative vest over it. A crown would clarify what his costume is, and he could add a cape or cloak to be more dramatic.

E

P).

Th.

Pe.

I.

Yo.

I

W.

T.

I.

I.

F.

To Top

Clowning Around and Other Oddities

These days, clowns are more likely to strike terror than cause mirth, but silliness isn't dead. You could be a friendly clown or a sinister one. For a historical twist, you could be a court jester, which could also be funny or sinister.

Since these are the silly costumes, I decided to put pun-related costumes in this section in this section as well. You'll recognize the type when you see it. Ever see one of those "Fifty Shades of Grey" costumes with paint samples? Those type of costumes.

https://neocities.org/site_files/text_editor/costumes.html#

S.

Joke Costumes and Oddballs

This section is for costumes that are basically jokes. Some are based on puns and others are just odd costume ideas that don't really fit elsehwere. Many of them would make good minimalist costumes.

Fashion Disaster

Whatever you're wearing, no two pieces of clothing can match. You can do this with whatever you have in your closet or get at the thrift store, but the wilder the clothes are, the better. They should blatantly mismatch, like mixing plaids with polka dots or maybe a tie-dye t-shirt. Wear as many competing colors and mismatched patterns as it's possible to fit into a single outfit, and maybe top it off with a fun hat if you have one that matches absolutely nothing else you're wearing. Weird Al's music video Tacky has good examples of this. You could even just call this costume "Tacky," if you want. What are you for Halloween? Tacky!

Halloween Spirit

It's not a ghost costume. It's kind of a pun. In a way, it's a cop-out costume, but it can look fun if you're creative about it and really go all the way with it, staying within theme. If the idea of just wearing a "This is my costume" t-shirt appeals to you, why not go one better and make everything you're wearing Halloween-themed? Look for clothes with Halloween-themed prints on them or Halloween colors. Get some Halloween-themed socks at the dollar store (or, really, anywhere socks are sold before Halloween). Find any odd, cheap Halloween-themed jewerly, hair accessories, hats, etc. and wear them as part of the costume. It's still basically clothes, but now, you're completely within the "Halloween spirit."

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
As described above. Everything you wear must be somehow related to Halloween. Everything has to be in Halloween colors or have Halloween messages or designs on it.
Accessories
The cheaper and gaudier the better, as long as it's obvious that it's Halloween-related. Check out your finer dollar stores for plenty of options.
To Top

Easy Minimalist Costumes

Not everyone likes dressing up in elaborate costumes, and some people just don't have time to put much together. These costumes are about as close to regular clothes as you can get and still be wearing a costume, but they're still a step above wearing one of those "This is my costume" t-shirts.

Some of the costumes listed in other sections are also minimanist, but I organized them in different sections because they fit with other themes:

Witch
So easy! Just take a black dress or a black skirt and blouse combination and wear a witch's hat or one of those cute little headbands with a mini witch hat on it.
Sorcerer/Sorceress
Wear a long dress or a black shirt and black pants and just wear a cape or cloak over it. Costume done!
Prince/Princess or King/Queen
Basically evening clothes and a crown.
Fairy
Pretty dress and fairy wings (available wherever costumes are sold).
Fashion Disaster
Whatever you're wearing, no two pieces of clothing can match. Apart from that, it's just whatever you have in your closet or get at the thrift store.

Stage Magician

Real-life stage magicians can wear a variety of stage costumes, but the classic image of a stage magician is mostly someone wearing evening clothes and a top hat. Women can wear this outfit as well as men, and the rabbit is optional.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
You can actually wear a suit or tuxedo, if you have one, but a plain white shirt and black pants will do for the basic outfit. If you're wearing a plain white shirt with black pants, you can dress up the outfit a little by wearing a vest or a bow tie or both.
Top Hat
This is the one essential element of this costume! Without a top hat, you're just wearing ordinary clothes. You can get a small toy rabbit and put it in the hat, just for fun, but that's optional.
Accessories
The obvious accessories for this outfit would be a magician's wand, a toy rabbit in the hat, or small magic tricks that you can do for your friends, but they're not really necessary if you're not into playacting your character.

Tourist

Believe it or not, I have actually seen commercially-made costumes for this, but I can't think why because you don't need much for it and what you do need you can easily find at a thrift store for a couple of bucks, if you don't own it already.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
This is really the backbone of the costume here. The stereotypical tourist wears a loud shirt, usually with a tropical design, and either khaki shorts or pants, depending on how cold it is. If you're wearing shorts, you might also be able to wear sandals, but ordinary tennis shoes are just fine. That's basically the tourist outfit right there. The rest is optional, but adding a hat or an accessory or two would make it look a little more like a costume than just part of your usually weekend wardrobe.
Hat
Tourists often wear sunhats, so you if you have a straw hat or a hat with a visor, it would be a good addition to this costume and would make it look a little more like a costume than just the regular clothes.
Accessories
The obvious accessories for this outfit would be either a camera or a pair of binoculars for sight-seeing, but neither is required. If you use one , they could be a toy binocular or camera, so you don't have to carry real ones around. Some of the commercial outfits also included leis, as if the tourist were visiting Hawaii. I've seen leis for sale around Halloween at dollar stores, and they're also available at costume shops pretty cheaply. Sunglasses are also a possibility, although you may not want to wear them at night.

Cowboy/Cowgirl

An easy classic. You may already own what you need.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
Start with some western-themed clothing. The shirt can have a western design or be a plain button-up. You can wear jeans or a skirt with a western print. Jeans are the easiest, but you can find the rest at a thrift store easily, if you don't already own it.
Cowboy Hat
This is the one element of the costume that tells people what you're supposed to be. It doesn't have to be an expensive cowboy hat, and there are some cheap novelty ones available.
Accessories
You can wear boots, if you own a pair. Cowboy boots fit the costume, but ankle boots or general leather boots might do. It's not essential, but a nice detail if you can manage it.

Farmer/Scarecrow

Somewhat similar to the cowboy costume. It can be turned into a scarecrow costume with some added facepaint.

Basic Costume:

Base Clothes
You can wear a plaid shirt with jeans or overalls. Jeans are the easiest, but overalls do make the costume look a little different.
Hat
A farmer wears a hat to keep off the sun, but it doesn't have to be a specific hat. A straw hat is iconic and also good if you decide to go for the scarecrow look.
Facepaint
If you want to be a scarecrow, you can use facepaint to make it look like you have painted-on features. You can either be a jolly scarecrow, with bright pink cheeks and colorful patches, or you can look more sinister, with an evil grin and lots of drawn-on stitching on the face.
To Top