So, as much as I love pop-up Halloween stores for buying creepy babies and LARP-ready lingerie, it is an incredibly wasteful tradition. We get all of these cheaply-made, plastic-wrapped costumes shipped over from China, and we over-spend on them to wear them to maybe three parties. They typically fall apart before you’re able to reuse them for Purim, much less the following Halloween.
I will die before I stop celebrating the best American holiday, so I have brainstormed a few ideas for no-waste costumes that you can probably make exclusively from stuff you already own. I have divided them into three categories. “Extremely lazy,” “make-up heavy,” and “you probably won’t get mocked for wearing this.” Eat your heart out. (spooooooooooky!)
These costumes are not pictured because they are so easy, you do not need an example.
- The Brawny Man. From the paper towel brand. Plaid flannel, jeans, a roll of paper towels. Done.
- Mr. Clean. I love cleaning mascots, you guys. Just wear a tight white t-shirt, white bottoms of some kind, and one hoop earring. Carry around a sponge or a get a bald cap, and people will totally get it. By “get it,” I mean they’ll understand how little you planned for this because you are an adult and don’t have the time or money to own a real costume
- Ninja. Dress in all black. Add a ski mask and hat if you feel extra. Cut a star out of cardboard and cover it in aluminium foil to blow your friends away with how much you’ve committed to this off-the-charts lazy costume.
While these costumes are lazy and bare bones in the clothing they require, they will call for some intermediate make-up work.
- Avril Lavigne. Outfit: A white tank and a tie. Add cut up jeans, camo anything and converse to seal the deal. Make-up: Heavy black eyeliner. Hair: Straighten that shiz. Pro-tip: Taking one strand of hair and really going at it with a pink highlighter will be a very temporary but highly effective way of looking exactly like Avril Lavigne.
- Zombie Taylor Swift from her new *now is not the time to share my feelings about this* music video. Outfit: a nice dress. No need to get it dirty. Make-up: Cover your eyes in black or dark grey, and then put that same shade everywhere you’d contour. Apply liberally to your cheek bones and down to your jaw, your forehead, your nose. Throw some dark eyeshadow on your arms and legs for added effect. Hair: The messier, the better.
- The Carrie Costume. Wear a gown. Cover yourself, and ideally the gown, in washable red marker or fake blood that won’t stain. If you’re done with that gown, feel free to stain. That’s all.
- A Creepy Doll of Some Kind. Outfit: Anything a doll would wear. Probably a dress with anything you can add to make it look childlike. Make-up: bright colors on the eyelids – think blue or yellow or purple, bright red rouge on the cheeks, and then some dark eyeshadow strewn about to make you look dirty or ragged. This costume is sold in the intense eye contact and commitment to character. Hair: Messy pigtails.
You Probably Won’t Get Mocked for Wearing These:
These costumes are mostly lazy, but the makeup and outfit combination will at least imply effort.
- Donald Trump. Now, this will definitely be an overdone costume this year, so choose wisely. However, it is incredibly easy to mock our awful president with a simple suit jacket and some eye shadow. Outfit: A suit, or better yet, a golf shirt with a stuffed belly tucked into some shorts and belted below the gut. Add a red baseball cap that says something mocking MAGA, and you’re golden. Make-up: Go reeaaaallly heavy with a very light eyeshadow ALL around the eyes. Up to the eyebrows, down to the cheeks. White or very light pink will do. Everywhere else, smother with the orangest bronzer or eyeshadow you have. (Keyword: ORANGE. Be cautious of accidental blackface. There are no excuses for that.) Hair: Just make it look like a disaster, honestly.
- Rey from Star Wars. Outfit: Take a long grey scarf and criss-cross it over your front and belt it. Wear boots, Optional arm cuffs of some kind. Throw a giant stick across your back to serve as a weapon if you want. Makeup and hair are really optional from here, but the internet is telling me to put it up in a bun or half-up.
- Barb from Stranger Things: So. Easy. and So. Zeitgeist. This one is as easy and taking a flannel and buttoning it all the way up to your neck, and tucking it into a pair of mom jeans. Make your hair look 80’s, add glasses and carry around some books. I dare you to tell me I do not look like Barb in this costume.