So you’ve been invited to a mate’s Halloween party but have no time or energy to figure out what to wear. Don’t panic! You can absolutely create an inspired, no-frills costume from stuff lying around the house. Here is a list of non-sucky, easy Halloween costume ideas that can be whipped together for your party in under an hour.
Love it or loathe it, Halloween has permanently plonked itself on the Aussie calendar and continues to gain mainstream popularity with every passing year.
You can resist all you like, but the fact of it is that dressing up is pretty damn fun and you can actually whip up a half-decent outfit with little to no effort or cost.
So to help you, here are some fun easy Halloween costume ideas to use for your event.
Easy last-minute Halloween costumes
Squid Game may not have the hold on society it once did, but it still remains an excellent Halloween costume idea. The best part? The outfit is ridiculously easy to pull together.
All you’ll need to dress up as a contestant is a teal or green tracksuit, a white shirt, and those elusive white Vans.
What you need: An umbrella, some ribbon or strips of fabric or paper, and adhesive.
A super simple costume that takes about five minutes to craft together, your transformation into a jellyfish starts with an umbrella. A clear plastic one is ideal, but not necessary. Attach strips of fabric or ribbon or even paper to the edges, making them long enough to reach the floor if you carry the umbrella. Ta-da! A jellyfish.
Glue a bunch of cereal boxes to a shirt. Dab them with red paint. Carry a knife or other weapon. You are a cereal killer. Get it? Of course, you do because this joke is one million years old. So embrace it: Tell people you’re actually going as an unfunny joke. They’ll get it.
Find a box large enough to fit over your torso and at least six plastic cups. Paint your box to match your cups, then cut the tops off the cups. Glue the cup bottoms to the front of your box, cut some arm holes in that sucker, and voila — you are a Lego brick. Are you also the coolest person at your Halloween party? No, but at least you have a costume.
Can’t be bothered making an ankh? Buy some plastic fangs and say you’re Marceline from Adventure Time instead.
Is it dumb? Yes. In fact, this one crosses the line from merely stupid to ingeniously, terribly, irresistibly dumb. Print the word LIFE on a T-shirt. Carry around a bag of lemons. When people ask you what you’re supposed to be, hand them a lemon. That’s it. That’s the costume. I’m not sure how you’re going to explain it once you are covered in bruises after so many people have whipped the lemons directly at your face. You figure it out.
Droog (A Clockwork Orange)
If you can get hold of a bowler hat, belt suspenders and a fake eyelash, you have everything you need for a serviceable droog costume. (For added credibility, perfect your Nadsat vernacular and use it to chat up some fetching devotchkas/moodges.)
Son of Man (René Magritte)
To add a touch of class to the throng of togas, dress up as a homage to René Magritte’s surrealist 1964 painting Son of Man. All you need is a dapper suit and an apple pinned to a bowler hat.
Ninety per cent of this costume is the floppy straw hat. To finish it off, draw a few stitches on your face and tape a pair of narrow sticks to the inside sleeves of your shirt.
Got a red swimsuit? Or even just a fitted red dress (we can be flexible)? Grab some cardboard and make a red headpiece, pair it with a red cape – literally any fabric will do – and you’ve become Wanda for the evening.
If you play a sport that requires an outfit, simply whip it out on Halloween and you’re ready to roll. Take your bat/racquet/curling broom to complete the ensemble.
Wilson (Home Improvement)
Before he became Buzz Lightyear, Tim Allen was most famous for his sitcom Home Improvement. Most episodes ended with some home-spun wisdom from Wilson; a next-door neighbour who never revealed his face.
All you need to pull this outfit off is an old fishing hat, flannelette shirt and a “fence” made out of Paddle Pop sticks.
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This one’s sure to get a chortle out of the geekier party guests — and all you need is a plain white shirt and felt-tip pen. Literally, write HTTP 404 error costume not found, and you’re sorted.
MIB/CIA (Men In Black)
Own a black suit and some shades? You have everything you need for a MIB/CIA costume.
Regina George (Mean Girls)
Got a white tank top you’re not too fond of? Cut two holes into the chest and pop on a purple singlet underneath to instantly transform into the ultimate Mean Girl.
Failing that, you can always wear a pink polo if you have one to become Cady Heron.
When in doubt, stick with a classic. This is basically the “little black dress” of easy Halloween costumes. To create this look, simply augment your clubbing gear with some drawn-on whiskers and fake cat ears.
The ‘iPod’ dress
Own a colourful tube top or strapless mini dress? Just add a few bits of cardboard and you have a kitschy wearable iPod!
For maximum effect, get your friends to follow suit in different colours. (As an added bonus, you won’t need to tell the DJ what your jam is — it’s already printed on your body.)
The spectral schoolgirl from Ringu is a surprisingly easy costume to pull off. If you’re blessed with long black hair, all you need is a white dress and a clip to keep your hair pushed forward. If your locks don’t match, just grab a novelty wig from a discount shop on your way to the party.
Rosie the Riveter
You don’t need to work in a factory to create this feministic World War 2 icon: all you need is a red bandanna, denim shirt and Forties-style makeup.
No-Face (Spirited Away)
The mysterious creature from Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away makes for a pretty spiffy Halloween costume. You can scrounge this ensemble together with a black sheet and a mask made out of cardboard. (Just try not to trip over.)
Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast At Tiffany’s)
Here’s an easy one for our upper crust readers: just use the tiara, pearl necklace, cocktail dress and fancy cigarette holder that are already in your possession. Instant easy Halloween costume.
Revenge Of The Nerds
Just stick a band-aid or wad of tape between the lenses of your glasses: instant nerd! To complete the easy Halloween costume, add a dorky tie or suspenders and hike your pants up around your belly.
There is something endearingly crap about the traditional ghost costume. More importantly, all you need is a white sheet with some holes cut out. Not exactly inspired, but at least you’ll score a few sympathy beers.
Red Riding Hood
Basket? Check. Red cloak? Check. Now all you need to do is add Li’l Red Riding Hood to the party playlist, and you’re sorted.
The Unknown Comic
The Unknown Comic (AKA Murray Langston) is a standup comedian best known for a string of rapid-fire performances on The Gong Show during the 1970s. You can replicate his signature look with a cheap suit and paper bag.
‘Zombify’ last year’s costume
Wearing the same Halloween costume two years in a row is an unforgivably lazy social faux pas. But turning it into a zombie? That’s genius. If you still have last year’s outfit lying around, simply add some rips, dirt and fake blood.
This story on easy Halloween costumes has been updated since its original publication.
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