Finding the perfect Halloween costume can be stressful, especially when you are on a budget. But the great thing is, the coolest costumes aren’t always the most expensive. Here are some cheap alternatives, along with some more expensive ideas for those who can afford to go all out.
Prom Queen/Miss America: When was the last time you wore your two-hundred-plus-dollar Prom dress, ladies? That’s what I thought. If you were ever jealous of the Prom Queen, now is the time prove you’ve got what it takes. Just wear your old prom dress, and find a princess crown at Target or Claire’s. If you want to go a little further, you can go to a craft store, buy a ribbon and some fabric paint, and make your own Miss America sash. If you’re not that crafty, check out the girl’s dress up section of Target or Wal-Mart. They may have sashes there.
The Boys of Jersey Shore: Throw on some baggy pants and a wife beater (or that Ed Hardy shirt you’ve got lying around) and emulate the style of Pauly D. or Mike “The Situation.” You could even slick some gel in your hair or wear a baseball cap backwards. Guys, don’t forget the sunglasses and obnoxious jewelry to complete the look.
Audrey Hepburn: Every girl should own a little black dress, so why not use it for Halloween? Put on your black pumps and pearls, and pile your hair on your head, and you’ll look like you’ve just stepped out of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. For $40, Amazon.com has a great Audrey-style costume, complete with a hat, gloves and pearls.
The Versatile Suit: Have a suit, guys? Wear your slacks, blazer and tie, and be pretty much anything you want to be. Business man (though, admittedly, that’s a little boring), Don Draper from Mad Men (slick your hair to the side and get a cheap fedora). *Even try a flamboyant man from the 70’s (go to a thrift store to find a hat and a cane). If you want a flashier suit, check out costumediscounters.com. They have a wide variety of costumes in the $40 range. Check out partycity.com for pimp costumes as well.
Lady Gaga: Partycity.com has some great Lady Gaga costumes for a wide variety of prices ($25 to $50). They also have wigs and other Gaga-esque accessories such as jewelry and sunglasses. Don’t want to spend the money? Just wear something completely outrageous.
Where’s Waldo: Partycity.com has a Where’s Waldo costume for $40, but try going to Target or Wal-Mart and buying a red-and-white-striped shirt and red beanie, and wear some jeans that you already own. Then wear your glasses, or find some cheap costume glasses to wear. That would be much cheaper.
Any of these costumes can easily be transitioned into a scary vampire or zombie. For vampires, add some fake teeth and dramatic make up to your costume.
If you’d rather be a zombie, tear your clothes a bit and by mixing red food coloring and corn syrup, splatter some blood on your costume. For that “living-dead” look, be sure to have rumpled hair and a pale complexion. Here are some more specific scary costumes:
The Scarecrow: To make that business suit a little more interesting, wear a burlap sack over your head to be The Scarecrow, one of Batman’s nemeses.
Scary Rag Doll: Partycity.com has a great Scary Rag Doll costume for $40. With the right makeup, this could be downright creepy!
Headless Man: For just $35, partycity.com also has a Headless Man costume. The costume is taller than the average body, so it appears that the head is not attached to the neck.
If none of these ideas are working for you, or if you don’t have anything in your closet to work with, hit up thrift stores around Macon or your home town.
Goodwill and the Salvation Army always have a huge selection, but the really cool and unique finds are in independent thrift stores. Girls, look at the old wedding/prom dresses, and guys, try on some tacky,’80s era suits.
I once found a cool, red kimono shirt at a thrift store that would work well for a Halloween costume. The other great thing about independent thrift stores (and chains, for that matter) is that most of the proceeds go to certain charities like the Humane Society.
Some local thrift stores (besides Goodwill and Salvation Army) include the Macon Rescue Mission’s Bargain Center, Family Value Thrift Store, and Nifty Thrifty.
Good luck finding this year’s perfect Halloween costume!