Every year we say the same thing, “Nope, not spending money on a Halloween costume, just going to stay in, not a chance, harrumph, bah humbug” and all that. And every year, we inevitably end up at some Halloween party, looking like the one asshole who’s too cheap or too morose to wear a damn costume. So, this year, we’re cutting it off at the pass (and helping you out, if you’re anything like us) with ideas for 25 last minute homemade Halloween costumes, all assembled from stuff you probably have in your closet. You don’t even need a very interesting closet, either.
1. Daria and Jane
It’s simple, really. Have you got a green jacket, a black pleated skirt and glasses? That’s it for Daria. Combat boots and an orange under shirt are icing on the cake.
Alternatively, if you have a red jacket and dark denim shorts, plus opaque black tights, you’re done for Jane. But you knew that.
2. Jane Goodall
Khaki shorts, khaki button down, ponytail. Bare feet are ideal, astounding natural good looks will also help. And bring a banana!
3. Mia Wallace
Uma Thurman‘s iconic Pulp Fiction heroine Mia Wallace is in the cheap costume hall of fame. You need cropped black pants and a white button down; that’s it. Anything you can do to make your hair resemble hers is a plus, but you can do just as much with a matte lip and a cigarette. And some great dance moves, obviously.
You can also go way dark and tape a syringe to your chest. Or add a trickle of fake blood from your nose.
4. Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits
Want to be Mia Wallace but you’re a blonde? Take that white button down, add jeans, pigtails and cowboy boots and you have Marilyn at her saddest.
5. A Meme
With a tiny bit of effort, you can become your own meme. Make a cardboard sign in the style of any meme and fit it around your head (or do anything else).
However, be prepared to feel absolutely crushed when you realize that this shit is only recognizable to other internet dorks like you and no one at the Halloween party appreciates that you spent $10 on fucking Fresh Step for your technically flawless Danzig costume.
6. Alfred E Newman
You didn’t think this was going to be all girls, did you? Quick: think of something more charming than a girl dressed up as Alfred E Newman. …You can’t.
All you need is a black suit (or even just a black jacket), a white shirt and a red ribbon tie. Then, dab on some freckles with eyeliner, and black out one tooth. Or, go the extra lazy route and press a raisin between your teeth.
This was our go-to last minute Halloween costume in college. You get to have a bunch of fun doing crazy eye makeup (you’re never going to use all of that electric blue or hyper-pigmented red Urban Decay pot, so now’s your chance), then you just grab whatever black goth-y stuff you’ve got laying around. Cut out the crotch of an old pair of tights and poke your head through, add a black duster or a leather jacket. You can do garters, too, but we tend to shy away from anything especially SEXY on Halloween.
Also, 7.5: If you take the exact same outfit and do wildly different makeup, you end up with Siouxsie Sioux.
8. Grace Slick
Got anything paisley? Or fringed? Perfect. Whatever flower child-looking boho crap you’ve kept from Sienna Miller‘s reign of relevance will work. Long brown hair is a plus.
Another budget costume hall of famer. Pull tightie whities on over some shorts, add a towel cape and a belt around your head. No one remembers any other details.
10. Sporty Spice
The cheapest Spice Girl to imitate. Got sneakers, a sports bra and some running pants? Doodle on some tattoos if you’re feeling really ambitious. Or you could just…
11. ’90s Gwen Stefani
Swap out those running pants for some Dickies, add red lipstick and a Bindi. You’re peak Gwen.
12. A Tourist
Ugly shirt, shorts, socks, shoes. Add a camera, fanny pack, and shopping bags for flare. Walk shoulder to shoulder with four other people all damn night. And stop abruptly in high-traffic areas.
13. A Crayon
Dress in one color head-to-toe because this is really, really last minute. Look, we had to come up with 25 ideas. They can’t all be good. And it’s still better than going as a Sexy Crayon.
14. Little Edie
A scarf on your head (fastened with a broach), a sweater and a laissez-faire attitude about mocking mental illness and you’re all set.
15. Static Cling
Safety-pin hand towels and socks all over your regular clothes.
Sorry. This sucks. Do this if you suck.
Another fallback we used in college. Long coat over a turtleneck and mini or short ’60s shift dress. Then stare coldly at people and sing-talk in a very deep voice.
17. Beast Jesus
With the right makeup and a cloak, it can be done. And it has.
18. Cher Horowitz
Plaid is great here, but not necessary. Just about anything you have that screams ’90s will do: knee high boots with a chunky heel, mini skirts, babydoll dress, berets and (ideally) fuzzy pens.
19. Courtney Stodden
Make this face all night. Seem kind of out-of-it and wear a tube dress with lucite heels. Lest people confuse you with every vapid succubus on reality TV, occasionally blurt that you “majored” in [your boyfriend/girlfriend]. But, really, it’s all in the expression.
20. Bridget Jones
Pajamas, an empty Haagen Dazs container and despondence. Sensible underwear if you’re very committed.
21. Frida Kahlo
This one is so easy and so good. With some eyeliner, draw on a unibrow (and maybe the faintest moustache). Put up your hair with a huge array of flowers and then mix bold colors and prints. Add a bolo tie if you’re nasty.
22. Harriet the Spy
You may not have a magnifying glass, but you probably have a raincoat, a hoodie, sneakers and the ability to write PRIVATE on a notebook. Hook a hammer and wine opener into your belt, for costume (but also wine) purposes.
23. Personal Style Blogger
Take all your prints and wear them at once. Wear socks with heels, piles of “statement jewelry,” a shitload of bracelets and haphazardly arrange some random shit in your hair.
24. iPod Ad
If you have an iPod, black pants, shoes and a long-sleeved black top, you’re all set.
25. Julia Child
The last Halloween party we went to (the one where we went as Danzig and no one recognized us), we were completely in awe of a girl who went as Julia Child. Granted, she was amazing at The Voice, but she otherwise just wore an apron over a housedress with pearls and she carried around a wooden spoon all night. You can do it just as easily with the same materials (though we’re never one to pass up utilizing a rubber chicken, if possible).
Oh, and Happy Halloween!