Costume tips

So do you have a costume in mind yet? If not, don’t fret. The costume is the one thing about Halloween I usually procrastinate. And worrying is contrary to the entire spirit of the holiday. I’ve always said that the best thing about Halloween is that it’s the one major holiday where you can have as much fun as you want without any pressure. Unless of course, like me, you create pressure for yourself. There’s plenty of time to conceptualize and execute a costume. I have some tips that can help you out of a mental block if that’s where you find yourself.

  1. Do not scrap an idea because it’s “too obscure”. I’ve seen it happen so many times – someone comes up with a brilliant idea but walks away from it because they don’t think anybody will get it, then they fail to come up with a good alternative. Do you know at least one person that will recognize it on sight? Will you be able to explain what it is in one sentence? If the answer is yes to both those questions, go for it.
  2. Don’t attempt a costume that includes a wig or a mask if you have a major aversion to wigs or masks. It sounds obvious, but I’ve seen many people concede to one of these costumes and then immediately remove the crucial element early in the night.
  3. If you can grow a beard, do what I do and start growing one in time for Halloween. The costume you choose might end up requiring facial hair.
  4. If you find yourself with Halloween rapidly approaching and still no good costume idea, cut your losses and go as a zombie. Yes, it’s cliché, but the great thing about going as a zombie is you have a very wide creative breadth. If your execution is good, it won’t matter that the idea has been done TO DEATH (Crypt Keeper cackle).
    4b. A greaser is another easy last-minute costume. Cuffed blue jeans, white T-shirt with cigarette pack rolled up in the sleeves, slicked hair, black leather jacket if you have one. Not terribly exciting but better than nothing.
  5. A clever concept can be just as effective as a well-made costume, if costuming up just isn’t your bag. One year, a friend of mine wore a piece of poster board with a blue bird logo on it. He was Twitter. Throughout the night people wrote Tweets on him with a marker. Another year someone wrote a math equation on a piece of cardboard, hung it around his neck, and grabbed a beer. He was a drinking problem. D- for effort, A for concept.
  6. Don’t dress up in your normal clothes and sarcastically tell people “I’m a college student/office worker/unrecognizable celebrity!” That joke is officially fucked-out.
  7. Seriously, don’t do that.

Finally, here are some pictures of some of the more creative costumes we’ve seen over the years. Perhaps they will clear some of the cobwebs from your brain.

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