It’s that time of year again, when PF blogs sing the praises of affordable Halloween costumes. And even people without fatigue issues prefer the outfits be easy, too.
Alas, I’m terrible at coming up with my own costume ideas, but I can still throw out a few ideas that I’ve seen and loved.
1. Upside down person: My mom had me stick my legs through the sleeves of a sweatshirt. Sweatpants went on over my arms. She put socks and shoes on my hands and gloves on my feet. Now that those toe shoes are in vogue, you could probably get away with gloves on your “feet.”
2. Bubble gum machine: Another one of my mom’s ideas. Take a clear garbage bag, cutting arm and leg holes, then fill it with multicolored balloons. Tape the bag closed around the collar of your shirt.
3. Ghost of Christmas Present: Cut eyeholes in a sheet, then tape strips of wrapping paper randomly all over. Mom finally got me to do this one when I was in junior high. It fell flat, but in retrospect, it was pretty funny.
4. Bureaucratic red tape: Back in Seattle, a guy had printed out a bunch of UW forms and affixed them to his body with red tape. Love. It.
5. Victor/Victoria-esque drag queen: A female friend of mine wore a tight-fitting dress, painted on some five o’ clock shadow, went to town on falsies and eye make-up, and spoke in a husky voice. She had real commitment and stuffed her underwear with a rather large sausage. But I don’t think that’s strictly necessary for the outfit.
6. Babysitter: Tape some dolls to you, particularly one on your rear. I’ve never seen it done, but it sounds hilarious.
7. Trophy wife: A friend put on a nice dress, draped herself in gold jewelry and carried a little stuffed dog around all night.
8. Rock star(s): My friends went as an ’80s rock band. (Bonus costume: One of the guy’s girlfriend was a groupie.) They wore wigs and tight pants and mostly opted out of shirts — though not necessarily vests. Their lip-synched “Welcome to the Jungle” — complete with head banging — was very well received.
9. Politically incorrect pregnant woman: I’ll lose some of you on this, but it cracked me up. My friend stuffed her shirt to look about 8 months pregnant, painted on a black eye and the attached a “Pro-Choice” button at her navel.
Those are the best ones, but here are a few perennial favorites you can cobble together from secondhand or thrift stores:
10. Gypsy fortune teller: Peasant blouse or body suit, flowing skirt, lots of bracelets. A couple of scarves help.
11. Gangster: Hat, pinstripe suit. Bonus points if you can get a violin case.
12. Jerky businessman: A nice suit and keep your cell phone at your ear all night.
13. Harried mom/housewife: Robe, slippers, some curlers and maybe a green face mask or something. A cigarette hanging out the side of your mouth would, I think, add immensely to the getup.
14. Beauty queen: Thrift stores and secondhand shops always have some prom-esque dresses. Buy a white sheet, and cut out a strip to be your sash. Be creative with the title.
15. Catholic school girl: Man’s white shirt, a tie and a plaid skirt. Black shoes are a must, but you can use knee-high socks instead of thigh-high stockings.
Also, depending on the availability of headbands, wristbands and garishly colored spandex, ’80s jazzercise instructor would be awesome. Add a curly wig for Richard Simmons.
Obviously, this is nothing like a comprehensive list, so please please please add your own ideas in the comments.