Halloween is the most creative holiday, as it makes you put on your thinking cap to develop a great, eye-catching costume every year. Let’s face it: ugly sweater contests in December just don’t compare.
So although October is a scary month from that angle alone, you don’t have to be frightened of bad choices if you follow these five commandments:
1. Some household items can’t be transformed in a matter of minutes.
Take, for instance, the classic ghost costume. The recipe for decades has been to throw an old sheet over your head and cut out holes for your eyes and mouth. But if you actually do that, and just that, you end up with a person wearing a sheet and staring out raggedy holes. It’s not especially ghostly, you’re struggling to move without tripping,and now you’re out a sheet that could have been better used for other household projects.
Need a brain boost? Here you go: 85 cheap and easy Halloween costumes
2. Avoid clothing that is inappropriate for the weather.
For many Americans, Halloween parties are held on cool, crisp nights. So common sense should dictate you skip the ab-revealing costume, but you can’t always count on logic when you’re scrambling at the last minute. (Of course, for a majority of us, our abs dictate skipping the ab-revealing costumes.) Not to mention, a get-up like the one pictured might get you mistaken for a waitress at The Tilted Kilt, and who wants to spend her party time fetching drinks for the other witches and goblins? Take this tip instead: Stay warm and happy.
If you’re in a pinch, check out the ideas: 13 cheap and easy Halloween costumes.
3. Don’t grab any old dress out of your closet.
Particularly one you wore to the office a few weeks ago or your restaurant uniform. Removing your necklace and bracelets or merely putting your hair up doesn’t a costume make. The whole idea of dressing up for Halloween is about not looking like yourself, so if you stare into the mirror and see … well, you, it’s time to go back into the closet and dig out something else. If you find this challenge overwhelming and time-consuming, perhaps it’s time to change up your party scene instead. Consider these fun holiday celebrations (sans costume): 4 fun, cheap Halloween alternatives.
4. Don’t risk expensive items.
If your costume idea involves dragging full-length, expensive scarves on the ground, or getting the kimono your uncle brought back from the Korean War drenched in a bob for apples competition, your return on investment is too high. The idea is to put together affordable but expendable costumes. Dry cleaning bills don’t typically fall into that category. Too, if you don a shawl that skims your ankles like our model here, you need to be able to assume that pose to pull it off. If your drama class or yoga skills are flabby, you’ll end up as the gal who merely stepped on her scarf all night. (Psst: We also recommend wearing pants. See #2.)
For scary, but practical, alternatives, check out the first section of 85 cheap and easy Halloween costumes.
5. Thou shalt not make the dog look stupid.
We’re not saying to ignore your furry family members, but pets have feelings, too. (Well, OK, dogs. Cats won’t submit to being dressed in the first place.) If, for instance, you strap angel wings on your chubby Pug so he looks like a poster child for when pigs fly jokes, that’s more mean than cute. Likewise, disguising the family dog as bag of laundry just might get her stepped on like a piece of trash.
For alternatives, check out 10 cheap and easy Halloween costumes for pets.