Last Minute Costume Solutions for Halloween Procrastinators

  • October 25, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

You know who you are.  We also know (honestly!) that you just can’t believe it’s happened again!  You swore this time last year that you were going to plan for Halloween better, didn’t you?  Here it is, just days from Halloween, you’ve been invited to a party and you have absolutely nothing to wear--and the ideas are running pretty dry as well.  OR even worse, your kids don’t have a costume to wear out trick-or-treating and they are looking to you for some solutions.  (Mom’s can fix everything, right?) Anyway, once again, we are here to save your bacon and offer you some last minute costume ideas that might just help bail you out!

Make up (for lack of planning) with Makeup:  Creative use of makeup can create a character face that will redeem you in many instances, and with relative ease.  Many costume looks can be created using makeup supplies you likely already have on hand, or that can be easily obtained at the last minute.  Drawing on a nose and whiskers with black eyeliner can easily create a cat face.  With brown, green and black eye shadows you can turn an ordinary face into a camouflaged soldier.  With white face makeup and black eyeliner, any face can be transformed into a stunning mime.  Procrastinators often are forced to be a little bit creative, but some of the best, most original ideas can often result.  Don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit.

Hit the Thrift Store…or the Back of Your Closet:  Your local thrift store can be a gold mine when it comes to throwing together a last minute Halloween costume.  Go into the store with few preconceived notions and see what inspires you.  Retro looks are usually a great place to start, as thrift stores often have a plethora of outdated clothing styles for you to choose from.  Hippies, Rock Stars, Hobo’s, Gypsies and Nerds are easy looks to put together with a quick trip to Goodwill or even to your own closet.

  • Hobo:  Any old raggedy clothes will work for this look, but if you can find an old suit jacket, even better.  Cut the fingertips off some old gloves.  Find an old hat to wear on your head; a beat up fedora style would be considered the Holy Grail to top off your look.  Making up your face to be a Hobo is pretty easy--check out our how-to video here for some Hobo makeup ideas.
  • Gypsy:  Creating a gypsy look is pretty easy for you Halloween desperados.  A good gypsy look, requires jewelry--and lots of it.  Especially necklaces, rings and bracelets; pile them on with reckless abandon.  The most critical piece of jewelry is a pair of very large, hoop-style earrings--if you don’t have these, look for something that is fairly big and ostentatious.  The finishing touch is to tie a headscarf around your head and don’t forget to add some very bright, red lipstick.
  • Rock Star:  The great thing about a Rock Star costume is that you can go in a lot of directions depending on the look you are shooting for.  A Lady Gaga look can be obtained with a pair of sunglasses and a scarf worn as if it were a snood.  A more classic rocker look can be obtained by braiding long hair and letting it dry--when you remove the braids, tease the hair a little to make it look huge and instant rocker.  Black leggings or tight jeans, a loose shirt (don’t forget cowboy boots if you have them) and some beads or other bling around your neck and you are set.  If you have a guitar, by all means, accessorize with it, even if it’s plastic. 
  • Hippie:  An old t-shirt can be cut along the bottom hemline to create “fringe”.  A sort of must-have item is a peace sign worn around the neck, but if you are truly desperate, you can make one of these with carefully fashioned tin foil positioned on another large pendant you already have or make one from a cardboard disk.  Headbands, beads and sandals will complete the look.
  • Zombie “Anything”:  Nowadays, any character can be made into a cool zombie.  Shred the clothing you are wearing a little bit and then add some dark makeup around your eyes, using a white powder or a more pasty colored makeup on the rest of the face.  Mess up your hair--zombies always have bedhead.  A must-have item for any proper zombie look is vampire blood and lots of it; this is especially effective around the mouth area. 
  • Nerd:  Short pants, pulled up too high or khaki shorts belted tightly, along with a button front shirt, buttoned all the way up to the top are the essentials you will need for this hilarious last minute getup.  Find some dorky shoes to wear with white socks, of course. (If you are wearing shorts, make sure your socks are pulled all the way up--crew or knee length socks are best.)   Outdated glasses are an important part of the nerd style; add some tape at the bridge of the nose to really “goofball” up your look and give him some extra dorky flair; a pocket protector if you have one, is a very nice, nerdy touch.


Work with what you have:  Sometimes it’s easier to start with what you do have on hand rather than trying to come up with things that you don’t.  For example, sports uniforms make great last minute costumes.  If you are guy, borrow a female friend’s uniform or if you are a girl borrow a boy’s uniform--this swapping adds an instant hilarious factor that will make up for what creativity you may be lacking.  Tutu’s are a great accessory to work with for a wide variety of costume looks. In fact, most any dancewear or yoga apparel can be easily morphed into a last minute costume with just a few additions.  Add a cape and a mask; you are a superhero.  Add cat or bunny ears placed on a headband and you are cute (or even sexy) cat--etc. 

Whether you are just low on cash, are a bit of a bona fide Halloween humbug, or just plain lazy--waiting until the last minute to put a costume together doesn’t have to spell disaster for your Halloween plans. You will have to be open-minded, flexible and a bit creative, but all these factors put together may give you what we will call a “Halloween opportunity.”  Of course, next year you swear to plan a little bit better--but for now, don’t stress out and try to have some fun!

P.S.  You may want to check out our affordable, guaranteed, fast-shipping upgrades.  If you hurry, there is still time to get that perfect costume shipped right to your door!