February 1, 2024

Planning your Halloween Costume

halloween costumes

Whilst there may not be a whole lot of travelling that Australians can do at the moment, with over half of the nation in lockdown; there are still some up and coming events that we can plan and hope for. One of those events is Halloween, and it is just around the corner! The Universe willing, hopefully we will all be back at some stage of ‘normal’ by then.

In my experience there’s two types of people, the ones who start planning their costume on November 1st and the ones that do it in the week before. For the ones who are super organised we see extravagance and craziness. It’s all well thought out, perhaps carefully coordinated with friends or family for a matching ensemble. However, the other end of that sees the last minute; ‘what’s lying around that can be made into a passable costume?’ or ‘can I get away with wearing the same thing as last year?’ No matter which end of this you’re on, these top tips will cover your basis and fuel you with some much-needed inspiration.

The Basic Household Saviours

If you find yourself looking at the date and realising your Halloween party is in a few days and not a few weeks like you thought, don’t fret, your everyday household items just might have you covered.

Aluminium foil can rescue anyone who is caught unprepared. Super pliable and easy to mould, you can create a number of costumes in just a short time. If you have an old box lying around or left over from a move, you can cut some arm holes, a head hole and cover it in foil – hey presto, you can be a space man. If you want to complete the look you could use the foil again to make yourself some antenna or other space like accessories. If you have some green body paint (or even just green clothes) you can make balls and a star from aluminium foil and decorate yourself as a Christmas tree. Last but not least, this magical item can be used to make yourself a tall crown and a magic wand, before you know it, you’re a perfectly passable fairy princess.

So, you’re fresh out of aluminium foil, but you still need a costume. You always have the age old, old sheet option. If you have a sheet you’re happy to cut, you could go for something obvious and be a ghost. All you need to do is throw the sheet over your head, mark some spots for your eyes and get busy with the scissors. Failing that, you can always go for the Greek god look. For this I recommend wearing some bathers or a pair of shorts and a singlet, no doubt you’ll be hoisting your toga up all night. Once you’ve worked out some under garments, all you need to do is strategically wrap the sheet around your body being careful to leave one shoulder uncovered. If you have some ribbon or gold string, you could always fashion yourself a nice crown or belt to finish the look.

I’ve got a little time, but a low budget

It’s super common to find yourself keen to get into the spirit of things and get dressed up, but maybe not having the budget to go to the big dress up stores and splurging on a fully decked out costume. There’s plenty of low budget ways mixed with a little creativity that can still produce a killer outfit.

The first tip for this one is making use of clothes to make your outfit. Whether this means using old clothes you already own or rustling through some op shops to pick up the right colours and styles. Picking a favourite character from a tv show can be a great place to start – especially if you pick one with a signature outfit. A lot of these characters will wear a lot of one color, or the same coloured top and pants in every episode. This helps make it obvious to others who you are whilst keeping costs low.

Once you’ve picked out your character, your next step is to make as much use as you can from left-over or cheap props. Perhaps you have some coloured contact lenses or novelty fake nails lying around – bonus points if they are Halloween contacts or themed nails. There’s no need to break the bank at a cigar shop getting authentic Cuban cigars for your outfit when you can make it yourself with an old toilet roll tube and some paint. Your prop-ertunities are endless. Once you finish off your outfit, try to adopt some of the characters mannerisms and you’re sure to leave a lasting impression.

Go big or go home

This section speaks for itself. If you’re a big lover of Halloween, there’s not much direction really needed. You’ve probably been designing your own extravagant costumes weeks for months in advance or have a costume shop you go to with a never-ending list of opportunities. Instead of suggestions for basics in costume curation instead let me give you some little suggestions of a few ways to take your costume to the next level.

First, we have Halloween contact lenses. Relatively easy to come by in most costume shops or online, the options are near endless. You can go with your basic animal styles, or even turning your eyes a different color. Perhaps you’re dressing scary for the occasion – sclera contact lenses are perfect to complete this look. Not to mention, if you invest in a decent reusable pair, there’s no reason you can’t repurpose them.

Face and body paint may seem like the obvious suggestion, but adding a bit of color or some extra detail to perfect a costume can be the thing that elevates it to that next level. You may just keep it simple with something on your face. Or perhaps you can give yourself some fake tattoos or added texture across any exposed skin. Body paint really is a way to take your creativity, and costume, one step further.

Finally, if you haven’t already thought of it, you should definitely take into consideration your shoes. What you wear on your feet always completes an outfit – Halloween or otherwise. Making sure you wear appropriate shoes for your costume will make sure you really look the part. Just make sure to make them comfy, whether you’re heading out trick or treating or tearing up the dance floor at a party, you don’t want your shoes to ruin your night.

No matter your budget, no matter your time frame, the most important thing for planning your Halloween costume is to make sure it’s stress free and fun! After all, that’s what Halloween is for.