Costumes Made Easy - A Practical Formula for Creating Cool, Original Costume Ideas
Vote for Pedro!
Try walking around a bar with this...riiiight.....
What the heck am I going to be this year? Hmm...
What a dillema... I waited until the last minute (again) to pick out what I want to be for halloween. All my friends have totally kick-arse costumes, and so far I've got nothing, not even a mediocre attempt at a plan...
It's okay kids!
Lets approach this rationally, with a clear focus, and an accurate understanding of both our taste, and the resources we have at hand.
You as the reader could be in a few circumstances:
1. I have plenty of money, and a creative spark, but my event is right around the corner, and I haven't really done anything yet...HELP!
2. I have time, energy, and creativity, but I'm broke as a joke.
3. I have money and some time, and even a bit of creativity, but darn-it, I'm just so lazy....<yawn>...I think I'll have a snack and take a nap...later dude!
4. I have some cash, a car, high spirits, and some time before my event, but wow, I'm like the least creative person in the world...
Each one of these circumstances should be approached a bit differently:
1. NO TIME?
Okay, worst case scenario, the event is tomorrow (or in 3 hours) and you don't have anything to work with. You have some ideas, but are still basically at square one. You are too creative to cut two holes in a bed sheet, and you really need something at least half decent.
I would suggest this: halloween stores are pretty much out of the question unless you have a lead somewhere. Try local consignment stores, thrift shops, Salvation Army, cheap clothing stores, Walmart, etc. Places like this have all kinds of silly stuff, old vintage clothes, cheap accessories, etc. They keep a good stock of crap all year round, and if you only have a bit of time, it's your best bet to go someplace where you are guaranteed to find something.
2. NO MONEY?
I just paid the rent, Jimmy needs dental work, I spent my dough on beer and hot pockets. I have no loot, and that's my only problem.
Once again, I highly recommend thift and second hand stores. They are totally key for costumes. In college, me and my friends would go into the Salavation Army and Good Will, and find all kinds of rediculous stuff. Accessories, funny vintage suits, super ugly ties, etc. You can definitely scrap something together, even if you have high standards.
Also, try looking in your closet, you may have something in their you forgot about, or that you could remix into a new costume. Spraypaint turns a plastic fish bowl into a space helmet...be like McGyver! Take every day crap and make it into a cool original costume. One year I had people wrap me in heavy amounts of TP, sealed me up with elmer's glue, and a bit of ketchup for gore effect, and then I rolled around in the dirt...instant mummy!
3. I'M LETHARIC!
Okay, sometimes we just don't feel like leaving our houses...PJ's are comfortable after all. It's cool. Time's no issue, so your best friend right now is the internet (unless you have costume catologues and stuff.)
If you have your idea set, go ahead and just click away and have that crap sent right to your door step. If you are lazy, and don't have any ideas, continue reading below.
4. I AM SO BAD AT CREATIVE STUFF...
I was the kid who could spell any word in the dictionary backwards, and do long division in my head, but I couldn't draw a freaking duck if you paid me. It's cool, we are all good at different things. That is why I wrote this article, namely for people with creativity issues (or time issues or money issues). Below are some more tips for how to get some bonus points for costume originality.
This is Hilarious...and probably wasn't too expensive either.
Costume Chaos + Cool Costume Concepts = Complete Costume Closure
So generally, most people fall into one of the above categories. It's okay, don't have an anxiety attack, take a deep breathe and read on my friend.
First off, a liberal/flexible list of what to do and what not to do.
- Spend half your paycheck on something rediculous that you're going to throw away anyway (or in the closet, as if you will wear it again...yeah I'm talking about the $60 fake diamond tiara's and the "realistic looking" vampire teeth)
- Wait until 7pm the night before the event to hit up the halloween and costume stores...If it's Halloween, chances are they will be completely packed, or totally empty and picked dry...
- Use airplane glue to attach your fake mustache or vampire teeth (Basically avoid any chemicals or anything that doesn't say, "For Costume Use", or "Safe on Skin, Washes Off"
- Use Chili Powder as rouge...Gold Bond as "ghost face" complexion...(its doesn't work, it just burns...use your head!)
- Use the following formula: Skanky + Regular Costume = Good Costume (This is mainly for the college people out there.) Girls (and guys), you don't HAVE to look scandelous to have fun on Halloween...you can look hot and still remain classy...learn the difference!
- Show respect for people you are around. Consider whether or not you will offend the crowd you are with (no Red Sox players at an NYC Costume Party, no racist, sexist, or inappropriate costumes. I'm not your dad, so wear what you want, but don't say I didn't warn you when Turbo the jacked up frathole rips off your arms for dressing like his rival sports team's star player.
- Consider the fact that you have to wear this costume for hours at a time. "Haha, this 50lb robot costume sure if funny, but it's freaking heavy as sin, i can't sip my drink or take a leak without aggrevation, and hotties can't even see my face." Generally I stay away from anything with moving parts, breakable or valueable aspects, messy makeup, heavy/constricting costumes, or itchy/uncomfortable costumes. You want to look good, without having to pay any concequences.
- Have pride in what you are wearing. Halloween, and costumes in general, are a time honored tradition, valued across many cultures. At least try to pick something slightly original. Wow, another Superman, that's the third one I've seen tonight. Oh, jesus, that's the fifth "sexy nurse/schoolgirl I've seen in a row at this party...come on girls (and guys...)! Generic much?"
- Be classy (or not if you like being campy, your choice.) We all like attractive people, but classy/interesting people attract to one another (generally speaking)...can't the sexy factor be a bonus objective on this costume adventure? Try being some obscure Greek God/Goddess...there are like a million of them, and they are all supposedly hot (based on the mythological accounts) You could even read up a bit and have some clever stuff to say about who you are...hello convo starter!
- Consider having some funny accessory that adds to the excitement. Rambo costume? Spraypaint a squirtgun black and fill it with booze! Obviously don't take anything valueable, as you might black out and lose it, or break it, or get it stolen from you. Cheap, silly stuff is always a good idea...you could even just hand out candy..its generic but totally successful at parties and bars on halloween.
Prepare for a fun night! Halloween and costumes are about having fun, not about panicking, wasting money, making yourself uncomfortable with rediculous outfits, spending frivolous amounts of money for something you are going to throw away anyway, or globbing gallons of sticky messy paint all over your face. Obviously, some of these halloween doctrines can be flirted with, but are generally best when avoided. Do what you can to have fun and add to the excitement of the party, without breaking bank or stressing yourself.
Robots are funny, but very cumbersome
What's Your Style?
Picking out Costumes can be tricky, depending on your circumstances, as you read before. You're reading this article, which means you probably were searching the internet for ideas. It's okay, so many costumes have been done to death, we find ourselves getting more and more clever every time the costume season comes around.
As a passionate self proclaimed Halloween Veteran, I have to say I've had some really stupid unoriginal costumes, some costumes I liked but nobody else got, and also some totally awesome ones that cracked people up and were really fun. It really depends on your style, and what you think is cool/funny/original.
Here are some different costumer perspectives:
- I want to be original, but I don't want to have to explain what I am to people every 5 seconds
- I don't care if I'm original, I just want to look good!
- I want to make people laugh their arse's off!
- I want to look like a moron on purpose! Weeeee! I'm drunk and dressed rediculously! Hurrayy!
- I want to scare the crap out of people, plain and simple
- I want originality, charm, and a sense of costume classiness
- I want people to be like, "Wow, that's the coolest costume I've ever seen!"
- I want girls to be like, wow that's a hot disco vampire...
- I want guys to be like, wow, shes hot and shes not even dressed like a whore...
All of these are rational perspectives (rational being a relative term here...) and I like to use a basic formula to factor down my best overall costume idea.
Kind of Cool, but semi unoriginal, and definitely expensive...
An example of hottness, without extreme skankiness...thumbs up!
A Few Simple Steps
Let's approach this rationally. Take a crack at these steps:
Step 1 - What are my constraints?
Time, Money, Enthusiasm, and/or Creativity. It could be 1, none, or all of them. Figure that out first before moving to the next step.
Step 2 - What am I trying to go for?
Sexy, Funny, Stupidly Awesome, Classy, Classic but still cool, film/TV/music reference, genre specific, Pop Culture related, etc. This is up to you, and could again be a combo of multiple aspects.
Step 3 - How do I pull this off?
Okay, so you know your constraints, you have an idea of what you want to do based on your style and taste, now I have some "formulas" for you to use to finalize your gameplan.
There are acceptions to every rule
Some Costume "Formulas"
Okay, so these aren't real formulas, obviously. I'm making them up as I write this article, BUT - I use them and they've worked for me, so at least take a look. I will use logic and a bit of math-ish conceptualization to help you figure your costume out.
generic costume = bad costume
(ex. vampire = played out, cheap plastic surgeron outfit from walgreens = go home)
normal costume + skankiness ≠ good costume
(ex. whore + nurse = wack, slut + student = unoriginal, tramp + vampire = trampire = mediocre costume)
expensive costume ≠ good costume
(ex. $300 darth vadar costume = you actually bought that? weak...)
generic costume + generic costume = potentially funny costume
(ex. vampire + disco legend = disco vampire)
original costume ≈ good costume
(note: sometimes originality can be awkward if overdone...what if they don't get it? Your costume should be original, but a drunk person should be able to guess it in at most 10 seconds.)
(ex. disco vampire = good costume, vampire + ninja = what the heck are you again?)
cute costume + scary costume ≈ awesome costume
(note: costumes that are random and show contrast can be really funny, but too much contract can be weird, or inappropriate.)
(ex. zombie + chicken outfit = zombie chicken = funny + original, zombie + mentally challenged person = funny + disrespectful)
Here are some combinations I thought up:
- Disco Legend + Vampire = Disco Vampire
- Frat Dude + Zombie = Frat Zombie (beerrrrrrrr....)
- Rock Star + Samurai Warrior = Rock and Roll Samurai (with dual sword/electric guitar)
- Gay Guy + Cowboy = Broke Back Mountaineer
Halloween is my favorite holiday (along with Independence Day), since it's one of the most fun, and least greedy of the celebrated holidays ( I love Christmas but it makes people nuts, and it's all about getting things for some people, not giving and enjoying family...anywaysss).
We can all have fun on halloween, even if our costumes are a bit itchy in the groin area, or if our clown makeup smudges when making out with random people at the party/bar. Sometimes people have to ask..."umm.....what are you??" It's okay...just have fun with it. Prepare a few simple techniques like funny lines to say to people, coool accessories to make it a memorable night, or a way of making yourself stand out (hopefully in a good way.) Show respect for those that deserve it, pity and ignore those that don't, and have a drink for me!
Salutations my friends, and enjoy the festivities!