The Best Last-Minute Halloween Costumes


Pic 2

It’s that time of year again…Halloween! If you know me at all, then you know I absolutely LOVE costumes, as evidenced by my numerous costume posts. Unfortunately, Halloween always occurs during (possibly) the busiest time of year for me. Last October, I was frantically applying for colleges up until the deadline as the clock struck 12 to become November 1st. This year, I’ll be preparing for registration for my next quarter of college. As much as I’d love to spend countless hours and craft supplies making an amazingly extravagant costume, I probably won’t be able to pull that off…and I know I’m not the only one. That’s why today’s post is dedicated to the best last-minute and DIY Halloween costumes on the web! Perfect for any busy bees out there or broke college students who can’t spend a fortune on anything store-bought.

Pic 6Pic 9

Most of these costume ideas are from the web, so I tried to link sources where I could. Enjoy!

  • 80s Dancing Queen. If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw that last Tuesday I dressed up for Decades Day during my school’s homecoming week. The fun thing about costumes is that they don’t have to be specific characters—they can also be a much more generic type of person, like a flapper girl from the Roaring 20s or an 80s dancing queen. To achieve this look, find your brightest and most colorful neon clothes, layer it up with tights and legwarmers (or even fishnet gloves if you have them), rock the hoop earrings, and krimp your hair (I slept with mine in tiny braids). Don’t forget to add a big bow and crazy makeup, like colorful eyeshadow, blue eyeliner, and bright pink lipstick. You’ll be rocking this throwback look in no time.
  • Other decades. If the 80s aren’t your thing, you can also go for a 60s flower child vibe by wearing a boho dress, fringe vest, peace sign necklaces, two long braids, and a flower headband worn across your forehead. I wore this dress to create that exact look for a themed dance over the summer! It was a big hit. You can also go for a crazy goth 90s vibe, like I did in this photo for a different dress-up day, with black, flannel, fishnets, hightops, and crazy buns (or butterfly clips).
  • When life gives you lemons. Have a t-shirt you’re willing to write on and a little cash to buy a bag full of lemons? Perfect! Just write “life” somewhere big and visible and then carry lemons with you. Clever, and you get some lemonade out of the deal. The best part about this costume is that you can make it a fashionable outfit, especially with all the popular lemon-printed items from the last few seasons. You can even just write on a piece of paper and pin it to your shirt so as not to ruin any clothes. Here’s an example.
  • David Bowie album cover. I absolutely LOVE this costume idea. All you need is a fun fur coat and some face paint…Unfortunately, I haven’t hopped on the crazy fur jacket train yet, though I want to (have any of you?!). You can probably make do without the fur, since Bowie didn’t have it on in the actual cover, but I think it really pulls the look together. And a pro tip for any of you who still trick-or-treat: older people love kids who dress up as some of the classic artists from back in the day! I went as Elvis a few years in a row, and the oldest candy-givers gave me so much extra loot because they appreciated my costume so much. #lifehack
  • Elle Woods. Have blonde hair? Own a lot of barbie pink clothing items? Elle Woods from Legally Blonde is a great choice! Just be super extra and you’re basically good to go. Oh, and don’t forget to carry a small stuffed animal dog, if you have one.
  • Cereal killer. I love cereal, and coincidentally, I also love dark movies like Silence of the Lambs and Seven. So why not combine these passions? All you need is some of those miniature boxes of cereal, red paint/ketchup as blood, crazy hair, and plastic utensils to stab through the cereal boxes. Voila. A macabre and punny costume (seen here, after scrolling a bit).

Pic 7Pic 1Pic 8

  • Belle. Do you have a pretty, plain blue dress? Layer a white blouse underneath it and a white apron (or any cloth) over it to recreate Belle’s iconic look from Beauty and the Beast. Top it off with a blue ribbon in your hair! You know I’m a sucker for any costumes where you can still look fashionable.
  • Mime. When I was in grade school, dressing up as a mime was a big thing. I don’t really know why, but it’s true they make a cute (and simple) Halloween costume! Wear your favorite black and white striped shirt, stylish black pants/a skirt, a black beret (so trendy), and white face paint. Dress it up with pretty black eyeliner (you can even try adding dots under each eye and a point, like on face playing cards), red lipstick, and gloves, if you have them.
  • Ninja Turtles. If you like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and group costumes, you could go as Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael (proud of myself for remembering their names). You’ll need a green t-shirt and a piece of felt in the color of your turtle, which costs less than a buck at most craft stores. You can either cut it into a mask or just tie a strip of felt across your forehead. For the shell, simply get a big piece of plain cardboard, cut it into a squoval shell shape, and draw on the ridges in black sharpie. Tie on with some string and then go kick some bad guy butt, under Splinter’s command, of course.
  • That one kid from Mean Girls. If you love this classic teen movie, then you’ll surely appreciate the simple costume of the “she doesn’t even go here” guy. Just wear a blue hoodie, synch the hood around your head, rock black sunglasses, and carry a sign that says, “She doesn’t even go here.” That easy. And I’m sure it’ll be a big hit among fans. If you don’t understand the reference, you can look it up (there are plenty of memes with it) or better yet, watch the actual Mean Girls for a laugh.
  • Dia de los Muertos. I have an obsession with Dia de los Muertos skulls, and a little artistic ability can go a long way for this costume. Buy some face paint, look up traditional Dia de los Muertos skull designs, and paint half your face to match. Don’t forget red lipstick, and if you have fake flowers you can make an awesome flower crown. Not only would this make an unforgettable costume, but it’d be meaningful as well and perfect preparation to celebrate the traditional Mexican holiday.
  • Zombie/Frankenstein’s Monster. Last year for Halloween, I had just finished reading Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein for the second time in my English class. I was so inspired by the book that I decided to dress like the monster himself! The look came off sort of like a zombie, so it can really go whichever way you prefer. The best part is that this costume requires very little materials. Just dress in all black (a black blazer would be perfect), paint your nails black, and use eyeliner and various shades of eye shadow to make stitches and bruises on your face. Black lipstick optional. Are you catching onto the color theme? As for the hair, use gel to slick back the sides and then tease the top! I did my best to make it look square. You can learn more about this costume and see photos by checking out this post.

Pic 4Pic 3Pic 5

I hope you found an interesting costume idea in this batch, or at least something that inspired you to come up with another idea. I’ve never seen some of these outfits before and it gets me really excited for Halloween! If only it were Halloweek and I needed seven costumes…

If you still need more inspiration, here are some past costumes I’ve shared on the blog:

Zombie/Frankenstein’s Monster: In the Dark of the Night, This Zombie Will Find You

Fashionable Jester: Take Me to the Masquerade

Goth Chick: Going Goth

20s Flapper Girl: A Fashionista’s Halloween Costume

Have a spooktacular Monday, and let me know what you’ll be dressing as in the comments below!


Miles of smiles,


Aqua Collared Blouse: JCPenney, $7 // Beaded Purple Cardigan: gift, $25, debut on the blog // Pink Shorts: JCPenney, $24 // Light Pink Tights: Amazon, $7 // Silver Block Heels: CL by Laundry via DSW, $40 // Watercolor Scarf: art fair, $20

4 comments on “The Best Last-Minute Halloween Costumes”

Leave a Reply