Last Minute Costume Ideas

A Groucho Marx costume is quick, easy and works for everyone.

Whether you've lost sight of the fact that Halloween is in three days, or you've just realized tonight's party is a costume event, you need some good last minute costume ideas to get you going. You may not be the flashiest person there, but you might get the most appreciative groans.

Character Last Minute Costume Ideas

If you're not a stickler for being exact, you can usually pull together a costume that suggests a famous person in history or fiction with a few things around the house, or picked up from a costume or joke shop on the way to the party.

  • Throw on a black jacket and trousers, buy a set of Groucho glasses and a toy cigar and you're Groucho Marx. You can also just paint on a thick moustache and heavy brows and wear black glasses.
  • A cigarette holder, black eye mask and dark red lipstick could be all you need to turn you into Mata Hari, or any old-fashioned spy.
  • A white towel tied over your head like a veil and a baby doll can make you the Virgin Mary.
  • An individual-sized pie and rolling pin can make you Mrs. Lovett of Sweeney Todd infamy.

Play Dead

You don't have to cut up a sheet to be a ghost. If you have any white powder or makeup around, a ridiculously easy last minute costume idea is to wear your favorite outfit, powder yourself dead-white, including your lips, darken your eyelids and under your eyes and poof - you're your own dead body.

Groan-worthy Last Minute Costume Ideas

A funny, if silly, contrived costume will always be a hit. Some of these ideas are very stupid, but with the right attitude, you'll carry them off well.

  • Stick a knife through a box of cereal to be a "cereal killer."
  • With a catcher's glove and a loaf of bread, you're "the catcher in the rye" (this also works with the appropriate liquor).
  • Carry a stack of CDs in one hand and a lighter in the other and you're a CD burner (you can, of course, do this with DVDs as well).
  • If you have cat and dog stuffed animals, all the better, but you can also just download pictures of cats and dogs, attach them to an umbrella, and "it's raining cats and dogs."
  • A woman can dress in pink and carry a feather so that she's "tickled pink," which, in addition to being a groaner, is great for heavy-duty flirting.

Last Minute Ideas for Kids

A pirate is one of the easiest last minute costume ideas to pull together. You can make an eye patch out of construction paper, tie a bandanna over the head, put a vest over a men's white button-down shirt and even use felt to create an idea of boots. A sword can be picked up at a joke shop or made out of cardboard in no more than two hours. Small children can be dressed as bunnies in white sweat suits or sleeper PJs with cotton balls attached to the bottom. Make some ears out of construction paper and use a makeup pencil to draw on whiskers.

Couple Last Minute Costumes

If it's a warm night and you're feeling brave, attach foliage to skimpy swimsuits and be Adam and Eve.

If each of you draws a black circle over an eye and tape a cutout of the letter P to a sweatshirt, you're "black-eyed peas."

For a quick 1950s look, a man can throw on jeans, a white T-shirt and leather jacket and slick back his hair, while a woman can wear a skirt, ankle socks, a button-down shirt with a cardigan over it and a ponytail.

The aforementioned Mrs. Lovett can be accompanied by a sour-faced Sweeney carrying a bloody razor.

If worse comes to worse and you have to bail on the party, just tell the hosts that you're the Invisible Man.

Last Minute Costume Ideas