8 Halloween Costumes You Can Pull Together in 5 Minutes

Woman tourist

Halloween without a costume is not an option. So for those of you last-minute revelers, here's a list of eight quick and easy costumes that require nothing more than items you already have in your closet and a little role playing. These may be simple, but sometimes easy and clever wins out over more complicated costumes like a handsewn Game of Thrones dragon costume with a mechanical tail and riding animatronic Daenerys Targaryen.

1. The Tourist

Who doesn't love tourists? They ooh and ah about everything they see, they make friends with locals, and they always carry a camera, i.e. the most treasured item you could have at a party. Not only can you easily take photos of your Halloween party and share selfies with friends, but you can do it all while staying in character!

Costume Essentials

  • Sun dress or Hawaiian shirt and shorts
  • Hiking boots or Birkenstocks
  • Camera, travel guide, sun hat, fanny pack or backpack

2. Evil Stepmom

Posh lady

Evil stepmoms have kids but dress to ignore them. This costume is 0% loving soccer mom and 100% glam and attitude. Think Dynasty, the 80's prime time soap opera. Dress as a "mature" gold digger who delights in the company of men and snarls at the site of children. Should you need to exert your authority, use the threat, "I'm going to tell your father."

Costume Essentials

  • Evening dress, furs and stiletto heels
  • Power makeup: red lips, three shades of eyeshadow, heavy blush
  • Hair: French twist, slicked back hair or anything that can't be touched by children
  • More jewelry than you can handle: gold chains, rings, bracelets, earrings, etc...
  • Bonus: whipped husband (your stepchild's father)
    • Ask your significant other to be at your beck and call dressed like a nerd (glasses, bad clothes, pocket protector). Think early Bill Gates if he didn't turn out successful.

3. Choose a Decade

Woman wearing boho clothes

Choose from a roaring '20s Flapper, '50s pin-up girl, '60s hippie, '70s disco queen, '80s power woman, or 90s grunge hipster. Because fashion recycles, go into your closet and find clothes that are reminiscent of another era. Makeup and hair will do the rest. For clotheshorses, this costume can be spectacular!

Costume Ideas

  • 1970's
    • Bell bottom jeans with a tucked in tight T-shirt, or use your boho chic attire to go as Stevie Nicks
  • 1980's
    • Shoulder pads and slicked back hair, or use early 2000's hipster clothes to assemble a John McEnroe tennis inspired getup
  • 1990's
    • Grunge is back in style, so grab your cut-off jean shorts, combat boots, concert T-shirt, tiny backpack and tie a flannel shirt around the waist

4. Paper Bag Creep

Man with bag over head

Show up to a party wearing a brown paper bag with holes cut out for only your eyes and people will think, "Funny, cheap costume." But when they ask who is under the bag and you don't answer, you have just turned into a really creepy costume! You will leave everyone wondering if you're a friend or a serial killer who just crashed the party.

Costume Essentials

  • Paper bag that fits over your head with holes for eyes only
  • Plain T-shirt and jeans
  • Bonus: a fake knife cut out of cardboard from your last Amazon Prime shipment

5. Witchy Woman

Witchy woman

A witch? Really? Oh, yes! Sure, a witch is a common costume, but you get to choose how you will do it: goth, steampunk, hippie or just plain elegant. The best part is, it requires you to wear all black i.e. the most strikingly sexy and forgiving color on earth. You can also accessorize with jewelry.

Costume Essentials

  • Black dress, black boots or heels
  • Hair: long and straight (parted in the middle) or teased out and crazy
  • Smokey eye makeup and black or red lipstick
  • Red apple, broom or magic wand made from a disposable chopstick painted black with a marker
  • Bonus: witch hat or black lace veil if you have it

6. Librarian

Librarian gesturing

Let your inner spectacled nerd come out to shush the world. Of course, many real life librarians aren't nerdy, but we're talking costumes here. Go for the iconic glasses, stuffy clothes, books, and the works! The more uptight you look at the start of the evening, the better it will be when you let your hair down halfway through the night and announce you are now a sexy librarian.

Costume Essentials

  • Knee-length skirt, button up shirt, sweater, neutral colored flats or pumps
  • Hair up in a messy bun with pencil behind the ear
  • Glasses
  • Books, of course

7. Worst Roommate Ever

Lazy slob

He/she is the reason you no longer have roommates. You know the type: super lazy, super gross and super adamant about never leaving the house. Dress like a slob and swear to friends that you'll pay rent next week. This costume will take you back to college and your early twenties and make you grateful for the life you lead now.

Costume Essentials

  • Stained oversized T-shirt, shorts, house slippers
  • Bed head
  • Sheet wrapped around like a veil
  • Box of half-eaten chicken nuggets or pizza

8. Singer Songwriter

Young musician with guitar

Oh no! Not this guy! The singer/songwriter is the only jerk at parties who comes with a guitar, ballads and a goatee. He loves making new fans and taking off with someone's girlfriend to talk. So get sensitive, break out that guitar you haven't used in years and quietly make the party all about you.

Costume Essentials

  • Guitar
  • Leather jacket, white T-shirt, jeans, sneakers
  • Scarf and beanie
  • Goatee or stubble
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8 Halloween Costumes You Can Pull Together in 5 Minutes