BY SAM TURNBULL                                                       


October is my favourite time of year. Fall weather is at it’s peak, it’s 100% cute hat and scarf season, and most importantly it’s Halloween. If you’re like me, and live for costume parties, high-five. Let’s be friends. Unfortunately, because we’re all broke students who get thrown about 258 assignments and readings each week, it’s not always easy to get a costume together until the last minute. If you’re stuck for time and ideas, I’ve got you.

These costumes will feature minimal face makeup and special effects. You probably won’t want to have to deal with the clean up, and you most definitely won’t want to deal with getting it off your face. I’ll also divide these up into a few categories, based on how long you waited until you let your friends convince you to go out. If you have money to spend, amazing. If you don’t, retweet. Each will be marked with a $, $$ or $$$, indicating how much money you’re going to need to drop on the costume.


Image via Harper’s Bazaar

1 Week

You’re already ahead of 70% of the school. Great. You’ve decided for sure that you’re going out on Halloweekend. If you’re feeling boujee you can even buy a pre-made costume because you’re so very ahead of everyone else, but that’s boring. Here are some more elaborate DIYs:


If you’re feeling yourself this Halloween, why not be a model?! If you don’t already have the components of this one it could get expensive though. You’ll need a satin robe, most likely from La Senza or Victoria’s Secret, your favourite bra, and if you’re really committed – angel wings. Try to keep everything one colour. Black is always a good option because spills don’t show up as much. You can also add knee socks or stockings, and if you love blisters you can wear heels.


For this one you’ll need a satin robe and athletic shorts. For girls you can wear a sports bra, and guys can just go shirtless. You can also wrap tape around your hands to make it look like you know how to fight. You know, just in case the wrong guy spills his drink on you. Again, the most expensive part of this one is the robe. Avoid buying them from actual costume stores. They’ll probably be the same price as one from La Senza, but much worse quality. The best part about this costume is that you can wear whatever shoes you please. Finally, an excuse for wearing Converse out.


This one is particularly funny if you commit. Speaking in a Valley Girl voice all night is a feat on its own. You’ll need a roots sweater, skinny jeans, UGGs, and a Starbucks cup to drink out of. The only reason this one could be expensive is the whole UGG situation. Try slippers from Walmart. The rest can probably be borrowed from friends.


1 Day

I, too, excel at leaving things to the last minute, but don’t worry, you have so much time left. At this stage in the game, you can hit up one or two stores, depending on how long you’re willing to sit on the bus. The mall is the best option here.


All you need is a Superman Logo t-shirt, a white dress shirt, a tie, and some glasses. Wear the tee under your dress shirt, tie the tie like you’re 13 and it’s picture day, and you’re Clark Kent. The logo shirt can be found at stores with those walls of graphic tees (Spencer’s, music stores, sometimes Walmart), and the glasses can just be cheap sunnies with the lenses punched out.


Find round glasses and a black cape and get one of your friends to draw a lightning bolt on your forehead and you’re set. This one may require an actual costume store, or if you’re feeling Pinterest-y you can grab some black fabric or a black sheet and do some minor stitching. The best part about this one is you can carry around a stick as a wand and yell drunken spells at your friends. They’ll love it, trust me.


A classic. You’ll need any type of animal ears and some black eyeliner to draw whiskers on your face. The Dollar Store usually has sets that come with the ears and a tail, so you’ll look like you actually tried. This is typically a girl’s costume, but I welcome any dude to rock some lingerie and mouse ears. You’ll be a regular Karen Smith.


A lot funnier if a girl does it, but still easy. You’ll need a backwards baseball cap, sunglasses, and a shirt and tie. Most, if not all these things can be borrowed from your friends. The hard part is just gathering the materials. The number one rule though is to remember to call everyone bro.


1 Hour

(At this point there is no time to shop, so no $ for this section.)

So, your friends are going out but you’re going to stay in and work on that essay that’s due on Monday because you’re so responsible. A couple of sentences in though, you’re feeling spooky. With what you have lying around your house or dorm, here are a few things you can pretend to be for the night:


We’re Canadian. There’s no way you or your housemates don’t have a plaid shirt laying around. Preferably red though, you must rep our nation’s colour at all costs. Throw that on with some jeans, a toque (fun fact: toque is an exclusive Canadian word), and some boots and ta-da! You’re a lumberjack. Please do not drink and chop wood.


Beach goer? One who goes to the beach? I’m not sure. Call it what you want, this one is very easy. Girls, put on a bathing suit top or a one piece with some shorts. Guys, you’ll need shorts and a tank top. It doesn’t even have to be a bathing suit. The icing on the cake…sunglasses. Congratulations, you’re going to the beach, and a costume party.


No one really knows who counts as a nerd anymore anyways. Use this confusion to your advantage. If you wear glasses already, perfect. Put ‘em on. If not, you can punch the lenses out of a pair of sunglasses that someone gave you at the sidewalk sale. Honestly at this point you can tell your friends you’re a nerd and they’ll believe you. But if you’re looking for a bit more, add a collared shirt. If you have suspenders for some reason, wear those too (fake duct tape ones will also work). Bonus points if you have a bowtie. Black pants work well for everyone here too. Hair and makeup wise: ponytails for girls, and an unnecessary amount of hair gel for guys. Now go raise that GPA (General Partaking of Alcohol).


My personal favourite. Tuck your fav Queen’s shirt into some shorts that are too long for you, then add glasses and a visor (or a baseball cap). Now, pull your socks up way too high and slip on your Birks. Finally, grab a coffee mug to drink out of. Dad jokes not optional.


I could go on and on. If you’re still stuck for a costume, googling it is your best bet. Hopefully, one of them speaks to you enough. If not, other options include being the latest meme that is circulating, any celebrity that does something dumb, or even the cast of your favourite show. Whatever works. The best part about the costume is running around with everyone to find the pieces anyways. So, from the bottom of my undead heart, happy costume building, and Happy Halloween!


Yours Creatively,

Sam Turnbull

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