How to pick out a costume that will impress your friends and not cost you a lot of money… kind of

It’s finally here. My favorite time of the year in the whole wide world.

What’s not to love? The weather is fantastic. I have an excuse to watch scary movies every night; or in my case, fall asleep to my favorite scary movies every night as I leave my boyfriend watching in terror. (Seriously, I have problems.) I’m gearing up to carve some amazingly horrible pumpkins. ACL is this weekend. And oh, hells to the yes. Halloween is just a few weeks away.

This year I’m having some major issues picking out a costume. I think about it all day long. I’ve googled every movie that I love in search for inspiration. I’ve walked aimlessly through at least two Goodwills. It’s been the center of every conversation I’ve had with my friends as of late. I just can’t think of anything worthy!

I feel like maybe I’m a little too nit-picky when it comes to fulfilling my Halloween expectations. I’ve strewn from them in the past and it resulted in extreme costume envy. I still hold my “Ghouls Gone Wild” costume as the one I will strive to live up to every year.

There were saggy boobs under that sign!


I was almost to the point of calling off Halloween altogether, when I remembered that I hold the key(s) to picking out the best Halloween costumes, or in the very least- a costume that will hide you enough so that you will not feel shame. Without further ado, I present you with-




Do not be anything Sexy: 

I’m fully aware that most guys will disagree, but I fully believe that dressing sexy is for the birds. Many of you will use the time-old excuse “but Carissa, it’s the only time of the year I can wear a thong out in public and not be judged.”

Guess what? You’re being judged. For every douche-bag guy who is snapping pictures of you with his iphone to put on reddit, there are 3 girls rolling their eyes at you. And girls can be bitches.

Even if you don’t care about being judged, you still have to worry about the very real possibility of you getting so drunk that one of your boobs falls out. Then you’re not just a pretend slut, you’ve just become the talk of the whole party.. and not necessarily in a good way. Not that I know from experience or anything.


Don’t dress in anything too “Current”: 

Oh sure, you’ve already contemplated dressing as Katness from Hunger Games; the Tan Mom that clogged up our internets a few months back; or Big Bird, recently made popular again from the debates… but don’t you know that EVERYONE is thinking the exact same thing?

You think you’re being unique and oh-so-clever… and you would be if it wasn’t POPULAR CULTURE. Hence, at least 2 other people at the party are going to be dressed the same as you.

If you’re planning on going the “popular costume” route… you might as well go as something ever-green. Like Freddy Kruger or a ghost. At least then your costume would have possible re-wear value.


Don’t dress in anything store bought:


Maybe it’s just me, but there is nothing more annoying than an obvious, straight from the bag costume. It shows no creativity. You do care about this Hallmark holiday don’t you?

Plus, it’s expensive. Why spend $25 dollars on a costume from a Costume Express when you probably have half the ingredients to a good costume in your closet?


Don’t dress in anything that people will have to use their brains to figure out what it is:


This never really bothered me until a recent discussion I had with some friends. Now I see it everywhere. And I want it to stop.

While sure, it’s clever to choose a costume that is a pun on words, you have to remember your audience. If you’re going to an academic party, sure- a shirt that says “GOOOO CEILING” is an excellent choice (ceiling fan for you slower folks), but for most of us we’ll be around a bunch of drunks. Unless you don’t mind explaining over and over again why your costume is just a shirt with an abstract design on the front, then you probably want to go with something a little more obvious.

Do dress in something scary or gross:

I mentioned before that women often use the excuse of dressing slutty because it is the only time of the year that it is appropriate…. which is completely a lie. If you have the means, you can dress slutty any time you want. What you can’t dress, is disgusting.

How often can you go to the grocery store donned up in blood and prosthetic nose? Never! But I truly believe it should be the norm. Plus, isn’t that what Halloween is supposed to be about? Scaring people? Gore? Face paint that will rub off on other people when you make out with them so that you leave your mark? I say, scary/gross/disgusting/bloody/gory is always the way to go.


More is always better:

As I’ve stated before, this is the one time of year you can really go all out. You can’t be too generous with fake blood. If your going to use a prosthetic nose, do the research to learn how to put it on correctly. Use glitter liberally. Don’t just black out one of your teeth, black out all of your teeth. Hell, shave your head if you have to. You still have 3 weeks to grow out your beard, if that’s what it’s going to take to make your costume complete. Don’t skimp dudes. This holiday only comes once a year.


I have no authority on the subject, nor no clue what I’m actually talking about. I’m just trying to convince my boyfriend to dress as the ass-end of the human centipede with me.




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  • Eric Houston

    I was totally enthralled until I hit the last sentence. Now I’m just laughing my ass off. Of course we theatre nerds love Halloween! Let the freak flag fly!

  • Sarah

    I love Halloween! Dressing slutty is for the non-creative types.