Damn. It happened again. That thing you said you wouldn’t let happen last year. It was sometime in November or December when you thought of the perfect Halloween costume and said to yourself, “I’m going to work on my costume early so that by the time Halloween comes around, I’ll already have mine prepared.”
Well, chances are good that if you’re reading this article, you’ve let the year slip past you like a toddler on a Slip ‘n Slide and you have a Halloween party coming up that you need a costume for. But never fear, dear readers; we at the Other Press are marginally more prepared than you, and have compiled a list of easy, last-minute costumes for you to transform yourself into someone remotely interesting. In the eternal words of Clone High, “Makeover makeover makeover makeover makeover makeover MAKEOVER!”
Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
If you can’t be scary, be fancy! I for one don’t get to wear my formal clothing often enough. The suit I bought for high school graduation six years ago might be a tight fit, but hey—there is nothing wrong with being the hand-me-down prom king. Respect.
Gentlemen, I know wearing a shirt and tie might seem like a crummy, unimaginative costume, but think of all those respectable, well-dressed characters. That’s right, we can all be Jon Hamm for Halloween.
Ladies, I know the last thing you want to do is go digging into your closet and uncovering bad memories, but the only way to forget old memories is by making new ones. Put on a gown, whether it’s an ancient bridesmaid dress from your sister’s failed marriage or the weird lacy thing you bought for your 22nd birthday. You might not have been the belle of the ball the first time you wore it, but Halloween is all about second chances and formal apologies.
Jacey Gibb, Editor-in-chief
I haven’t been able to master the art of last-minute costume designs, but thankfully I’m a creative dude and never have a problem coming up with a substitute. Three years ago I needed a costume for a “Heroes and Villains” party, but I didn’t have the finances to go all-out, so I just put on a hodgepodge of wacky clothes from previous costumes and called myself “Good Times Guy.” I strapped my beer bong around my chest, wore some underwear on the outside of my pants, and had a fun-tility belt of party favours like bubbles, balloons, sparklers, and a water gun. People were skeptical at first but they grew more accepting the more I unleashed balloons onto the apartment. Feel free to deviate from the same idea with varying degrees of party supplies and attire.
As a backup plan for parties that you don’t want to attend, my strategy has always been to tell the host that I’m going as the Invisible Man. It’s snarky and witty and it almost guarantees that you’ll be left off the guest list next year. The perfect costume!
Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
I was always that kid who had the amazing idea for a Halloween costume sometime in April, but then when the time came to actually set my vision in motion, I would procrastinate until it was far too late for even my mom to save the day. I was born a procrastinator, and that hasn’t changed. I spent a lot of Halloweens traipsing around the neighbourhood dressed vaguely as a witch; the situation has not improved in my adulthood. That’s why I spent four consecutive years dressed as a bunny, and that’s why my number one last-minute costume recommendation involves simple animal ears and a bit of face paint. Being a bunny (or a kitty, or a mousy) will probably only involve a $10 trip to the costume store—you’ll be able to wear anything in your wardrobe as long as it’s a colour like white, brown, or black. A lazy animal costume is the best choice for people who just don’t want to deal with the social stigma of not wearing a costume at that Halloween party. Bonus: a bunny costume can easily convert into a sexy bunny costume with the help of a corset, some fishnets, and heels.
Cody Klyne, Layout Manager
I like dressing up. There, I said it. Before you get too many ideas, in this case I’m speaking specifically about Halloween. Unfortunately, like many of you I fall into the regretful camp of 90 per cent enthusiasm, 10 per cent preparation. I come up with my costume ideas six months in advance and throw my costume together the week before. Procrastination strikes again. Cut to October 2013: it’s the same old story, but this time around I saw it coming and had a backup. Better still, it’s a backup built for two that could potentially save your significant other or brother/sister from another mother the annual party panic. Three words: we can’t stop. Two more words: Miley Cyrus. What you’ll need: a torn up tank top, a pair of tighty whities, combat boots. Extra credit: a sledge hammer, red lipstick, and a hip haircut. What your partner in costume-crime will need: all black everything and a plastic chain. For best results, if your situation allows it, gender-bend the role of Miley for that extra bit of “doing whatever we want” attitude. Have Miley mount up, tongue licking out at the night’s full moon, and it’s balls away, baby.
Sharon Miki, Columnist
To me, costumes are very serious business; even last-minute costumes can be works of (performance) art.
Whenever I find myself devoid of ideas come party time, I can always count on my trusty backup costume: loser hermit Barbie. Anyone can pull this one off, no matter how little time you have to prepare—feel free to put your own spin on it! Personally, I usually go with an ultra-luxe combo of ratty sweatpants and some sort of food-stained T-shirt. Accessories for a classic hermit costume are simple, cheap, and functional, too. Think things like a bottle of wine, a TV remote control, and a solid deadbolt lock for your front door.
The key to successfully executing a last-minute hermit costume? Do not leave your house or talk to anyone for the entire night. Be sure to post some pics of yourself crying alone in the dark, and enjoy!
Natalie Serafini, Assistant Editor
Not to brag, but this costume once won me a mug in a Halloween costume contest. Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal, and you can be too with just a few items that you likely have in your home! It’s the crying runner-up in a beauty pageant costume, and all you need is a fancy to fancy-lite dress, a sash pronouncing you the runner-up (I made mine out of an old shower curtain, writing the title in Sharpie, but you could use any number of white materials for your sash), and a whole lotta mascara. Get dressed and throw on your sash—easy. The fun part is experimenting with how you want the mascara to run down your cheeks. I suggest doing full make-up then, using the wand, drawing thick streaks of mascara down your cheeks. An interesting twist would be gluing fake eyelashes to your cheeks, so it looks like your tears were violent enough to push your falsies down a few noticeable centimetres.
To fully embody the part, practice your crying face, smear that mascara all down your cheeks, and prepare for the accolades to roll in. You’ll only be a runner-up in your costume name!
Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor
The last time I got dressed up for Halloween was back when it was a big deal for kids, about 20 years ago, and I went as accused murderer OJ Simpson—complete with business suit and a glove that didn’t fit.
This year will mark the first time in two decades that I make any effort into doing something for Halloween, and once again, I didn’t want to get into a costume. But not to disappoint my colleagues who will no doubt expect me to go along with the festivities, I opted for something that allows me to keep wearing my regular clothes while getting into the spirit of the season.
Since Breaking Bad just ended, I thought it topical to go as Walter White. Shaving your hair may seem radical, but it’ll grow back and only sets you back about $10. Give yourself a good shave and let the goatee stand out, while hitting the dollar store for a cheap pair of non-prescription eyeglasses.
Walter White’s trademark pork pie hat is an optional accessory, but makes your costume more convincing. If you’re looking for one, I recommend starting at your local thrift shop or Value Village, as many good quality pork pie hats will start at $140 if purchased from a specialty hat store.
Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
I’ve long resigned myself to the fact that I lack the drive, time, and energy to put any real effort into Halloween. I’m the sort of person who’s perfectly alright not being the guy wearing some impressive getup that makes everyone ooh and ah. And yet, I have just enough “pride” that I refuse to show up to a party without any sort of costume. Or semblance of one.
Fortunately, being the miserable type who thinks that wordplay is always in fashion, an easy costume isn’t hard. I’ve been basing my “costumes” for years off of terrible puns and overused terms. All you need is a T-shirt, Sharpie, a lack of self-respect, and maybe a dollar store item—but you only need the latter if you really go all out. My last few have included a fork in the road (black T-shirt, yellow strips of tape down the middle, and a plastic fork taped to it), a drug front (the word “drug” written on paper on a shirt), and Iron Man (“Fe” printed on a shirt). You’re welcome.