It’s mid-October already, and Halloween is creeping up on us! Originally a pagan festival celebrating the dead and the end of the harvest season, it has now become a favourite holiday for many.
It might be just one day, but it plays a key part of the series of holidays that we celebrate year after year. You only have to take one look at decorations on sale in supermarkets to recognise its importance; Halloween has become an annual tradition for brands to capitalise on, and for us to celebrate.
Nevertheless, it can cause a special type of panic as, like many holidays, the competitive spirit arises within us and it becomes a chance to show our inner interior designer and fashionista. We all know the classic last-minute Halloween outfits – the devil, the cat, the rabbit, the witch. Just stick on a pair of horns or ears and you’re ready to go! But what about if you want a more creative approach?
Themed Halloween outfits are always a good idea – look to popular culture for inspiration on outfits you can reproduce cheaply, or even from your own wardrobe. Eleven from Stranger Things, The Joker or even characters such as Alice in Wonderland or any Disney icon can all be put together pretty quickly – just stick to a colour scheme or prints that you might already have.
Other creative ideas can work better as a group, and put less pressure on the individual. You can dress as classic Halloween icons such as the Addams family, Ghostbusters, or the Scooby Doo gang, and get creative and make parts of your costume.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to use a bit of paper and glue to make Scooby Doo’s collar for instance. You’d be surprised how little effort can make a big impact. Get your DIY on and have fun in the process.
If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, you could think about outfits you could do on the cheap that require a bit more effort or at least more tinfoil, for example. Put an old cardboard box that has been lying around to good use and cover it with tinfoil for an easy, student-friendly robot costume.
Or if you’ve got less time or less creative skills, cut some cardboard into hands with pointy fingers and wrap with tinfoil, and you’ve got yourself an Edward Scissorhands outfit!
If you’re more creative with make-up or fancy dabbling in special effects, why not try a Halloween-inspired make-up tutorial? If you want to put some real effort in, you could try using liquid latex to show very realistic injuries or wounds. Inspiring make-up videos give easy to follow walk-throughs of Halloween designs and can still add to the masquerade of Halloween, even if your outfit lacks that je ne sais quoi.
There are so many different interpretations for Halloween and as such so many options for costumes, but there’s also a reason so many people go for the classic ‘images’ that are associated with the holiday.
If all else fails, you could take inspiration from popular culture and make an ‘error: costume not found’ sign and attach it to a plain t-shirt to really subvert the dress-code of fancy dress.
Illustration: Hannah Robinson