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Sunday, November 27, 2022

The best, easiest do-it-yourself Halloween costumes

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I’m not big on scary movies—too many nightmares—but who doesn’t love candy and dressing up in fun, creative costumes? However, picking out the perfect costume can not only take time, but pre-packaged costumes can get pricey. These are some fun, easy Halloween costumes you can recreate using items you already have or can get at a low price at places like Ragstock or Goodwill on State Street.

Katniss Everdeen

Rocking a Katniss Everdeen costume is not only recognizable, but also easy to put together. You’ll need skinny cargo pants, a black T-shirt, boots and a dark-colored parka for the basic Katniss look. Head over to Goodwill or a toy store to pick up a bow and arrow set to complete the look. If you’re feeling ambitious, feel free to create or purchase a Mockingjay pin. Don’t forget the braid! In the cold Wisconsin weather, this costume will not only be warm, but comfortable.

Dobby from “Harry Potter”

The Harry Potter books and movies may have stopped, but it’s never too late to show love for one of the biggest and most-loved fantasy series of all time. You could easily throw on a cape and grab a stick for a wand, but where’s the creativity in that? Dobby, a house elf, makes for an easy costume. If you’re petite or willing to rock a fierce look, just cut holes in an old pillowcase for your arms and head. Otherwise wear a light-colored dress. To truly transform, cut ears out of felt and glue then to a headband. Don’t forget the mismatched socks!

“Risky Business”

Arguably the easiest costume of all is to recreate Tom Cruise’s infamous look from “Risky Business.” You’ll just need an oversized button-up shirt, preferably in white, white crew socks and a pair of wayfarer style sunglasses—bonus points if they’re Ray-Bans.  Feel free to rock a pair of tighty whities if you’re willing, otherwise just a pair of shorts works, too!

Psy from “Gangnam Style”

Be trendy this year with a Psy costume. It’s a great costume because you most likely have these pieces on hand or can find them for a reasonable price at places like Ragstock. To create this look you’ll need black pants, a blazer (preferably some shade of blue), a white button-up shirt and a black bowtie. Finish off this look with a pair of black sunglasses.

Justin Bieber

Not only is dressing like pop star Justin Bieber a hilarious costume, it’s a comfy costume fit for anyone with a great sense of humor. Wear tighter-fitting denim jeans, bright sneakers and a bright shirt to start it off. Then throw on a zip-up hoodie and a flat-billed baseball cap. If you’re willing to go for the ultimate Bieber look, find a cheap wig to create Justin’s signature swoopy bang look to wear underneath the hate. Ladies, feel free to skip the wig, get creative and try to move your hair around to create the signature hairdo.

Paulie Bleeker from “Juno”

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“Juno” came out a couple years ago, but Paulie Bleeker’s look will always stand out. It’s a simple costume consisting of a maroon shirt, running shorts (preferably yellow), high socks and running sneakers. Don’t forget about sweatbands to complete the look. Feeling like it’s not enough clothing for the chilly weather? A hooded sweatshirt will fit right in.


Marty McFly from “Back to the Future”

Ready for an easy costume, guys? To become the 1980s teenage hero Marty McFly from “Back to the Future,” played by Michael J. Fox, you’ll need two key pieces—a denim jacket or button-up and an orange puffy vest. These items can easily be found at thrift stores or even in a friend’s closet. Throw on your best pair of acid-wash jeans and white sneakers to complete the look. This is not only a creative costume, but also one you can easily add layers to keep warm at Freakfest.

Ron Swanson

Everyone’s favorite libertarian is the perfect inexpensive, last-minute costume to throw together that could still get you a few laughs walking down State Street. All you need is a mustache, a combover, a flannel shirt and a hatred for the government. And don’t forget to carry around a two-pound steak and some Tammy 2 repellent; you never know if she may be lingering in the crowd ready to drive you crazy enough to get cornrows. Again.

 A UW-Madison freshman

 Put on those college sweats (as in, sweatshirt AND sweatpants) and drench yourself in axe cologne for this simple-but-funny costume. Be sure to carry around a map and wear a lanyard around your neck with your ID, keys and credit cards. Another benefit: The sweats will keep you warm throughout the chilly October night, and you could prove a point to first-years who roam the Madison campus.

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