The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Column: Last minute search for Halloween costumes in your closet


Photo illustration by Joe Camacho and Jacob Beltran

By Vanessa M. Sanchez

With less than a week until Halloween and no costume, it’s crunch time. Don’t fight against last-minute crowds for high-priced costumes. By this time, most costumes are only available in limited styles and sizes. Instead of wasting time and money, costumes can easily be created from already-owned attire.

When browsing your wardrobe, keep an open mind. There are potential Halloween costumes in any closet.

A pair of sweatpants or shorts and a matching tee with the addition of a gold, silver or bronze medal creates an easily manageable olympian costume which applies well to group and couple costumes. Medals can be purchased at most party supply stores. Complete the attire with running shoes and an United States or other nations’ flag.

For another idea, the presidential elections are around the corner. Wear a mask of currently running candidates or former presidents which can be found at most costume shops, averaging at $35. Wear wardrobe that supports the theme whether professional, funny or scary.

Or, go back in time and dress according to styles of previous decades. For example, guys can sport a coat with rolled-up sleeves, solid shirt, jeans and some Chucks and girls can fashion neon colors with an off-the-shoulder tee and hair tied back by a matching scrunchie for an ‘80s look. And tie-dye shirts paired with jeans makes a simplistic ‘60s character; accessorize with peace sign items.

In Texas, cowgirl boots can be found at almost any store. Pair those with a denim skirt, flannel shirt, or a fun spring-style dress and complete with a cowgirl hat. This is another costume that works well for couples and groups. Guys can apply the same idea of cowboy boots, plaid shirt and cowboy hat to complete the look. Throw on a large belt buckle and lasso if desired.

Movie characters are also simplistic. A box of chocolates, a khaki suit accompanied by a blue and white checkered shirt can turn any man into Forrest Gump, just as tube socks, a long-sleeve pink shirt and tighty whities can help repeat the famous “Risky Business” dance scene.

For guys with glasses, consider Superman by covering a Superman-logoed shirt behind a long-sleeved Oxford shirt, and dress pants. Ladies can go as Janis Joplin with light shade lenses, a maxi dress and flip flops as you probably don’t want to parade around barefoot as Janis often did while performing.

Sports fans should have fun dressed in their favorite jersey with accompanying uniform pants. Or show you are a true fan by wearing your favorite player’s jersey, jeans and any other team-affiliated accessories you have to complete the outfit. Again, this is an easy concept for families or anyone dressing up with someone else.

However, you can always go the traditional route.

A plaid shirt, for instance, can easily become a scarecrow costume by wearing jeans and suspenders with the addition of a raven prop on the shoulder and synthetic hay which can be purchased at most retail stores where Halloween merchandise is available. Each of these accessories usually run for $1.

Zombie attire can also be created from an old T-shirt. Roll the shirt in dirt and costume blood to wear in conjunction with a torn pair of jeans. Then, use pale blues mixed with light greens along with blackened eyes for a decaying face look and exposed skin to complete the outfit.

To apply a more feminine appearance to these costumes, substitute jeans with a skirt and find a less masculine top to pair with it while still using the same zombification process for the clothing.

Witch, warlocks and vampires are popular costumes every season. Any dress can be used for a witch costume so long as there is a matching witch’s hat in addition. A dark-colored shirt, a robe, black pants and a wand will create a warlock costume. However, depending on the creation, this can also appear as a magician’s costume so complete the look by painting the face a deep green.

A vampire costume only needs to include a plain shirt, dark pants and a cape. Then paint the face and exposed skin white. In addition, apply vampire fangs which usually run between $5 and $20 depending on the quality.

So instead of spending “an arm and a leg,” wasting time moving store to store and waiting in long lines, get creative. There are endless possibilities for a good costume in any wardrobe.

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