A procrastinator’s guide to Halloween costumes

By Samantha Gonda

(Daily Collegian Archives)
(Daily Collegian Archives)

The leaves have changed. The air is cold. And Halloween is right around the corner. If you’re clueless on what to wear this Halloweekend and are living on a limited budget, here’s a list of ten costume ideas containing pieces you probably already own or can find around the house.


To dress as a piece of sushi all you need is either a white dress or t-shirt and you have your rice, a pink pillow to act as the salmon and a black belt signifying the seaweed, to keep the pillow strapped onto either your stomach or your back. To make this a couples costume, all your partner needs is a Kikkoman soy sauce shirt that can be purchased off Amazon for under $15 (and will exist all throughout the year as a wardrobe staple and conversation starter).


Dressing as a black cat or a bunny is a Halloween classic for a reason. All you need is a dress or any outfit in the color of your animal (gray for a mouse, orange for a fox, brown for a deer, etc.), eyeliner to draw whiskers on your face and a headband for the ears of whichever animal you choose (which can be easily printed off the internet and glued onto cardboard or a headband).

Poison Ivy (the DC character)

Some artistic skills are necessary to become this infamous Batman villain. But for the outfit all that’s necessary is a green floral dress, bodysuit or shirt.  For the makeup you’ll need to emphasize the green petals and thorns around your eyes to really lock in the look.

As far as the fiery red hair goes, a wig is always an option. But if that approach is too expensive and you’re willing to commit to temporary red hair spray dye – that’s definitely a detail that will pack an extra punch.

Brawny man

This fun and practical costume consists of simply a red and black flannel (think lumber jack vibe) medium- dark wash jeans and a roll of paper towels. Extra points for facial hair of any kind – it really adds to the rugged look.

Pineapple or Pumpkin

Whether you love piña coladas or pumpkin spice lattes, this costume is the perfect way to show off your favorite drink and leave the Halloween costume stress behind.  All you need is a yellow dress if you’re going to be a pineapple, orange if you’re going to be a pumpkin and a green headband with either flowing leaves to make the crown of the pineapple or a stem and vine for the pumpkin. Supplies for these extra details can easily be found at a local craft store or repurposed from old containers and paper around the house with a couple coats of green paint.


This costume is the epitome of last minute funny Halloween puns. It simply includes writing the word “book” somewhere on your face and leaving the rest to common sense.

Rosie the Riveter

To embody this feminist icon all you need is a denim shirt, red bandana, red lipstick, flexed arm and a fierce attitude.

Single Lady (Beyoncé)

If you like this costume (put a ring on it) by wearing a black bodysuit with black stilettos and some kind of glove on your left hand (bonus points for sparkles). Be sure to practice your best ‘Single Ladies’ strut as well!

Jay Gatsby

All you need to become Jay Gatsby is to wear a suit and fedora or bow tie and walk around with a champagne glass calling everybody “old sport.”  It’s also important to occasionally stare off into the distance muttering softly about a green light and Daisy.

‘Sons of Anarchy’ biker

To dress as the newest prospect for the SAMCRO gang wear black pants, a grey shirt or flannel, white sneakers and a leather jacket. Call all of your friends “brother” and if you’re really feeling inspired by the role get a few friends to dress as other characters and go as the whole SAMCRO crew.

Samantha Gonda can be found at [email protected]

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified Poison Ivy as a Marvel character. The villain hails from the DC canon. This has since been corrected.