The night of sugar-high kids, bat patterns, and slasher movies is rapidly approaching. The best thing you can do to meet it with grace and dignity is preparing a costume for October 31. Lay all your paper writings aside and get into some serious planning if you want to impress your friends this Halloween. You aren’t going to pop in those plastic fangs and be a lazy vampire again, are you? C’mon, you can do better than that! And with this list I’ve put together for you, you don’t even have to spend much time, money, or energy to outshine everyone!
Paul Atreides From Dune
You could spend a considerable amount of time with a hot-glue gun and sewing machine to recreate the outfit of the brave and bold hero of the recent Dune remake. However, it’s not necessary. All you need to pull off this look is several layers of brown clothes, gloves, and a backpack. Don’t forget a piece of cord under your nose to be more convincing. I am sure there are some ready-to-wear replicas available online, but it’s less fun than scavenging around, isn’t it?
Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus from The Matrix
Although the fourth installment of the iconic franchise isn’t going out until after Halloween, you can always pay homage to the beginnings of this cyberpunk classic by embodying one of the main characters. Head-to-toe black outfits and stylish sunglasses should do the trick, but if you can lay your hands on a pair of long black coats or skintight vinyl pants, you are going to be legendary.
The Ghosts from The Haunting of Bly Manor
Last year’s Halloween season release gives loads of costume inspiration for a spookier look. If you are ready to go over-the-top or have a costume-historian friend who can supply you with mid-seventeenth-century attire, you can go as Viola Willoughby. For an easier option, go for her Lady of the Lake manifestation. Bare feet, a floor-length white nightgown, and a wig with long black hair shouldn’t give you much trouble. Bonus points for being dripping wet. However, this might be unseasonal. To make sure you aren’t mistaken for Samara from the Ring, disguise your face with a sheer stocking before putting on the wig to create the impression of a featureless ghost.
Another option is Edmund O’Mara, Dani’s rejected fiancée, whose memory haunts her guilty conscience and manifests in the mirrors standing behind her. For Eddie’s specter, you will need a dark shirt, grey jumper, khaki-grey pants, and, of course, glowing orb-like glasses. You can create this effect by covering the glasses with a silver or holographic plastic foil. It is transparent but reflects the light perfectly, so you will see everything without ruining the look.
As a couple, you can join Edmund as Dani. You will need eighties-style clothes. For example, her high-rise mom jeans, bulky-knit lavender sweater, and brown boots – an outfit that screams ‘80s and looks cool at the same time. Don’t forget to complete your look with a black belt and middle-sized hoop earrings.
Contestants, Guards, or the Front Man from Squid Game
This brutal, violent, and dark show is so appropriate for Halloween it would make a list anyway. Yet it also lends itself to cosplay so effortlessly that it’s a perfect combo!
All you need to be a contestant this upcoming spooky night is a green tracksuit and a minimum effort of sewing on a patch with a number on it. I’ve seen eerily similar green suits at H&M, ASOS, Adidas, and other retailers – with white stripes and everything.
The guard’s outfit will require marginally more effort. Red hooded full-zip jackets with pants to match are pretty simple to buy, borrow, or even find in your closet. Get a replica mask on Etsy, buy a fencing mask and draw a white shape on it with acrylic paint or corrector from your school supplies, or go full-blown DIY with it! There are plenty of tutorials online, depending on the time, resources, or level of commitment you have.
The same goes for the geometric mask of the Front Man. Though I must admit, it is much more elaborate, so you will have to DIY harder or splurge a bit more if you want to obtain a ready-made one. However, this difficulty is somewhat compensated by the ease of getting a black hooded raincoat and black gloves.
Daphne from Bridgerton
That’s my personal favorite because what Jane Austen fan doesn’t have a high-waistline regency dress tucked away somewhere? This one certainly does! Add a rhinestone tiara from my high-school graduation party (yeah, stoosh, I know) – and the costume is practically assembled. To channel Daphne, you will have to remain classy with muted pastel colors, an understated sparkling necklace, an elegant updo, and, of course, gloves. Get an elbow-length pair for an evening look or little mesh things for a morning variation.
In fact, this hot Regency-inspired fantasy show is a treasure trove of costumes that you can replicate depending on which character caught your fancy. I admit, gentlemen’s attire is much more complicated. Still, if you manage to pull that look off, boy, will you be popular at that party!
Loki and Mobius from Loki
To embody Loki as a Time Variance Authority detainee from a new Disney Plus series, you will need a khaki-grey jumpsuit and a black collar. That’s it! A convincing Time Twister Displacement Collar can be fashioned from a belt you don’t need anymore or from some EVA foam following one of the tutorials on Youtube. Oh, yes, comb your hair back and look wicked. You may want to make it a couple’s costume by dressing your friend as Mobius – that’s an easy one as well. All you need is a suite complete with a thin tie and a statement belt. Glue on a theatrical mustache, and you are good to go.
Wanda and Vision from WandaVision
Another idea for a couple’s costume. Each character works fine on its own, but they are genuinely iconic together, so try to convince one of your friends to do this together.
Wanda Maximoff’s most important visual characteristic is her stunning red hair, so make sure you get a wig or dye your hair the right hue. For Vision, you will have to paint your face red and silver (again, tons of tutorials on Youtube.) There are plenty of outfits in the show that you can emulate. Just make sure you both stick to the same decade. I recommend the seventies-inspired look from the third episode because seventies’ fashion is the GOAT, and nothing can convince me otherwise. However, the vintage Scarlet Witch look Wanda adopts for the Halloween episode is also tempting.
Beth Harmon from The Queens Gambit
If the redhead wig you’ve found is too short for Wanda, maybe you can style it into Beth’s signature bob? Add a pair of oxfords and a vintage schoolgirl-style dress to look era-appropriate, and you are ready to party. If you want to recreate the look from the show’s dramatic finale, then a white dress and a matching French beret will do the trick.
As a variation for a couple’s costume, your friend can come as a chess piece – just dress in black and put on a horse-head mask!
Estella Miller from Cruella
You will need a two-toned wig, bold eyeliner, and red lipstick to emulate this dramatic look. If you can’t get your hands on the wig but have dark hair, you can make-do by generously spraying half of it with dry shampoo.
For the dress, you have a ton of inspiration since outfits change a lot in the movie. Still, two signature ones are black from head-to-toe attire and a flame-red mermaid-tail dress with an intricate neckline. Don’t forget to add a pair of gloves matching the color of your chosen costume and put on a black feather eye mask for a striking effect.
Bernie Sanders at the Presidential Inauguration
I had to finish on a lighter note with a wacky costume, and this one is just perfect. Former presidential candidate-turned-meme-legend Bernie Sanders encapsulates the COVID-era vibe like no one else. Wear a surgical mask, a practical brown coat, and, of course, a pair of brown mittens with a black-and-white pattern. Complete your look with a folding chair you can carry around to assume the famous cross-legged and cross-armed seated pose now and then.