Here Are All Your Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

October 23, 2019

Halloween just sneaks up on us, doesn’t it? Somewhere during your workday or your daily commute or in the middle of a conversation with a friend, you’ll think to yourself, “Oh crap, I don’t have anything to wear! What can I use as a last-minute Halloween costume?”

And even though Halloween is hands-down the very best celebration of the year — don’t you argue! — it can be hard to plan for. Luckily, we’ve got some great buzzer-beater, last-minute Halloween costume ideas for you.

You don’t have to break the bank to create a thoughtful, not-crappy Halloween costume. Actually, it’s probably easier (and so much more unique!) to DIY your costume with a little creativity and elbow grease.

So, whether you want to be extra lazy (don’t worry, we’ve ALL been there) or just a little less lazy (by combining something from your closet with a last-minute Amazon Prime rush item), we’ve got you covered. So, get ready to get your last-minute party on!

Here are some options for spooky and not-so-spooky last-minute Halloween costumes, depending on how much you want to frighten your fellow partiers!

For the extra, extra lazy among us, we’ve got some good ideas for you — straight out of your own closet.

This one is pretty rad because you can do it as a couple — making it into an “old married couple” duo costume — or you can do it on your own.

Reverse Benjamin Button Yourself.

You’ll need a bathrobe, some cozy PJs, and maybe some brown eyeliner to draw extra wrinkles all over your face. Extra points if you wander around the party talking about “the good old days.”

You can also grab a mug of morning coffee, or throw a bottle of prescription pills into your top pocket for extra elderly authenticity.

Love Bowie? Go as Ziggy Stardust.

If you’re a David Bowie fan, this costume provides an amazing way to pay tribute to his legacy while also rocking one of the coolest costumed looks out there.

Oh, and it’s a simple last-minute Halloween costume!

Use face paint for the iconic lightening strike. Pair it with a striped bodysuit (or anything rock-star-looking, really, like a silver jumpsuit or a onesie) and people will instantly recognize you. Don’t forget the red hairspray or wig, too!

It’s all about that facial makeup!

No idea how to make that makeup work? You’re not alone. Here’s a rad Ziggy Stardust makeup tutorial that ought to help you figure it out. Just make sure you’ve got bright colors on-hand. He rocked reddish-orange and blue in his infamous facial stripe. 

Another great couple’s costume: Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction.

These costumes are pretty simple – and most of us have them in our closet right now. All you need is a crisp white shirt and a black bob wig to dress as Mia Wallace. If you’re planning on dressing as Vincent Vega, be sure to get a bolo tie.

Everyone loves a 90s throwback. And it’s easy!

Going as Mia? It can’t hurt to smoothe on some intense red lipstick and carry a cigarette (fake, of course) around with you. The cigarette is, like, 80 percent of the look. 

Another easy look that you probably can scramble together: The 80s costume.

This is going to require side ponytails, neon clothing, a fanny pack, and leg warmers. Bonus points if you can apply some blue eyeshadow and hot pink lipstick.

Don’t be afraid to go loud and extra with this last-minute Halloween costume.

The’80s were a time when fashion was, er, questionable.

If you’re more of a ’90s child, you’ll want to embrace the denim.

Luckily, the ’90s are probably an easier look to pull off, since we’re all wearing mom jeans again anyways. Make sure to pair your high-waisted denim mom jeans with even more denim here, like a jean jacket.

Look for a classic ’90s tee to wear underneath like this Nirvana one.

Pair this look with classic ’90s makeup — deep shades of red and brown eyeshadows, brown lip liner, and a big hair-do.

Want to take it back a little further to the ’60s and ’70s? Be a hippie.

This is easier than it seems: Grab an old pair of bell-bottoms, part your hair in the middle, wrap some sort of scarf around your forehead, like this tye-dye one, crop your top, and pile on the beaded and braided bracelets.

The good news: You probably won’t need to ravage your mom’s closet to pull off this one…

Of course, if you would never, ever own a pair of bell-bottoms (and we can see why not), Amazon has got you covered with all sorts of flower power goodness.

Margot Tenenbaum is a classic (and easy) Halloween look.

Find a blue striped dress. Cover it with a brown fur coat. Pop a blonde bob wig on (with a lone red barrette on one side in your bangs), rim your eyes in thick black eyeliner, and you’re all set.

Don’t forget the pout.

Lastly, if you’re thinking of going as Margot Tenenbaum, you’ve got to be prepared to wear a sullen face for the majority of your evening. Cool?

Margot not really your flavor?

You could, of course, wear Chas Tenenbaum’s iconic tracksuit or Richie Tenenbaum’s suit, aviator sunglasses, striped polo shirt, and a sweatband.

Studied science? Why not go a little mad?

You’re gonna need a lab coat, some plastic gloves, a beaker, and huge, electrocuted hair (see below).

All you really need is a powerful hairdryer and some really good hairspray.

You want big, big, messy hair. Bonus points if you spray-paint it grey — but hey, scientists of any age can go mad, right?

We’re all millennials living in the age of the internet…

The best part of this costume? Literally everyone will understand what you are! All you need is a crappy old white tee-shirt and a sharpie — et voila! Last-minute costume achievement unlocked.

So why not come to the party as a 404 Error?

You can use it as an excuse not to talk to anyone, since, well it’s technically an error.

Be iconic. Be 1950s Barbie.

To tap into the spirit of 1950s Barbie, you’ll need a super-retro pencil skirt. In black. Then, you’ll need a pair of black cat-eye sunglasses, and a tight-fitting top. You can even write the word “Barbie” across a tee-shirt in marker.

1950s Barbie is an easy option. You probably have most of this costume in your closet already!

If you have some extra time, you can always order a Barbie tee-shirt. Just be sure to watch a retro makeup tutorial to go the extra mile with the makeup approach. Winged eyeliner is a MUST – might we suggest a black liquid liner to get it done?

A flapper is always a fun costume that can be used time and again.

The trick to pulling this costume off is the dress. You need ALL THE FRINGE. We repeat: Do not forget the fringe! If you’ve got a fringey dress collecting dust in your closet, pull it out. Otherwise, this Gatsby dress has you covered.

Don’t forget the accessories, though.

You’ll also need a long pearl necklace, a feather headband, and black gloves (all available in this easy set). Clueless about flapper hairdos? Here are good tutorials for short, medium, and long hair.

When it comes to spookier costumes…

Wednesday Addams is the classic Halloween look — and it’s super, super simple! You probably have most of it in your closet, including the black dress and a white collar.

Wednesday Addams is an easy go-to.

Slap on a pair of black thigh highs, rock a black braided wig, and swipe on some dark lipstick and you’ll be all set.

Want to be even scarier? Go as the twins from The Shining.

This iconic look is a Halloween favorite. You’ll need the blue dress with the pink belt, the high white socks, and a carefully place barrette in your hair. Oh, and some splattered blood is never a bad idea.

The best thing about this costume is that no one will ask, “Who are you supposed to be?”

You can probably pull this last-minute Halloween costume off alone, but you and a friend should rock this look together. #redrum.

Skip the worn-out cat costume idea and go for the creepy Pet Sematary cat mask.

This extremely creepy Pet Sematary cat mask is available for rush delivery on Amazon. Pair this mask with a black outfit and you’ll be freaking everyone at the party out. For real.

You won’t need cute ears and a tail for this one.

Just stand in the corner of the room at the party like a real creep. This mask basically does all the work for you!

Have a dark sense of humor? Like being covered in blood?

We’ve got a good last-minute Halloween costume for you…

In this simple killer housewife costume, all you’ll really need is a dress, some heels, a pearl necklace, and a whole lotta fake blood. The idea here is to play off the housewife trope and to get really super messy with it.

Be a killer housewife.

Just make sure you use a dress you’re not going to want to wear ever again. Oh, and if you have a partner, they can dress as your dead spouse. Let’s just hope your friends have a morbid sense of humor.

Fan of American Horror Story?

When you show up to a Halloween party, there’s a 99 percent chance someone at the party is going to be an American Horror Story fan — which means they’ll know the extra-creepy, super-dark Hotel season character Hypodermic Sally.

You can probably pull most of this last-minute Halloween costume from your closet.

You’ll need an animal print (hopefully faux!) jacket of some sort over a black or dark velvety dress, a black choker, crimped hair, and messed up makeup. If you don’t have blonde hair, find a crimped blonde wig, like this unholy wig from Amazon.

Prefer the Coven season of AHS? Yeah, us too. Dress like the Coven itself.

This one’s pretty easy. All you have to do is wear a black dress of your choice, preferably with a wide-brim black hat. The Coven’s witches don a 90s-inspired look, so if you’ve got a dress with chunky black boots, even better. The best way to rock this look is in a group (or a coven)!

You don’t have to be a specific character to embrace the Halloween spirit. Be a skeleton!

This skeleton costume dress is literally 16.99 on Amazon. For less than 20 bucks, that’s a super spooky steal. For those who prefer not to wear a dress, there’s also this affordable skeleton bodysuit.

If you are celebrating Dia De Los Muertos…

For people who celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, get your hands on this Sugar Skull costume and floral crown (and be sure to watch this makeup tutorial). Fun fact: a sugar skull is also known as a Calavera, or a decorative skull.

Got a white sheet? Go as a ghost. Done.

Since Halloween’s history tells us that costumes were used to ward away the bad spirits, we’re thinking a ghost will be the ultimate protection!

A ghost is the OG spooktacular costume.

All you’ve got to do is cut two holes into an old white sheet, and you’re done! If you want to go the extra mile with this one, paint your face white and spray-paint your hair grey or white as well.

Want to walk the line between strange and spooky? Sure you do. Be a nun.

The key to making sure this costume works well is getting your hands on the accessories, like the headpiece and the headdress. Of course, you can’t go wrong weilding a huge cross, either.

Or be an evil nun. You can make this one as creepy as you’d like.

If you want to take this one to the next level, go with dark eyeliner, heavy black and red eyeshadow, some deep red lips and, you know, some blood.

Maleficent is everywhere these days. All you need is a fancy black dress and the iconic headpiece.

Beyond the headpiece, the makeup is the going to make or break this costume, so be sure to watch this oh-so-Angelina tutorial. It’s all about the cheekbones!

But more than the headpiece, it’s about the right accessories.

A fancy, long, or off-the-shoulder black gown ought to the trick, but any black party dress will do. Even better: A dress with bell-sleeves and a trail. You can also snap up this feather cape shawl and headpiece set. You might want to don a staff to be extra. And let’s be honest: Maleficent IS extra.

Wanna rock a comfy, scary look? Go scarecrow.

The scarecrow is an easy go-to because it requires very little and is instantly recognized. All you really need is a plaid shirt and a pair of tan boots, along with some twine. Tie the twin around your neck and wrists for scarecrow emphasis.

Don’t forget to scarecrow-ify your face!

Scarecrow makeup is pretty simple, too. It’s all about drawing the look of stitches across your mouth, cheeks, and nose, as this tutorial explains. Have fun with it!

Are you still putting together a last-minute Halloween costume? What are you going to be?