Five Half-Assed Halloween Costumes To Thrill and Impress Your Friends

Confession: I’m not a big Halloween person. Even though it’s a holiday that celebrates candy, my favorite food group, I don’t particularly like going out of the house in costume. Yes, I live in New York, where you’re likely to run into pantsless people wearing fright wigs even when it’s not October 31, but I’ve always liked to walk the streets anonymously, without drawing undue attention to myself. Hence some recent “costumes” that could be normal clothes, depending on your definition of “normal”–like when I dressed up as L.L. Cool J’s Around The Way Girl in 2009 (bamboo earrings: $5; bad attitude: free), or as a pregnant hillbilly in 2006 (which, in retrospect, could also have been Kate Gosselin).

With my coat on I just looked like a pregnant woman with really bad hair.

If you’re like me and can’t be bothered to put any real effort into Halloween, but are lured to a friend’s party by the sweet siren song of candy corn and grain alcohol, here are some ways to half-ass a clever costume without spending a dime…

This one is so classic and cliche, you can now claim it’s simply minimalist and retro. Find a white sheet without too many visible stains that you can stand to live without and cut three holes somewhere near the middle, two for your eyes and one for your mouth (or whatever you want to stick in there, I won’t judge). Bonus points if you carry around a penny and tell people, “Sam says it’s for luck.”

“Sexy maid”
Don the slippers, sweats, and threadbare tee-shirt you usually vacuum in, but tell guests you’re not wearing any underwear. Bonus points for smacking people on the ass with a Swiffer Wet Jet.

Teen Mom/Dad
Offer to babysit for a friend or relative while they go to a Halloween party. Then take the kid to a different Halloween party and let it run around unattended while you get into physical altercations with ex boyfriends/girlfriends and talk smack about your mom. Bonus points if you work in a fraught trip to Walmart to buy a cubic zirconia engagement ring.

Nudist/Streaker/Baby From Cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind Album
Doff clothes. Act natural. (Just bring a dollar bill and make sure there’s a pool if you’re trying that last one.) Bonus points for making a point to sit on every piece of furniture in the house.

Randy Quaid
Put on boxer shorts, a cropped bathrobe, and tube socks. Earflap hat optional. Whenever anyone asks you what you’re supposed to be, just say, “Shitter was full!” and grin. Bonus points for sneaking out on a hotel bill and getting arrested, then fleeing to Canada.

About Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche blogs at The Sassy Curmudgeon, and writes for The New York Observer, The Huffington Post, and NickMom. She dominates at mini golf, especially after a few drinks, and it is a fact that Tim Gunn once complimented her on her sandals. You can find her hawking blog posts and fetishizing candy on Twitter, and if you really want to feed her ego (which took a major hit thanks to an adolescent unibrow and a penchant for Troll doll earrings), you can become her fan on Facebook.


  1. Unknown Mami says:

    I’m just going to tuck the back of my dress into my underwear and go as Clueless.

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  2. Funny, funny, funny.

  3. The Cousin Eddie costume is actually quite brilliant. I may see if my husband will do that this year.

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  4. Lauren says:

    My boyfriend’s wearing my workout clothes and a fro wig (that he had? for some reason?) and saying he’s Richard Simmons. I’ll be awarding him bonus points for every time he squats in my short shorts.

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