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).
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.