Uh-oh, weirdos! It’s Halloween! Does this news take you by surprise? Double uh-oh! I take it, then, that you haven’t spent the last two weeks driving to every last secondhand store in your town, zombie dead-eyed, searching for that one elusive lapel-less pewter grey jacket that will really bring your Sloan Sabbith getup together, waiting in a line out the door at Goodwill while checking your bank account on the phone and suddenly being thrown into torturous doubt over truths you had taken for granted your whole life, so it’s clear you don’t understand everything that is wonderful about this cursed devil’s holiday. And it’s clear you could use some guidance so you don’t show up at the lame house party your friends finally drag you to dressed as a mere civilian who hasn’t read a blog all year.
The last-minute costume is a tricky art: You can either impress yourself and your friends with a seat-of-the-pants masterpiece, or throw together some self-consciously subpar silliness and give everyone a nice laugh at whatever social gathering you find yourself. The road you take depends on your personality; if you pride yourself on your chillness and lack of vanity, then by all means, Sharpie an error message on a white T-shirt and go as the broken Healthcare.gov website. It’s All Hallow’s Eve, nobody’s judging you but you. But if you wanna take the plunge and see what kind of damage you can do in the two hours between work and cocktail hour, the key is taking the path of least resistance. Know what you have to work with (budget, costume stores within a 15-minute drive/train/walk, clothes you already own) so you can minimize your search time and zero in on the elements you already know where to find. These ideas are mostly pretty stupid, but they are meant to be easily procurable at your local Halloween outlet, thrift store, drug store, or closet. Good luck, ghoulfriend. Knock 'em undead.
Wear mourning attire and a duck face. Have your phone out at all times. You’re a Selfie at a Funeral!
Wear all animal print, draw some black leopard spots on your neck with a WASHABLE marker, affix some tinfoil to one tooth, stick a yellow Hot Wheels down your pants. You’re Cameron Diaz in The Counselor!
Pick up a cheap astronaut suit at any Halloween outlet (you might be late enough to get a discount!). No helmet required. Pick up a plastic flask of Russian vodka and offer it to weary looking praters throughout the night, reassuring them they have something to live for. You’re the ghost of George Clooney in Gravity!
Pick up a long-sleeve thong leotard at your local American Apparel and some flesh-colored hot shorts (in the likely event you are a modest prude). Wear the leotard backward, over the shorts. Carry a can of Arizona Grapeade suggestively. Everyone else will be going as Miley Cyrus, but not NSFW Terry Richardson Miley Cyrus!
Go with your best buddy in the whole wide world. One of you wears a flannel and khakis, the other rocks a chill hoodie. Mr./Ms. Flannel sprays his/her hair silver. Record the whole evening on a handheld camcorder. You’re Nev and Max!
Mad Men Costumes
Start with a suit and tie …
+ sheen of hangover sweat, dog-eared copy of The Inferno = Don Draper
+ cane, eyepatch, soft-shoe = Ken Cosgrove
+ two cups of coffee = Bob Benson
Ladies: This may be the year to go as Sally Draper! Wear a peacoat, a headband, and a bad attitude. Chain smoke until you’ve properly fucked up your future.
Cultural Mashup Novelty Costumes
Wear a voluminous curly brown wig and an obnoxious suit, and carry a cane. Spend the entire night accusing people of not being feminist. You’re Lorde Disick!
Don’t shave your face. Wrap up your right hand in an Ace bandage and sling it up with a nasty rag. Wear something that looks like a school uniform, and Mary Janes. Get really bloody and dirty, maybe bring along a stuffed bear if you really want to sell the look. Act generally bitchy. You’re Ja'mie Lannister!