From the timeless attire of the bedsheet ghost to the intricate prosthetic makeup werewolf, 31 October brings out creativity through costume in plenty of unique ways. However, with an estimated 7 million Halloween costumes thrown away each year in the UK alone, tonnes of plastic waste and other harmful rubbish is produced.
Dressing up doesn’t have to require huge spending every year, spending that leads to the creation of this excess rubbish. In fact, you can still wear a classic Halloween costume without needing to break the bank, and there are items that can be reused once Halloween passes. Without further rambling, here are a few ideas for some of the classics:
Wednesday or Pugsley Addams
If you’re looking to get into a specific character for Halloween, then going as a member of the mysterious Addams family is always going to be a win. I myself have dressed as Wednesday Addams in the past and can vouch for it as a great, reusable costume.
Once you’ve purchased a version of the well-known black dress with its white cuffs and collar, all you need to do to complete the Wednesday look is add dark under-eye makeup, a pair of black tights with Mary Jane shoes, and throw your hair into two braids.
Once the holiday’s over, you can wear the dress casually without looking too out of place. An added bonus to the costume is that you could easily go as one of a pair with Pugsley who requires little more than a stripy top, shorts and knee-high socks – if anything the two characters will be even more recognisable together. Get a whole gang together and you can recreate the whole family.
Another film classic which people love and is easy to execute at home and then to later repurpose. All you need are the right jeans, a tight white top, a pair of snazzy sunglasses and either a pink bomber jacket or a black leather jacket.
Plenty of online shops like Etsy offer stickers or iron-on transfers of the ‘Pink Ladies’ and ‘T-Birds’ logos, which can easily be stuck onto the back of a normal jacket. This means when Halloween’s over, you can easily revert the jacket to its normal state and wear it in your daily life. Leather jackets work well for many occasions so it’s bound to be a useful purchase. Everyone loves a bit of Grease, so this costume will certainly make others smile.
The Bedsheet Ghost
If a character costume isn’t your thing, why not try the bedsheet ghost? Everyone knows this one, and actually, the list wouldn’t be complete without it. Sometimes simple is better, and who doesn’t love our friendly ghost, Casper?
If you have an old bedsheet lying around, your Halloween get-up is basically sorted. Cut out three holes, two for your eyes and one for your mouth, then throw it over your head and just like that you’re a ghost (if you want to make it more fitted, then, of course, you can cut out two armholes or customise it further).
There’s the opportunity to get creative with this quick and easy costume by decorating your bedsheet with names, shackles, anything you think could push your look further. Compared to polyester materials, bed sheets can be machine-washed, which means even if this costume gets dirty, you can use it again.
With the lightning scar on his forehead, Harry Potter is a Halloween favourite, and his costume doesn’t have to be hard to recreate. A house scarf or tie can be purchased online and can be worn again in the future without you getting weird looks in public. A wand can also be fashioned out of sticks.
Beyond that, you can wear regular black trousers and a normal jumper with a press on Harry Potter house emblem which can be found on Etsy. To make the outfit complete, although it isn’t essential by any means, a black cape – or wizard robe – will finish the look. However, unless you’re willing to attempt to make this yourself, you’ll probably have to purchase one online, selling at about £10 on websites such as Amazon. Either way, with this costume you’re bound to blow the muggles away.
There you have it – classic, recognisable costumes that can look great without costing an arm and a leg. The Addams Family or the ghost will give you a spookier look, but Grease and Harry Potter are equally exciting and Halloween ready.
Depending on how creative you want to get, they can go from basic clothes to fancy dress costume pretty quickly as it’s all about the effort you want to put in. You can customise to your heart’s content, which is always a bonus, right?