October 21 2010|05.00 AM UTC

Samantha Eckles

8 Trendy Halloween Costumes You Can Make to Impress Your Friends

Category: Savings

Halloween lovers look forward to the end of October all year long. While these folks may begin planning their costumes in June, most of us wait to the last minute. However, with a few incredibly cheap purchases and the clothes already in your closet, you can have an awesome costume without a scary price tag.

Don Draper


The definition of 1960’s cool, John Hamm is enjoying tremendous success with his role in Mad Men (which won its third consecutive Emmy in three seasons of being on the air).

While carrying a trio of Emmy Awards would certainly help identify who you were, the rest of the costume relies mostly on scotch, a skinny tie, anger, and a whole lot of gel.

Lady Gaga

FAMOUS FROM: Size 8 and Down

Although not everybody can afford an outfit made of meat (honestly, who would want to wear it anyway), the Lady Gaga look is perhaps the easiest one for women to pull off if they follow a few simple tips.

By wearing a dress you outgrew ten years ago, sunglasses that are too big for your face and putting literally anything you want on your head, you can boldly and accurately declare that you too are part of the Fame Monster. While we advise strongly against the meat purse, accessory choices are entirely up to you.

Gregory House


Having secured his place as America’s favorite doctor (unless you’re a patient), Gregory House is an excellent choice as a last minute, low-budget Halloween costume idea.

The standard Greg House style is defined by a retro tee shirt under a button down dress shirt, complimented by blue jeans, Nikes and a blazer. Throw in a prescription bottle filled with Tic-Tacs and a cane from the local medical supply shop, and you’ll be ready to hit the town and diagnose cases of Lupus in a flash.


FAMOUS FROM: Escalades, Mostly

The king of rap, hip-hop and style, Jay-Z is an excellent choice for Halloween inspiration. His look is affordable, easy, and most of all, cool.

By dressing like a hobo below the ankles, a Calvin Klein model below the torso and a college professor from the waist up, you can easy emulate the style of Jay-Z using only things found in your closet. Throw in some sunglasses, a microphone and the trademark Yankees hat and you’ll have people calling you Hova all night long.



The diva of a new generation, young girls everywhere wish they could look and sound like Rihanna. With a trip to the thrift store or a deep enough closet, that look is easily attainable.

Hoop earrings straight out of the 1980’s, skin tight dresses, and emo bangs all make up Rihanna’s trademark look. While the hair may be the trickiest part, lots of cheap wigs are available at Halloween stores – look for a male emo rocker wig, and not a female diva singer wig. By finding the right set of swooping bangs, there will be no doubts as to who you are this Halloween.

Sarah Palin

FAMOUS FROM: 2008 Vice Presidential Fail

Everyone’s favorite moose-hunting, flute-playing former-governor; this costume has a few more years of shelf life left especially if there’s a 2012 campaign in the future.

The Tina Fey Glasses, bangs and wide variety of skirt-suits make Sarah Palin an easy Halloween target for any brunette in the bunch. Fear not blondes; simply add angry wrinkles and refuse to smile all night and you’ve got the perfect Hillary Clinton.

Betty White

FAMOUS FROM: Golden Girls, SNL

Enjoying a resurgence of her career, Betty White is literally everywhere. Feel free to add to the madness before her 15 minutes of late-in-life fame are up.

Some age make-up and any one of grandma’s pantsuits will do this costume the justice it deserves. If you feel as though the look is missing something, feel free to add as many age-appropriate accessories (social security cards) and character appropriate props (sex toys) as you can find.

Tony Stark


Everyone wants to be a little bit like Tony Stark. Who wouldn’t want to be a billionaire, genius, playboy, who also happens to be a super hero? Although making an Iron Man costume can be a costly and lengthy endeavor, making a Tony Stark costume is as simple as it gets.

Purists can grow the facial hair if they have time but the rest of the costume is remarkably simple. By purchasing a tap light at the local hardware store (usually under $10) and affixing it to your chest under a plain shirt and jeans, tank-top and pants or a tuxedo or suit, you too can be driving fast cars and rocking out to Black Sabbath in no time.


While Halloween may be stressful for most of us last-minute costume hunters, these easy and inexpensive ideas will protect your pocketbook from horrors of pre-made costume prices.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Penny October 21, 2010 at 5:56 am

I think there will be a lot of John Hamms and Lady Gagas running around this Halloween. For Lady Gaga, you could wear anything ridiculous and look like her. For John Hamm, just raid your dad’s closet for a suit and skinny tie!


Jay October 23, 2010 at 10:19 am

Gee, thanks. I never knew I could put on a suit and become Don Draper.


Ross October 29, 2010 at 6:08 am

I think you would spend more time explaining the costume than putting it together for anything other than the lady gaga outfit, good job…..


Spirit Halloween Coupon October 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I still can’t believe someone would want to dress up like Lady Gaga. I mean, who want’s to be a clown on Halloween? Second that, at least you would be a scary one!


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