Published: Oct. 22, 2020

Halloween is just around the corner, and that means costumes, candy and more! Take this year to impress yourself and make your best costume yet. Whether you find a person to celebrate with or participate in Halloween events, here are some costume ideas to try. 

halloween decorationsRemember to follow all current public health guidelines and limitations for gathering size.

Do It Yourself (DIY) 

Some of the best costumes are handmade ones. You might have everything you need already to create a great Halloween costume. Here are some quick but clever ideas using things that may already be in your closet:

  • Your favorite character from The Addams Family: For Wednesday, wear all black from head to toe, braid your hair in two and don’t forget to play the part. For Gomez, use black pants or slacks, black button up, suspenders if you’ve got them, slick your hair back and you’re set. You can even be Uncle Fester by wearing or making a tunic out of black bed sheets, paint your face white and give yourself black eyes. 
  • Mad scientist: Spike up your hair with lots and lots of hairspray. Wear black jeans, find a white jacket, get some clear glasses and you’re a scientist. For an added twist, add some red food coloring to be a zombie scientist. 
  • Smarty-pants: Take some Smarties candy and use double-stick tape to attach the rolls to a pair of pants. Carry a book with you at all times and you’ll have people admiring your creativity.
  • Your favorite emoji: With a yellow shirt and some Sharpie markers, anything is possible!
  • The Office Halloween costumes: Whether you want to be a three-hole punch like Jim or a black cat inspired by Pam, The Office has some great, simple costume ideas you can recreate from your wardrobe.
  • “When life gives you lemons…”: Make a name tag for your shirt that says “life” and carry some lemons to share with others.
  • Your favorite Snapchat filter: If you enjoy crafting, create your favorite filter to wear. Whether it’s a flower crown, floppy dog ears or rainbow vomit, there are many options to choose from.

Costumes with a friend

Dressing up for Halloween can be way more fun when you do it with a friend. Whether it’s a furry friend, your roommate or a significant other, here are some costumes ideas to recreate with your best buddy.

  • Dress up with your pet. If you’ve got a furry friend at home why not include them in the fun? From Harry Potter and his owl, to Ariel and Sebastian, Han Solo and Chewbacca, the opportunities are endless. 
  • Dress up with your roommate. Coordinate with your roommate to have a Halloween costume that compliments each other. You can be Woody and Buzz Lightyear or Mike or Sully from Monsters Inc. How about Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss? You can even be Bob Ross with a canvas. One of you is Bob wearing jeans and a collar shirt, while the other wears a white shirt, black pants and lets Bob do the painting. 
  • Dress up with your significant other. Try movie characters, like Mickey and Minnie Mouse. For costumes a bit more simple, how  about the Men in Black—all you need is a pair of black sunglasses, black jackets, jeans or slacks and you’re an agent. 

Hit the thrift stores

When you have a costume idea in mind, check out some of the best thrift shops in Boulder to complete your look. Thrift stores and second-hand shops are great for scoring unique costume finds and saving money. Plus, some of these locations have special sales and deals where you can get items even cheaper. Be sure to follow public health guidelines and check for special shopping hours before heading out.

No matter what you decide, remember to be mindful about the costume you choose. Avoid wearing a costume that makes fun of or appropriates someone else’s culture.

Costume selection

Be mindful about your costume choices. Cultural appropriation, the inappropriate use of ideas, symbols or stereotypes pertaining to another culture, is a common offense among Halloween costumes that are online, in stores or homemade. These types of costumes are offensive because they often reduce a culture to a caricature. While certain groups can take off their costumes at the end of the night, others live with these identities each day. 

Acknowledging and being mindful of cultural appropriation can help us create a more welcoming and inclusive community for all of our fellow Buffs. Culturally inappropriate costumes include but are not limited to, Native Americans, ninjas, geishas, gypsies and other stereotypes.

Once you have your costume, why not show it off by attending one of the free Halloween events on campus. If you want more things to do, check out the Fall Events website and be sure to follow us on social media @CUBoulderLife on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!