Dressed as the real me: Elka
photo credit: Zenith Richards for Time Out New York
Halloween is the day I’m allowed to dress the way I wish I could the other 364 days of the year — like a forest witch who lives in a damask lean-to and hangs chandeliers of bones from the trees. What can I say, everyday clothes just don’t do it for me. Since I view Halloween as an opportunity to be myself and don’t like the fun of the holiday being taken away by the stress of what to be, I invested in one outfit I could wear happily every year. It cost a lot to assemble and took many hours of searching for different pieces, but has been so worth it.
But if you haven’t finished your elaborate, alter-ego outfit by this point your best bet for a spirited costume is to stop worrying about being recognizable as someone, and just get into the Halloween spirit (it’s much more fun that way anyhow). Here’s a gallery of easy DIYs, pre-mades, and ideas: killer masks and costumes made from supplies you already have or are cheap and easy to find. It’s totally doable, especially if you include a friend who’s also costume-less. (All DIY links below.)
Remember: You don’t have to perfectly replicate an outfit for it to be great. Shoot for the same feeling an image gives you, and you’ll be good to go.
P.S. modern DIY children’s costumes are also an inexpensive and creative way to go, and going as a painting is always rad.
Guys, these are literally cool dresses and masks on sticks. You can do this.
Venetian Bird Mask built on a cheap-o plastic mask any Halloween store will have. Grab the rest of the supplies from your artist friend, or a craft store (even NYC has a Michael’s on the UWS).
Makeup can be the easiest mask. This looks doable, and you probably have all the materials already. You and a friend can also go as this together, that way you can drink some red wine beforehand and not have to do your own makeup.
This is so not as complicated as it looks: craft store butterflies and wire/drug store hair combs.
French, black, 2 looks, printable – what more could you ask for?
Colorful fox printable
Do you have a stick and a printer? This artist makes a number of on-demand printable masks.
Literally crumpled kraft paper and a little yellow paint. I’d totally rock this.
How Edward Gorey of you. So easy, so rad, so affective. You can totally change the feel of your costume with what your card says, and if you don’t wanna carry it you can hang it around your neck.
Feminine dress of any kind, tights, cardboard, and paint. This is rad. You could put the drum/tree section on a stick and not have to worry about eye holes or attaching it to your head.
Dolly makeup, a plain dress with a peter-pan collared shirt underneath (easy to find), and a toy (head placement optional) and you’ve become a Mark Ryden painting or a creepy BJD doll.
Paper mache masks by Elsa Dray Farges built on chicken wire (I believe)
Regular clothes, some makeup, and a youtube video on creepy face painting (or a friend willing to paint you), and you got yourself one great outfit.
Or you can get a UO kigurumi onesie and be the most adorable, warm, and comfortable kid in the village.
Really don’t have any time? These exist at Urban Outfitters.
Venetian Bird Mask // Deer Makeup // Butterflies // Wrestling Masks // Black French Masks // Colorful Fox // Silent Movie // UO Nature Masks // UO Kigurumi Onesies // Snail // Deer Mask // Skeleton Girl // Mark Ryden Dollies
Alyssa Morhardt-Goldstein is the founding editor of SOUND: a weekly literary magazine on contemporary musico-poetics, and an associate editor for Rattapallax. She received her MFA in poetry from The New School, and her BS in classical vocal performance and literature from Mannes. Her chapbook, Quiet, was selected by Matthea Harvey as The New School’s 2012 Chapbook Contest winner for poetry. She is currently writing the libretto for Jonathan Dawe’s operatic re-telling of Tamburlaine. @Elkawildling