The Hallowe’en Costume Already in your Closet

Last year, I had 10 hours to come up with a Halloween costume and, in a fit of panic spent, £35 on a flimsy gold dress with vine-thingies and proclaimed myself ‘nature goddess’. I’m sure if I’d spent a little more time digging through my closet I could have found much cheaper alternatives by adding a few, carefully chosen accessories. 

If you have a v-neck black dress you could be… 
Cruella de Vil
What you’ll need: 
1. A white, faux fur coat/shrug or white trench coat:
 Ebay has tons of cheap options ranging from £5-30.
2. White and Black polka dot/Dalmatian headband: 
If you’re not entirely sold on her white/black hairdo, a good alternative is a Dalmatian like headband with teased hair. 
3. Red Stilettos 
Fun Extras: 
1. Cigarette Holder (£1.99 here)
2. Turquoise Earrings and Ring 
3. White/Black clutch 
4. A persistent crazed look in your eyes 
If you have a blue fit-and-flare dress you could be…
Cookie Monster 
What you’ll need:
1. Cookie earrings (plenty of options at Ebay and Etsy)
2. Cookie monster headband from, or take a white belt and make a chocolate chip cookie out of cardboard to attach to it. 
3. Blue pumps 
Fun Extras: 
1. If you’re talented at nail art try out this design.
If the dress is a light blue you could be…
What you’ll need: 
1. Silver shoes and clutch 
2. Thin blue headband 
3. Pearl earrings 
Fun Extras: 
1. Glass slipper/ pumpkin/ black ribbon necklace
3. White gloves 
If you have a black lace dress you could pick from a number of ‘classic’ Halloween costumes and a few unconventional ones…
Vampire: add fangs and bright red lipstick. 
Catwoman: add ears and a mask. 
Dark Angels: add wings.
Spiderweb: add textured tights and some plastic spiders through your hair. 
Pirate: add a bandana and high-heeled boots. 
Bellatrix Lestrange: put on black tights, tease and crimp your hair, and add plenty of skull or snake accessories. 
If you have a white tube dress you could be…  Almost anything! If you’re willing to permanently recreate the dress, pick up some fabric markers and try out one of these designs: 
An Ace of Spades: works best in a group of 4 so you can get all the suits. 
Starbucks Cup: put the logo on the front and the spaces for Decaf, Shots, Syrup etc on the back. Fill squares in according to your favorite drink.
An Animal: add zebra stripes, giraffe patterns or even a unicorn headband. A number of body stencils can be found here if you want to extend the costume to your arms or neck  
Rainbow: paint the whole dress different colors, add different colored feathers to your hair and cap it off with one of these dramatic eye makeup designs 
I guarantee there is some dress, skirt, or shirt in your closet that has potential to be a costume. If you are really in a last minute squeeze, run to Boots, pick up some bold eye makeup, enlist a friend to help, and scour YouTube for Halloween eye makeup tutorials that will turn your outfit into a costume! 

Images courtesy of Lightspring, Kiseleve A. Valerevich, Andrea M. PiacquadioRudolf Kotulán, Petrenko Andriy, and Conrado. Font by Thomas W. Otto and Blambot. Compiled and edited by Kerri Pandjaitan.