Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween. And it’s not just because all my friends finally drink as much as I do. I’m always game for acting the part of somebody else, be it for a night, a date or a job interview. Truth is, though, that like almost all worthwhile things, Halloween can be $$$$.

Humorous store-bought costumes—like this one of a grown man acting as a kangaroo’s Joey–can set you back upwards of $60, which is a lot of money to spend on a crappy adult baby costume. Really, it is best think of Halloween costumes like cupcakes: If they’re homemade, they’re much more likely to please a crowd.

Being a lazy person with limited funds, I suggest a few items below which are great for completing a few creative homemade costumes. Throw these together at the last minute and it will really accentuate the point that you “tried.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Wearing a suit and saying you’re a random celeb” is a Hall of Fame half-assed Halloween costume. (Wikimedia Commons)
“Wearing a suit and saying you’re a random celeb” is a Hall of Fame half-assed Halloween costume. (Wikimedia Commons)

What You Need: Suavecito Pomade

Go old-school for $10.95.

Considering the arrival of the Amazon Prime series Z: The Beginning of Everything, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s recent Twitter fame, as well as all the English majors being born every day, dressing up as F. Scott is as frugal as it is timely. Consider: If you’re a guy, you probably (hopefully) own a white button down shirt, a tie  and some slacks—if not, you have a great excuse for an afternoon secondhand shopping. But to really tie this look together and make the effort clear, you’ll need some pomade like the stuff F. Scott himself used to channel his inner Princess Leia.

Sylvia Plath('s Death)

(Mike Krzeszak)
(Mike Krzeszak)

What You Need: A cardboard box.

Design your own oven—and save on your next move for $23.18.

If you live in Portland, there’s a good chance you’ve read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. It’s a manic pixie dream white girl wannabe classic, and foreshadowed Plath’s tragic, infamous personal demise.

All the better to make a problematic Halloween costume out of it with a few hair pins, a floral dress (bonus points if you arrive with some dead flowers to carry around) and a cardboard box. Simply tear off three of the boxes’ flaps, and let the remaining one hang down like an open oven door. Then you can find some tin foil, some tape, and some markers, and you can make the cardboard box look like a steel oven with drawn on knobs. Cut a hole in the side of the box, stick the thing on your head, and off you go. 

Andy Warhol

(Jack Mitchell)
(Jack Mitchell)

What You Need: A wig.

This wig is one size fits all. So, everybody can be Andy Warhol for $12.

This Halloween, play homage to the man who made Campbell’s soup forever more famous than Progresso. An ideal costume for somebody who’s male, female or completely genderless, all you need is a bright white wig, a turtleneck and some Ben Gibbard-looking glasses. You really succeed here if you procure a can of Campbell’s, carry it around with you, and then eat it at the end of the night after falling victim to the drunchies.

Harvey Weinstein (and/or zombie Hugh Hefner)

Too soon or topical? Let the party goers be the judge!
Too soon or topical? Let the party goers be the judge!

What You Need: The white or red satin bathrobe you've been meaning to splurge on

Fight misogyny for $16.99.

Recently, Hollywood tycoon Harvey Weinstein was revealed to be the new new Bill Cosby, after recently deceased Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner was revealed to be the new Bill Cosby. Turns out, old media guys in bathrobes have a disposition towards being grotesque sex creeps.

Sexual assault isn’t funny, obviously. But making fun of these raging misogynists is a small act of revenge anyone can perform in fighting the patriarchy. Also, having a bathrobe is very nice through the winter, so you’ve got yourself a rare Halloween costume that isn’t going to gather dust in a closet. 

The California Transplant

What You Need: California Tee.

Look only half as good as real Californians for $9.91.
Honestly, to really complete the Californian transplant ensemble, you’re gonna need keys to a condo on Division that your parents pay for, a Xanax prescription, Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat open on your phone and some Juicy couture hidden in the deep crevice of your closet (or Ugg boots). Still, you want to make sure you nail the point that you’re “from California.” You could just look like a “basic bitch.”
If anything, this very non-subtle tee shirt (which you can purchase in almost any color offered in paint chips) will at least make drunk people initiate conversation (*cough*obscenities*cough*) with you. Pro troll tip: Flash around an old debit card no longer in service and make the joke at the bar that it’s “on Mom’s tab” tonight.

The Old-Portlander

"Ugh, [NEIGHBORHOOD] sucks now." (Pixabay)
“Ugh, [NEIGHBORHOOD] sucks now.” (Pixabay)
What You Need: A shitty personality.

Go on and on about how everything was way before Portlandia and alienate cool, open-minded people for free.

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