Create crazy costumes with what you own

Credit: Rachel Inman | Art Staff Credit: Rachel Inman | Art Staff

It’s that time of the year again when everyone dresses up in creative outfits to celebrate the lurking spirits of Halloween, and one of the biggest aspects of the holiday is choosing the right costume. So with the coming of the end of October, it’s time to get creative and crazy — dress up as whoever or whatever you choose! It’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive outfit that you might never use again, and besides, who wants to have the same costume every year?

It’s actually quite simple to whip up an outfit in a dorm room. Whether you want to be a very attractive geek — let’s be honest: We go to Carnegie Mellon, so that shouldn’t be a very hard costume to assemble — or you want to be the charming Jack Sparrow, it’s easier than you think to put these costumes together. Below are guidelines to create some great sample outfits that can be assembled from the contents of your or your friends’ wardrobes — and later, follow some general tips that can make creating the perfect costume much easier.

For the Girls

The Attractive Nerd:

Hey, who said a nerd can’t be irresistible? To be the exception to the unattractive nerd rule, find a pair of glasses — the rounder the better. If you don’t have a pair, borrow one, but it looks like Carnegie Mellon hasn’t gotten to you — yet.

Get a pair of high-waist shorts (you can even make do with a regular pair of shorts or pants) and a fitted T-shirt, which must be tucked in. Also find some suspenders to go with your shorts. An alternative to wearing suspenders could be wearing your Carnegie Mellon ID around your neck. Tie your hair in two pigtails and we’ve officially found one of the most attractive nerds on campus.

A Pretty Butterfly:

This costume is perfect: elegant, gorgeous, and easy to put together. All you need is your favorite little, black dress — any simple, yet stunning dress should do the trick — and once you’ve got that, the only thing left to do is prepare the wings. When it comes to creating the wings, the sky is the limit. Try and use whatever materials are available, like sequins, glitter, and multi-colored paper.

For example, try making the wings out of net by making the frame with a wire and then wrapping the net around the frame. Cardboard wings work well, too. Just cut them out of a sheet of cardboard and use some elastic or a piece of rope so that the wings can be fastened on your shoulders. Add finishing touches with sparkling eye shadow, bright lip gloss, and exaggerated eye makeup, and you’re ready to fly.

For the Boys

Jack Sparrow:

This Pirates of the Caribbean lead is definitely one of the most irresistible characters on the silver screen. To be Johnny Depp’s most popular alias, put on a white, loose shirt (or borrow it from a friend who is a size larger than you), find a vest, a pair of pants to match, a black belt, and a pair of boots. If you can’t find a good pair of boots, try wearing long socks that match the color of the shoes over the pants first, and then wear the shoes.

Tie a bright-colored bandanna (any kind of small colored cloth should work) around your head. You can also get a wig — this will definitely add to the dramatic effect of your outfit. If you plan well in advance, attempt to grow a beard and mustache, but if that is not possible, then you can draw them on with some black eyeliner. Make an eye patch to be an exceptional pirate and you’re ready to get your treasure tonight.

Back to the ’70s:

If you’re the kind of person who wishes time would turn back to the ’70s, to the so-called easier life with not much college work and more parties to attend, dressing as a hippie is a great idea. Wear a tie-dyed T-shirt, a pair of sandals, a headband (use a bandanna or borrow a headband from a girlfriend) and put on a pair of colored sunglasses. To add to the effect and value of the outfit, definitely carry anything that has fringes on it.

Quick Tips:

Dress loose and simple, and make sure you dress to impress! The key to preparing a personal and special in-house outfit is simple:

  1. Keep in mind what you need to prepare the outfit, and in times of confusion, ask your friends; everyone has crazy ideas.

  2. Raid your closet and see what stuff fits the bill.

  3. Borrow stuff from friends that might be necessary to substitute for what you don’t have. Chances are that they also might need to borrow something from you. It is better to borrow than to splurge on an item that isn’t going to be used again.

  4. If you or your friends don’t have an article that might be needed, remember that each article has many ways it can be substituted without losing the authenticity of the outfit.

Work with friends on your costumes, experiment, and go crazy!