How To Find A Non-Basic Costume This Halloween Even If You’re Not Creative


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How To Find A Non-Basic Costume This Halloween

Alright, psychos. It’s officially the most magical time of year. What some people call “Fall,” I will lovingly refer to as “White Girl Season.” Except for football. I don’t know how that got thrown in with all the great things this season has to offer, but whatever. What used to be marked by the leaves changing is now recognizable by the return of pumpkin spice lattes, and from there it’s go time, all the time.

I’m going to lay it to you straight. Halloween is in three weeks, and if you didn’t stop eating and start planning your costume two months ago, you’re behind.

If you tend to lean less creative, and more basic, you’re going to end up with a really boring costume this year. Even if you are creative, it’s hard to come up with something. So you end up Googling “Halloween Costumes” and “What Should I Be For Halloween This Year” and “Can I Travel Back In Time So I Have More Time To Think About All This” and you end up with the same shit. Slutty Mario Brothers. Slutty Cat. Slutty Donald Trump. Slutty Minnie Mouse. Everyone’s going to be the same shit as you are if you just Google “Halloween Costumes,” because guess the fuck what? They got the same search results.

I know what you’re thinking: WELL WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? COME UP WITH SOMETHING FROM MY OWN BRAIN? No. Of course not. The problem isn’t that you’re Pinteresting and Googling. It’s that you’re Googling wrong. You need to search categories, not costumes.

1. TV Shows/Children’s Shows/’90s Shows (Or Movies)
Nostalgia is always a good option if you want a bomb ass costume, so specifying ‘90s shows or children’s shows can really help, but googling “Most Popular TV Shows” can also help for a quick pop culture reference. A very quick search led me to “Pepperann,” the characters from “Ahh! Real Monsters,” “Daria,” “Sailor Moon,” Dexter and Deedee, and “The Animaniacs.” All recognizable. None basic.

2. Games
Another good category that’s likely to have a bunch of characters is games. I’d search board games, video games, and card games in three separate searches, because the more specific you get, the better your results. Quick search yielded: the characters from Candyland, the characters from Clue, the Monopoly Man, and the dude from Operation.

3. Brand Mascots
One of the all time funniest costumes I’ve ever seen was a girl who dressed up as the Coppertone sunscreen baby. What’s that? A brand. Big brands have really recognizable mascots, all of which can be broken down further (into categories like cereal, fast food, products, etc) once you get deep into the search. Quick search results yielded: Snap, Crackle, and Pop, the Michelin Man, Ronald McDonald (and his gang), the Six Flags Guy. Admittedly, this category seems more funny than cute.

4. Villains
Admittedly, anything Disney, surface-level, seems basic, but if you dig deep, it’s not. Everyone wants to be the hero, but if you flip the script and go as a villain, no one will have your costume. I was the queen of hearts one year, and it was I don’t need to tell you who the villains are, but I’d recommend breaking down your search into Disney villains, comic villains, and “movie” villains, and you’ll see characters you hadn’t thought of before.

5. Classic Toys
There are so many good options here, and nobody ever does any of it. My alltime favorite costume I ever did was a wind-up doll. I built a windup to come out of my back, and it looked incredible, but there are other really recognizable toys, that you could do with ease. Examples include: a monkey with symbols, a rag doll, a Furby, a fucking jack-in-the-box. God, someone please be a jack-in-the-box.

6. Crazy Celebrities
Going as a celebrity is tough, because you have to kind of look like the celebrity to make it work. If, like me, you have brown hair, you’re pretty much shit out of luck. You will just look like a regular person. For the most part, if you want to go as a celebrity, you need to wear a recognizable outfit, and if you’re trying to be Cameron Diaz, that’s just not going to fucking happen. I’d recommend googling “crazy celebrities,” “Best music videos (by decade),” and “crazy award show outfits/performances.” Celebs wear crazy shit in their music videos, so by emulating something other than some couture outfit, you have a better chance of being recognizable in your costume.
Pro-tip: Do the evolution of a celebrity and dress as a different version of them three days in a row.

Once you start your research, you’ll go down a rabbithole of searching for different categories, which will eventually lead you to your costume. It’s counter-intuitive, because you think broad will show you the most options, but the more specific your searches, the more likely you are to find a costume you love. Once you land on something, anything can be spun to be sexy, or cute, or scary, or funny — the only thing that’s hard is to be creative. Hope this helps.

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

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