17 Halloween Costumes That Are Easy But Not Basic

There are two types of Halloween people. The ones who take it really seriously, and consider it the best holiday of the year (I married one of those people). Or, the ones who let their vanity get the better of them by wanting to look half decent (that’s me). So while I admire those of you who can really dive into the occasion, here are 10 suggestions for Halloween costumes that are contemporary but not exactly ridiculous. Sure some people might not know who you are immediately, but perhaps that’s a great way to a) start a conversation with someone attractive? Or b) let them all know your pop culture knowledge. Happy Halloween.

Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) Jessica Jones
Ok perhaps this is a bit heavy on the basic but if you’re like me, you don’t really care. Jeans, grey T-shirt, leather jacket and camera. You are a hero.

Marica Clark (Sarah Paulson) The People v. O.J. Simpson
If this costume isn’t as popular as Eleven this year, then I don’t know what is. If you are going as Hilary Clinton on the Friday night, swap out the hair for a short-perm style on the Saturday or vice versa. Get a briefcase or lawyer’s rolling one if you have a connection.

Margery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) Game of Thrones
This is the new Paper Bag Princess costume. Wear short skirt, T-shirt and drape-easy gardener burlap that you can find at Home Depot around your shoulders. Part your hair in the middle and smudge cheeks with smoky eyeshadow to appear dirty for bonus points.

Valeria Velez (Stephanie Seligman) Narcos
The sexy reporter requires big ’80s hair, massive earrings, red lip and a tight, low cut dress with heels. Carry a tape recorder if you can find one or at least a microphone.

Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) Orange Is The New Black
OITNB would make a great group costume if you’re out with a crew this Halloween, but if you want to narrow in on a favourite, go with classic brown pants or orange prison garb and add a white tank top to recreate the good natured Ms. Washington.

Judy Hoops, (animated character) Zootopia
We know you’ve always wanted to be an overzealous, criminal chasing, stereotype-busting bunny rabbit. Who hasn’t wanted to be this for Halloween? Recreating Judy is easier than you think. Start off with a standard police uniform (blue pants, belt, light blue, long sleeved t-shirt and a vest with badge pinned on), add floppy bunny ears, nose and whiskers and you’re good to go.

Sandy (Julianne Hough) Grease
Perhaps the best thing about resurrecting an iconic film for live television is the revival of the good-girl-gone-bad Halloween costume potential. Spray on some black jeans or spandex ones that you bought on a whim at American Apparel (gym ones will do fine). Cut an old black t-shirt into an off-the-shoulder v-neck top. Use a wide black belt to cinch at the waist. Add that faux Perfecto (unless you have a real one then you’re lucky!). Part your hair on the side and use a slim barrel curling iron to make ringlets. Top off with a red lip, heels and cigarette as prop.

Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) Carol
Find a cast-off fur that might have belonged to your grandmother. Cover your head in a scarf that matches your gloves. Find big sunglasses and carry a square handbag. This is the ideal costume for smokers who need to spend long periods outside at the party.

Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) The Great Gatsby
There’s a little bit of Carey Mulligan in all of us. The smart, plaintive gal who looks good in everything. And who doesn’t wish they were a flapper. If you have short hair already you’re halfway to making this costume fly, but key is finding the appropriate headgear for this outfit. Makeshift headbands with baubles could work and a fluffy boa.

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) Stranger Things
I think this is going to be the break out (get it, she broke out) costume of the year. Get a blonde wig, pink dress and knee high sport socks, runners and carry an Eggos box. Fake blood at the nostrils. If people don’t know who you are? They’re no friend to you

Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) Outlander
Love this one. Pull hair away from face into a bun, and find any long floor length billowy skirt, put another skirt underneath to add volume. Find a white shirt, put brown sweater over top and use either a shawl or scarf around your neck and you’ll look like you’ve slipped back in time to the 18th century.

Barbara Holland (Shannon Purser) Stranger Things
If you really want justice for Barb, let her live this Halloween. Key to this costume is a vintage 80s ski parka that can probably be found in a parent’s closet. Coke bottle glasses from a Value Village, use eyeliner to apply freckles, and wear a side, wavy hair part. Wear any shirt with a collar and add any household gift wrap ribbon. Tie at the collar. High-waisted jeans are recommended.

Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) Empire
Two words. Animal and print. Once you’ve got the ensemble sorted, splash out on a glam side hair blowout, long acrylic nails and a red lip. Slay. Fedora is optional.

Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) Scream Queens
This is an excellent last-minute emergency costume. Although pink is preferred any fun fur bomber jacket will do. Pair with sleek side hair part, pussy bow blouse, houndstooth skirt, big sunglasses and square purse. Look bored.


Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) from Quantico
At last, a brown-skinned (like me) Halloween-friendly option! If you really want to lock this look down, wear a short black leather jacket, get a side part Farrah Fawcett-style blowout. Then head to any Halloween dealer for a belt clip police badge. The badge is crucial. Carry phone at all times, and furrow your brow.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) Suicide Squad
Check out this awesome tutorial that we found on Pinterest which suggests a blonde curly wig, coloured hairspray in pink and blue, a baseball T-shirt, with shorts and studded black belt overtop fishnets. Don’t forget the baseball bat!

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