Cheap Halloween Costumes: Here’s your annual reminder that whatever you wear on Halloween doesn’t have to be super expensive, especially if you really own your Halloween makeup skills and pick a super-current costume. (Insert caveat here: If you’re one of those people who’s been planning their costume since last October or who’s dropped a lot of money to get the *perfect* scary-day look, then just know I appreciate you.
Also, I am very much not that person—I coordinate most of my costumes the day of.) If you’re still trying to figure out your costume before Halloween rolls around, there are so many clever, funny, and flat-out genius ideas out there that don’t require a ton of work…or, more importantly, moolah. Trust, you can turn a cheap Halloween costume into the Best Costume winner at your Halloween party with a little creativity and resourcefulness.
Cheap Halloween Costumes, We’ve got some fresh, 2023-specific costume ideas (I dare someone to dress up as modern-day Carrie Bradshaw in a nightgown), but you’ve also got your classic fairy and skeleton costumes in here, too.
As long as you have some makeup, basic craft supplies, and extra time (OK, in some cases, maybe a ~lot~ of time), you can totally pull these Halloween costumes off. If you want to make an effort but also save some serious cash, these ideas are evidence that an impressive look is easy to do by yourself or even with a friends as a group costume. Ahead, 40 cheap Halloween costume ideas to get you into the spirit.
1. Wednesday Addams
Cheap Halloween Costumes, All you need to channel Wednesday Addams: a black dress (preferably with a sharp collar that you can also DIY), dark hair (or a black wig) worn in two braids, dark nail polish, and a big ole scowl.
2. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Disney’s Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is one of the most iconic movies of the early aughts. DIY a Coca-Cola necklace with some bottle caps and pull out your old fishnets—or if those are long gone, buy some from Amazon.
3. The Princess Diaries
Cheap Halloween Costumes, You probably saw everyone on Halloween last year channeling Hailey Bieber à la The Princess Diaries, but that’s because it’s literally the easiest, quickest costume ever. Grab some ’90s sunnies, headphones, a tiara, and a lil white dress—most of which you probably already have in your closet.
4. Captain Underpants
Cheap Halloween Costumes, This costume might only consist of a pair of boxer briefs and a cape, but anyone who was a fan of Captain Underpants would get it right away. Don’t have a red cape? Use a red blanket or towel instead.
5. Elvira Hancock from Scarface
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Idk what’s more iconic, Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface or Olivia Rodrigo channeling Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface. Any blue dress will work, but you’ll def need a short blonde wig with bangs to pull it all together.
Cheap Halloween Costumes, 2016 Beyoncè was ahead of the game. What makes a Barbie costume so great is that there are literally so many options to choose from. Running late? Head-to-toe pink (that’s most likely already in your closet) will do the trick.
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Winnie Harlow as RuPaul is *chef’s kiss*. You’ll absolutely need a platinum blonde wig, but the real secret to getting this costume right is to perfect RuPaul’s fabulous drag makeup.
8. Black Swan
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Looking for a costume for you and your BFF? Natalie Portman’s Black Swan gives you a two-for-one-deal. Really, the only thing you need to buy is a black or white tutu, then use a simple black or white bodysuit to tie together the rest of the costume.
9. Alexis Rose from Schitt’s Creek
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Dressing up as Alexis Rose is easy—statement gold jewelry, floppy hats, and a boho-esque dress’ll do it. Oh, and don’t forget to always be texting and hollering for “David!!”
10. Napoleon Dynamite
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Funny Halloween costumes are the best Halloween costumes, IMO. Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro Sánchez are the most iconic duo there is. This BFF costume is super easy to recreate. For Pedro, draw on some mustache whiskers and wear a button-up shirt with a bolo tie. For Napoleon, the classic glasses, curly wig, and “Vote for Pedro” shirt will do the trick.
11. Carrie Bradshaw 2.0
Cheap Halloween Costumes, You could always don a tulle skirt to channel Carrie’s OG Sex and The City look, but the most lol-worthy moment from the sequel can come together in a snap: blue cardigan, long gingham dress, rubber gloves, and handkerchief around the face. You probably already have the big sunglasses, tbh.
12. Anna Wintour
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Anything tweed will work for an Anna Wintour costume. But the most important part: big sunglasses and a blunt bob wig.
13. Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes
Cheap Halloween Costumes, You can always go in the all-black, red lipstick look that Holmes was known for. But if you wanna pull off a more subtle reference, pick one of the early college outfits Amanda’s rocking in The Dropout (hello, ’90s rust-colored sweater and striped Oxford!) and then practice randomly lowering your voice while you pitch your big “idea.”
14. Sandy from Grease
Cheap Halloween Costumes, An all-black ‘fit with red shoes and lipstick makes this such an easy costume (and a lovely tribute to the late Olivia Newton-John). But curl your hair and don’t forget about the leather jacket, of course.
15. A Goth
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Wear all black everything (even lipstick) to pull off this costume. Statement jewelry, fishnet tights, and heavy eyeliner are key.
16. Little Women
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Cottagecore has been a trend for a few years now, so all you’ll need for this is that nap or prairie dress you already have in your closet. Add a straw hat and lace-up shoes, and you’ll look like you could pen a novel. This also works as a fun group costume too!
17. Little Red Riding Hood
Conversely, wear all red pleather and don a cape to seem like you came straight out of this classic tale. A picnic basket for grandma helps seal the deal.
18. Pamela Anderson in Barb Wire
Cheap Halloween Costumes, Kendall Jenner wore this leather corset to become Pamela Anderson in the flick Barb Wire, and you can also recreate the cinematic costume with a bustier, fishnet tights, and gloves. (And a barbed wire temporary tattoo.)