Halloween Costume Ideas for Planners and Procrastinators

Look around! It’s a very special time of year. The grocery stores are packed with pumpkins and bags of bite-sized candy. Your neighbor has stretched cotton spider webs across his perfectly manicured hedges. It’s a balmy 85 degrees and the abandoned American Apparel stores have been converted into costume shops. Yes, it’s Halloween in LA and time for you to ask the age-old question: What will I dress up as this year? If you get started right this second, you can probably pull together something pretty special. Or, if you’re like most of us and leave it all to the last minute, don’t sweat, we’ve got you covered! Check out our list of Halloween costume ideas for planners and procrastinators. 

Pop Culture Halloween Costume Ideas

In Los Angeles, pop culture costumes are king. And you earn extra points if you’re lucky enough to get a makeup artist friend to make you look movie-grade believable. If you can’t swing that, don’t worry. You’re in the city of stars! With enough enthusiasm, anyone can be a superstar. Go for something current or classic, iconic or obscure. Whatever you choose, there will probably be at least one person who can guess correctly.

1. Blade Runner

Everyone’s talking about it. Go old school by dressing up as Rick Deckard or Pris from the original Bladerunner or stay current by channeling Officer K or Joi from Bladerunner 2049. It’s futuristic and relatively easy.

Halloween Costume Ideas

2. Handmaid’s Tale

All you’ll need to look like you live in Gilead is a long red cape, a bonnet and maybe a red scarf too. Learn how to make your own bonnet if you’re crafty.

3. Hamilton

With the musical opening at The Pantages, this is the perfect year for a Hamilton-inspired costume in Los Angeles. Go as any one of the founding fathers or founding mothers and make sure you rehearse some of the songs because you will definitely be asked to perform.

4. Stranger Things

The new season of Stranger Things premieres October 27, which means it will be fresh on our minds during the weekend of Halloween. Watch the trailer again for inspiration. Go as one of the boys, Eleven, Joyce or maybe Zombie Barb, because we’ll never forget you Barb!

Halloween Costume Ideas

5. Beyoncé

Remember when Beyoncé made Instagram history with the beautiful photos of her pregnant belly and then her perfect twins? Remember that feeling of renewed hope in humanity? Well, you can bring that same joy to everyone else this Halloween. All you really need is a flower halo and a veil, plus a big belly or two little baby dolls.

6. Game of Thrones

Daenerys and Jon Snow have been popular costumes for a while, but this year is special. There’s only one season left, so why not throw out the rulebook and do whatever you want? I mean, that’s what the writers did last season, right?

Couple and Group Halloween Costume Ideas

The best way to let the world know that you’re serious about your new relationship, besides changing your Facebook relationship status, is putting together a killer couple’s costume. On the other hand, if you’re taking a break from the dating game and instead using your time to focus on your friendships, a group costume might be exactly what you need.

1. Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick

This is a pretty easy costume to pull off on a budget and perfect if you prefer to look cool rather than silly.

Halloween Costume Ideas

2. Beauty and the Beast

A classic and a current costume, spice it up by switching roles or adding in your friends to play Gaston, LeFou, and Mrs. Potts.

3. Bob Ross and a happy tree

If the soothing voice of Bob Ross was a formative part of your childhood, this just might be the costume for you. You can add as many happy trees as you want, just don’t forget the squirrel on your shoulder!

4. Mia and Vincent

Pulp Fiction is the cult classic that put Quentin Tarantino on the map. Mia Wallace and Vincent are pretty easy to impersonate. Plus it’s the perfect excuse to do the twist all night.

5. Anything Wes Anderson

Show off your love for quirky indie cinema by dressing up as any Wes Anderson character. You could be the Tenenbaums, the Zissou crew, Sam and Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom, the brothers from the Darjeeling Limited, Agatha and Zero from the Grand Budapest Hotel…The possibilities are endless!

Halloween Costume Ideas

6. Frozen Jack and Rose

Remember when Leonardo was a baby-faced 22-year-old and Kate Winslet wore a choker and black lace to The Golden Globes in 1998? It’s been 20 years since Titanic came out. It’s the perfect year to pay homage.

Last Minute and DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

Do all of these costumes sound like too much work for you? Don’t lose hope! First things first, ask all your friends if they have something from a previous year that you can borrow. If that doesn’t work, try these last-minute DIY ideas so you can at least get into the parties that require a costume.

1. Mean Girls cut out shirt

Remember in Mean Girls when Cady tries to embarrass Regina George by cutting out holes in her shirt? Remember how everyone just thought it was a new trend? That could be you! All you need is a white tank top, a purple bra or undershirt, and a mean girl attitude.

2. Sia

The only thing you’ll have to buy to be the pop queen is her signature black and white wig, which you can order through Amazon Prime for under $20. Pair it with whatever black and white clothes you have in your closet and you’ll be swinging from the chandelier all night long.

Halloween Costume Ideas

3. Pop art

Make yourself into a Lichtenstein-esque pop art character and you can wear anything with it. It does require some time and makeup to do it well, but there are enough YouTube tutorials for even a novice to figure it out.

4. Garden gnome

A tall pointy red hat, a long white beard, and a big belt buckle will signal to everyone that you are a garden gnome and you’re not ashamed.

5. Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo has all the makings of the perfect last-minute costume. It’s super easy, very cheap and totally recognizable. All you need is florals, a shawl, and a unibrow.

Halloween Costume Ideas

6. Something punny

If you’re feeling especially low maintenance, just throw in the towel and make yourself into a pun. You could be a ceiling fan, a cereal killer, a Freudian slip or a French kiss.

Now, you’ve spent enough time worrying about what you’re going to wear! How about you skip the part where you worry about where to park and book your space with Pavemint!

Photos in order by: Grisha LevitistolethetvJeff TidwellGina Pantone, Scott MurryKhubbard nti

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