With just over a month 'til Halloween, it's time to start thinking about your costume this year. Halloween spending at its highest in history according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), making it easy to get caught up in devilish debt during this fun season. However, with a little restraint and creativity, you can pull off a fantastic costume for a fraction of the price!
2016 gave us female Ghostbusters, Pokemon GO trainers and plenty of political characters, but what will the trend be this year? The NRF predicts the most popular costume among kids will be superheroes again, usurping princesses for the second year in a row. Trending adult costumes will be witches, zombies and clowns. Whether you're looking for an on-trend look or want to think more outside the box, here are our top recommendations for easy and affordable Halloween costumes for 2017!
Photo via Spirit Halloween
1. Wonder Woman: Since it ranks as the top comic book hero movie of 2017, it comes as no surprise that Wonder Woman is going to take Halloween by storm. An easy DIY option, Diana Price’s iconic look can be achieved with materials found at thrift or craft stores. Blue skirts, red leotards or tank tops and ankle length boots are easy to come by for a great price. If you want the look straight out of the movie, save at Spirit Halloween with our coupon for 20 percent off.
2. It: This Stephen King classic earned modern praise opening weekend when it became the highest grossing horror movie in history. The conclusion: clowns are trending. Though it’s common to see creepy clowns every Halloween, Pennywise is the look to go for this year. Learn how to mimic his macabre makeup with this tutorial.
3. Fidget Spinners: Yes, you read that right. These silly little toys made such an impression in 2017 (on kids and adults alike), it’s expected we’ll see a few people paying costume homage to them this year. Target is selling an actual fidget spinner costume, but you can also make your own with cardboard, styrofoam and rope. If you even want it to be functional, consider using a Lazy Susan to get it to spin.
4. Star Wars Characters: The Star Wars hype doesn’t seem to have an end date! Star Wars costumes are as popular as ever. Consider this for a group, as most of the outfits can be made with clothes you likely already have. This DIY Rey costume uses gauze, fabric and household props to create a convincing costume for less, while Finn’s look can be quickly achieved with black pants, a black shirt and a cheap jacket which you customize with markers or tape!
5. Game of Thrones Characters: This well-loved series wraps up next year, but it's more popular than ever. Dress like your favorite GOT character with simple outfit components you can find at thrift stores. For the iconic Jon Snow look, find a faux fur coat or wrap and black pants. For Daenerys, braid your hair and don a flowy dress. Add a plush dragon for effect! You can find fake weapons and medieval accessories at your nearest costume store or online.
6. Rick & Morty: One of the most popular animated series of 2017, Rick & Morty will be trending this year. Find Rick and Morty costumes online, or make your own! All you need is a plain white lab coat and a crazy wig for Rick, or a yellow t-shirt and jeans for Morty.
Via Letitia Kiu
7. Starbucks Unicorn Frappucino: We all remember the fuss over this multi-colored novelty that was released back in April. Though you can no longer get the drink, you can dress up like one! Make your own Starbucks drink costume with craft paper and cotton, then spray paint pink and blue and add some glitter! (We bet you can make this costume for about the same price as the drink itself.)
8. Beauty and the Beast: Another box-office hit this year was the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. A good costume for couples, you can bring back Belle’s iconic look with a yellow poofy dress and a rose. Beast is easily emulated with a blue cloak, bad attitude and a little bit of makeup magic. You can also find Beast masks online at costume retailers.
9. Bob's Burgers: One of television's favorite animated families, the Belchers are a great option for groups! You can easily make any of the Bob's Burgers characters without overspending. Plain-colored pants, dresses, aprons and t-shirts make up most of their looks. For special accessories like Louise's bunny ear hat, visit Spirit Halloween or Hot Topic.
10. Batman: Although it seems like everyone and their dog has been Batman at some point or another, this character remains tried but true. Batman and his crew made the NRF’s fourth-most popular Halloween costume for 2016. Dress yourself or your little superhero in all black and make your own Batman mask for a frugal approach to The Dark Knight.
11. Zombie: Sure, witches and ghosts are also popular "classic" Halloween characters, but as long as there are new zombie movies and shows coming out, zombies will make the top of the list for trending costumes. Luckily, unless you're playing a specific character from shows like The Walking Dead, zombie costumes are as easy as putting on makeup and ripping up some clothes.
12. Stranger Things' Eleven: Since its release on Netflix back in July, Stranger Things has taken the TV streaming world by storm. This year will see plenty of the show's most popular character, Eleven. Using simple clothes like a plain pink dress, knee high socks and an oversized blue jacket, see how to create her look here.
13. Hocus Pocus: All hail the return of the Sanderson sisters! The film’s 25th Anniversary and rumored sequel has it trending as a Halloween costume for 2017. Spirit Halloween even launched a line of Hocus Pocus products to celebrate this timeless classic! You can buy Winifred, Sarah and Mary costumes pre-made, or get creative and make your own.
14. The Handmaid's Tale: Because really, what's more frightening than the reality depicted in Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel? The Handmaid's look can be achieved with a simple red cape, white bonnet and black booties. Don a "I'm-moments-away-from-losing-it" look and you'll be the talk of the party.
15. Food: You can never go wrong dressing as your favorite food. Food costumes' popularity has gone up considerably on Pinterest over the years, meaning more people are exploring the DIY world of homemade taco, donut and pizza costumes. Most can be created with very little effort and minimal materials.For example, check out this sushi costume that uses a pillow, felt and basic clothing. Done.
16. Moana: Kids and adults alike are in love with this fun Disney film. Moana costumes and wings can be found at Halloween stores, but the look is easy enough for any parent to create. Find a tan or yellow skirt at your local thrift store, then add a fabric overlay to get the island effect. Moana’s shirt is a striped orange tank top, which you can easily paint yourself. Finish off the ensemble with some face paint and you’re good to go!
17. Emojis: If your primary source of emotion comes from pixelated text pictures, this costume is for you. Make your own emoji costume or find full versions from costume stores and save with a coupon! If you really want to impress (or shock), American Eagle has some fun masks, including the disgusting but popular smiling poo.
18. David Bowie: The costume possibilities are endless with Bowie. Whether you channel the Ziggy Stardust image with lightning face paint or opt for the immortal Labyrinth look, you're sure to impress with any of these iconic styles. Search thrift shops and costume stores for leotards, jackets, wigs and more.
19. "Punny" Costumes: These costumes take cleverness and very few materials. For example, make an outfit out of cut up cereal boxes and get a cheap plastic knife and voila! Cereal killer. Another idea: tape Smarties candies to a pair of jeans or leggings and go as a Smarty Pants.
20. Gangster: Some may prefer the under-dressed Sopranos style, but for a traditional gangster you'll need dress pants, a vest, fedora and toy machine gun. Considering the zero-tolerance policies at most American schools, children may prefer to nix the gun for an empty violin case. The more pinstripes the better.
21. Coach: Whether male or female, basketball, football or hockey, a coach makes an easy costume for parents who want to feel comfortable all night while supporting their local “team.” Make it a family event and have your kids dress up as athletes.
22. Decade Costumes: There’s nothing quite like nostalgia. Pick your favorite decade and deck out with leg warmers, poodle skirts, bulky jewelry, acid wash jeans and more. Chances are you either have these things hiding in your drawers, or can find them for next to nothing. The best part: there’s no shaming your style choices on Halloween!
23. Little Red Riding Hood: A good one for adults and kids, Little Red Riding Hood is as easy as putting on a red cape. Of course, the basket is a semi-necessary prop, and if you really want to go all out, find a plush wolf you can carry around as well.
24. Witch: Dressing as a witch is easy-peasey since a cheap, pointy hat is all you need to convey the look. If you want to get technical, pair the hat with a black dress, striped stockings and a pair of Mary Janes. We like What I Wore's take on the classic Wicked Witch of the West -- floppy hat, trendy black coat and of course that signature green skin.
25. Grandma: While modern grandparents are more likely found on a cruise than in a rocking chair, the traditional granny is still a fun and easy costume that primarily requires you get into character. Turn an old afghan into a shawl, paint lines on your face with eyeliner and powder your hair and you're good to go. A recent trend has parents also dressing up babies as grandparents, and it's ridiculously adorable.
26. Princess or Disney Character: Before you picture the traditional tiara and pouffy dress look, think outside the box. There are many interpretations of princesses and Disney favorites, and you can take a modern (and far more frugal) approach by trying "If Disney Characters Were in College." Like that scary look? Try “Twisted Disney Princesses.”
27. No-Sheet Ghost: Wear an old nightgown, wedding dress, or tattered clothes. Sprinkle your hair with baby powder and on your skin for a from-the-tomb look. (Honestly though, the sheet ghost will always have a place on the best-of list, too.)
28. Pile of Laundry: The perfect costume for college students! Simply pin clothes onto an old outfit or, for a more complex costume, cut the bottom out of an old laundry basket, fill it with clothes and wear it around your waist.
29. Vampire: These days, dressing as a vampire is as simple as glamour makeup and a perfected pout. If you want to go the more traditional route, invest a couple bucks in a set of plastic fangs. Pair black pants with a white button-up and affix a black sheet or piece of fabric to the collar for a cape. Paint a dribble of blood at the corner of your mouth and perfect your Transylvanian accent.
30. Tombstone: Cut two large tombstone-shaped pieces out of cardboard and paint them gray. Add moss and dirt by sponge-painting green and brown. Let the cardboard dry and paint an appropriate inscription in black. Punch two holes on either side of both pieces and fasten them together with yarn or string cut long enough so the cardboard can be worn as a sandwich sign. Make sure you wear black to set off the tombstone.
31. Monster: Cut different shapes of fabric strips of every color. Sew or glue them to a sweatsuit with hoodie, leaving no blank spaces. (Add a hat if you have no hood.) For best affect, the sweatsuit should be too large but make sure children won't trip on extra fabric.
Easy & Clever Costumes
32. Spice Girls: Get your girls together and make spice labels out of butcher paper. Add a simple red “lid” hat and you’ve got the Spice Girls!
33. Nudist On Strike: Wait, what? Just think about it -- arrive at work or your Halloween party fully clothed. Nudist on strike. If you don’t want to explain yourself, pin a sign to your shirt!
34. Tourist: Nearly everyone has a Hawaiian shirt in their closets. Add some Bermuda shorts, sandals with socks and sling a camera around your neck. For a humorous look, put brochures in your pockets.
35. Buccaneer: Attach a dollar to each ear. Buck-an-ear… get it?
36. Babysitter: Strap a baby doll to your rear end and sit on it. Sick, but easy.
37. Leaf Blower: Dangle a leaf from the bill of a baseball cap. When asked about your costume, just blow on the leaf. This same concept can be used for a snowblower costume.
38. Gangrene: This is a good one for groups. Get the squad together and everyone wears green. Get it?
39. Q-Tip: Dress entirely in blue and cover a cap and your shoes with cotton balls. Why you'd want to do this is beyond us, but if you have this particular sense of humor, go for it!
40. Melted Snowman: Here's a wet one. Douse your body with water and bring a carrot, scarf and two sticks. Continue the dousing all night for the full effect. Not advised if you’ll be spending time outside in low temperatures; you could become a real snowman.
41. Hole-in-One: Golfers will love this easy costume. Just cut a large numeral 1 out of a piece of cardboard and cut a hole in the middle of the 1. Attach the cardboard to your chest and let them guess.
42. Quarter Pounder: For the very laziest costumer, carry a quarter and a hammer. Prepare to demonstrate pounding the quarter with the hammer when called upon to explain your costume.
43. Autograph or Yearbook: This is one costume you may never want to throw away. Dress all in white, carry a Sharpie pen, then ask people to sign your clothes. This could be particularly fun for grade-schoolers or children learning to write.
44. Netflix & Chill: One of the best ways to spend an evening with your loved one is also one of the easiest looks to emulate. Where a red tee shirt, affix a printed Netflix logo to the front, and walk around with a bag of ice. You'll be the coolest one at the party, for sure.
45. Pull Toy: Only the agile should attempt turning themselves into a pull toy by donning skates and tying a rope around their waist.
46. Work of Art: This couldn't be easier. Hang a large picture frame around your neck. After all, you’re a work of art! If you want to make it complicated, consider dressing up as a specific work of art, such as the Mona Lisa or a Van Gogh self-portrait.
47. Blackmail: Wear all black and glue postage stamps to your chest.
48. Chia Pet: Wrap yourself in duct tape with the sticky part on the outside then roll on your lawn. Not to be attempted during snow.
49. Web Sight: Turn yourself into a Web site by draping fake spider webs all over a pair of eyeglasses.
50. Soldier or Hunter: Fans of camouflage should already have the makings for these costumes in their closets, but make sure your gun is obviously a toy.
51. Flower Power: This one's a perennial favorite. Whether you were a hippy or merely descended from hippies. The key is to top your outfit off with a bandana.
52. Grape Bunch: Blow up purple or green balloons and attach to a simple costume or all-black clothing.
Via The Thinking Closet
53. Pea Variations: To create a black-eyed pea, pin a paper P to the shirt and blacken one eye. A split pea requires cutting the paper P in half and attaching each half to a string around the neck.
54. Pumpkin: Accent an orange sweatshirt and pants with a green baseball cap (worn backwards, naturally). Thicken the middle by tying a rolled-up towel or blanket under your shirt. For a jack-o-lantern, pin black felt triangles to the shirt in the pattern of a ghoulish face. Trend it up by adding the word "spice" to your outfit.
55. Raining Cats & Dogs: Already have an umbrella? Then raid your kids' toy boxes for plush cat and dog toys and adhere them to the umbrella. Put on a raincoat, and you've got a warm, dry and hilarious pun costume.