For the general populace, the 31st of October is unofficially touted as the only night in a year where one can dress however they wish without having to worry about scrutinizing eyes. It’s no wonder that people don’t hesitate to let their freak flag fly on this hair-raising holiday by busting out their most elaborate costumes. Although the grandiosity of one’s apparel is directly correlational to candy haulage, anyone with the right amount of wit and humor can pull off a statement and squeeze their way into the hearts of generous, candy-giving homeowners—without having to spend a single centavo. Even outside of costume planning, the laid back look is and has always been a decent fallback for when time just isn’t a luxury.
To the (funny) bone
In some instances, the simplicity of a costume far outweighs the outfit itself, and in the case of Halloween, it’s not hard to make this work at all. Although these kinds of costumes trade fear factor for comic relief, they’re a blast to wear around with friends. Think joke shirts and gag props for this one, and pay more attention to what you’re saying than how you actually look. There’s a reason the bare basics are always the better choice.
Take the comedic route with a few well-placed puns: fashion yourself a pair of pom-poms using construction paper and tape the word “ceiling” on your shirt—voila, you are a ceiling fan! If you’re opting for something on the more morbid side, paste mini cereal boxes on your shirt and carry around a (fake) knife, and you have an instant cereal killer costume. Accessorize with a pair of horns and wear a white top with a yellow circle pasted in the center—now you’re a deviled egg. Embodying a joke and incorporating it into a costume is one easy, clever way of not exhausting any effort at joining the bandwagon, without getting strapped for cash.
Not all ghosts are as friendly as Casper! More than the candy-induced sugar rush and the frantic costume planning, All Hallows Eve is, at its core, a time of fright. It’s not uncommon to see classic horror characters stalking the streets on the night of black cats and roaming spirits.
Horror film buffs might take this opportunity to go as their favorite characters. Pay homage to George A. Romero’s genius and join the ranks of the undead with some fake blood made out of food coloring, or bring the battle of Freddie and Jason back to life and channel your inner psychopath with an old hockey mask. Awaken your neighborhood’s sixth sense and make them think they see dead people. A nun outfit conjured from a hoodie and/or inverted shirt can easily be made to look like Valak from The Conjuring. Shock value is key here, and a little creativity wouldn’t hurt too. The main purpose of your costume at the end of the day should still be to strike fear into the hearts of those you encounter, so you might as well do it right.
Pop of culture
Despite the scares often associated with the end of October, it’s important to see the lighter and brighter side of Halloween for what it is: a chance to go out and dress up. To an extent, it’s plain to see that Halloween season has nearly worn its charm out on this generation, but the freedom to dress up constitutes the vast majority of what’s left of Halloween’s appeal.
Take the opportunity to inject some millennial wit into your getup and work out a pop culture reference. You can’t go wrong with dressing up as your favorite Mean Girls character by abusing pink lipgloss or donning your favorite pair of Yeezys to complete your Kanye West ensemble (Pro tip: If you can’t afford actual Yeezys, print out a photo). Outside of literary allusions, it’s worth looking into satire displays of current trends and events; get your hands on a gorilla suit from Ateneo Trade and go as Harambe (RIP) .
We only come out at night! Brimming with unabridged terror and consequential cavities waiting-to-be-happened, Halloween is a night of filled with conquering all types of fears. But braving through bloodcurdling horror flicks and maneuvering through haunted houses is definitely an easier task when you’re surrounded by good company—more so, if your squad is dressed to the nines.
Strategizing your Halloween costumes by coordinating with friends and deciding on a central theme is a great dynamic of bringing the gang together for an ultimate bonding experience. Orchestrating group costumes is a big production, the audience impact is rest assured taken care of due to the wide scope of this endeavor.
Although trick-or-treating in troops may seem like a logistical nightmare (on Elm Street), it doesn’t need to be flashy to attract attention. Simply going as an assortment of Crayola crayons by making cone-shaped hats out of used construction paper; or the beloved, neon-tinted Pac-man crew by wearing multicolored ponchos with eyes glued on to them to go as the ghosts. (Pro tip: Too many popular friends? Go as the white, edible dots!) can provide as a great photoshoot opportunity for your squad. Another option to consider is going with a significant other in a couple costume—for example, donning black and white tee-shirts, with one shirt emblazoned with the word “salt,” and the other “pepper,” to go as a pair of matching condiments.
Costume-making brings out the innate creativity and ingenuity wedged within us. It’s a craft that requires out-of-the-box thinking and free time, both of which are pretty hard to come across these days. Most frenzied mothers couldn’t be bothered with making their children’s costumes and opt for the convenient, pre-packaged outfits sold at department stores. Regardless, a steady fanbase of dedicated Halloween enthusiasts still thrive today and continue the tradition of intricate, innovative costumes.
Favoring resourcefulness over flair, these costumes may require a tad bit more effort, but in the long run, are often times hailed as crowd favorites. Whether your goal is to prettify or petrify, try fumbling around around your closet for items you can put together. For example, deck out as a man caught in a hurricane by sticking leaves to your clothes, turning your umbrella inside out, and gelling your hair to one side.
No matter what age bracket you belong to, it’s hard to find reasons not to celebrate Halloween every year. From the pumpkin carving to the indie slasher flicks, the tradition in all its juvenile quirks is eventually cemented into every young person’s life as something to look forward to by the time October 31 rolls around.