Halloween is almost here, and that means you might be anxiously shuffling through your closet in a quest to make a creative last-minute costume. Though DIY-ing that detailed Game of Thrones costume sounded like a great idea a month ago, it might have turned out to be a bit too ambitious for your wallet and for your schedule — and that's totally OK. After all, there's nothing wrong with an easy Halloween costume.
At the end of the day, Halloween costumes don’t need to be super detailed and expensive to be fun and interesting, and this list of easy costumes you can make with clothing you have in your own closet is proof of that. Most of these costumes are made up of common clothing items like jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, button-down shirts, and a lamp shade (maybe that’s not a clothing item, but just give it a chance). The details these costumes do require, like sunglasses, a halo, or felt, are relatively cheap and you can usually get them online or at your local craft store. Check out these easy Halloween costumes, and then go dig into the dark, spooky depths of your closet.
Yes, this might be the cheesiest costume ever, but it is undoubtedly also one of the simplest. You don't need any special clothing for it and you can make it for free (especially if you're a parent and you have cat and dog stuffed animals lying around). Just tape the stuffed animals to the umbrella, and voila. Check out Cloe Couture's version here.
What You'll Need: An umbrella (your local drugstore or Amazon, $14); stuffed dog ($7, .com); stuffed cat ($4, .com)
This throwback costume will get lots of attention at any party, and it's super simple to create. The only costume item that you might not have on hand for Arthur the aardvark is his ears, which you could create yourself with a headband, brown and pink construction paper, and a hot glue gun.
What You'll Need: Yellow sweater, t-shirt, or vest ($18, target.com); White collared shirt ($20, gap.com); Jeans ($29, oldnavy.com); Tennis shoes ($50, zappos.com); Round glasses ($7, .com)
Everyone loves a good pun costume. To make the toast piece, all you need is brown, tan, and yellow construction paper, or maybe felt, and a hot glue gun. Though I'd recommend just taping or safety-pinning the toast to your shirt so that you can wear it again. Check out this example and tutorial on YouTube.
What You'll Need: A striped shirt ($18, .com); red handkerchief ($7, ASOS); beret ($9, .com); black sunglasses ($11, lulus.com)
In 1983's Risky Business, Tom Cruise played high school senior Joel Goodsen. His infamous dance scene — where he's wearing nothing but his white underwear, a pink button down shirt (or white, but the one he wore in the film was light pink), and socks — has created one of the most popular last-minute Halloween costumes.
What You'll Need: A pink button-down shirt ($14, jcpenney.com); white tube socks ($9, .com); a candlestick $11, lights.com); white underwear ($11, hanes.com); black sunglasses ($7, .com)
Dressing like the Addams' family's dark daughter is simple — channeling her attitude is the harder part. This is also a great costume for cold nights, when you could add a black coat and black or lace tights.
What You'll Need: Black dress with white collar ($13, zara.com); black shoes ($36, famousfootwear.com); black tights ($5, .com)
A vampire is a classic costume for a reason: You can wear almost anything, add a pair of fangs, and you're good to go. The easiest versions require all black — maybe some form of leather or pleather — and, if you have time, dramatic make-up. Here's an awesome vampire make-up tutorial.
What You'll Need: Black dress ($44, asos.com); black shoes ($34, asos.com); fangs ($3, purecostumes.com)
Forrest Gump is a character everyone recognizes, so this costume will need little explanation. Forrest's most recognizable look is what he wore to run across the U.S., but you could make it a couple's costume by having partner dress as Jenny on her wedding day.
What You'll Need For Forrest: Yellow t-shirt ($14, .com); red running shorts ($13, .com); striped tube socks ($4, gap.com); a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. cap ($8, .com); tennis shoes ($70, nike.com); a costume beard ($7, .com)
What You'll Need For Jenny: White maxi dress ($24, lightinthebox.com); a flower crown ($6, forever21.com)
Georgie is the little boy from IT whose paper boat falls into the sewer on a rainy day. When he bends down to try to fish it out, he sees a horrifying clown known as Pennywise.
Georgie's innocent look is a great simple costume for any classic horror movie fan. You could also make a paper boat, or pick up a red balloon if you want to take the level of creepy up a notch.
What You'll Need: Yellow raincoat ($13, galls.com); rain boots ($30, target.com)
You definitely have a shot at the most creative costume award with this one. (Here's a video of the animation to refresh your memory.)
All you really need are white clothes and a white or off-white lampshade. If you really wanted to commit you could even paint your face white and carry around a cardboard "I" painted black.
What You'll Need: White long-sleeved shirt ($18, .com); white lamp shade ($15, hobbylobby.com); white pants ($35, oldnavy.com)
Superhero costumes are not only *super* in right now, but they're also really easy to make and really comfortable. The Incredibles costumes are especially simple to make because they really only consist of two colors: red and black.
You also need the Incredibles logo, which you can print, cut out, and simply tape to your shirt. As you're putting together this costume, be sure remember Edna Mode's strict rule: No capes.
What You'll Need: Red long-sleeved shirt ($16, .com); red leggings ($12, .com); black shorts ($10, russellathletic.com); black boots ($56, asos.com); black gloves ($10, spencers.com)
Your friends might laugh at you for this one, but they'll also be jealous that they didn't think of it first. The "holy cow," costume courtesy of Brooklyn and Bailey on YouTube, is super simple to make: you just need an all-white outfit, then you can use tape or safety pins to attach pieces of black felt to your clothing. You can also DIY your own halo using this tutorial, or you could just buy one along with a pair of wings.
What You'll Need: White t-shirt ($7, hm.com); white jeans or pants ($25, oldnavy.com); a halo ($5, partycity.com); costume angel wings ($15, .com)
Channel your inner duchess for a day with a bright and polished Kate Middleton look. All you need for this is a pastel-colored sheath dress, matching hat or fascinator, a pair of pearl earrings, and nice shoes to match. It's a costume fit for an almost-queen.
What You'll Need: Sheath dress ($70, macys.com); similar colored fascinator ($48, etsy.com); pearl earrings ($10, etsy.com); nude flats or pumps ($29, lulus.com)
Rather than trying to DIY a giant Wilson volleyball, try going as Chuck Noland when he's first stranded on an island in the South Pacific. You'll just need an average fall outfit, and maybe a little bit of brown and red makeup to look like dirt and scratches from the plane crash.
If you have the time, here's tutorial for how to make your own Wilson Cast Away volleyball to serve as your desert island best friend.
What You'll Need: Fair isle sweater ($17, asos.com); distressed jeans ($41, gapfactory.com)
It's no illusion — this costume is just as easy as it looks. But even though it looks simple, you can still have fun with your makeup, details like suspenders, and the style of black hat you choose.
What You'll Need: White shirt with stripes ($10, forever21.com); white gloves ($2, partycity.com); black suspenders ($10, .com); black pants ($20, target.com); black beret ($8, partycity.com); white face paint ($2, hobbylobby.com); red lipstick ($5, target.com)
There's a few reasons a pirate is such a popular halloween costume: it's fun, it's relatively simple, and it's all about the layers (which is important depending on where you live). The key to a good pirate costume is to layer fun details over a basic pair of brown pants and a frilly white top.
What You'll Need: Frilly white top ($35, hm.com); vest ($20, walmart.com); headscarf ($9, .com); pirate hat ($13, .com); stackable bracelets ($10, .com); brown or black jeans ($30, oldnavy.com); knee-high boots ($47, asos.com)
Flex your cleaning muscles as the Brawny paper towel man (or woman). You can dress like a lumberjack and carry around a roll of paper towels, which are sure to come in handy at any Halloween party.
What You'll Need: Red plaid shirt ($10, eddiebauer.com); blue jeans ($69, levis.com); two rolls of Brawny ($18, .com)
There are a lot of incredible looks from the 2004 movie Mean Girls, but one of the most recognizable is from the scene where Janis Ian cuts holes in Regina George's tank top.
You'll have to cut holes in a white tank top to create this look, so make sure it's one you won't miss if you never get to wear it again. You have to make sacrifices to be Plastic.
What You'll Need: Skater skirt ($10, forever21.com); white tank top ($10, gapfactory.com); purple bra ($35, victoriassecret.com)
You can wear any flannel shirt and jeans with this look, or even overalls. Add a straw or cowboy hat, and your clothing is complete. Your makeup is what can make this look really stand out, so check out a few tutorials here, here, and here.
What You'll Need: Plaid or flannel shirt ($14, target.com); jeans ($30, oldnavy.com); boots ($25, target.com); straw hat ($23, .com)
Kim K has had so many recognizable looks over the years that you're bound to have something in your closet to channel your inner Kardashian-West. You could do edgy Kim, glam Kim (pictured), blonde Kim, or, if you wanted to get a little meta, Kim in costume. Depending on your natural hair length and color, you'll need either a black or platinum blonde wig, and a killer makeup palette.
What You'll Need: Fitted gold dress ($26, .com); gold cross necklace ($4, romwe.com); black wig ($17, .com)
Kylie Jenner's 2018 Met Gala look was one of her most memorable because it was one of her first major public appearances after giving birth to her daughter, Stormi. But it was also notable because no one could figure what those tiny "sunglasses" that she couldn't see out of were supposed to be for!
You can DIY the sunglasses by covering a pair with glue and dunking them in glitter.
What You'll Need: Velvet dress ($50, prettylittlething.com); tiny sunglasses ($11, zerouv.com)
Oscar-winner A Star is Born followed waitress Ally, played by Lady Gaga, and singer-songwriter Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper, as they fall in love and create music together. Ally dresses in a French costume for this performance of "La Vie En Rose," which is the first time that Jackson sees her sing.
For this look you would need to cover your entire face with foundation — including your eyebrows — so that you can draw on thin black eyebrows. Then just put your hair in an artful bun.
What You'll Need: Black slip dress ($25, asos.com); sheer back seam pantyhose ($9, .com)
Taylor Swift is among the top-earning women in music — and rightfully so. She's one of the most recognizable faces in music, with her signature blonde hair and red lip, making her the perfect star to inspire a simple Halloween costume. But don't just dress like Taylor — take it a step further and recreate her "1989" cover for your costume. It's a lot easier than it sounds; just check out this example.
What You'll Need: Red and white striped boatneck top ($21, .com); black high-waist shorts ($18, hm.com); poster board ($3, walmart.com)
Marilyn Monroe famously stood over a subway grate in a white halter dress for the 1954 movie The Seven Year Itch. When her dress was blown up, it created one of the most iconic images in film, and has since inspired a Halloween costumes that will never go out of style. Here's a Marilyn Monroe makeup tutorial to help you top off the historic look.
What You'll Need: White halter dress ($20, partycity.com); blonde wig ($13, target.com)
Juno told a story about unplanned teen pregnancy in a funny and compassionate way, but it also created a style icon in the character Juno herself. It's a perfect, comfortable costume option for a pregnant woman, and it could easily be turned into a couples costume with Juno's friend and admirer Paulie Bleeker.
What You'll Need: Striped t-shirt ($10, oldnavy.com); zippered hoodie ($15, .com); pleated skirt ($14, forever21.com); baggy jeans ($38, ae.com)
You probably have this outfit memorized by now, because that's how famous it is. Britney's school girl aesthetic is super simple to recreate, and you can edit it to your desired level of modesty.
What You'll Need: Gray cardigan ($20, .com); white button down shirt ($26, gafactory.com); dark-colored skirt ($9, hm.com); knee-high socks ($8, asos.com); pink scrunchies ($11 for 4, .com)