For those who are invited to Halloween parties, or if you throw Halloween parties every year and you’ve been too busy to plan your outfit and don’t want to rent a costume, here are some ideas for costumes that you probably have in your closet! Maybe you’ll need to buy one or two new pieces that will complete your costume, and that’s why I’m partnering with Shelley Zurek to provide a list of easy-to-buy pieces for Halloween.  Links are within the outfit suggestions if you can’t find the pieces within your own closet. HURRY, items sell out fast and need time for shipping.

When I was growing up, my parents didn’t put a lot of time or creativity into helping us create our costumes. Basically, my three sisters and I were on our own. So we did things like put a pillow case over our head, poked holes for the eyes (can’t remember if this came as a shock to our mother!), drew a face on it, and went as a “little person.” I actually attended school with a midget and I used to play at her house all the time. I shutter to think what she thought of this costume – we were pretty insensitive back then. But, bottom line, I had to become very resourceful at an early age because my mother didn’t help us. Oh, I had friends whose mothers sewed them elaborate princess or animal costumes, and I always wished my mother would do that. Oh well…I think in the end it planted the seeds of creativity that I still employ today in everything I do. Once again, things happen for a reason.

Here’s an example of how I incorporated some simple garment pieces along with a couple secondhand store treasures to become Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol’s muse in the 1960s, about ten years ago. My husband was Andy Warhol, covering his face in whiteout, and he wore lipstick — it was eerie. This was when I had a short pixie haircut. I wore a 60s print top with a short black knit dress, tights, and check out the platform boots! Plenty of heavy eye makeup and long vintage earrings completed the look.

If you don’t sew, or you don’t have the time, or don’t want to spend money on renting a costume, here are some ideas for you that could come from your closet, with a little help from our friends at Amazon (courtesy of Shelley Zurek!)

Don’t think you have to go overboard. Simple is best on Halloween. I remember one year I went as a space creature, covering a helmet with aluminum foil, wearing a body suit, and basically, I was covered from head to toe with shiny aluminum and I couldn’t see very well. I couldn’t eat or drink! Not a lot of fun! This outfit below is much better — sexier, easier to wear, and you can see!
CAN’T FIND IT ?:  Space creature, Body Suit

Look for some props in your closet, such as gloves, hats, platform shoes or boots, simple black dress w/black tights, a beautiful kimono, shimmery pieces, head scarves.
CAN’T FIND IT? Gloves for costumes, Hats for Costumes, Platform Shoes/Boots, Kimonos

For example: (I got some of these ideas from Nina Bandoni of Sharing A Journey, as I am not really a Halloween person right now – I have been in the past, but it’s been a few years!j Nina had some great suggestions on her blog.)

– A white dress shirt can become Rosie The Riveter, with a red bandana wrapped around your head with black pants. A curly hairdo
CAN’T FIND IT? Rosie the Riveter Wig and Bandana,

– A red bow tie and a long gray jacket with a long skirt, or if you want to be a little sexy, wear a short black skirt with tights and add a red belt, and small hat with flowers glued on, and you’re Mary Poppins. Don’t forget the umbrella and embroidered tote bag.
CAN’T FIND IT?  Mary Poppins Hat, Mary Poppins Red Tie, Mary Poppins Wig, Mary Poppins Costume, Mary Poppins Embroidered Bag,

– Go through your formal wardrobe – sometimes a beautiful dress will work perfectly. A velvet dress, or beaded dress, any gown will translate into being a queen. A black mini skirt dress will be very versatile – a witch, go-go girl, or as I did one year, I was Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol’s 1960s muse.
CAN’T FIND IT? Dress for a Queen, Black mini dress,

– A black turtleneck top – you can be a witch, a cat, it just serves as a background for anything.
CAN’T FIND IT? Black turtleneck

Go through your scarves – I have a fuzzy boa that I’ve used in costumes before. A large pashmina can become a cape or a majestic wrap over a long dress that looks Indian or exotic.
CAN’T FIND IT? Boas, Large Pashmina

If you’re going to a party as a couple, you can get matching striped shirts and go as convicts. [show striped shirt]. Blue shirts and you’re police officers. Mixed drink – graphic tee of your favorite vodka, and a tee with a lemon and go as your favorite drink.
CAN’T FIND IT? Convict shirt/costume,  Police officer shirt/costume

Makeup is a great tool for Halloween. You can draw on a cat face or a mustache with your black eye pencil.
CAN’T FIND IT?  Make up kits for Halloween

One year when I worked for a company called TechRepublic where I built the first online IT training resource, and they had an annual talent show where employees could perform on stage. I don’t know what got into me, but I wanted to perform and lip sync to Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” song with a couple of women. The kicker was that one of the women who “sang” was actually our PR Director, a man, who dressed up as a woman. OMG! The audience fell down with laughter and it was a hit. Anyway, my costume was a short purple wig, a tight mini skirt and tube top. What was I thinking? Wish I had photos of that! I had the tape of the performance but that’s either packed or I threw it away.
CAN’T FIND IT? Purple Wig

Have fun this Halloween! Use this as an excuse to step WAY OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Go for the fantasy, shop your closet first, then use some of these ideas above to add the finishing touch to your convincing costume. There is something about dressing in a costume and becoming someone else that brings out your inner sexy, flirty personality. Go for it! You can always say “Cher” or “Cindy Lauper” made you do it 😉

What are your favorite Halloween costume memories? Please comment below!!