A little Halloween costume planning goes a long way

Monday, October 25, 2010

In honor of misers everywhere, we're challenging you to come up with the best, scariest, most original costume you can create for $10. The best one will receive a spooky prize.

For more details and to enter lawrence.com's Halloween costume contest, visit lawrence.com/cheaphalloween.

The Cheap Halloween costume contest is brought to you by Fun & Games.

Halloween is a tricky holiday. Every year once October rolls around, I start to get anxious about my costume. I can never decide what to be! Typically, I spend the first 30 days of the month deliberating and then realize that I have procrastinated half of my options away. Whether you are a last-minute costume person or a planner, check out these tips, tricks and treats that I have compiled in preparation for this Halloween.

Inspiration

Perhaps you already have your costume picked out for this Halloween, but if you are completely clueless, keep on reading.

Maybe you own a fun jacket that you never wear or a crazy costume wig that you have always wanted to pull on but have never found the right opportunity; if so, use this item as starting place and build from there. Creating an outfit around one unique item is easier than you think. Consider who might wear a similar clothing item or accessory. Is there a particular occupation, or perhaps a certain celebrity, that it suits? For example, I have borrowed a fabulous brown wig from a friend of mine. Keeping the hair color and shape in mind, I brainstormed a list of ideas — celebrities, characters or people who might have a similar style: a 1950s waitress, a nurse, a wicked witch, Miss Piggy, Daria, Linda Blair in “The Exorcist,” Shelley Duvall in “The Shining.”

One idea will jump out at you, and before you know it, you will be on your way to a great Halloween costume.

Shopping

The best costumes aren’t pre-packaged but rather slowly gathered and assembled piece by piece.

The hunt for such specific items is part of the fun.

Plus, by collecting each part individually, you will create a customized costume, guaranteed to fit much better than the one-size-fits all unitard and mask.

See my list below for great places to shop for costumes in Lawrence:

Details

If you get your costume figured out ahead of time, go the extra mile. Take the time to do your nails, practice your hair and makeup, or pick up any extra accessories, items that might not be essential but will definitely take your costume to the next level. Most importantly, have fun! If you find yourself stressing out at the last minute, don’t. Just relax.

And finally, if Halloween creeps up on you and you have 30 minutes to pull your act together, my advice is to go back to the basics. In fact, I asked one of my friends what she was going to be for Halloween, and she said, “I don’t know, I’ll probably just be a cat again.”

“It’s easy and cheap,” she explained. “I already have the tail, the ears and a go-to black dress. Besides, nobody ever remembers that I’ve been a cat for the last seven Halloweens in a row.”