When it comes to choosing Halloween costumes, the possibilities are endless. Between browsing your local costume store and spending way too much time on Pinterest collecting DIY ideas, the abundance of choice can seem overwhelming. Let us help you break down the process with these 13 simple steps so you’ll be sure to pick a winner this Halloween.
1. Buy Early – No matter if you are planning to buy a complete costume or components and accessories to make your own, start as soon as you can. You never know when you need time to troubleshoot. The color might be off or the fit may be unflattering. Give yourself as much time as possible to return or exchange items that are vital to your look.
2. Budget – Halloween costume ideas can get lofty—fast! Before you get too ambitious or start drooling over custom-made accessories and expert-quality Halloween makeup, decide on a budget. You can even break it down by how much you want to spend on clothing, wigs, makeup and other accessories. Halloween costume coupons and promo codes will definitely help with keeping your finances on track. And Cash Back at Ebateswill put money back into your pocket!
3. Style – Now you can start narrowing down costumes by what style you’re going for. Do you want to have people running for the hills with a scary costume or doubled over laughing with a silly one? Do you want to be recognizable or go for something a little more obscure? Cosplay costumes are a great example of both popular characters and little-known ones. Figure out what kind of statement you want to make and go from there.
4. Weather – Trust us. A costume that bares a little skin will be fun for exactly two minutes if there’s a chill in the air and you plan on Trick or Treating all night. Try to get a handle on the weather forecast for the night and factor in your surroundings for whatever you have planned. If you’re going to be indoors, you may not have to worry about a costume that will keep you bundled up.
5. Group Costume – There are plenty of advantages to going with a group costume with friends or family. One, it’s a bonding experience. Two, your costume-mates act as accessories so you don’t have to worry too much about making your character obvious. Three, if you all go with the same costume, it eliminates a lot of the hard work without compromising the overall statement.
6. Simple Pet and Kids’ Costumes – If you’re shopping for Halloween costumes for kids and pets to top off your group costume, know your sidekick. Keep things simple if your pet or little one is prone to fussing in an all-out get-up. Basic capes are great for dogs while loose costumes sans masks are more manageable for young kids. Keep everyone in your costume crew from getting cranky this Halloween.
7. Avoid Appropriation – Offensive Halloween costumes are seriously uncool. Don’t ruin a fun night by hurting anyone’s feelings. When choosing a costume, remember that depicting cultures and races that are not your own are absolutely off limits. Characters, occupations, historical figures and celebrities are just fine. But always depict these types of people with respect and without changing your physical features, including skin tone. Be kind, be sensitive and be courteous when putting together your Halloween look.
8. The Fine Print – So now you’ve found a great Halloween costume online. Before you click Order Now, make sure to read all the details first. Sometimes costumes are not entirely as pictured. They might not include all of the accessories in the photo, like the wig or jewelry. Reading the fine print will save you the heartache of expecting a complete look delivered to your door only to find a single piece of clothing. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to scramble for additional pieces.
9. Sizing – Use the size chart when selecting a costume online or a pre-packaged costume you are not allowed to try on in-store. Take your exact measurements before shopping to select the perfect fit. This again will save you time and ensure you will not have to return a costume due to poor fit at the last minute.
10. Try it On – Immediately after you receive a mail-order costume, take it out of the package and try it on. Do not assume everything will fit perfectly and wait until Halloween night. Obviously by then it will be too late to return or exchange your costume. You’ll be out of luck and out a few bucks.
11. Versatility – If you’re attending multiple events for Halloween and are thinking of getting more than one costume, consider buying one and changing it up for each outing. Choose a versatile costume that can be easily mixed up with the right makeup and accessories. You can go silly or sweet for family outings and spine-tingling for afterhours parties.
12. Safety First – So now you have the costume. It fits, you love it and you can’t wait until Halloween night to rock it. But safety is also very important. You need to make sure you can move adequately, see and be seen. If the eye holes of your mask are not wide enough, cut some more space for you to see. If your costume is long enough to trip on, hem or trim the bottom. Lastly, focus on visibility. If your costume is dark and you’ll be walking around at night, include a flashlight or glow stick so drivers will be able to spot you crossing the street.
13. Dress Rehearsal – Once you have all of your costume elements together in one place, give your look a test run. Put on the whole shebang—costume, jewelry, wig, makeup, everything. Chances are, practice will make perfect when it comes to nailing your Halloween look.
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Briana is a shopaholic whose newest obsession is matching top-and-skirt sets (but she also can’t resist a good jumpsuit). She loves rock music, horror movies and is an all-around pop culture junkie. She is, without fail, always down for karaoke. Her blog, Mamafierce, is a chronicle of personal fashion, body positivity and the adventures of motherhood. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three-year-old son and tortoiseshell cat, Divvy.