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What are Some Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults?

Amy Pollick
Updated May 21, 2024
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So you’re over 21 and you’ve been invited to a Halloween party. Or, your office has decided everyone should dress up for the holiday. What are suitable Halloween costume ideas for adults? Look online and the retail Halloween costume ideas vary from the idiotic to nearly X-rated. Everyone has seen the groan-inducing cow costume, complete with a rubber udder, as well as the French maid outfit suitable for a strip club. What’s a grown-up to do?

Halloween costume ideas may borrow from the ghost and goblin tradition, the movies, fairytales or nearly anything else, including the witty costume “puzzle.” (Guess what I am!) These are all valid fodder for Halloween costume ideas.

The costume “puzzle” is usually very suitable for a work environment. A favorite idea involves very little work. The wearer just cuts out the entire front and back panels from a cereal box and wears them over the head, attached with string or fabric, like a sandwich board. However, the front of the box should have bits of cereal glued to it, with rivulets of dried glue (to look like milk) and a plastic knife plunged into the front. Voila! A “cereal killer.”

A very simple costume puzzle has the wearer in a black T-shirt with a capital “P” cut out of white paper and pinned to the shirt. The wearer outlines one eye in black eyeliner. Behold: A black-eyed “P.” A green T-shirt with paper green “T” affixed and the puzzle is obvious: green “T.” Pink lipstick around the eye? Pink-eye! Dress in a bathrobe with tissues and a thermometer in the pockets, an icepack on the head and fuzzy slippers: you’re home sick!

Some other Halloween costume ideas: Make a poncho of green felt and decorate with cheap Christmas ornaments to go as a Christmas tree. Find stuffed dog toys with open mouths and attach the mouths as though they were biting your arms and legs. You are now a dog catcher. Deconstruct the popular fairy tale by buying a Snow White outfit and ripping it up. Wear a bedraggled hair bow and carry a cardboard hatchet. Snow White just went psycho and killed the dwarfs! With a rubber pig snout and a feather boa, you can be Miss Piggy. C’est Moi!

A good place to look for Halloween costume ideas is in pattern books in the fabric stores. Most manufacturers have Halloween costume patterns. Even if you don’t want to make one of the patterns, you might get some great ideas for what you do want to wear. The Internet also has numerous ideas for adults who want something different on Halloween. Just make sure your costume doesn’t obstruct your vision, or if it does, that you can remove the obstruction to drive safely and that it isn’t too restrictive of movement. Also remember to bring a change of civilian clothes to the party so you can shed your costume if it becomes too cumbersome. But mostly, have fun and let your hair down. It’s Halloween, after all.

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Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at BeautyAnswered. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By FossilCrumb — On Dec 28, 2012

A television set costume is creative and cute for a young woman. Just get a large cardboard box (make sure its length is from the top of your head to your upper legs), paint the box black and silver so that it would look like a television. do not add arm holes. Then, you would cut a place for your face to show up. After that, you would put a hanger in the top of the box or some wires on top of it so that it would look like an antenna. Then, you would wear black tights and a leotard. For the shoes, I recommend wearing black ballet flats for the costume.

After that, dance around in the costume, and have fun. It looks really cute and I highly recommend this costume to girls and young women.

By icecream17 — On Aug 16, 2010

SurfNturf- That sounds like such a cute Halloween costume idea for a little girl. I wanted to add that a unique Halloween costume idea is going as a calculator.

It is a real easy homemade Halloween costume idea. You need to get a large cardboard box and place a round hole on the top for the head and two additional holes at the sides for the arms. Next, you paint the box completely and then decorte the calculator buttons on the front. This is a really creative Halloween costume idea that will get people laughing.

This concept can be used for a television set or computer if you prefer. You can always blow up the front of a calculator and paste it to the front of the box instead.

By surfNturf — On Aug 16, 2010

Mutsy- That would be really funny.I love Halloween especially buying costumes for my kids. Girl Halloween costume ideas are pretty easy.

Some costume ideas for Halloween that I've used in the past have been and a princess, a doctor, a lady bug, and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

This year I think my daughter will wear a 50s outfit with a poodle skirt, along with the pink scarf, and the saddle shoes. I think that's a really fun Halloween outfit that is not too common.

By mutsy — On Aug 16, 2010

Screenwriter- I agree that the Halloween costume is the fun part of Halloween, but some people are not artistically inclined and would prefer to rent the ideal costume.

This saves a lot of time when you're really busy. A great costume idea for Halloween is to go as a current celebrity or high-profile personality.

This is a really cheap Halloween costume idea. All you need to do is just wear the mask of the person and find clothes in your closet or in a thrift store that would have the colors or the style that the person would wear.

This is a great couples Halloween costume idea. An identifiable famous couple always makes a funny Halloween costume idea.

By screenwriter — On Oct 28, 2008

And, most of all just have fun! Creating a costume is the biggest part of the fun of Halloween. Why anyone would rent a costume is beyond my understanding???

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at BeautyAnswered....
Learn more
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