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Men, It’s Time to Switch Up Your Halloween Costume

Every Halloween party I have attended starts the same way: me, walking in to see women donning tight corsets, lingerie, and Euphoria-level makeup. These ladies always look incredible — they are dressed to the nines and take advantage of this holiday to take fun, sexy fashion risks. The straight, cis-gender men attending these parties, however, do not hold up their end of the bargain. They stand next to these beautifully clad women wearing sports jerseys from their closet or, if they are feeling frisky, a half-baked Hugh Hefner costume (really, y’all?). 

Personally, I love dressing outlandishly on Halloween. When else is it socially acceptable to wear basically whatever you want? One of my favorite parts of the year is scouring the internet for costume ideas, pulling from classic films, new releases, or, best of all, funny cultural references. When men don’t engage, though, this joyous fashion event begins to feel performative and sexist. While I don’t need men to dress a certain way in order to validate my own choices, their minimal effort makes me feel like I am dressing up for them, and not myself. 

Men, maybe you aren’t trying to make me feel this way. But I mean, by not fully participating in Halloween, you are kind of a victim of this dilemma too. It’s so much fun to dress crazy for a night; you must feel very afraid if you are not taking part in this joy. Or maybe you just need some help. Here are a few Halloween costume ideas that’ll make you feel like the baddie you were meant to be: 

  1. Rocky from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  2. The Duke of Hastings from Bridgerton
  3. James Bond 
  4. The little lad who loves berries and cream
  5. Literally any Marvel superhero (preferably Captain America or Black Panther)
  6. “Couch Guy” from TikTok 
  7. Harry Styles on tour 

Again, it’s not really about how “sexy” the costume is — the effort is far more important. Maybe this is your year to experiment with drag, dye your hair, or pull a Machine Gun Kelly and get a ton of temporary tattoos. Halloween is all about freedom and expression without limitation. While some may dress “scandalously,” it’s mainly about owning your body and trying something new. Some of my favorite female Halloween costumes have been comedic too. Last year, I saw a woman do an INCREDIBLE cosplay of Dobby the House Elf. My English teacher dressed as a Zoom meeting link. Truly groundbreaking. 

My one wish for Halloween this year is to walk into a party where everyone is dressed their best. Then, I’ll feel truly comfortable (although maybe not physically) knowing that everyone is equally putting themselves out there and taking risks. 

Think about it this way: November 1st is for sweatpants and hoodies. Let’s get a little crazy until then. 

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Lily Crowell

Columbia Barnard '25

Lily Crowell is a first-year at Barnard College. She intends on majoring in American Studies and Human Rights. Outside of class, Lily loves dancing, reading, and trying new restaurants. Follow me on Instagram @Lilycrowell
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