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Friday Night Frights : 5 Last Minute Pop Culture Halloween Costumes

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Halloween is just around the corner and what’s scarier than Target’s Lewis-o-Lantern? The price tags at Spirit Halloween. I am certified to talk on this topic as I just spent an ungodly amount of money there. However, my three digit receipt still didn’t cover all of Halloweekend. When it came time to buy my 3rd costume I started to think… Do I really need or want to spend $50+ on an outfit I will never wear again?

NO! And I’m sure you’re with me on that. So I have compiled a list of 5 Pop Culture Halloween costumes made from pieces you can reuse in your regular life and may already have in your wardrobe. 

Some of these pieces will have additional props you may not use again but will likely still be cost efficient. And while a lot of these costumes are made up of “normal” clothes, when put together they make a highly recognizable character from pop culture. So no need to fear most people will understand what your costume is!

  1. Miss America

While not a specific character from pop culture this is an easy and creative costume that is pretty  recognizable. All it takes is any nice dress you have (short or long, up to you), a sash, and a tiara and you are good to go! Another fun spin on this that can help make this a group costume is to make your sash from your home state. For example, I am from Virginia and my best friend is from New York so we went as Miss Virginia and Miss New York. However, it is important to be smart about wearing a sash with a particular state when identifying yourself before going into particular locations… 

Costume materials : (total cost ~$11)

  • Sash (we rented a cricut from the library and used black vinyl to make the state names but honestly fabric paint or markers will be easier)
  • Tiara
  1. Barbie

Basic I know, but the biggest thing in pop culture right now. Basic isn’t bad, it just means popular. And who wouldn’t want to live in Barbieland for a night? Now if you don’t want to drop the cash to pay for a costume from the movie Barbie has an endless amount of ways you can be her. All it takes is an all pink outfit and some sort of occupational prop!

Think something like a lab coat and safety goggles that my women in stem may have lying around for Scientist Barbie. A paint brush for Artist Barbie. A microphone and folder for News Reporter Barbie. The possibilities are endless!

I personally will be Rollerblading Barbie on Saturday of Halloweekend so I can’t wait for an endless cycle of “Hi Barbie!” 

  1. Dora the Explorer

We are just full of nostalgia aren’t we? I had a friend who pulled off this costume and it was so iconic. All it takes is a basic pink top and an orange skirt, two pieces you can 100% wear on a regular day but when put together make a highly recognizable costume. As well you get to carry around a backpack where you can hold anything you need throughout the night and don’t have to worry about a purse clasing with your costume. 

Costume materials : (total cost : ~$36)

  1. Wednesday

Did anyone else cut bangs because of this show? If you did, now is your time to rock them. While you can easily buy Wednesday’s iconic dress, it would be hard to rewear without people automatically thinking of Wednesday. But a long sleeve dress with a collared shirt underneath will give the same effect. Or there are just the collars of shirts if you don’t want too many layers.

Costume materials : (total cost : ~$32 | $26)

  1. Risky Business

If you buy the collared shirt from above you can get a two for one deal. I don’t know how many people our age have truly watched Risky Business but everyone knows about Tom Cruise’s iconic dance in his underpants. For this costume all you need is a collared shirt, sunglasses, and boxer briefs. 

Costume materials : (total cost : ~$26)

All of these costumes come out to less than the average costume pack at Halloween and can be worn more than once. I hope to see some of these this Halloweekend! Happy Halloween!

Nicole is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Film,Television and Media with a sub-major in Screenwriting. She aspires to be a feature film screenwriter. In addition to her interest in film, she is deeply invested in sports. She currently works as a videographer for the Michigan Football Team.