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How To: Create A Halloween Costume That Is Truly Unique

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

Costumes, candy, and cobwebs, oh my! It is officially my favorite month of the year, October! (Eek!) Not only does October mean Fall food and festivities are in full swing, but it also means we get to celebrate the two most important holidays known to man – Halloween and my birthday, of course. I’m only kidding, Halloween isn’t nearly as important as my birthday.

In all seriousness, Halloween is such a fun time of year! The movies, pajamas, coffees, and activities are simply superior to any other holiday (sorry, Christmas lovers, take a seat). Although everything about Halloween is fun and spooky, there has always been something so exciting about picking out a costume.

Back in the day (circa 2010), my best friends and I would pull out the Party City catalog and scavenge for the cutest, most fun costumes we could find. We would take a black gel pen and aggressively circle our favorite picks until we poked a hole straight through to the other side of the page. Ah, the good ole days.

As we all got older, picking out costumes unfortunately became a lot harder. Everyone suddenly started wearing the same costume and Halloween began to lack the originality and spark I used to love so much about it. There is nothing more disheartening than putting together a creative, phenomenal costume just to show up to a party, club, or Halloween function and see another person stealing your thunder with the same idea. Ugh!

As people became more involved with social media and our lives got hijacked by TikTok trends, it was inevitable that people who once had their own personalities would slowly blend into a bunch of different versions of the same damn thing. (Yes, I’m talking to you, devils, angels, cats, police officers, Disney princesses, superheroes, and various renditions of Taylor Swift.)

Enough is enough! It’s time to take the trends out of Halloween and bring back that exciting thrill of picking out a fun costume as a kid. You may be asking yourself, but Gabby, how do I come up with a fun, exciting Halloween costume that’s also sexy and unique? Fear not, child, I am here to help. In this week’s article, I give you two strategies to create the most fun, unique Halloween costume of your dreams, along with links for each one (I’m the man, I know).

Strategy One: Concept Costumes

Concept costumes refer to costumes that are based on a phrase instead of a specific character. For example, I’m sure we have all seen the reverse cowgirl costume idea in which a woman dresses like a cowgirl and tapes an Uno “reverse” card on her shirt. Hence, reverse cowgirl. Although this costume has become quite basic among the college demographic, it is a fantastic starting point for creating more unique concept costumes.

By creating a costume based on a specific phrase or saying instead of replicating a pop culture character, the chances of someone else developing the same costume as you decrease exponentially. Most of these costumes also require little to no supplies and are great for throwing something together last minute. I’ll give you a few examples of concept costumes to get you started but I highly recommend trying to think of your own!

The Best of Both Worlds – This costume idea is for a pair and is so much fun because it is both a concept costume and a pop culture icon costume. For this costume, one person will dress as Hannah Montana and the other as Miley Stewart. Together, you will be “The Best of Both Worlds,” the popular Hannah Montana song. So fun, I know.

When Pigs Fly – This costume could be fun if you love the energy of the angel costume, but want to put a unique spin on it. Wear a pink shirt, pink tutu, and add a set of cute wings for this super quick and easy concept costume. (Bonus points for adding a piggy nose with makeup or an accessory.)

Smart Cookie – This idea is super cute for people who wear glasses. You can either buy a cookie shirt or DIY a cookie with construction paper and tape to stick to a shirt you already have. Carry around a ruler or notebook to really complete the look. This one is also super quick and easy.

Bad Apple – This would be cute to go along with the Smart Cookie. Wear an apple shirt or make one yourself. Pair it with faux tattoo sleeves, leather pants, and heavy black eyeliner to become the baddest apple around.

Raining Cats & Dogs – Grab an umbrella hat for this one and glue a bunch of dog and cat figurines to the top of it. Rainboots and a raincoat will amp up this costume even more!

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys – This one is extra special to me because this expression always makes me laugh. Another costume for a pair, have one person dress as a circus clown and one as a monkey to bring this funny expression to life.

Strategy Two: Put Your Own Twist On Trends

If concept costumes aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine. There is another great option for creating a unique costume. Pay close attention to current pop culture trends (songs, movies, shows, artists, books, music videos, etc.) and pick one that you gravitate towards. Instead of recreating the version of that person or character from the trending content, dress as an alternate version of them.

For example, let’s say you and your boyfriend want to be Barbie and Ken for Halloween (which I guarantee everyone will be doing this year). Forget about the classic pink, fancy Barbie, and beachy, casual Ken outfits. Say goodbye to the trendy western and rollerblading outfits they wore in Barbie. Instead, dress as this rendition of Barbie & Ken from Toy Story 3. Or Barbie and Ken in their camping magazine cover. Or my personal favorite, these Barbie & Ken outfits based on classic, retro sketches made by Ruth Handler for the original dolls.

By choosing less popular versions of classic characters, you can put your own unique spin on Halloween while still paying tribute to your favorite icons. Here are a few more examples of this idea:

Harley Quinn & Joker – Instead of the overdone “Daddy’s Girl” outfit for Harley and black suit for Joker, try Harley and Joker from the club scene of Suicide Squad, the prison break scene, or inmate Joker and Dr. Harleen Quinzel.

Wednesday Addams – Try this Wednesday instead of her classic, black-tie look.

Princess Peach and Princess Daisy – Princess Peach’s Happi Peach outfit from Mario Kart Tour instead of the original fluffy pink dress, and Princess Daisy’s Flower Tour outfit instead of her classic yellow ball gown. It would also be cool and unique to dress as Mario villains instead. Waluigi and Wario, hello?

Disney Princesses – Dressing as Disney sidekicks instead of the princesses would be so fun! The princesses are very overdone, but I’ve never seen anyone do a group of sidekicks. My favorite picks would be Pascal, Olaf, Mushu, Genie, and Pua!

Not only are these variations going to stand out from the rest of the Halloween crowd, but they are also sure to be recognized by everyone since they are still cult favorites.

While the ideas I suggested would be fun to recreate, they are just a few examples of the unique spins you can put on well-known costumes. Between makeup, costumes, props, shoes, and jewelry, the possibilities are endless!

Whether concept costumes or mixing up trends is more your style, there are limitless opportunities for creating a unique Halloween costume. Individual, paired, and group costumes can all be customized using these two techniques, allowing you to show up to your Halloween function looking and feeling like your absolute coolest, most fun, unique self.

I hope everyone is having fun jumping into Halloween festivities and brainstorming this year’s costume. Whatever your plans are for Halloween, remember to have fun but make safe choices. As always, thank you for reading if you’ve made it this far. Until next time, besties.

Gabrielle Takacs is a writer at the Her Campus at USFSP chapter. Her main interests lie in the Wellness and Lifestyle categories but she is thrilled to add her perspective to a wide variety of topics. She is most excited to explore politics, pop culture, and beauty as future article subjects. Beyond Her Campus, Gabby is a dedicated biological health sciences student minoring in nutrition. She hopes to earn her DNP and work in obstetrics at a hospital. Despite being a STEM major, Gabby has had a lifelong passion for writing and literature. She hopes to become a published author with projects including novels and a series of children's books. In her free time, Gabby loves fitness, painting, and spending time with her 2-year-old godson. She is also a huge movie buff and is always down for concerts or relaxing at the beach.