Remember when Halloween was all about staying up late, scoring free candy, gorging yourself repeatedly, navigating the splendid bazaar of back alley trades on the school yard and planning your totally sweet surf ninja costume a full two months in advance of the holiday?
Innocent youth has passed, and if you're sitting in your apartment with a vague map of plans for the evening, not knowing what to wear, with little to no money in your pocket and an overwhelming desire to rekindle your great love affair with the tricksters holiday, our Halloween costume guide is the treat you're looking for.
Just because you're probably going to get wasted on cheap, green drinks and do regretful, last-minute, hilarious, very adult things this Saturday, doesn't mean you have to leave the childhood glee of dressing-up behind.
LA.com has put together ten foolproof costumes that can be ready to go off the cuff for very little cash on Halloween night. Most of these things can be found in any all-night grocery or drug store so there's no excuse for not dressing up.
FOR THE LADIES
You Need: Pencil skirt, white button-up shirt, double-sided tape, paper, glasses, ruler - total time: 15 minutes
Most ladies have a tight pencil skirt in their repertoire and if they don't this is the perfect time to get one. Just pair the white shirt with the skirt and make a little name tag that reads, "LIBRARIAN" to be tapped onto a booby of your choice. Throw your hair in a tight bun, slap on some bright red lipstick, heels and reading glasses and wield your wooden ruler into the night.
You Need: A ton of bronzer, blonde wig, some type of trashy outfit - total time: 15 minutes
Remember her? She's the New Jersey mother that was arrested earlier in the year for allegedly taking her 5-year-old into a tanning booth. Since then, Patricia Krentcil – also known as “Tanning Mom” – has been all over TV and the Internet for her oompa loompa like appearance. All you'll need for this outrageous costume is a blond wig, enough spray tan to paint a small army of Snooki clones, and a “winning” personality that would put even Charlie Sheen to shame.
FOR THE FELLAS
You Need: A navy blue suit, red tie, salt and pepper wig, a nice big smile - total time: 20 minutes
Since it is an election season, the incumbent's challenger is usually a Halloween costume homerun. After all, is there anyone under the legal voting age that doesn't know who Mitt Romney is? Hmm… disregard that last question. Moving on, most presidential candidates are pretty easy to pull off, and Governor Romney is no different. Any dusty old suit you've got hanging up in your closet will do, and a little bit of gray and black dye is all you'll need for his hair. Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, is also a decent costume choice. But then you run the risk of having to explain to people who you're going as. When it comes to the Halloween crowd, vice presidential candidates just don't get any love – unless their name is Sarah Palin.
The Gangnam Style Guy (Psy)
You Need: Neon green tuxedo jacket, a really cool pair of black shades, pair of saddles shoes, and some ridiculously awesome dance moves - total time: 10 minutes
His video has over 350 million views on YouTube, celebrities as big as Tom Cruise have tweeted about him, and Saturday Night Live recently did a hilarious parody of him. His name is Psy, of course, and he's the Korean Pop Star that made “Gangnam Style” a household name. You can probably find the entire costume at a thrift store and end up paying less than $10. If you really want to go all out, though, bring you're iPod along to parties – especially ones with alcohol. Psy may know how to dance, but his moves may be hard to replicate when sober.
You Need: You know damn well what you need - total time: 10 minutes
A single trip to the Goodwill or Salvation Army will get the job done on this costume, probably for under $20. Take it one step further by picking an 80's icon to emulate like Judd Nelson, Ducky from Sixteen Candles or AC Slater from Saved by the Bell.
Tin Foil Robot
You Need: Tin Foil, tape - total time: 15 minutes (with help)
Tin foil is probably the most versatile of all last-minute costume supplies. It can be molded to most any shape and hold that shape for a while without crumbling apart or ripping if you get a heavy grade version. Grab a friend and cover yourself in the crinkly, silver stuff, creating an antenna at the crown of the head. Draw on knobs and buttons with sharpie pens for a more authentic effect.
Toilet Paper Mummy
You Need: Toilet paper, tape - total time: 15 minutes (with help)
This is an oldie but goodie. The toilet paper mummy has been the go-to costume of lazy college students for quite some time and ranks right up there with the bed sheet toga robe for ease of creation, wearability and, more importantly, removeability.
Clint Eastwood and His Chair
You Need: A ruffled suit, messy gray wig, cheap foldout chair – total time: 20 minutes
In late August Clint Eastwood gave a rambling, somewhat incoherent speech at the Republican National Convention. The Hollywood icon brought an empty chair on stage that was supposed to have President Obama in it. Give the guy a break – he's 82. Of course, the President never showed up and Eastwood spent the next 10 minutes talking to the chair. This costume may be a bit cumbersome, given the fact that you'll have to lug around a chair all night. So if you make one out cardboard, no one should mind. Just be sure to have an ongoing conversation with the imaginary President. Otherwise people will just think you're the weird with the empty chair.
You Might Be A Redneck If...
You Need: T-Shirt, denim shorts, blush - total time: 10 minutes
First off, the t-shirt should preferably feature an American flag or a band like Bon Jovi but make sure you're not too attached to it. In classic redneck fashion the sleeves will need to be jettisoned as well a good three inches off the shorts. Take the blush and run it along the back side of your neck. Put a Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand and allow a Parliament to dangle from your lips and you are officially done.
ADDITIONAL COSTUME AWESOMENESS
Western Costume Company :: It's the oldest and largest costume company in the United States and there's one in North Hollywood. You can take the red line! more...
Halloween Town :: Burbank's year-round solution to all your costume needs, come Halloween or high water. more...
Sherman Oaks Antique Mall :: A little spotty, but will have real-life, vintage threads for last-minute purchase. more...
Halloween Costume and Vintage Sale Fundraiser :: This Long Beach event will not only put Halloween threads on your back, it'll put some coin in the AIDS Foundation box. A serious win-win. more...
Encore Costume Boutique :: This one's in Fullerton (hey, you said you were desperate!). Good threads can be had if you can get there and to your party in time. more...