Top List Thursday: Easy, cool costumes for Halloween

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South Africa isn’t really big into celebrating Halloween. The little pocket of decorations and goods in-store is already dwarfed by the Christmas spread. However, we do love a good party, and Halloween is a great opportunity to dress up and let loose.

But what if you’ve been invited to an event and you don’t have the mad cosplay skills of our very own Ghostbusting-Bat-Freddy Darryn? Or what if you don’t have the cash of, well, anyone at The Movies, to hire an outfit? Or what if you’re just The Dude-level lazy?

Here are some fun movie- and TV-related costume options you should be able to cobble together with minimal effort. Please note that this list could be far bigger, but as it’s Halloween we’re sticking to horror and sci-fi fare for suitability. Also, don’t forget you can gender switch any options listed here.

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SUIT UP

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  • Shaun of the Dead

Costume: black lace-up shoes, black trousers, black belt, white short-sleeve button-up shirt, red tie (ideally striped).

Accessories: cricket bat, name tag (downloadable here).

Extra notes: Use a paint brush to flick dark red paint, fake blood or red food colouring (with a drop of green mixed in) onto your shirt to ensure you have “a little red on you”.

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  • Men in Black

Costume: black suit, black tie, white button-up shirt.

Accessories: sunglasses, laser pointer, toy gun/pump-action super soaker (best if spray-painted silver).

Extra notes: This same outfit can be used for Pulp Fiction‘s Vincent and Jules. Simply lose the sunglasses and swap out the fake-looking gun for something a bit more realistic. Add a cheeseburger and/or blood splatter as desired.

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  • Kingsman

Costume: black lace-up shoes, pinstripe suit in any colour, tie,  button-up shirt, pocket handkerchief square.

Accessories: large hook-handled umbrella, black thick-frame glasses (in a pinch, use Nu Metro’s 3D glasses).

Extra notes: The sophisticated, suited gentleman look also applies to James Bond, Archer and Mad Men‘s Don Draper. Lose the glasses in all cases and swap out the umbrella for a pistol, or cigarette and glass of whiskey.

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FOR THE LADIES (AND SO-INCLINED GENTS)

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  • Stepford Wives

Costume: pretty floral dress (short, retro style ideal), heels, perfectly groomed hair/wig.

Accessories: delicate feminine jewellery. Less is more.

Extra notes: A truly effective Stepford Wives look involves a bit of acting. It’s important to stay in character throughout the party. Keep a huge smile plastered to your face, move with eerie precision and behave like the perfect 1950s housewife hosting a party.

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  • Penny Dreadful

Costume: hospital gown or nightie.

Accessories: none.

Extra notes: The trick here is to look as rough as possible. Dirty up the nightie and yourself to capture Vanessa Ives at her most distressed. Muss up your hair, ring your eyes with dark make-up and remove all healthy colour from your face and lips. This look also works for The Ring and The Grudge – simply brush your hair (or wig) over your face, and use body make-up to paint all exposed skin bone-white.

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BUDGET SUPERHEROES

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  • Daredevil (Version 1.0)

Costume: lace-up black boots, black jeans or cargo pants, black long-sleeve top (a neoprene undershirt for grappling/rugby is perfect), elbow pads, gloves and bandanna.

Accessories: a pair of wooden sticks (broomstick thickness; forearm length).

Extra notes: It’s Daredevil, so apply face paint to simulate a split lip and bruises. Also, the more unshaven you are, the better. Meanwhile, for Luke Cage, just wear jeans and a tight T-shirt, with multiple bullet-sized holes punched through the latter.

  • Jessica Jones

Costume: calf-height boots, skinny jeans, leather jacket, grey t-shirt, snood scarf, fingerless black gloves.

Accessories: Your choice of camera, cellphone or bottle of whiskey.

Extra notes: Jessica wears several different outfits throughout the series, including a hoodie beneath her jacket. The jeans, jacket and gloves combo are signature whatever you choose.

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GROUP EFFORT

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  • The Walking Dead

Costume: Unless you’re trying to look like specific characters (Rick, Daryl, Michonne etc.), anything goes wardrobe-wise. Just make it look worn and grubby. Clothing in earthy tones is best.

Accessories: Anything you can “weaponise,” from guns and bats to knives, swords and hammers.

Extra notes: Dirty, ungroomed and ragged are keywords here. The Post-Apocalyptic Survivor look also applies to The Road and assorted other movies; even Mad Max at a push, if you have leather biking gear.

Last Updated: October 27, 2016

Noelle Adams

Sometime Tomb Raider. Full-time Pop Culture fanatic and Geekaissance Woman. Most often spotted outputting Pop Culture opinion pieces, writing fanfic and original genre fare, cosplaying and bringing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu smackdown. Editor of the Comics and Toys section.

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