How to Choose a Halloween Costume


With Halloween coming up, if you haven't already chosen a costume, it's possible you're stuck for ideas. Never fear, there are plenty of ways to come up with creative, original ideas for a costume and still keep within a budget. Rest assured that this article will help you to pick the perfect Halloween costume for you.


[Edit]Deciding on your Look

  1. Find your own style. Are you sexy? Scary? Funny? Cute? Perky? Angry? Your Halloween costume is a great excuse to project a side of yourself you don't usually get a chance to share if you'd like to "hide" behind something really fun, wacky or scary. Or, the costume could emphasize a side of you that everyone already knows and loves well, such as being zany, cheeky or bright.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 1 Version 3.jpg
    • In finding your own style, think about what you wear on a daily basis and what's comfortable for you. This alone may help you to think of a costume right away. For example, do you usually wear cute skirts? A dress? Jeans? Can these be paired with something a little more exciting to form a costume, such as sticking a cloak over the top of jeans or a witch's hat on top of a dress?
  2. Think of the colors you normally wear. If you wear black, you probably wouldn't want to be a fairy, although a dark fairy could be a good option. If you like bright colors, think of pumpkins, elves, fairies, ghosts, rainbows and similar costumes. If you like darker colors, think goth, vampires, skeletons, dark wizards, evil geniuses, etc. However, don't be afraid to mix and match, as it's Halloween and anything goes.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 2 Version 3.jpg
  3. Think back to the styles of costumes you wore in previous years. Are they still something you'd like to build off, perhaps turning an existing old costume into a different costume? You don't have to be something that is exactly like you, but it would make more sense to dress up as someone or something that reflects your personality.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 3 Version 3.jpg
  4. Think of your interests. What do you like to do? Make a list of the things you enjoy, be it sport, cosplay, cooking, playing games, dressing up, reading, etc. For example, if you like soccer, be a famous soccer player; if you're into a certain TV show, dress up as one of the characters you like most; if you like animals or food, dress up as your favorite pet or dessert. Match the list of options to the items you have available and be creative.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 4 Version 3.jpg

[Edit]Setting your Budget

  1. Decide on a budget. Halloween costumes can range from cheap to very expensive, so it's important to have an idea on what you'd like to spend. When choosing, always check to see what's included in the costume, as some costumes will be better deals than others when add-ons are accounted for.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • A costume containing, for example, a shirt, pants, hat, wig, and belt is a good deal if you get the lot for a single price. On the other hand, a single dress or costume item could cost the same amount as that deal, so you would need to balance up whether or not it's worth it to you and fits within your budget.
    • Generally, it's recommended that you be willing to spend around $20-$40 on your costume, as most decent costumes are within that price range.
  2. Look for sales. Stores have sales all the time for Halloween costumes, especially if it's very close to Halloween. Be sure to check the TV, internet, and newspaper ads for upcoming sales on Halloween costumes. By checking the sales, you could get a great costume for a small price. If there are no sales, try using coupons and gift cards, if you have any.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 6 Version 3.jpg

[Edit]Planning Ahead

  1. Keep time in mind. Are you planning on making your Halloween costume? Make sure that you have enough time. You'll need an idea, first of all, so start thinking about a month before and try to allow yourself at least two weeks ahead to make and adjust the costume if you're making your own. Although it seems early, thinking ahead gives you the space to make something that fits well and gives you the chance to run down and buy more fabric or items if needed.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 7 Version 2.jpg
  2. Avoid last-minute decisions. Try not to buy costumes at the last minute as this will often mean the best costumes are already taken and out of what is left, they may not be in your size or to your liking. However, if you do manage leave the costume until late, read How to make a last minute Halloween costume to remedy things fast.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 8 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Considering Other Factors

  1. Check the weather. It's important to be prepared to go out in any sort of weather, be it rain, hail or shine. Have a raincoat, poncho and rain boots option that can be thrown over your costume if needed.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 9 Version 3.jpg
    • Check the weather beforehand, both in the days leading up to Halloween, and on the day itself. This will help you make the right choices about what to wear and whether you can get away with not wearing an overcoat and tights or an umbrella.
    • If it's hot, don't wear thick leggings, a jacket, or a heavy costume. Avoid layers, and wear something fairly thin. Lighter colors are better than darker ones. Try putting your hair in a ponytail so you won't get extra hot. However, if you need to wear layers (if your outfit is inappropriate), just find another costume.
    • If it's cold, bundle up. Wear a coat, and wear a shirt under your costume so you won't be chilly. Try wearing boots as well.

[Edit]Group Costumes

  1. Consider a group costume. If you're trick-or-treating with some friends, one cool way to wriggle out of being original is to have matching costumes. This can be hilarious for onlookers who see a bunch of the same characters or similar ones coming to their door for trick-or-treating.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Either choose the same costumes or stick to a theme, such as Sesame Street characters. Consult your friends first to agree upon an idea that everyone likes.
    • Sometimes there are online sales for costumes that include three or four similar costumes.

[Edit]Costume Ideas

  1. Be inspired in your costume idea from other people's picks. Still stuck on costume ideas? Here are a few suggestions that you may like.
    Choose a Halloween Costume Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Classicswitch, ghost, Frankenstein, mummy, angel, fairy, mermaid, werewolf, Vampire, princess, devil, pirate.
    • Sesame Street – Oscar, Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, etc.
    • Crayons – Blue, purple, red, green, yellow, orange, or make up a shade of your own.
    • Harry Potter – Harry, Hermione, Ron, Snape, Voldemort, Dumbledore, etc.
    • Spongebob Squarepants – Spongebob, Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs, Plankton.
    • Vampire series – Bella, Edward, Jacob, etc.
    • Food – Banana, pickle, hot dog, ketchup, ice cream cone, etc.
    • Animals - Cat, dog, horse, giraffe, kangaroo, mouse , etc.
    • Fantasy animals - Unicorn, My Little Pony, dragon, Bigfoot, griffin, etc.
    • Other – Albert Einstein, a hobo, a nerd, cheerleader, ladybug, bumblebee.
    • Overseas – Costumes from other cultures or areas.


  • Make sure the costume is comfortable. You'll be trick or treating/going to a party in it, so make sure you are able to walk around in it.
  • Don't be afraid to start early! There's nothing wrong with thinking of a costume in September.
  • Halloween costumes do not usually come with shoes, socks, and tights, so you'll have to find your own for these items.
  • Add on to your costume, like wearing a candy corn bracelet if you are a candy corn witch.
  • If your boyfriend/girlfriend is willing, coordinating your costumes can be a fun option. You can match (for example, both being pirates, vampires, and so on), or you can contrast (for example, an angel and a devil, or other opposites).
  • Make sure to check what the weather is going to be like on the night of Halloween.
  • Be age appropriate where necessary. If you're dressing young children, it's not recommended to dress them in looks that are too adult in nature. Instead, encourage them to choose costumes of personal interest related to their age group. And if you're responsible for shepherding young children around for Halloween night, tone down any overly sexy costume until they're tucked into bed for the night. Cover any low cuts in shirts and dresses with a t-shirt underneath and have appropriate lengths for the shorts/skirt/dress. If the clothing item is short, wear leggings or tights under it; adding these may also improve the outfit's appearance and warmth.
  • Be something that no one would think of if possible; at the very least, don't do what your friends are doing just because you can't think of something else. Above are just some of the many ideas you can use.
  • If you're a child and your parents say "no" to a costume because of the price, suggest that you pay half of it; you'll be more likely to get it.
  • Go over things you already own and find your favourite ideas to find what works best for you.


  • Avoid costumes that may be offensive or offend other peoples' race and/or ethnicity.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Costume items

[Edit]Related wikiHows

Older Post Newer Post