Scary Clown & Evil Ringmaster
Clown: Colorful wig, face paint (white base, exaggerated red lips, red nose, black around your eyes), colorful outfit, large shoes. Bonus: Add fake blood and pointy finger nails with black nail polish.
Evil Ringmaster: Tall black boots, black or tan pants (for him) or tights and hotpants (for her), white button-down shirt, red vest, top hat, whip. Paint your face the same as the clown face, but all in black.
Pirate & Prisoner
Pirate: Slouchy boots, billowy pants or black leggings, billowy button-down shirt, fitted vest, eye-patch, red bandana around your head, and a wide-brimmed triangular or boat-shaped hat with a skull and crossbones on the front. Bonus: Blacken a tooth and carry a sword (plastic or made from cardboard and tin foil).
Prisoner: Black boots, dark billowy pants, striped nautical shirt (preferably ripped and smudged with dirt), dirty face, wild, messy hair, bandana around the neck. Bonus: Fake anchor tattoo on your arm. Several blackened teeth.
Dead ... Anything
Both: Tennis whites, tennis sneakers, racket, fake blood on your clothes. Pale or white face makeup, and black makeup around your eyes.
For the extra-brave couple.
Her: Bikini, Lucite heels.
Both: Fake blood all over your face and body. Pale or white face makeup, and black makeup around your eyes. Porn: When It Helps & When It Hurts
Him: Black shoes (preferably with a square buckle), white socks pulled up to mid-calf, black pants tucked into the shoes, wide belt with square buckle, white button-down shirt, black vest or jacket buttoned all the way up to the neck, black pilgrim hat.
Her: Black shoes (preferably with a square buckle), black tights, long black skirt, white apron, dark shirt with white collar, white bonnet.
Both: Pale or white face makeup, and black makeup around your eyes.
Cheerleader & Football Player
Cheerleader: Short, pleated skirt, tight logo shirt (optional bare belly), pom-poms, sneakers, hair in a high poly-tail with ribbons that match your outfit.
Football player: Football uniform (helmet, shoulder pads, shiny tights, football jersey).
Both: Pale or white face makeup, and black makeup around your eyes.
Bride & Groom
Bride: White dress, veil, bouquet of dried flowers. Pale or white face make-up, and black makeup around your eyes.
Groom: Tux. Pale or white face makeup, and black makeup around your eyes.
Conceptual & Wordplay
Sharks: Gray hoodie and sweatpants. Glue a stiff felt shark fin on your back, or use felt and a plain, thin headband to make a shark fin headpiece. Spin around uncontrollably and randomly "swim" toward strangers, especially people wearing fake blood. Bonus: Squirt a spray bottle of water.
Friends: Dress head to toe in black clothing. Use the glorious Internet and Photoshop to modify the famous yellow School Zone sign to read "Friend Zone." Print out your masterpiece, glue it on a tongue depressor, and carry it with you as a sign. If someone you're not attracted to approaches you, be sure to wave it around.
iPhone: You're the "call" part of this costume. Find a large box. Punch a hole in the bottom for your head and two holes on each side for your arms. Use the front of the box to recreate an iPhone screen.
Booty: Skanky clubwear, high heels, and a huge Kim Kardashian-esque stuffed booty. Carry your cellphone and "answer it" when the iPhone calls you. (Of course, you could just wear normal clothes and get booty called, but it's Halloween!)
Widow: Black mourning attire — a dress and veil, handkerchief, tights, and shoes. Hold last will and testament and try to talk to husband between sobs.
Husband: Football jersey, NFL hat, soda, and a large bag of potato chips. Ignore your widow and yell about touchdowns, fantasy football, and bad plays.
Friends With Benefits
Friends: Wear a similar top and bottom (like jeans and a black shirt). Legibly write down the multiple benefits you offer as a friend (e.g. paid vacation, health insurance, can assemble Ikea furniture, etc.) on unlined 5"x8" index cards. Use permanent marker to make every word easy to read. Then tape your benefits all over your clothes and link arms with your friend. Ta-da!
Tiffi: Girly Pink dress, pink shoes, red hair bow, pigtails, and lots of pink blush. Carry a bag of candy (red jelly beans, yellow lemon drops, Jolly Ranchers, and purple Flower Sweet Tarts Candy).
Mr. Toffee: Dark jeans, white dress shirt, blue tie, bowler hat, fake mustache, and a red vest (and red jacket, if you have it). Buy a fake monocle, or use a small magnifying glass and chain to make your own.
Channel this year's trendiest treat with an uber-simple costume.
Cup: For a kid-friendly option, wear a plastic cup on a string around your neck, preferably with an all-black outfit as a background. For adults-only option, wear an athletic "cup" over your clothes.
Cake: Wear a Cake (the band) T-shirt or any other T-shirt depicting a birthday, wedding or other type of cake. Bonus: Bring real cupcakes with you to "sweeten" the costume.
Him (Fantasy): A Wizard, which includes a long purple cape (or a dark bedsheet or blanket), a pointy hat and a wand.
Her (Football): A football costume, which can be as simple as a football jersey, or could include a helmet, pads, leggings and gloves.
Alternate: If she wants to go sexy, he can wear the football costume and she can be a "fantasy," which means dressing provocatively—heels, heavy make-up and a teensy skirt/shirt combo. Can An Artist Love A Diehard Football Fan?
Twitter: Cut out 140 letters and pin or tape them to a T-shirt. Be sure to include a hash tag (#).
Facebook: Draw a Facebook wall on a piece of cardboard, and cut out a rectangle where you'll put your Face (and which aligns with the profile picture). Check out this page for inspiration.
iPad & Kindle
iPad: Take a small pad of paper, attach a rubber band to each side, and wear it over one eye, pirate-style. (You can also use a sanitary pad, if you're into that sort of thing.)
Kindle: Take some small pieces of wood (or matches), tie them together and attach to a piece of string that goes around your neck. This is a great last-minute costume.
Day & Night
Day: Yellow or gold face paint, sky blue T-shirt with flying birds painted or drawn on, sunglasses any other sun-related items, eg. headband, jewelry, etc.
Night: Black or dark blue face paint, black or dark blue T-shirt with moon, stars and bat stickers/patches, black pants, black gloves.
Summer & Winter
Summer: Swimwear (over your clothes, if need be), fake sunburn, visor, sunglasses, bright, vivid colors. Summer-related accessories: Bag packed for the beach, towel, surfboard, etc.
Winter: Snowsuit or winter-themed sweater/scarf and vest combo, hat, boots, gloves. Winter accessories: ski poles, snowshoes, etc.
Skin & Bones
Skin: Flesh-colored clothing.
Bones: A skeleton suit.