Halloween is a day with a different definition for everyone. There’s the person who absolutely hates the holiday and the scary ghouls that come along with it. Next, you have the person who moderately tolerates it but decides to stay home to “hand out candy to the kids” but in reality will eat said candy while enjoying old Disney Channel Halloween movies. Finally, you have the person who goes all out for Halloween. Whether you fit into any of these categories or you just need some costume inspiration but your wallet is slacking, no worries.

For the Halloween lover on a budget, look no further than your closet. Digging into my own closet, I was able to come up with three costumes made up of staple pieces from my closet. If you don’t have the exact piece, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something similar in your own closet.

Costume One: An American In Paris


Sweater + Skirt: Forever 21, Flats: Boohoo.com, Bread from BJ’s

You’re probably thinking “Michaela what even is this costume?” but hear me out! The Parisian stereotype of high neck sweaters, berets, neck scarves, and a baguette in hand is somewhat embodied in this costume. As an American in Paris and not a Parisian in Paris though, you’re going to fail at emulating that stereotype. In fact, I broke it so hard that I substituted a baguette for a loaf of whole wheat bread (gotta stay health conscious people). Granted, if you don’t want people questioning why you’re holding a loaf of bread all night, just hit up your local thrift store and try to find a beret. If you don’t like answering the same question over and over again, this costume probably isn’t for you.

Costume Two: Where’s Waldo?


Sweater: Shein.com, Jeans: Forever 21, Slip On Sneakers: Vans

Everybody’s favorite hidden guy! This costume is really a no brainer. If you don’t wear prescription glasses like myself, I would recommend finding an old pair of big sunglasses you no longer wear and punching out the shades. Glasses or no glasses, people are bound to know who you are already just from your sweater alone. A simple pair of jeans and any pair of basic sneakers and you’re good to go! Just remember to go AWOL a bunch of times during the night to remind your friends just what being Waldo is all about.

Costume Three: Rosie the Riveter


Denim Top + Jeans: Topshop, Boots: Doc Martens, Bandana: C/O Joy Taylor

An American icon, Rosie the Riveter embodies the idea that women are capable of doing a man’s job. A simple denim on denim ensemble plus some combat boots and you’re ready to get down to the nitty gritty at the factory. Bandanas can be purchased at any craft store usually for $1. Honestly, why wouldn’t you choose this costume? Beyonce was also Rosie the Riveter for Halloween one year. You’d be one step closer to Queen B. Is that not everyone’s goal?! But aside from that, make sure to spread the message that yes, we CAN do it.

Now that you’ve seen these DIY costumes, put down the cat ears you’ve been wearing for the last 3 years and put your own twist on these for Halloween. A huge thank you to my friend Joy Taylor for photographing me and lending me her bandana without which the beloved Rosie the Riveter costume would have been incomplete. Have a great day and stay inspired!