Cheap and Trendy Halloween Costumes

20 Cheap and Trendy Halloween Costumes for 2017

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Cheap and Trendy Halloween Costumes


Unprepared for Halloween again? Don't fret. Avoid slogging through picked-over stores or splurging on pricey, pre-packaged costumes by using a little ingenuity. There are many easy DIY costumes to make that won't break the bank, often only requiring makeup and/or common clothing items. Drawing from pop culture, folklore, modern technology and topical events, here are 20 costume suggestions to bust out this Halloween.

DSC_2418 by mjtaylor110 (CC BY-NC-ND)


Zombies have been a staple of horror for decades, and to be one only requires some old clothes which can be wrecked with scissors and fake blood and a little ghoulish makeup. Wear white or pale green face paint to create a deathly pallor, dark eyeshadow around the eyes, and some fake blood around the mouth to suggest a recently-enjoyed brain amuse bouche.

clowns killers Halloween 2014
clowns killers Halloween 2014 by Gaudencio Garcinuño (CC BY-SA)


Clowns are back in the spotlight with "It" and the latest season of "American Horror Story." Bring coulrophobia to Halloween parties this year with a cheap clown suit, a red wig, and face paint. Or, ditch the clown suit for an old suit or dress of your own paired with clown make-up. To get that Pennywise flair, pin red puff balls to a white button-up shirt or dress.

Baywatch by Katzi! (CC BY-NC-ND)


Perhaps most appropriate for costume parties held indoors or in warm weather, a "Baywatch" lifeguard is as simple as finding a red one-piece swimsuit or a red trunks and a jacket. Pair with tennis shoes or flip flops, and maybe that spare life preserver your neighbor has in the garage.

Snapchat dog filter and ref
Snapchat dog filter and ref by Nathan Rupert (CC BY-NC-ND)


There are numerous filters that are easy to replicate with just a little makeup and a single accessory. For the flower crown filter, purchase an existing flower crown or make one using fake flowers, wire, and tape from any crafts store. For the variety of cartoon animals, purchase a headband with ears, then fill in the nose and mouth details with makeup.

Handmaid Costume


The Emmy Award-winning TV series "The Handmaid's Tale," based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, takes place in a dystopian future in which women capable of bearing children are treated like property. A red dress, white bonnet, and tan bag are all that's required to replicate the handmaid look.

"OITNB" Inmate Costume
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Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" remains popular, and a costume is as easy as a pair of beige or orange scrubs. Want to be a specific inmate? Add the character's accessories, such as Alex Vause's glasses and cat-eye eyeliner.

"Stranger Things"' Eleven Costume
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"Stranger Things" is coming back this Halloween, and the character Eleven is an easy, recognizable costume. Find a frilly, pink dress in your closet or from a local thrift store, then add knee socks, and either a shaved head or a blonde wig. Carry an empty box of Eggo waffles for added effect. If Eleven doesn't appeal to you, go for fan-favorite Barb with jeans, a plaid shirt, and a pair of oversized glasses. Spirit Halloween has them for $7.

Creepy Doll Costume
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"Annabelle: Creation" creeped out audiences this year, and the right costume can, too. To mimic Annabelle's ensemble, find a long white dress, tie a red sash around the waist, and replicate her makeup with rosy cheeks, red lipstick, and black eyeliner.

Vampire Slayer Costume
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"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" made its small screen premiere 20 years ago, and it's this milestone that put the cult hit back in the spotlight in 2017. Dressing like the Slayer is as easy as pulling some old '90s clothes out of the closet and getting a wooden garden stake from a local home improvement store.

Power Man aka Luke Cage
Power Man aka Luke Cage by Nathan Rupert (CC BY-NC-ND)


Even for those who lack actor Mike Colter's muscles, his "Luke Cage" costume is an easy one to replicate. Cut bullet holes into an old, grey hoodie and wear it with jeans and tennis shoes.

Jessica Jones Costume
Abel Tumik/shutterstock


Faded jeans, a grey scarf, and a black jacket with black boots are all it takes to become snarky private detective/superheroine Jessica Jones from the TV show of the same name. Cut the fingers off a pair of cheap black gloves and carry around an empty bottle of whiskey for added effect.

Lorde Costume
Sergiy Kuzmin/shutterstock


Have a pair of grey sweatpants and tennis shoes? Just wrap the upper half of your body in aluminum foil and you've replicated the pop star's Lorde's look at the MTV VMAs. Feeling particularly ambitious? Tuck some white tulle into your pants underneath the foil.

Backpack Kid Costume


Backpack Kid (aka teen Russell Horning) appeared during Katy Perry's "SNL" performance back in May, and also showed up in her music video for "Swish Swish." Wear black pants, a grey T-shirt, and a backpack. To finish the look, just stick out your arms and swing them back and forth.

Jigsaw Costume
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What's trendy about the villain from a movie that came out years ago? Well, they're coming out with an eighth "Saw" movie, "Jigsaw." You can be Jigsaw with just a black suit, red bowtie, black wig and makeup. You should only require thick white clown paint, plus black for around the eyes and red for the lips and the swirls on the cheeks.

"GLOW" Wrestler Costume
Netfalls Remy Musser/shutterstock


A 2017 comedy series about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, "GLOW" presents many costume opportunities. Bedazzle a leotard and wear it over tights with sneakers. Tease your hair and apply '80s-inspired makeup, and be ready to face off in the ring.

Fake News Costume
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Fewer catchphrases entered mainstream consciousness as aggressively as "fake news." There's already a "sexy fake news" costume available for $55 via Yandy. Replicate the look by covering yourself in articles printed out from The Onion or other parody news sites.

"Westworld" Host Costume
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Become a Delos Corp replicant by donning a Wild West ensemble inspired by the HBO version of "Westworld." The Man in Black, William, and Teddy all wear suits with holsters and cowboy hats. If Dolores' blue dress is difficult to find, wear a pale blue button-up, tan slacks, and a holster. A clip-on holster, like this one from Amazon slips onto your existing belt. Just be sure to answer questions with, "That doesn't look like anything to me."

"Westworld" Host Costume


Transform into the POTUS with a cheap, blonde comb-over wig (Amazon has one for $15) plus a suit and tie. If it's warm, wear a white polo shirt and white shorts for his golfing look. Amp up the costume with some some orange foundation or bronzer, too.

Juggalo Costume
Juggalo Costume by thatguygil (CC BY-NC-ND)


Fans of the band Insane Clown Posse are known as Juggalos, who had a moment this year when they marched on Washington D.C. to protest their designation as a gang. Get down with the clown by donning face paint in the style of ICP frontmen Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Need an accessory? Carry a bottle of Faygo soda, the Juggalo drink of choice.

Agent Dale Cooper Costume


After 25 years, David Lynch and Mark Frost's cult drama "Twin Peaks" returned to TV this year. An easy costume from the series is Special Agent Dale Cooper. He wears a black suit and tie with his hair slicked back. Accessorize with an empty coffee mug or a hand-held tape recorder.