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13 Cheap and Trendy Halloween Costumes for 2016

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MORE COSTUME, LESS COST

Every year Halloween creeps up and scares thousands into last-minute, costly costume choices. But with just a little planning, you can come up with a timely and affordable Halloween costume. These pop culture icons from the past year, real or imagined, can be easily and cheaply replicated.

Related: 24 Frightfully Fun Halloween Events Across the Country

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ZOMBIES

"The Walking Dead" and the popularity of the companion series "Fear the Walking Dead" make this a good year to resurrect an old zombie costume -- or ask someone who once dressed as a zombie to loan a severed limb or two. Alternatively, make a costume with old clothing and ghastly makeup.

Related: 10 Halloween Face Paints to Make at Home

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PIKACHU

Personify the sought-after Pokémon with a cheap yellow hoodie. Blacken the tips of yellow ears cut from felt and attach them to the sweatshirt. Use fabric markers to draw eyes, a mouth, and cheeks on the hood, or simply draw red circles on your face with lipstick.

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DONALD TRUMP

All that's needed to dress as the Republican presidential candidate is a suit, a tie, and a cheap comb-over wig (starting at about $10) or a red "Make America Great Again" cap (starting at about $7).

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HILLARY CLINTON

To impersonate the Democratic presidential candidate, wear a pantsuit and style your hair or a blonde wig into a bob parted on the side. There are Hillary Clinton masks, but supporters can save money by opting for a campaign button instead ($5 for two).

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BILL CLINTON

Going as a couple? Create a companion costume for the former president and prospective "first gentleman." The formula: a business suit plus baby powder to turn hair white, along with one of the Hillary buttons.

Emoji ghost and emoji poop Halloween costumes
Emoji ghost and emoji poop Halloween costumes by Becky Stern (CC BY-SA)
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MICHAEL PHELPS

Men willing to bare (almost) all can don a Speedo swimsuit to pay tribute to the most decorated Olympian in history. A 24-pack of fake gold medals ($5 on Amazon) leaves only one to spare. Use purple makeup to create the distinctive marks from the swimmer's cupping therapy.

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THE FINAL FIVE

Sticking with the Olympic theme, get a group together to become the USA women's gymnastics team, aka "The Final Five." Purchase a pack of fake medals and sport matching leotards or track suits. Wear "stage" makeup, put hair in a ponytail or bun, and apply some patriotic glitter.

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HARLEY QUINN

A DIY Harley Quinn from the movie "Suicide Squad" requires a black miniskirt, a white-and-red baseball tee, and mismatched thigh-high socks. Put hair into pigtails, then apply heavy black makeup to one eye and create a diamond shape around the other with black liner (instructions on YouTube). Consider dyeing the bottom of each pigtail (one red, the other blue) with Kool-Aid or wash-out color. Finish the look with a black ribbon choker.

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THE JOKER

To become the "Suicide Squad" villain, start with black pants, black shoes, and a maroon or purple button-down shirt from a thrift store. Wear the shirt open, and use face paint to create fake tattoos on the chest. Apply white face paint, then add some dark eyeliner and red lipstick. Try green hair dye for authenticity.

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HASHTAG

Become a trending topic with two cardboard hashtag cutouts painted black, a glue gun, and felt to attach the cutouts so they drape over your shoulders. Wear a contrasting color underneath, so the hashtags stand out, and carry your phone as a visual aid.

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FINN

Dressing as Finn from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" begins with black pants, a black T-shirt, and gray or dark shoes. Wear a tan jacket if you have one, or head to the thrift store. Wear the jacket open, and apply red electrical tape to create the design of the jacket from the film. Add a squirt gun for fun.

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NETFLIX AND CHILL

It's a costume for the online generation: Throw on black lounge pants, slippers, and an oversize red sweatshirt with the Netflix logo pinned to the front. Or, put together a seductive ensemble in white or pale blue with "Chill" written on the front, and finish off the look with frosty makeup. Pair up with someone to play the other part.