Need an easy Halloween costume? Never fear.
We scoured 10 months’ worth of headlines and selected the choicest (and easiest) possibilities. All you have to do is scrounge up supplies. Raid your closet. Or your parents’ attic. Or head to a thrift store.
We guarantee any one of these will be get folks talking.
By virtue of being set in the early 1980s, this hit Netflix series is a gold mine for cheap, easy costumes. To be any of the boys, throw on brown corduroys, a T-shirt with any summer camp, old video game or decade-appropriate cartoon reference. The boys’ characters wear plain blue or brown jackets or plain zippered hoodies. Dustin favors a mesh-backed ball cap. Or, go as Eleven in a pink, knee-length, collared dress and a shoulder-length blond wig. Don’t forget the Converse and ringed knee-socks.
Pay tribute to a legend (we lost him in January) who has a wide variety of looks to choose from. For the instantly recognizable, try a spikey, duck-tailed orange wig and paint a red lightning bolt with a blue accent stripe across your right eye and cheek — or go with a black eye patch instead. For clothing, think very tight and very bright, possibly stripes.
Still reeling from the loss of Bowie, the world then rained purple tears in April. Focus on the hair. Early Prince typically rocked big, black curls. In later years we saw an afro. You’ll want to fill in your eyebrows with a black eyebrow pencil and plenty of black eyeliner. Go with a ruffle-front, wide-sleeved blouse. Pair with extremely tight, colorful, belled slacks.
For a few weeks in August, Royals fans were gripped with mantis fever. After the insect showed up in the dugout one night, the Royals went on to amass a 14-3 record. If you didn’t get one of the T-shirts emblazoned with the mantis, you can buy a stuffed or plastic version, stick it on a ball cap turned inside out — rally style.
Bill Clinton, balloon-lover
No one will ever unravel the mystery of Bill’s delight at the deluge of balloons at the Democratic National Convention, but it makes for a simple costume. Dark suit, white shirt, red tie, lapel pin (an H or a flag will do), and yes, a balloon — red, white or blue.
The challenge: hold an expression of childish wonder all evening.
A few months back, a Washington state dad became a viral sensation after imitating his daughter’s selfies rather than telling her to cut it out with the pouty sex-kitten business. Try a white tank, black choker and laurel wreath around your head. Don’t forget to do the fish-lips while raising your eyebrows in a pleading/confused manner. A selfie-stick helps.
Who knew America needed Ken Bone so much? Bone became a sensation after his red-sweatered self asked a question about energy policies at the second presidential debate, held in St. Louis at Washington University. His Twitter (@kenbone18) followers went from seven to 250,000 and counting. To be Mr. Bone, also a great Halloween name, put on a zippered red cable-knit sweater, khakis, mustache and black rectangular glasses. Don’t forget the name tag that says Ken Bone.
You knew we’d get there. And you probably also knew we’d say to get yourself a nice, red pantsuit. Don’t want predictable? Wear a blue pantsuit. Or how about a white one? Black?
You know the drill: an orangy, cotton candy-textured wig is a must. If local stores have sold out, try Amazon, but do it soon. You can also get a red “Make America Great Again” ball cap. If you dare, rub some Cheeto dust on your face, avoiding the skin around your eyes for a raccoony look.
Pokemon, trainer or creature
Whether or not you’re still playing Pokemon Go, it was still a zeitgeist app.
Pikachu is the most recognizable and famous species, and you should need only the most basic items to become one. Find some rabbit ears, paint them canary yellow, then paint the last 3 inches black, ending in a slant to the outside of the ears. Apply a dark pink blush in a 2-inch circle on each cheek. Dot the tip of your nose black with eyeliner or marker. Beyond this, add canary yellow clothing at will — if you can find a yellow shirt and pants, go for it. Even better: make a yellow tail and pin it to your pants.
To be a Pokemon trainer, grab a couple of white ping-pong balls. Decorate them like Pokeballs: half red, half white, the colors divided by a black line. For clothing, there are three teams: Mystic (blue); Instinct (yellow); and Valor (red). Bunker in Westport has team shirts, but you can just dress in team colors and perhaps spike your hair in a nod to anime. Don’t forget to carry your cellphone — and never take your eyes off it.
We had our heroines in Rio: the Final Five team of Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian. Just pull your hair back into a tight bun and lather on the sparkly eye makeup. If you have short hair, let it poof. Leotard and leggings would work, or a patriotic warmup suit. Just don’t forget to wear a gold medallion (or more) around your neck.
And unfortunately, we also had Ryan Lochte. The winning swimmer shamefully lied about being robbed at gunpoint. Just color your hair platinum blond, wear a tracksuit, hang a few medals around your neck and carry a water gun.
She was the star of “Suicide Squad,” which has earned $742 million so far at the box office. You’ll want pigtails high on each side of your head, one dyed blue, the other red. Write “Daddy’s Lil Monster” in cursive on a white T-shirt. Big red lips. Baseball bat. And be sure to work the word “Puddin’ ” in every chance you get, like “Hi Puddin’! Miss me?”
Contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org or @annekniggendorf