Tricks for last-minute Halloween costumes

10/31/2013 9:57 AM

10/31/2013 9:57 AM

Halloween is only as happy as you make it.

Me? I pull out all of my tricks and treats at the last minute. For good reason, too. If I buy my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Butterfingers any sooner, I’ll eat them up before a single kid rings the bell.

And when it comes to costumes, I don’t always go for the popular Pinterest picks, like this year’s “Breaking Bad” characters, Miley Cyrus, Minions and the fox (of “What Does the Fox Say?” fame). I’m thinking more along the lines of MTV’s

Daria or “Wreck-It Ralph’s” Vanellope Von Schweetz.

Here’s why: I own a few things in my closet — like a skirt, a hoody, a green blazer and boots — that make those costumes doable. And that’s the key to last-minute costumes: convenience.

Over the last few years I’ve been “Cosby” kid Denise Huxtable (curly hair, plaid shirt, sneakers), a Camp Crystal Lake counselor from “Friday the 13th” (iron-on letters are your friend), the Morton Salt girl (yellow jacket and umbrella), Mickey Mouse (mouse ears and white gloves) and the late, great Aaliyah (sagging jeans, Tommy Hilfiger boxers, crop top and a side-swept bang). Come to think of it, that Aaliyah costume can easily become a TLC Left Eye look with a change of hair and brighter colors. See? My inspiration is equal parts fun and easy.

If you still don’t know what to wear, I’m here to help. But always remember, just say no to black face and racial stereotypes, a la Julianne Hough going all extreme spray tan to look like Crazy Eyes from “Orange Is the New Black.” If you can’t achieve the look with styling, go another direction. You want to paint your face that bad? Be a zombie. That’s as easy as tattered clothes and bad make-up. No one will be offended.

Now, about these quick costumes:

Olivia Pope: The leading lady of “Scandal” is quickly becoming a fashion icon, and lucky for us fans, she has a signature look. Olivia Pope is all about tailored, feminine looks, and she leans toward a lot of white. Find a white trench coat, peacoat or even a track jacket (if you’re really committed, hers comes from Lululemon, and don’t forget your white earbuds if you go for her jogging look). After that, all you need to do is make sure your hair is perfectly coiffed. Kansas City’s own Janelle Monae

is also all about the hair. Put on a tux or even black pants with a white shirt and puff that pompadour, baby. People will know who you are.

Brawny Guy: Bryan Greenberg, known for his role on HBOs “How to Make It in America,” made Halloween so much easier for everyone by pulling out a red plaid shirt and a roll of Brawny paper towels. Honestly, fellas, you can do the same thing with Mr. Clean. Buy a white tee and a small gold hoop earring and paint your brows white. Or you could take a page out of my husband’s book. He keeps a hockey mask on standby. That, coupled with a heavy dark coat, makes you Jason Voorhees

.

Selfie:

Not many people could pull off looking like Beyoncé for Halloween, but we can take a page out of her costume book. She took selfies to another level when she posted a picture of herself holding what looks like a giant Instagram frame. You need poster board and precision cutting skills. You just have to figure out if you’re going to walk around holding it in front of your face or come up with a crafty way to glue it to your shirt. With some customizing, you can move beyond an Instagram frame and create a Twitter profile or a YouTube video.

Miley Cyrus:

Celebrities from Paris Hilton to Joan Rivers have made Miley and her MTV moment their costume of choice. You may not have time to score one of those teddy bear onesies. And you might not want to wear a flesh-tone bra and panties in public. Enter Hugh Hefner’s wife, Crystal Harris. She committed to Miley’s hairstyle and the stark red lips but chose a tan slip-dress and foam finger to drive the look home. Don’t forget to stick your tongue way out. It works.

Andy Reid: The Chiefs are having a victorious season, so why shouldn’t we celebrate by paying homage to Coach Andy Reid? Earlier this week Olathe fans B.J. and Jodi Leeper dressed their baby up in a Chiefs cap, pullover, glasses and fake mustache. The costume was so awesome the picture soon went viral. If you’re just too lazy, throw on a Chiefs jersey and a helmet for an easy Halloween touchdown.

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