Style and Styling

Quick Halloween Costumes

From Your Closet!

Happy day, reader dear!

My favorite holiday is coming! Yes, I am a little crazy about Halloween… Not only is it a fun holiday, it’s our wedding anniversary. No costumes at the wedding or breakfast, but for the evening celebration there was a gorilla behind the bar! Enough of my bias… How do you feel about Halloween? Do you dread the holiday costume party invitation? Or embrace it? Since so many adults grimace at the “Wear a Costume” instruction on the invite, I wanted to share last year’s post with some easy and likely-to-be-found-in-your-closet costumes so that you can spend this weekend enjoying yourself, and not in a panic pawing through the costume bin at your local big box store! Let’s dig through your closet and get ready for Trick or Treat. And save you some $$$. And time. And trash.

Cat (or other Beastie)

With all the leopard and other animal prints out there, pop on an Animal Print Top or Bottom, add a Headband with Ears, and draw on a Nose and some quick Whiskers with Eyeliner. If you feel like going big, make a Tail from a leg of a pair of tights stuffed with packing peanuts or bubble wrap. I couldn’t find an old pair of black tights to sacrifice, so my stubby tail here is a pair of knee socks! I added the leftover Christmas ribbon as a Collar. A choker necklace would work, too!

A punny variation on the cat is the Cat Burglar. Wear Black, add Ears and Tail, Black Mask, and a Pillowcase full of lightweight lumpy items. (Empty boxes, balloons, etc,)


Summer’s Little White Dress, White Shirt or Blouse Layered Underneath, White Belt (If you have one!), a Watch, White Shoes (Also if you have them… Ked’s work beautifully.) Borrow a stethoscope if you can. Cut out a Nurse Hat from Posterboard. Bobby pin it in place. If you need a couples costume, this one is great paired with a sailor!


This is the no-brainer default. Black (or dark) Dress. It can be long or short. You can go for a chic witch vibe if you throw on a cocktail dress, or something more traditional if the dress is longer. If your dress is sleeveless and you want sleeves, turn a pair of tights (Spiderweb tights work beautifully!) into sleeves by cutting off the toes and most of the panty… (Like I did with the Morticia costume in this post!) Pale (or greenish) Face, Ratty Hair, If you want to go big, buy a Hat. Finish with Dark Lips and Dark Nails (Any you like: green, purple, blood red, black, wine…)

Rosie the Riveter

Jeans, Denim or Chambray Shirt (Roll the sleeves!), Red Scarf with White Polka Dots (A bandanna works too!), Work Shoes or Boots. Rosie needs Defined Eyebrows and a Bright Red Lip! If you have red socks, that makes it just about perfect…


Jeans, Flannel Shirt, Suspenders, Dark Beanie Hat, Lace-up Boots, Axe. (Fake might be the better choice, here.) I had to substitute a belt for suspenders, because the point was to work with what’s in the closet… I added some nubbly socks for the cool weather vibe. (The chain is a leftover from our Haunted Eye Ball Costumes!) It seemed lumberjane-y to me.

Fortune Teller

Maxi Skirt, Peasant Top or Tee, Bandana or Head Scarf, Hoops (The bigger the better!), Lots of Bangles and/or Rings, Loose Hair over Shoulders, Deck of Tarot Cards, or make a Crystal Ball” from a balloon. Put glitter or confetti in for extra cool factor!


Striped Tee, Cropped Bottom, Sash, Big Gold Hoop Earring(s), Coin Necklace(s), Bandanna Tied around Head, Sword, Knife, or Dagger Tucked into the Sash.

There are myriad ways to do pirate! This is the fortuneteller’s shirt, the cat’s leggings, and my old boots…

If pirate isn’t your thing, here are a few other ideas for that striped tee… (My apologies. No pics of these, but plenty of inspo!)

Gondolier: Striped Tee, Dark Trouser, Dark Shoes, Sash, Flat Brimmed Hat. (You can do Gondolier with a white shirt, too!)

Artiste: Striped Tee, Any Pants, Eyeliner Moustache, Beret, Paintbrush Tucked behind Ear, Paint Palette (Easy to make out of fun foam, or cardboard.)

Waldo: Jeans, Red and White Striped Tee, Hat with a Red Pompom (Striped is perfect!), Round Black Glasses, Tennis Shoes or Boots

If you have found yourself in a last minute costume bind, I hope this helps! (And saves you the indignity of a store bought costume with a plastic mask…) What could or would you make from your closet? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below. I love to hear from you!

Stylishly (and Spookily) Yours,

Many thanks to Nancy at Nancy’s Fashion Style for the link-up party!


  • Laurie

    These are great ideas! We have a book character parade at school on Halloween and our teacher teams are always looking for ideas – I’ll have to remember the pirate idea for next year! Rosie the Riveter would work , too.
    My team is doing a Dr. Seuss theme this year. 🙂 I’ll be pinning your post! Thanks!!!

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for visiting, Laurie! A book character parade sounds fabulous; I love Dr. Seuss! I don’t think I’d like to be the Cat in the Hat, though… I think the girl dog from Go Dog, Go! in her party hat might need to be my choice!

  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    What a great post!! My kids never ever had purchased Halloween costumes growing up. We always created their costumes. And they were always unique and fun! Love all of your ideas. I am going to dress as a Katrina for dia de los muertos or as a Southern belle. Both costumes will be put together from odds and ends.

    How fun that your wedding/anniversary is on Halloween. You do love the holiday. Since I have lived in El Paso, I celebrate dia de los muertos and Halloween.

    • closetplayadmin

      As a (no longer) Spanish teacher, I love DDLM! Our decor this year is very DDLM inspired… I always wanted a store bought costume, and remember a plastic Cinderella mask, but it was worn with a blue bridesmaids dress from the thrift store! Hope to see your Katrina (if that’s how you go) on your blog! I’m not sure what I’ll be for the big day, yet. But I will be a vampiress for the party at our dance center!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.