Halloween costumes 101 | The Triangle

Halloween costumes 101

Costume stores are selling out of Hazmat suits as customers have Ebola on their minds this Halloween in Arlington, Va., on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)
Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

Halloween is less than two weeks away, and plenty of people already have their costumes planned out. But if you’re still stuck for ideas, then here are what I think are the best and worst costumes for 2016.


1. Sexy Trump. Yep, this is an actual costume — as if anyone’s surprised. Honestly, with Halloween coming barely a week before the election, any kind of political costume is going to be a hit, especially something that gently pokes fun at all the crazy political shenanigans that have been happening recently. We have to be able to laugh about everything that’s going on or else, we’d be crying. Sexy Trump is the perfect Halloween combination of hilarious and scary, but other good ideas are Ted Cruz Zodiac Killer, Deez Nuts, and Trump’s Mexican border wall.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio and his Oscar. That might feel like a long time ago, but it was actually just this winter — and any meme of 2016 is fair game for an incredible costume, since it won’t be recycled from last year’s Halloween. Harambe is sure to be a popular one, and then there’s Dat Boi, Daniel with his white Vans, Netflix and chill … really, there are infinite options here, and some of them are incredibly easy to make. Alternatively, it’s been long enough now that it would also get plenty of lulz if you went back in time and dressed as a cat who can haz cheezburger.

3. Things everyone recognizes! Halloween isn’t a time to be a pretentious hipster and wear a costume nobody else in the room understands — that doesn’t make you better than anyone. The best kinds of costumes are media characters everyone recognizes, bad puns, everyday objects, anything spooky, etc. Celebrating is a million times more fun if you and everyone you know can smile at each other’s costumes, and the flash of recognition in other people’s eyes when they see you is awesome!


1. Any kind of cultural stereotype. Don’t dress up as a geisha, a Native American, a Mexican, or (worst of all) a Middle Eastern terrorist. These aren’t funny, these are people’s real experiences and difficulties that you’re turning into a joke — and in a diverse city like Philadelphia, chances are you’ll run into people at your party who are actually affected by these issues, and seeing your costume could just ruin their night. There are so many amazing costume ideas out there that don’t hurt anyone, so there’s just no excuse for a racist costume.

2. Edgy cartoon characters. Dressing up as Mickey Mouse or Cinderella or Finn from Adventure Time is awesome, but if you want to be a beloved childhood character, then let them stay innocent. There’s no need to go for the spooky versions of these covered in blood and scars, or the sexy versions that are essentially just themed underwear. Spooky or sexy costumes are fine in their own right, but when they’re combined with characters people have loved since they were small, they can just end up ruining people’s childhoods, since it’s difficult to see the characters in a normal way again.

3. Anything prepackaged. Half the fun of Halloween is putting together a costume, and it’s just not as exciting if you pull it straight off the rack. If you don’t have the time to sew or craft a costume, or don’t feel artistic enough, then it’s totally cool to scavenge through thrift stores for all the pieces to make up a costume too. Because getting a compliment on your costume feels so much more worthwhile when you worked on it yourself — and you can guarantee you’ll be the only person at the party in your outfit.

Most importantly, stay safe this Halloween and make the most of your night!