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Last Minute Halloween Costumes: Shop Your Closet!

If you are looking for a last minute Halloween costume idea, follow these tips in rummaging through your closet and putting together a Halloween Costume in minutes.

Every year, my plan is to finally – finally – get it together and whip up some amazing, inventive (and likely labor-intensive) costume…and every year, October 31st rolls around and I end up rummaging through my closet in search of some random items that I can transform into fun (and hopefully unique) last minute Halloween costumes. 

My favorite last-minute Halloween costume (so far) was one I put together two years ago, when my husband and I dressed as Atreyu and the Childlike Empress from The Neverending Story. The costumes were a big hit with everyone at the party we attended (or at least everyone who grew up in the '80s), and all they took was a brown shirt, black pants, and black boots for him, and a white nightgown and crystal necklace draped across the forehead for me.

With a little imagination, you'd be surprised at the great costumes that are already sitting right there in your closet, waiting to be assembled!

Here's a quick list of 10 easy last-minute Halloween costumes you probably have on hand and ready to rock.

Gypsy: Start with the base of a long skirt, a peasant blouse, and a fringed shawl, and add tons of jewelry and floaty layers in as many colors as your closet holds. Scarves, hoop earrings, and wrap belts are all great additions.

Morticia Addams: (works better if you have dark hair or have access to a long, dark wig): Pour yourself into a floor-length black dress, add a black shawl, and do up your face with white paint, smoky eyes, and blood-red lips. 

Audrey Hepburn: Have a chic black cocktail dress? Add a string of pearls, an updo, and some cat-eye sunglasses, and you're done. If you have a crystal brooch or tiara, try affixing it to the base of the updo for extra sparkle.

Hippie: You know how to do this one: bellbottoms, fringe, psychedelic colors, platforms, and some drawn-on lower lashes a la Twiggy.

Jane Fonda: If you're brave enough to hit up a party in spandex, this look is super-simple: just pair the brightest leotard and tights you own (preferably in contrasting colors) with leg warmers, sneakers, and a sweatband.

'90s Grunge Rocker: Throw on an oversized plaid shirt and ripped jeans, add a guitar and disaffected look, and you might as well be Kurt Cobain.

Tourist: Pair a Hawaiian shirt with some shorts, a fanny pack (come on, you know you've got one laying around somewhere), sunglasses, a camera, a guidebook, and a confused expression.

Cowboy/Cowgirl: Do you have jeans and a plaid shirt? Then you're halfway there. All you need to add are Western-style boots, a cowboy hat, and a bandanna, and you're ready to rodeo.

Glam Rocker: Pair your tightest pants with your highest heels, add a ripped-up tee and a studded belt, and paint your face with every glittery makeup product you own. 

Britney Spears: Britney’s had so many classic looks, from "…Baby One More Time" schoolgirl to "I'm A Slave For You" sexpot to her ripped-shorts-and-Uggs stage, you're sure to find something in your closet that speaks to your inner Spears.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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