Costumes: Trends & last minute ideas

While the Halloween countdown is in full swing, many students are rushing out to buy candy, decorations and, of course, a costume.

Their picks? The Lady Gaga look is one of the most sought after costumes of 2010, along with Jersey Shore characters Snooki and “The Situation,” according to a recent CNN study.

Rather than buying the often exorbitantly priced costumes found in local Halloween shops and online, many college students are creating their own costumes at home.

Amanda Munyon, avid cosplayer, recreates the looks of characters from anime and manga for Halloween as well as for comic conventions. Although she owns her own sewing machine, Munyon often searches Walmart or Kmart for inexpensive items of clothing that can be used as different parts of her costumes.

“I usually try to buy pieces to modify because I don’t like to sew pieces from scratch,” Munyon said.

As far as traditional Halloween costumes go, Munyon has dressed up as a grim reaper using only a black robe and fake scythe. She has also modified more popular costumes to make them her own.

For example, one version of a simple Alice in Wonderland costume was made more frightening with a pair of scissors and a splash of red paint for blood.

Not the artsy type? Fake blood can be purchased for as little as one dollar and can be used to soak old, ripped clothes for zombie costumes. Vintage- style clothing can also be purchased from thrift stores and some department stores to portray someone from a former time.

Sophomore Kristy Ross looked to retro designs for her costume. “I’m going as a flapper because it’s simple to create and economically friendly,” she said.

Ross’ costume consists of a fringed dress, lace leggings and sequined bolero. All three pieces were purchased from Forever 21 for fewer than 50 dollars.

Other clothing items like feather boas, sequined headbands and maryjanes can be added for a more fun and authentic looking costume.

Worried about looking outdated? Don’t worry, both flappers and gangsters remain on the list of most wanted costumes.

According to the National Retail Federation, which collects data on Halloween trends, witch costumes are very popular.

Instead of spending a fortune on a flimsy black dress that will only be worn once, ladies should don the little black dress from their closets and invest in a pair of striped tights or leggings.

Witch hats and brooms can be purchased for fewer than twenty dollars and green face paint can be used to create a more wicked-looking costume.

Still hung up on that Lady Gaga costume? Not a problem. Start with a blond wig and a leotard in the color of your choice. Find the image of Gaga that you most admire and cut, glue and sew until you have the desired costume.

Studs, mirrors, sequins and crystals can be glued to cloth-covered cardboard in order to create just about any of Lady Gaga’s most popular looks.

Feeling a little more creative than usual? Design your own Lady Gaga costume! Make sure to make it as outrageous as possible and it is sure to stand out among the crowd.

Whether the costume of your dreams is trendy or traditional, simple or complicated, have fun building your own Halloween costume this year and save money in the process.

Andrea Aguirre can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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