Let’s be honest, we forget to pick up a fun Halloween costume even in a good year. So if 2023 festivities find you scrambling once again to come up with something on a moment’s notice, it makes total sense. But just because you’ve waited until the day of to pull together a last minute costume doesn’t mean you can’t still wear something clever, classic or pulled from the latest pop culture references. Here are 22 last-minute Halloween costume ideas you can put together using pieces you likely already have hiding in your closet or around the house.
22 Last-Minute Costumes You Can Throw Together with Things You Already Own
From Daisy Jones to Ted Lasso and Holly Golightly
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1. Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek
What you need: white button-down shirt + black trash bag + statement necklace
Realistically, you can just layer whatever black-and-white clothing you have, swipe some red color on your lips and pile on lots of statement jewelry and you’ll likely wind up looking like Moira Rose. But this particular look is also very easy to create if you don’t have a ton of black-and-white patterned pieces. (P.S. We recommend slipping some black bike shorts on under your trash bag just in case your costume accidentally comes loose or rips while you’re out.)
2. Rosie the Riveter
What you need: red bandana + denim shirt + jeans
The fact that this feminist icon’s ensemble is so easy to recreate (and so comfortable) just makes us love her even more. Be sure to roll up the sleeves of your shirt to best show off your biceps, just like Rosie.
3. The Bachelorette
4. Mare from Mare Of Easttown
What you need: messy bun + circle scarf + cozy midlayer + cargo jacket + jeans
A great costume option for anyone who really doesn’t want to bother with complicated (or even minimally involved) hair and makeup. Simply toss your strands into a messy low bun or ponytail and pile on those practical layers. Finish with a look of despondent longing and you’re good to go.
5. Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra
What you need: white sheet + lots of gold statement jewelry + blue eyeshadow + black eyeliner
There are multiple ways to knot a plain bedsheet to achieve the look of an ancient Egyptian dress (try one of these sarong-tying methods). Next, add as many gold bangles, statement necklaces, dramatic earrings and chunky rings as you can. Finish with some over-the-top cat-eye eyeliner and a swipe of blue eyeshadow before draping yourself on the nearest couch like a true diva.
Shop similar styles: Róen Beauty eyeliner ($26); Róen Beauty eye shadow palette ($49); Nestl Bedding sheet set (
$49; $30); Marchesa drop earrings ($78); J.Crew bracelet ( $70; $50); 8 Other Reasons necklace ($62)
6. A Tennis Pro
What you need: white top + tennis skirt + sneakers
Whether you take your inspiration from the Williams sisters, Naomi Osaka or Billie Jean King, this is a fabulous way to repurpose that trendy pleated skort you bought this summer. Add a tennis racket, tennis ball or white visor or baseball cap to round out the look.
7. Tropical Tourist
What you need: Hawaiian shirt + visor + fanny pack + camera
Be sure to tuck your shirt into some high-waist pants or shorts and consider toting a tropical cocktail with you as well. If you want to add a pop culture spin, we have two easy options. The first requires the addition of a pill bottle and bushy gray mustache, which will have you looking just like Armond from The White Lotus. The second needs a lei and a voluminous midwestern blowout to transform you into either one of the leading ladies in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.
8. Miss Trunchbull from Matilda
What you need: gray sweatshirt + white washcloth + brown leather belt + sweatpants + hiking boots
Still can’t get enough of your newfound “sweats all day, every day” lifestyle? This fun throwback costume uses all your coziest pieces and requires no complicated makeup tutorials (or any makeup at all for that matter). Wrap a washcloth around your neck and into the collar of a gray crewneck sweatshirt, knot your hair in a tight bun and tuck your sweatpants into some tall socks peeking out from lace-up hiking boots. Now all you need is a wide brown leather belt around your waist and a desire to swing someone by the pigtails the length of a football field.
9. Princess Leia from Star Wars
What you need: white sheets + belt + two massive buns
This look is really all about the hair, making it an easy one to pull together without requiring much else. For the dress we suggest wrapping one sheet around your waist as a skirt and another over your shoulders and torso to create those draped sleeves. (You can also cut a hole in one sheet to wear it like a poncho if you don’t mind cutting up your linens.) Then simply add a belt to define your waist and you’re good to go! And no, you don’t need the space gun to look as tough as General Organa.
10. Dr. Ellie Sattler from Jurassic Park
What you need: red or pink button-down shirt + blue t-shirt + hiking shorts + hiking boots
Did you pick up hiking during the pandemic? Then you likely own half the things you need to recreate Laura Dern’s iconic ensemble from Jurassic Park. Be sure to roll up your sleeves and knot your shirt at your waist. And if you happen to have a dinosaur stuffed animal lying around, you can carry him with you as well, just for fun.
11. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
What you need: sleeveless black dress + pearl jewelry
For the classy Halloween celebrant, knot your hair in a high bun, grab a pearl necklace and slip into your favorite black dress to go as one of Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic roles. If you happen to have a pair of elbow-length black gloves or want to fashion a long cigarette holder out of chopsticks, they’ll only add to your final look, but don’t worry if you don’t have time to find or make these accessories.
12. Joel Goodson from Risky Business
What you need: oversize button-down shirt + white socks + sunglasses
This timeless costume is a breeze to put together and it’s incredibly comfortable, making it an obvious go-to in our book. Although we suggest adding some minimalist white kicks and a pair of bike shorts underneath if you plan to leave the house.
13. Stereotypical Parisian
What you need: striped shirt + neck scarf + baguette
If you also own a beret, that’s even better, but it’s not 100 percent necessary to pull off this classic costume. Feeling punny? Paint your face in dramatic black-and-white makeup à la the band Kiss and say you’re a French kiss.
14. Daisy Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard
What you need: plaid shirt + denim shorts
You don’t need to opt for super-short shorts or knot your shirt to reveal your entire stomach if you don’t want to—denim cutoffs of any length and a plaid button-down knotted at your waist will still capture Daisy’s signature southern style. Finish with a Farrah Fawcett-inspired blowout and some cowboy boots.
What you need: white sheet + scissors
OK, so this one is actually the easiest DIY costume ever. No, it’s not that exciting, but it is a funny classic that we feel is definitely underrated. If you want to do something a bit cleverer you can cut holes all over and go as Charlie Brown from It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Don’t want to ruin your sheets with scissors? Use black construction paper and tape instead to fake the holes.
16. Ted from Ted Lasso
What you need: puffer jacket + khakis + button down
Last-minute costumes don’t get simpler than this. You probably have a puffy jacket in your closet and some dress clothes that are begging to be repurposed. Now, all you need is a passion for coaching soccer when your expertise is football. Oh, and mustache obligatory.
17. Mario or Luigi
What you need: overalls + t-shirt + baseball cap
Pick one of these fun-loving Italian brothers as a last-minute costume idea—all you need are overalls, a T-shirt in their signature color and corresponding cap. Mustaches encouraged. Get ready to rev your way down Rainbow Road.
18. One of Taylor Swift’s Eras
What you need: cowboy boots + sparkly top + friendship bracelets
If you went to The Eras tour, then your last-minute costume is waiting in your closet. Time to give those cowboy boots, sparkly tops, flannel shirts and leather pants an encore.
19. Mary Poppins
What you need: white dress + umbrella + fascinator
Mary Poppins proved even (magical) nannies can have fun. Take a page from her and pull a white dress out of your closet for a round of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with your beau. Should you also have a red belt, that’ll nod nicely to her own corset. Finish off the look with a fascinator, umbrella and some lace gloves.
20. Fran Lebowitz
What you need: blazer + jeans + button-down
When it comes to last-minute costumes, you can’t get any easier than the sardonic author Fran Lebowitz. Her uniform is made of wardrobe staples: a blazer, jeans and button-down. No fancy hair or makeup required.
21. Black Cat
What you need: all-black ensemble + eyeliner + cat ears
We know you have some black jeans and a sweater somewhere in that closet. Time to pull them out, paint your face with eyeliner and throw on some cat ears. It’s all done faster than you can say “low-effort.”
22. Daisy Jones
What you need: white tank top + duster + jean shorts + cowboy boots
The adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s popular novel saw a skyrocketing interest in ‘70s fashion, so if you don’t have a pair of cowboy boots in your closet, well, you totally missed a few of the summer’s biggest events. (Ahem, The Eras tour.) Finish Daisy’s look with a duster, jean shorts and aviators for a cool, ‘70s rock vibe.