Halloween How-tos 


The Indy’s Guide to Halloween Costumes

Fall means many things. The days are shorter, the wind is colder, and the leaves are falling off the trees. The air near the Harvard Starbucks smells of pumpkin spice lattes, and if you listen close enough, you can just hear the rustling of Canada Goose Jackets waiting to be unleashed from student’s winter storage. To me, however, as a California native unaccustomed to the concept of “seasonal changes” or “weather,” the arrival of fall means one thing first and foremost; fall means its time for Halloween. And if Halloween’s coming, you’d better find a costume. Here at the Indy, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you out.


  1. The Sexy Something

It’s Friday afternoon the day of a big Halloween party. You don’t have a costume, and you don’t have ideas, but you do have a thing for the guy who will be there later tonight. You don’t know what to be, but you know you’ve gotta look good. It is this questionable method of reasoning that leads you to throw on a pair of ears and a tight dress and call yourself a cat, a bunny, or some other kind of cute animal. Alternatively, you could take any profession out there (stewardess, cop, teacher, student, janitor?) and transform it into something slutty. Just undo some buttons, wear a badge or a hat, and call yourself a sexy professional. The Sexy Something isn’t a specific costume per say, its more of an attitude and a measure of skin shown.


  1. The Play on Words

Unlike the sexy something, this costume takes a bit of forethought. The play on words costume is for those who like dressing up and don’t mind accompanying their costume with a lengthy verbal explanation of what it means. You could take this in many directions; you might be a “pig in a blanket” (pig ears, soft blanket), a “facebook” (face in a book), an “identity crisis” (wear lots of nametags), or 2Chainz (wear two chains). Whatever you do – beware: the “punny costume” is not for the shy or soft-spoken – whatever you chose you’ll have a lot of explaining to do.


  1. The Political Reference

In today’s wacky political climate, it’s hard not to embrace the weirdness of our society by making fun of it through costume. You could do a throwback to the past and put on a blue dress with a big white stain to pull off a Monica Lewinsky, or you could embrace the present and dress up as Trump’s big beautiful wall dividing America and Mexico. Fair warning to those who chose one of these costumes though—be polite, or you could end up in fight with someone who doesn’t believe in gun control.


  1. The Movie Character

There are a lot of great movies out there, and a plethora of movie characters to dress up as. You could choose an obscure reference that no one will get (Maury Ballstein from Zoolander) or a classic film favorite (Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz). You could also go for a a group costume—dress up like the entire Mean Girls clique or Snow White and her seven drawves. Alternatively, why not have a group dress up as various characters played by a single actor? Be Will Ferrell’s characters in Anchor Man, Step Brothers, and Blades of Glory. The options are really limitless, and who wouldn’t want to be a star for a night?


  1. The Cop Out

There are always one or two of you at the party who don’t like dressing up or who haven’t thought of a costume until literally two minutes before heading out the door. I’m not saying that I approve of this, or even that I like you as human beings, but I am saying that you still have options. A “cop out” costume is better than no costume at all. Wear a white T-Shirt that says “This is My Costume,” or “I’m with ghost,” go dressed as “yourself” or throw on a hat of some kind. No one likes the cop-out (especially when we’ve spent good money and time on our own costumes), but at least you’ve showed some sort of effort. Now start planning your costume for next year so this never happens again.


Eloise Lynton‘17 (eloiselynton@college.harvard.edu) has a very elaborate costume this year but is waiting for Halloween night to unveil her ensemble.