Last-minute Halloween costumes you can pull from your closet.
40 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes You Can Pull Right From Your Closet

Work smarter, not harder.

by Caroline Burke and Annie Lin
Originally Published: 

With the scariest night of the year just around the corner, it’s crunch time to figure out your Halloween transformation. Halloween can get competitive — and not to mention, expensive. Luckily, it’s easy enough to put together last-minute Halloween costumes from your closet with just a few key materials.

In addition to saving you money on an expensive Halloween costume you’ll only wear for one night, a homemade costume will also win you points in the creativity department. Making your own costume almost guarantees you’ll have to come up with something totally unique, meaning you won’t have to worry about running into someone who has the same panic-buy costume they snagged earlier that day. (Because let’s face it: We’ve all been that person who has shown up in the same outfit as someone else, and it’s not ideal.)

Before you freak out and order overnight shipping on a $43 Stranger Things costume (no judgment if you do), consider one of these DIY Halloween costume ideas that cost nothing and can be quickly put together from the clothes and accessories you probably already have in your closet. From classic characters to pop culture moments, there are so many ways to make sure your Halloween costume is on point, even if you only have a few minutes to get it together.

TV & Movie Characters

A White Lotus Staff Member

With the second season of the HBO Original premiering Oct. 30, you can make your costume a swan song to the Season 1 Hawaiian locale. To be a White Lotus staff member, don a Hawaiian shirt, a pair of khakis, and a name tag — and maybe carry around a fake lei or two to put on people you meet.


Bachelor Nation fans, this one’s for you. Slip on your best suit or gown and have a bouquet of roses ready to hand out to your suitors. Write out date cards for some one-on-one time.

Minion From Despicable Me

Grab a yellow shirt or sweatshirt, a pair of overalls, and a pair of glasses, and you're officially allowed to run around all night on Halloween spouting gibberish. Plus, this Halloween costume is warm enough to keep you toasty even on a chilly October night.

Carmy From The Bear

FX’s The Bear has everyone’s eyes glued on Jeremy Allen White as the hot Chicago chef Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto. Sport Carmy’s fit with a white T-shirt, black jeans, blue apron, and bonus points for tattoos, real or fake.

Samara From The Ring

It's been two decades since Samara last haunted our dreams, so now is the perfect time to dress up as her without getting terrified every time you walk by a mirror. All you really need for this is a white nightgown. If you have a black wig lying around, go for it, but if not, just wet your hair and grease it up with a conditioner to perfect that girl-in-a-well effect.

Georgie from It

Poor Georgie — his character may be short-lived in It, but his outfit will forever make an easy costume for Halloween. Throw on a yellow rain poncho and carry around a red balloon in one hand and a folded paper boat in the other. Oh, and keep an eye out for storm drains.

Selling Sunset Agent

Whether you’re more Mary or Chrishell, you can channel your boss babe side with a crisp blazer and your tallest heels. You can also toss an “O” on your wine bottle to complete the look with Oppenheim Wine. Feeling Christine Quinn vibes? Simply put on the boldest outfit you own.

Joel From Risky Business

The Risky Business ensemble is one of the most classic (and easiest) looks to emulate. Throw on a white button-down, some knee-high socks, and a pair of black sunnies, and make sure your party has a hardwood floor that you can slide around on all night.

A Fifty Shades Of Grey Spoof

Brownie points if you teasingly text your crush that you're being Fifty Shades Of Grey for Halloween and get them all excited — then show up covered in gray paint palettes taped to your top. Make sure to grab a pair of handcuffs to complete the look.

Sandy From Grease
Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

No matter how many times people wear this costume, it never goes out of style. And, because it's so popular, you tend to forget how easy it is to pull off. All you need is a black off-the-shoulder top, black form-fitting pants or leggings, and a pair of red heels. And don’t forget to bring your enthusiasm (and dance moves) like Gigi Hadid did with this look.

Baby Yoda From The Mandalorian

Pay homage to The Child from The Mandalorian with a light brown or olive green jacket or bathrobe and put your hair up into two buns. If you can, add a Baby Yoda ears headband, which you can buy online or make at home.

Wednesday Addams

Wearing a collared dress or shirt will definitely inspire those Addams Family vibes, but really, the only things you need here are a set of braided pigtails, a black outfit of any kind, and a tight-lipped smile. You can also pop on the look when Wednesday drops on Netflix in November.

Regina George From Mean Girls
Paramount Pictures

Regina George is basically the movie character of the early ‘00s, so dressing up like her will always be a hit at any Halloween party. Cut out two holes in a white tank top, grab a light pink skirt, and tape a print-out of the Burn Book on one of your books. Bonus points for wearing your most colorful bra underneath that tank top.

A Breaking Bad Character

There are a few different ways to go about a Breaking Bad costume. Want to go the super easy route? Put on a pair of white underwear (or long white leggings) and a ripped button-down, à la Walter White in the desert.

Boo From Monster’s, Inc.

Keep it simple (and cute) with this easy look that only requires an oversized pink T-shirt and some light purple leggings. TBH, as long as you can nail the pigtails, you can probably rock any color oversized shirt.

Jim Halpert’s Facebook (Or Bookface)

All you need to recreate this Office Halloween costume from Season 6 is eyeliner. Write “BO” on your right cheek and “OK” on your left cheek. Get it? It’s Facebook! *Shrugs to camera in classic Halpert style.*

3-Hole Punch Jim From The Office

Another classic from The Office, stick three black circles in a line along the right side of a white button down shirt to make a hole punch, finish it off with a tie. After all, Jim was a master of last-minute Halloween costumes.


Olivia Rodrigo

Get ready to belt out all of Olivia Rodrigo’s hits from her 2021 album Sour. This outfit is cool girl-approved with a pink crop top, plaid mini skirt, silver jewelry, and a handful of stickers all over your face like Rodrigo’s album cover.

Harry Styles

It’s not easy being known as the best-dressed musician in the world. The “As It Was” singer has so many iconic looks you can mirror. Remember when Styles served some serious looks at the 2021 Grammys with his yellow plaid blazer and purple feather boa? So chic. If you have a boa, you can definitely pull it off.

Adam Sandler

Sandlercore was the “it” look of summer 2021. Bring it back this Halloween with a baggy shirt, basketball shorts, sunglasses, and running shoes.

Bad Bunny
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The rapper known for his “eccentric” looks is a style icon. Express your inner Bad Bunny with mismatched prints, feathers, and oversized puffers. Don’t forget his statement sunnies.

Ben Affleck

As the unofficial ambassador for Dunkin’, Ben Affleck loves his coffee. Steal his look with a Boston shirt and a tray of Dunkin’ coffees, maybe slip a few Amazon packages in there too.

Serena Williams

Make your Halloween costume a tribute to the tennis legend’s 27-year career with a nod to her 2022 U.S. Open outfit. Get Williams’ look with a sheer long-sleeve black top, a sparkly black tank, and black skirt. Accessorize with a tennis racket and ball, of course.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images

If you want your costume to be a little more serious, you can channel RBG. Pay homage to the late trailblazing Supreme Court justice by putting your hair into a low bun, wearing a black outfit with a lacy white collar, and adding a pair of glasses.

Creative Ideas

“404 Error” Message

Don’t feel like making an effort with your costume this year? Poke fun at your lack of effort by adding a “404 error: Costume not found” message to a white shirt with a sharpie.

Party Animal

To repurpose an animal costume from a previous year, turn yourself into a “party animal” by wearing going-out clothes and a party hat along with your animal ears and painted-on whiskers.

Coastal Grandmother
Columbia Pictures

Channel this TikTok aesthetic with a white linen shirt, beige capri pants, comfy loafers, beach hat, and straw tote. You’ll look like you’re straight out of a Nancy Meyers movie.

The Umbrella Bat

You know that broken umbrella you've had for years that's useless in the rain? Remove the spokes, cut the fabric in half, and attach one side to your arms or a black hoodie to create a bat effect. Once you throw on an all-black outfit, you're good to go.

Cat Lady

A cat lady costume transforms one of the the most cliché stereotypes out there into a super easy (and very cozy) Halloween costume. Just throw on a robe, grab some stuffed animals, and carry a ball of yarn if you have it. And you can channel Taylor Swift, the ultimate cat lover herself, if you want it to be super relevant.

Work From Home

You definitely have this costume at home from all the WFH days. Grab your favorite pair of sweats and tie your hair in a messy bun for the coziest WFH look — laptop optional.

Last Person On A Zoom Call

Go all-in with the awkward wave, and either buy a shirt that says "Leave Meeting," or write it in with a sharpie on an old T-shirt. Plaster on a nervous smile, and you'll be all set as the last Zoom participant on a call.

Deviled Egg

Recreate a deviled egg by pairing devil horns with a white T-shirt. Cut a yolk-shaped circle out of yellow paper or fabric to tape on it, and add a cute pair of red heels if you’re feeling fancy.

An Emoji
Jorg Greuel/Photodisc/Getty Images

It’s so easy to dress up as an emoji for Halloween, as at least half of them can be DIY’d with your trusted Sharpie-shirt combo. You can also grab a friend to replicate the dancing twins emoji, or strike a dramatic pose for the dancing woman emoji.

The Brawny Man

With just a flannel shirt and a roll of paper towels, you can complete what might be the easiest costume ever: a big, burly lumberjack. Now you’re ready to clean up any unexpected messes that may occur at the party.

Pantone Color Card

Truly, this is a timeless last-minute Halloween costume in your closet already — just don a monochrome outfit in any color of your choice, and print out a mock Pantone label to pin somewhere on clothes. If you want to have it feel more specific to 2022, dress up as the Pantone Color of the Year: Very Peri, a pastel violet hue.

Ice Cream Cone

Snag a white or brown party hat from your local dollar or party store, and decorate it with markers and paint to make it resemble an ice cream cone. From there, you can choose clothes that represent your favorite ice cream flavor — mint chocolate chip, rainbow sprinkles, cookies and cream, you name it.

Disco Ball

Show up to any party as a disco ball, and you’ll instantly light up the room. Stick some reflective jewels on your face and limbs. Pair that with a full silver or black outfit, and finish off the look with metallic lipstick and eyeshadow.

Comic Book Character

If you are even semi-capable at putting on makeup or have a roommate who is, doing up your face in a pop-art style is one of the easiest ways to have an instant Halloween costume. Simply take some eyeliner and outline some of your facial features as if you’re in a comic book, then pop on a cherry red lip.

Formal Apology

There’s no better way to say you’re sorry than with a formal apology. How can they not forgive you when you’re dressed to the nines? Wear black-tie attire and make a sign that says “Sorry.” You’re a formal apology IRL.


If you have a green dress and shoes in your closet, you can rock this look. Add fake flowers to your hair and on the dress (if you have them) to transform into a cactus. To create the prickles, you can tape plastic straws or scrunched up paper towels onto your green outfit.

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