Costume Cheat Sheet

If you're on this page, you either need help deciding on a costume, or hate costumes and need advice on what to do. I have a chart to help identify the kinds of costumes you might like based on your personality. I also have a foolproof solution for those who reject costumes like I do.

How to Choose a Costume That Fits Your Personality

The following nifty chart will match the available types of ready-to-wear costumes with your personality so that you can revel in Halloween festivities. The best advice I can give is to go at least one step beyond your comfort zone. Halloween is a special time when you can experiment and not feel judged or out-of-place.

CATEGORY

SAMPLE COSTUME

PERSONALITY OF WEARER

Sexy

Sexy Sailor

Naughty Nurse

Lusty Lunch Lady

Foxy Debutante

Hunky Firefighter

Sorry-Not-Sorry Wild Extroverts

​For the uninhibited blessed with great genes and proud to put their bodies on display; often win costume contests with very little effort; for those who believe that even on Halloween they must look pretty and hot; all body sizes welcome

Pop Culture

Movie Character
Superhero

Politician

Celebrity

Animated Icon

Pretty People, Chatty & Total Extroverts

For those who like the spotlight and want to take lots of pictures with strangers; people who already resemble famous people; men who like to wear tights and capes in public; best for the ruggedly handsome or beautiful; fans of Disney icons

Decades

Gangster

Mod

60s Hippies

70s Disco Queen

80s Rocker

Tipsy Extroverts and/or Older Folks

People who constantly relive yesteryear; those who afraid to get too wild; safe for work parties; people too busy or cheap to buy costumes and rummage in their closets or a spinster aunt's attic; people who know the 80s was the best decade

Funny

Deviled Egg
Hot Dog

Couples Costume

Animals

Inflatable Dinosaur

Beloved Mild Extroverts Who Don't Care

For party animals, jocks, people who enjoy innuendo; former class clowns; hipsters who like to wear clothing ironically; last minute shoppers who find only these kinds of costumes on the shelves; couples coerced into matching costumes

Historical

Renaissance
Victorian

Colonial

Middle Ages

Non-Disney Pirate

Pleasant Smile Introverts & The Regal

For serious thespians; the highly educated or college professors; costumers who appreciate fine artisan garments; History Channel fans; people who get cold easily and need many layers of fabric; those who can afford pricey rentals or ornate masquerades

Scary

Zombie

Vampire

Non-sexy Witch

Horror Icons

Werewolf

Fully Introverted Horror Fans

For those who believe that Halloween should be scary; loners, emo or goth-inclined; those who want to hide behind a mask and avoid chatting; those who like complicated costumes or makeup; often very creative; appeals to graphic designers

The T-Shirt Costume

First, do not buy the awfully dull "This-Is-My-Costume" t-shirt. It spoils the fun for those around you, and isn't ironic or funny (I know because I've worn one). Instead, choose what I call a T-shirt Costume. This consists of a specialized printed tee, then one or two thoughtfully selected props or accessories to drive home the theme. To start, search for t-shirt costumes on Amazon, Halloween store, or even Target and find something that resonates. Then add one accessory or prop, whether it's something you hold or wear. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Too Cool Skeleton (with sunglasses)
Skelly.png
Horror Movie Final Girl
FinalGirl.png
ms. Incredible SUPERHERO
MsIncredible.png
Mr. FaNCY Pants (with ENGLISH ACCENT)
Fancy Man.png
 
ethnic costumes.png

Don’t Treat Someone Else’s Culture as a Costume!

Unless they represent your own race and culture (and, no, a 1% result from a DNA test doesn’t count), please do not wear ethnic costumes such as Mexican sombreros, Rasta hats with locks, indigenous dress, Afro wigs, Asian conical hats, etc. While you may intend to pay homage or honor another culture, members of those races and cultures may not perceive it that way. Stereotypes are always hurtful and promote racism. Being culturally sensitive ensures Halloween is fun for everyone.

The Onion Takes On Halloween Costumes & More

The Onion's satirical take on prickly issues from parenting styles to gender identity isn't for everyone. For me, these all strike home: my brother lived in his Spiderman pajamas through adolescence, and my family often commented on my decidedly queer costumes before I even knew what that meant. Oh boy...

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