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While Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I always start to decorate my apartment far too early, I still end up waiting until the last minute to figure out a costume. (Oops!) I just can’t seem to get it together—no matter how much I love the holiday. Each and every year, you’ll find me scrambling to put together last-minute Halloween costumes a few days (or even a few hours) before October 31.
Many times, I’ll choose an easy Halloween costume based on the clothes I already have in my closet—which actually works in a pinch. It definitely doesn’t hurt that there are plenty of easy costumes that can be created with pieces you own and minimal effort. You can easily throw on pieces in your closet to make yourself look like you spent at least a few days preparing your costume. All it takes is a little bit of inspiration—and some time spent rooting around in the back of your closet. Before Halloween officially begins, you’ll have a costume thrown together from pieces you knew you kept for a reason—and a few added accessories to really make them pop. Procrastinators, now is our time to shine.
So for those who are already starting to panic about their costume, have no fear. I’ve come up with seven last-minute costume ideas that you can put together with one stop to the store—or a quick online shopping sesh—before you get dressed. These costumes are twists on classics, so you can keep things simple then elevate the look with accessories and pieces you likely already own. Pick up a few supplies, throw them on, and voila! You’re ready to impress everyone who sees you (even if it’s just a mirror selfie on your Instagram feed).
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Take your bunny game up a notch by wearing dramatic ears. Sure, you could DIY a couple of paper ears onto an old headband, but if you really want to impress, treat yourself to a pair of ears that stand out. Worn with a little white dress or bodysuit, you’re sure to have everyone hopping in your direction.
These Feather Bunny Ears are the perfect way to add an extra (and I mean extra) touch to your bunny costume. Fun, flirty and little bit sexy, you can’t go wrong.
Anyone can take a white tee and use a marker to draw on shells, but it takes a real creative to come up with a mermaid costume that’s both simple and gorgeous. Rather than break out the arts and crafts supplies, get the look of wearing shells with a cute bralette (White or light blues and pinks work really well!) paired with a green maxi skirt. You likely already have both of these items in your closet—and if not, you can shop them below. Add some shell jewelry to finish off the look, and you’re set.
This Fleur du Mal bra is gorgeous for any occasion, but it works so well as faux shells for a mermaid costume.
If you don’t already have a green maxi skirt in your closet, snag this one from Daily Ritual. It’s sure to look great with your mermaid costume, and can be worn plenty of ways after Halloween, too.
For those who really want to commit, add a red Ariel-inspired wig to your costume, too. No one will ever suspect you waited until the last minute.
3. FBI Agent
Get your Men in Black vibes on with an easy secret agent costume sure to stun. Grab a black suit (or black blazer and pants) from your closet and top it off with a pair of aviator sunglasses. It’s so simple, but so effective. This works great for couple or group costumes, too!
A classic pair of Ray-Ban aviators will fully complete your secret agent costume. Plus, they’re a must-have for daily wear, anyway!
4. Pajama Girl
If you just want an excuse to stay in your pajamas all day, this simple pajama girl costume is for you. Pick a pajama set that makes you feel confident and cozy AF, then add a sexy sleep mask as the ultimate accessory. Even though you’ll stay comfortable all Halloween, you’ll look like you put in plenty of effort.
Ooh, let out your wild child with these Savage X Fenty pajamas. The animal print and lace together is truly a winning combination.
Go the extra mile with your pajama girl costume and add this Lace Sleep Mask. It’ll make all the difference, and give your look a bit of sex appeal, too.
A last-minute vampire costume doesn’t have to look like you threw it together. The key? A pair of impressive fangs. You won’t regret stepping up your costume game with fangs that look like they’re straight out of a horror flick. You can stay simple on the rest of your costume, but with this one elevated addition, it’s still sure to impress.
These vampire fangs actually retract up, so you can impress everyone with a spooky illusion. The fangs show until you hide them, giving you the capability to look like a real vampire. (!)
6. ’80s Workout Babe
Make good use of your crop tops and neon pieces this Halloween and dress up as an ’80s workout babe. You’ll stay comfortable all night long, but everyone will be raving about your look. (Pun definitely intended.) If you have some legwarmers or an exercise headband to add, too, that’s even better.
Honestly, I’d buy this green crop top whether or not I was doing an ’80s costume. It’s just that cute! The little drawstring detail at the bottom adds to it, too.
You can use these neon leggings to work out in long after Halloween, so you might as well snag a pair to wear now and later.
Animal print is always a trend, so you likely already have some leopard print pieces in your wardrobe. Throw them all together, then complete the ensemble with chic cat ears. Find a pair (like the Victoria Secret ears below) that look elegant—it will instantly elevate your costume, and make it look like you tried harder than you actually did.
This Gem Cat Ear Headband is the sparkly addition any cat costume needs. Even if you choose to go as a tiger or black cat instead of a leopard, you can definitely still use these.
A version of this article was originally published on October 30, 2013.