12 Ways To Make Basic AF Halloween Costumes Actually Look Cool

Every Halloween, there are a few costumes that you can rest assured you’ll see at some point or another. You’ll see cats. You’ll see witches. You’ll see Disney Princesses. You’ll see those dancing emoji girls too, probably.

In fact, these costumes are so prevalent that, in many ways, it wouldn’t really be Halloween without them–they’re as ubiquitous as scary movies and Jack-O-Lanterns. But this prevalence comes at a cost, and this cost is that they are most generally characterized as being “basic,” a word that, if you are somehow unfamiliar, most people know about from this Kreayshawn song and is used as a blanket term to describe something or someone that epitomizes all that is common.

Because of this, you might feel some pressure to stay away from these costumes. But you don’t have to!  Maybe your tastes naturally tend to veer a little towards the basic side (which is fine), or maybe you just, like, want to be a cat this year. After all, cliches are cliches for a reason, and that reason is that enough people like them to make them omnipresent. But if you want to wear a basic costume without actually being, you know, basic, check out these easy ways to make even the most basic of Halloween costumes actually look cool:


Cat costumes get a bad rap because everyone takes the same approach to dressing as one--throwing on some cat ears, drawing on a nose and some whiskers, and call it a day. Stand out from the crowd by going all-out with your makeup--paint on some spots, a super-glossy black lip, and, of course, a cat eye.

Image source:Pinterest

Cats Musical

Or, you can pay homage to your favorite Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, "Cats," by dressing in this cat costume. Hey, it'll be different from everyone else.

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Disney Princess

If you know you want to wear a Disney costume but you don't want to be one of, like, seven girls at the party dressed as Snow White, all you have to do is dress up as a guy Disney character. This Dopey and Snow White costume is genderbent and totally cute (for both parties).

Image source:Tumblr

White Rabbit Costume

I also love this White Rabbit costume from Alice In Wonderland, which, aside from being a good way to counteract basic Disney costumes, is also a good way to avoid a totally basic bunny costume.

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Audrey Hepburn In Roman Holiday

Everyone dresses as Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's. There's nothing wrong with that, obviously--it's a great costume--but if you want to be different, go as Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. It's a black and white movie so, if you want to look *just* like the movie, you can paint your face black and white, too.

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Zombie Audrey Hepburn

Or, if you *must* go in a Breakfast At Tiffany's costume, try a zombie variation. You'll definitely stand out!

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Pizza is basic. But this pizza costume--which is made out of felt and, by all accounts, appears to be super comfortable--isn't basic at all. Own it!

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Wiccan Witch

Wanna go as a witch? To make it a little different, go as one that has more of a Wiccan vibe than a purely Salem one. Just wear a flower crown (it doesn't have to be as elaborate as the one pictured) and some earth-toned makeup.

Image source:Instagram


This Maleficent costume is another a good way to stand apart from the basic witch (hehe) costume. It's also relatively easy to throw together--all you need is a sheath dress and Maleficent horns, which you should be able to pick up at any drug or party store.

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Everyone will be dressing up as the two dancing leotard girls or smiley face emoji. But fewer people will be dressing up in this--equally iconic, I would argue--poop emoji costume. Make it yours!

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Steampunk Mermaid

You're going to see a lot of mermaid costumes this Halloween--if you want to be unique, put a little steampunk twist onto it. All you need to do is get some mermaid leggings, boots, and goggles.

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Starbucks Costume

Not satisfied by the prior options? Just go with your heart. By dressing as the most basic thing there is--a Starbucks drink, probably a seasonal one, very possibly a Pumpkin Spice Latte, even--you are reclaiming the basic narrative and rising above it.

Image source:Pinterest

What do you think of these costumes? Would you wear any of them? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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