I have a problem with Halloween. It’s not the holiday itself–while it certainly has issues, I love vague spookiness and I love candy corn, thanks and don’t @ me–but rather with one particular element of it. Specifically, I have a problem with myself and the way I go about picking out Halloween costumes. It is not a task at which I excel! A perfect costume relies on an even ratio of relatability and obscurity, I think–something you won’t see a million times in one night, but also something that makes you curse yourself for not thinking of it when you see it. But I always tend to veer too heavily on the side of nebulous, concept-based costumes that rely a lot of explanation with very little cognitive payoff from my peers.
I went as Eloise last year–you know, from the Plaza?–which I thought would be easy enough to communicate. But everyone thought I was Blair Waldorf, due to the proclivity both fictional brats have towards knee socks, headbands, and closeknit relationships with domestic help matrons born overseas. Previous years have seen me as an “extended adolescent” (2013) ; a “carbohydrate” (2005, when I read about the Atkins Diet in my parents’ subscription to The Washington Post and thought that it might be the best way to go about striking fear into the hearts of the health-conscious residents of my Northern Virginia suburb) ; and, simply, “gluten” (2014, an unpopular homage to 2005’s equally unpopular carb garb).
Have I learned anything from this experience? No. I will be going as a werewolf bar mitzvah this year, a costume that I have not yet worn out in public but have already grown weary of discussing from the cursory explanation I gave to my roommates last night. But what is life for if not ignoringdo as I say and not as I do, I guess. Anyway, if you are trying to save your breath this year, check out these easy DIY Halloween costumes that require almost zero explanation:
Hillary Clinton And Donald TrumpYou're sick of the election. I'm sick of the election. We're all sick of the election. Election fatigue means that you can pretty much do an political costume in your sleep, however--try a gender-bend version for a fun twist. Image source:Pinterest
Wednesday AddamsEveryone knows Wednesday Addams, right? Even if you come across some people who have been living in a cultural wormhole for the past fifty years, and somehow don't recognize this costume, it's so simple that it could be pretty much anything--zombie schoolgirl, mid-centruty goth, whatever--and require virtually no explanation. Image source:Pinterest
MimeNot only do you not *have* to talk for this mime costume, you're actually encouraged not to talk at all. (You know, 'cause mimes don't talk.) No explanation required! Image source:Pinterest
Eleven And Barb From Stranger ThingsAs far as 2016 pop culture goes few things have been more far-reaching than Stranger Things. And, as far as Stranger Things, there are few things more far-reaching than the cults of Eleven and Barb (R.I.P.). You'll see lots of people wearing the same thing, it is true, but you won't have to explain it. Image source:Pinterest
Harley QuinnI mean, duh. There will also be a whole lot of Harley Quinn costumes this year, but they're so cute and so recognizable that it would behoove you to try one out yourself. Image source:Pinterest
UnicornThis is a great costume because it literally requires no context--all that's needed is a white dress, a horn, and some sparkly makeup. Image source:Pinterest
CatHaters will call this "basic," but real heads know that "basic" really means "iconic"--plus, cat costumes are cute! No explanation needed. Image source:Pinterest
WitchAgain--basic, sure, but still cute and recognizable. Plus, you can add on a ton of accents and embellishments without losing the essence of the costume. Image source:Pinterest
Cher And Dionne From CluelessName a more iconic duo. I'll wait. In any case, people will definitely get this costume, whether it's from the movie or Iggy Azalea's music video for Fancy. (Hey, remember when we all liked Iggy Azalea? A simpler time!) Image source:Pinterest
MinionsThis costume may be controversial, but you can't beat it as far as name-brand recognition goes. Image source:Pinterest
Holly GolightlyMost people will recognize this from the get-go as a Holly Golightly costume from Breakfast At Tiffany's. Other people might just recognize it as the girl from the poster on their older sister's dorm wall. Either way, it's an easy, recognizable costume! Image source:Pinterest
FlapperThis is technically a Daisy Buchanan costume from The Great Gatsby, but it works well as a cute, generic flapper costume, too. Image source:Instagram
Minnie Mouse And Daisy DuckIf you want to go the Disney route, your best bet might be not with a princess, but rather Minnie Mouse and/or Daisy Duck. In addition to being relatively easy to throw together, it's a great costume to do with your BFF. Image source:Pinterest
Sexy GhostsThis costume speaks for itself, does it not? It's easy. Iconic. This Halloween, you can have it all. Image source:Pinterest
Do you struggle with concept-based costumes too? Are there any other good explanation-free costumes that you know about? Let us know in the comments!