Silver shriek!

Oct. 30, 2007, midnight | By Brittany Allen Josie Callahan | 13 years, 5 months ago

Chips' tips to low-maintenance creative costuming

So maybe the little old lady who hands out quarters instead of Halloween candy gave you an odd look last year when you arrived at her door with a trio of pals scrunched into your Disney Princess costumes from fifth grade. Perhaps you felt a flush of shame when that jerky pack of Power Rangers giggled at you from behind their little orange buckets of Junior Mints and Twizzlers. You know what they're all thinking: Aren't they a little old?

It's a teenage conundrum: we all secretly want to keep prancing around in our little fairy wings, and when upstanding members of the Neighborhood Council don't approve, we egg their homes, kick in their pumpkins or slather their front doors with silly string. Some of us have parties that call for more mature costumes (Naughty Nurse, anyone?) but at the heart of all those Halloween shenanigans is that same simplistic urge: we want to go out on one night of the year in our creative finery, jazzed and snazzed up for all the world to see.

But do these rigid limits for teenage trick-or-treaters really allow us to get funky with our inspirations? Scrolling through the offerings of a self-proclaimed teenage Halloween costume idea page, there's really only a paltry selection: Saucy Pirate Minx. Army Brat. Vivacious Vampiress. You yearn for more. Here are some simple yet clever (but still age-appropriate) Halloween costume ideas that might earn you so many creativity points that the old bat around the corner can't possibly protest. Heck, you might even win yourself an extra Mars Bar.

Simple with a side of special sauce

The new Wendy's ad campaign is all about nonconformity, and that weird little man wearing the bright red Wendy wig is a hilarious costume unto itself. If you're thinking low-maintenance for Halloween, why not go all out with some dry humor and product placement?

To complete this look, all you have to do is spice up your day-wear with a neon-red pigtail wig, a la the infamous Wendy icon from the Wendy's fast food chain. If your sister has ever been Pippi Longstocking or Raggedy Ann on past Halloweens, snatch that wig and dismantle a wire hanger. If you're into DIY, invest in a few lengths of red yarn and make two braids on either end of a coil. Drape them artistically over your head, grab a pillowcase and hit the road.


Running at parallel time-slots and with alarmingly strong fan-bases, both The Cosby Show, and Full House, were home to two trendy, quirky families ripe with cool costume potential. Ahh, the late 80s.

If you're a Huxtable fan, grab a few friends and sift through your parents' Goodwill piles. Cliff is easy (all you really need is a dowdy sweater), but make sure to spend time in front of the mirror practicing that goofy Cosby face. To pull off Claire Huxtable, girls should look for heavy shoulder-pads and chunky gold earrings. The kids are really a matter of stonewashed denim and patterned turtlenecks, unless you choose to go unique and dress up as Denise. If that's your wish, good luck hunting for balloon pants –those were last spotted in circa 1992.

Slightly more clean-cut and wind-blown San Franciscans, Bob Saget and the Full House crew make for easy, breezy costumes. Clothing is easy – open, v-neck pastel shirts for the guys, dweebish denim and woolly tops for the girls –but do be warned that this whole idea rests on Uncle Jesse. If you can't find a friend who can navigate the darkened streets of your neighborhood with his eyes partially closed and a dreamy tendril obscuring half his face, the whole operation is lost.

Pageant princess (and such as!)

Photo: A more collected, though convincing Miss South Carolina, toilet paper sash and all.

Want to reenact an embarrassing moment on national television or find an excuse to throw on last year's prom dress again? 2007 Miss Teen USA contestant Miss South Carolina is a ready-made costume idea with, like, no extra thought required. Simply throw on that shiny gown, place a tacky tiara upon your picture-perfect head of hair, and make a white sash (from paper or any fabric) reading South Carolina to drape across your left shoulder and over your head, and voila You too can pass as a Miss Teen USA contestant who knows all about the Iraq Just be prepared with an answer to those tricky questions like 'why Americans can't read maps' for your sweets. No pressure –the more incoherent the better.

Seriously McSpooky

If you long for the days of playing doctor with your friends, here's your chance to relive the dream. If you can get your hands on a pair of scrubs and white lab coat, great –but if not, dress in loose blue clothes and a white coat. Dig through your basement and younger sibling's toy chests to find that plastic stethoscope to wear around your neck, and you can pass as a doctor this Halloween.

Not good enough for you? With the proper placement of a pair of pink panties in the front white pocket of your lab coat, the innocent doctor takes on another identity –a resident doctor at Seattle Grace Hospital, the setting for the girly medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Be careful about where you wear this costume– the old lady next door might not get the reference, but this McSteamy idea is a sure hit at that Halloween party.

No dress, no stress

If none of these ideas solve your indecisiveness this Halloween, the ultimate solution is not to solve it. Instead, wear a regular outfit. That's it. No shopping, no props, no last minute make-up. Just post a sign on your shirt that says: Muggle, or Nudist on strike, and no one will be able to withhold a smile (let alone their treats) for your wit.

So let those kiddies in their poly-synthetic Super-suits have a giggle or two. Smile benignly when you skip past those malcontented egg-hurlers, pea-green with jealousy at the sight of your crafty duds. This Halloween, just spend time basking in the glow of your creative genius. From high-water reppin' 80s icons to your own denim and tee uniform, with a little spin you can create almost any costume –just hold on to your dignity.

Brittany Allen. Brittany Allen is a sleep-deprived CAP SENNNNNIOORRR with a penchant for treading the boards in the Blair auditorium floor. When not spreading the love in Silver Chips Online, she acts as co-director of Blair's Young Thespian club with the fabulous and all-powerful Caitlin Schneiderhan. She … More »

Josie Callahan. Josie Callahan is particularly opinionated despite her small appearance. She loves everything Irish and her life is consumed by her one true love- Irish Dancing- which suits her just fine. She also adores British accents, performing, theatre, tiaras, and sparkly dresses. Josie is particularly excited … More »

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