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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Last-minute Halloween costume ideas that won’t break the bank

Diana Crompton | Photographer
If you’re feeling stuck on finding a costume for this weekend, check out our rundown of last-minute costume ideas.

Halloween is only days away, but don’t worry if you haven’t picked out a fit yet – we’ve got you covered with these last-minute Halloween costume ideas.

Whether the in-person semester has put a strain on your wallet or your exhaustive course load ate up any time to diligently prepare a costume, these looks will save you just in time for the weekend’s celebrations. From a stylish secret agent to an eerie Stephen King character to the all-too-familiar Blackboard discussion board post, check out some costume ideas that you can easily put together with items you likely already have in your wardrobe.

D.C. tourist

What you’ll need: D.C. memorabilia

As resident D.C. students, chances are you have District memorabilia lying around from your family’s first visit to GW, making the D.C. tourist look a fittingly ironic last-minute costume to pull off. Clothing items that have any variation of “Washington, D.C.,” “U.S.A.” or better yet, “I HEART D.C.” will do. (Bonus points if it happens to be a tie-dye muscle tee or sweatshirt). Any bottoms will round out this look. Make it casual with some jeans or khaki shorts or spice it up with a cute tennis skirt. Accessorize the look with a pair of sunglasses and top it off with a bucket hat.

Men in Black

What you’ll need: A black suit, black tie, black sunglasses and dress shoes

Do you have a nice suit lying around for your next D.C. internship? Do you want to leave an impression at your next Halloween party? Do you want your costume to look put together with minimal effort? If you answered “yes,” to any of these questions, the Men in Black costume is the one for you. This costume screams hillternship by day and stylish secret agent by night and is possibly one of the easiest costumes to recreate on a budget. Just wear whatever suit you can get your hands on and pair it with a black tie, dress shoes and sunglasses. The great thing about this costume is that it works as a group costume, so if you have a friend who’s in need of a last minute costume idea, pair up with them!

The Addams Family

What you’ll need: A black dress, white collared shirt, dress shoes, a suit or a black and white striped shirt

For a group costume that’s just as recognizable as they are achievable with what’s in your closet, “The Addams Family” is the option for you. The Addams’ costumes all follow a black color scheme. So if you’re looking to dress up as the mother, Morticia Addams, or the daughter, Wednesday Addams, all you need is a black dress – preferably long sleeved. Pair the Morticia Addams costume with black heels, and pop on some bright red lipstick and nail polish.

For Wednesday Addams, wear a white collared shirt underneath the dress, a pair of loafers or Mary Janes’, and style your hair in two braids. For Gomez Addams, any gray or black suit with a white button down with a black bow tie will complete the look. If you happen to have a black and white striped shirt, pair it off with some black shorts and sneakers and your Pugsley Addams costume is Halloween-ready.


What you’ll need: A light colored or white dress, heels and a crown

If you’re looking to wear a spookier Halloween costume with little time to plan, a rendition of Stephen King’s teen horror character “Carrie” may be the best costume for you. Any white or light colored dress will work for this costume. Accessorize with heels or dressy shoes, a crown and, if you’re up for it, you can even splatter red food dye, ketchup or fake blood on the costume to top off the look. If you have fake flower decorations in your dorm you could also carry them around in a bouquet for an additional minute accessory.

Decades of the past

What you’ll need: Any older, decade themed clothing

Chances are you still have some timely pieces in your closet from the 2010’s or early 2000s, or better yet you’ve thrifted some pieces indicative of the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s in lieu of cyclical contemporary fashion trends. Wrap a flannel around your waist, pull out your copy of The Fault in Our Stars and draw a mustache tattoo on your index finger to embody the 2010’s Tumblr aesthetic. Dress in some low waisted jeans and a graphic tee or glittery top and go as a 90’s icon. Alternatively, bust out a flowery, flowy shirt, some wide-legged pants and a DIY flower crown for a 70’s flower child look.

Discussion Board Post

What you’ll need: A GW Wepa account

One thing every GW student has probably done within the past year is reply to at least a hundred Blackboard discussion posts. In the spirit of Jim Halpert’s minimal effort pun costumes from the “The Office,” why not poke a little fun at a student-shared experience. This costume is very customizable. All you have to do is print out the Blackboard logo on a piece of paper and tape it to the front of your shirt. Print out the words, “Reply to this discussion post with thoughtful comments for this student,” or some variation of the sort. Be creative!

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