Halloween is coming up even faster than you think, so if you don't have a costume yet it's time to get crackin'. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a ready-made costume from a party store that everyone else will also have and you're not very good at tricky DIY costumes, then you may want to consider checking out an unexpected place to find Halloween costumes. Yeah, I'm talking about the reigning queen of fast fashion: For Halloween costumes, Forever 21 is a surprisingly useful resource. It's actually the perfect place to find a Halloween getup because it's cheap and absolutely chock-full of a wide variety of trendy pieces that can be turned into all sorts of costumes. The best part is that after Halloween is over, you can keep wearing individual elements of your costume throughout the year (so you won't be throwing money away on a one-time ensemble).
Of course, Forever 21 can be pretty overwhelming in its bounty. That's why I sorted through it for you to come up with several great costume ideas (and the pieces you can use to make them). Check out my suggestions and see if any of them inspire you. And if you have your own idea, remember to check out the accessories, beauty, and home goods sections as well to find unexpected items to complete your costume.
1. A Cowgirl
Genuine Suede Collared Jacket, $60, forever21.com; Contemporary Classic Flare Jeans, $25, forever21.com; Buckled Strap Ankle Booties, $35, forever21.com; Contemporary Buttoned Denim Shirt, $25, forever21.com; Wide Brim Wool Hat, $23, forever21.com; Plus Size Genuine Suede Fringe Jacket, $59.90, forever21.com; Plus Size Chambray Shirt, $27.90, forever21.com; Plus Size Double Button Clean Wash Jeans, $27.90, forever21.com
This is a great costume for those of you who want to pay tribute to the Wild West without offending an entire culture with a "sexy Native American" costume. Lots of denim and suede is required; luckily, Forever 21 stocks a lot of both, not to mention all the ankle boots and wide-brimmed hats. If you're going to be inside all night, perhaps choose a faux suede vest instead of a jacket so you don't get overheated.
2. Carmen Sandiego
Not only is this costume a classic, it's also quite warm thanks to the required coat, hat, and gloves. Other than that, all you need is black pants or leggings and a black turtleneck. Bonus points if you can find a yellow scarf too.
3. Daenerys Targaryen
Contemporary Sequined Chiffon Maxi Dress, $30, forever21.com; Beaded Chain Arm Band, $11, forever21.com; Metallic Lace-Up Pumps, $35, forever21.com; Plus Size Crochet-Trimmed Maxi Dress, $32.90, forever21.com
Daenerys often wears sparkly, sequined dresses and statement-making arm cuffs. I also feel like these shoes are totally her style. If you're feeling really creative you can find at least one toy dragon to perch on your shoulder for the night. As for her signature white hair, if you're not blonde and you don't want to buy a wig, you might be able to get away with telling people you're Emilia Clarke and you're totally ready to shoot except you've lost your wig. Ooops.
4. A Superhero
Layered-Back Sheath Dress, $35, forever21.com; Concho Bead Belt, $9, forever21.com; Oversized Etched Arm Cuff, $7 each, forever21.com ; Engraved Pendant Headpiece, $6, forever21.com; Faux Suede Over The Knee Boots, $45, forever21.com
A superhero is an easy costume because there's so many options: Wonder Woman, Catwoman, even the subject of the upcoming Netflix show Jessica Jones. This costume, however, is sort of just a generic mix of all of them. The fun part about that is that you can have a good time telling people what your super powers are. Choose a lot of statement-making jewelry, such as matching arm cuffs, a metallic belt, and a headpiece, plus a cape dress and killer thigh-high boots.
5. A Bride
The Allflower Crochet Chiffon Maxi Dress, $150, forever21.com; Ultra Pigmented Lip Color Set, $5, forever21.com; Shimmer Smoky Eye Duo, $4, forever21.com; Scalloped Crochet Headwrap, $4, forever21.com
This is another outfit that is easily customizable. You can be a runaway bride, a corpse bride, a zombie bride (same thing as a corpse bride or not really?), the bride from Kill Bill, or the Bride of Frankenstein. If your chosen bride is going to be more gruesome than gorgeous, then pick up a set of pigmented lip colors to use as blood. You can also go heavy on the eye makeup with a smoky eye pen. Forever 21 also offers a whole bunch of gold ring sets so make sure you snap some up and use one as your wedding ring.
6. Hipster Snow White
Side Slit Satin Maxi Skirt, $18, forever21.com; Peter Pan Collar Top, $18, forever21.com; Ribbed Knit Cropped Sweater, $13, forever21.com; Classic V-Neck Cardigan, $9, forever21.com; Rather Be Sleeping Mug, $15, forever21.com; Eye Mask, $16, forever21.com ; Classic Browline Readers, $6, forever21.com; Red Velvet Lipstick Crayon, $4, forever21.com; Plus Size Zipper Pocket Top, $22.90, forever21.com; Plus Size Bow Cutout-Back Top, $19.90, forever21.com
It's all about Disney Princesses these days, so why not put a fun spin on it? Snow White's signature colors are easy to find at a large store like Forever 21, and then you can check out the home goods section to find a few pieces that express your sassy discontent over being woken up. Don't forget large glasses and her classic red lip.
7. A Fortune Teller
Contemporary Crushed Velvet Maxi Dress, $35, forever21.com; Contemporary Longline Floral Crochet Vest, $28, forever21.com; Rhinestone Metallic Embroidered Headwrap, $5, forever21.com; Polaroid Disco Light, $16, forever21.com ; Faux Stone Ring Set, $10, forever21.com; Plus Size Beaded Gauze Maxi Dress, $32.90, forever21.com
You'll be the life of the party with this costume. Just have everyone gather around to have their fortunes told. Forever 21 even has a small disco light that you can use as your crystal ball. Be sure to wear lots of rings (since your hands will be center stage) and wear a flashy turban; this metallic headwrap would work too.