7 Best 2016 Halloween Costume Ideas To Make From Things In Your Closet

Halloween is right around the corner — I'm sure this is not exactly news to anyone. While some people have been planning their costumes for months, some of us are going for a, shall we say, low-key approach? It's perfectly fine to go all out and make or buy a super intense costume, but some of us just don't have the time, money, imagination, or desire. Honestly, I get it. In college, I was that person who crafted a new outfit for each theme party and had my Halloween costume in the works for months in advance. But now? Now I just want to slap on a hat or a pair of animal ears and call it a day. But I can't quite bring myself to not dress up at all, because I'd feel like a downer.

Luckily, there is a middle ground between doing absolutely nothing and doing the most. All it requires is a little creativity and, in some cases, minimal crafting to take something that's been sitting in your closet into a bona fide Halloween costume. So don't stress out, and don't go running to the costume store just yet. I promise, these are super easy and doable.

1. Lara Croft

I did this last year, and it was so easy and cost me next to nothing. One of the best things about this costume is that there are so many variations you can take. As long as you have the staples — combat boots, French braid — you can really do whatever you want with the outfit. You can wear camouflage shorts and a tank. You can wear cargo pants and a T-shirt. You can do what I did and wear a black bustier-style crop top and high-waisted black shorts. I also took the extra step of spray painting two Nerf guns black and then belting them to my legs, but that's not necessary. And even though I didn't follow Lara's costume to the letter, everyone immediately knew who I was supposed to be.

Combat Boots, $40, DSW; Black Shorts, $9, Amazon

2. Average Joe's Player

All you need are a plain yellow T-shirt, and a pair of red shorts, coupled with your favorite pair of sneakers. Bonus points for comfort! Then, just write Average Joe's on your shirt in the signature script — I used those iron-on fabric sheets where you create your own design, but fabric marker or fabric paint also work. And voilà! It's also an awesome group costume for your entire lazy squad. My friends and I did this our senior year of high school, and it was a favorite among students and teachers. For those who have no desire to craft, you can buy the Average Joe's shirt pre-made.

Yellow T-Shirt, $13, Amazon; Red Shorts, $7, Amazon; Average Joe's Shirt, $13, Amazon

3. Any Kind Of Barbie

Barbie is great because she has so many varieties that you can never go wrong. Want to wear a bathing suit? Great, you're lifeguard or beach Barbie, and you can accessorize with your sunglasses, flip flops, and a towel. How about some scrubs? You're doctor Barbie. Your gym clothes? You guessed it: athletic Barbie. Just slap on some brightly colored eyeshadow, pink lipstick, and your best fake smile, and you're ready. It doesn't even matter if those aren't real Barbie dolls — it's close enough and no one will fact-check you.

Bathing Suit, $16, Amazon; Scrubs, $35, Amazon

4. An Ancient Roman

This one I know all of you can do! All you need is one — I repeat, one — flat sheet and a pair of gladiator sandals. A quick toga tying tutorial later, and you're ready to go stab Caesar, or whatever your Halloween plans are.

Flat Sheet, $13, Amazon; Gladiator Sandals, $20, DSW

5. Taylor Swift

Admittedly, if you don't happen to have a blonde bob, you will need to procure a wig. The easy part is that when it comes to outfit choice, Taylor is very easy to emulate. Any crop top and high-waisted bottom will do. Don't have that? Try a romper or pantsuit. Don't have that? OK, break out a gown. Or wear your favorite all-black athletic outfit à la Taylor's Apple Music commercial. Finish it off with a cat eye and bold lip, and boom, you will be very much included in the Halloween costume narrative.

Wig, $17, Amazon

6. Fresh Prince Or Princess Of Bel-Air

Full disclosure, I'm probably doing this on Thursday, so I probably shouldn't have leaked my brilliant idea to the masses. But I think it's safe to say that most of us '90s kids have at least one item of clothing left over from the decade, like a neon windbreaker, or a crazy sweater, or a fanny pack, or what have you. Honestly, anything with bright colors and/or a ridiculous pattern will work. So grab that, get yourself a cheap crown or tiara, and whoomp! There it is. You are the Fresh Prince or Princess. The Bel-Air part is implied. I know, I'm a genius.

Neon Windbreaker, $10 Amazon; Tiara, $4 Amazon

7. Wednesday Addams

Is it the most original costume? Maybe not. But it's still a very simple one that doesn't require a whole lot of preparation. Take your go-to little black dress and layer it over a white collared shirt. Or, even easier, get a detachable collar. Pair with pigtail braids and a dead look in your eyes.

Little Black Dress, $16, Amazon; Detachable Collar, $10, Amazon

Images: Kristina Paukshtite / Pexels; Giphy (6); Amazon (10); Target (1); DSW (2);