Between the recently-released It remake and the current season of American Horror Story: Cult, I feel pretty confident that I'm not overgeneralizing when I say that anyone who wasn't afraid of clowns thanks to a terrifying childhood experience is probably pretty afraid of them now. I mean, personally, I struggle to find anything redeeming about clowns these days, because it seems like they can pretty much only be counted on to haunt my dreams. But, it's been such a classic Halloween costume idea for so many years, I'm inclined to feel like maybe we should give it a chance — at least, if we're scrambling for a costume idea last-minute and have no other options but to pick up a clown suit at the store — and come up with some clown Halloween costume ideas that aren't scary to go against the trend.
There are things about clowns that I want to like, after all. In their kinder, sweeter imaginings, they're fun and silly — and they get to wear colorful wigs. Maybe the years just haven't been friendly to clowns. Like so many others, maybe they've simply been hardened by the harsh realities of the 21st century. The world can be cold to all of us sometimes, no?
This Halloween, consider flipping the script on clowns by dressing up as a non-scary version of everyone's (least) favorite circus character. When you think about it, there are limitless options for clown outfits. Most of them won't give you nightmares, and many of them can be put together with pieces you already have in your closet or were planning (or hoping) to buy, anyway.
Plus — and I'll be honest — I'll do just about anything if it means I get to wear a colorful wig.
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Cute Clown Baby
Even the freakiest of clowns were once just sweet little clown babies, and there's absolutely nothing scary about that. Bring this softer, sweeter clown to life with a Crybaby shirt, a pink tutu, chunky polka-dotted sneakers, and a bonnet. Finish the look with a baby bottle prop, and clown nose.
Clown families deserve to have pets around too, but a cat in a clown home is no ordinary feline. Create your own clown cat costume with faux leather pants, a leopard bomber jacket, paw gloves, furry cat ears, a colorful wig, and a red nose.
Figure Skating Clown
The 2018 Winter Olympics are just a few months away, and the thought of a colorful clown taking on the typically elegant, understated figure skating competition is both hilarious and adorable. Add a few classically clownish elements — a rainbow wig, a red nose, and bright tights— to a skater dress and a pair of white booties that can almost pass for skates.
A farmer is pretty much the ultimate unscary Halloween costume — and it has the added benefit of giving you a reason to wear a pair of overalls and a cozy flannel shirt. Top it off with a straw hat, and — of course — the requisite nose.
Everyone deserves a vacation, and clowns are no exception. Personally, I've also always wanted to wear a Hawaiian shirt, so there's no reason I can't all out and throw on a wig and a red nose while I'm at it. Other essentials: denim shorts, colorful party shades, a beach bag, and rubber flip-flops.
For maximum sneakiness, your paparazzi clown should be dressed head to toe in black: jeans, sweatshirt, high tops, and sunglasses. Grab an inflatable prop camera to show that you're getting the job done and add a playful touch with a fun pigtail wig and clown nose.
Maybe your clown goes to clown college, or perhaps she's enrolled somewhere with a little more clout — either way, she's gonna need a colorful backpack, some academic-looking glasses, a comfy just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-came-to-class shirt, and sweats. Don't forget the rainbow wig and nose!
The boho trend seems to just keep going and going and going — but if you're bored of wearing it in your day-to-day life, adding a clownish spin to it for Halloween will keep things interesting. Pair your favorite hippie dress with a colorful ombre wig and toss in some classic boho accessories — a wide-brimmed hat, oversized aviator shades, and a mood necklace, maybe. But don't forget: Even a bohemian clown wouldn't be caught dead without their nose!
Couch Potato Clown
Is getting off the couch and into the spirit of Halloween feeling like a massive challenge this year? You can justify taking the ultimate comfortable costume out of the house simply by turning your sofa-loving self into a clown. Don't change a thing about your sweatpants, casual tee, and slippers, because this costume is all about adding, not subtracting (also, it's kind of about laziness). Throw a fleece Snuggie over your shoulders, a sleep mask on your forehead for dramatic effect, and top off the look with a clown nose and rainbow wig.
Clowns are best known, of course, for their silly, goofy personas, but I think it's time we gave them a little badass street cred. Assemble a full faux black leather outfit with imitation leather pants, jacket, and biker boots. Accessorize with oversized aviators, statement stud earrings, and a black choker. Add color with a wig and nose.
'90s Grunge Clown
Bring back the '90s this October with some grunge — clown-style. You'll need ripped jeans, a timely graphic tee or crop top, a roomy flannel, and high tops. Complete the costume with a wig and clown nose.
Dog Walker Clown
The key to this dog walking clown costume? A backpack stuffed with plush pups as a quirky illustration of life on the sidewalk with handfuls of leashed canines! Any cute, casual outfit — like a denim dress and striped shirt — will work for this look, as long as you have a wig and nose ready to go too.