Nightlife: Why so serious about Halloween?

Anna Hoover

If you google “Halloween costumes”, you will find a lot of ideas, especially for children. Add in “college Halloween costumes” and you get a lot of half-hearted or extremely revealing outfits. So, those of you that go to haunted houses or parties while wearing a cool costume but didn’t have the time or know-how to make a costume ahead of time get stuck with the same common outfits.

Joker bobble-head (Photo Courtesy of Pixabay)

I propose that we try different costumes – no more of the cop-out puns (taping quarters on your back or writing life on your shirt and carry around lemons) that don’t spark conversation past the initial eye roll or giggle. Bring back some of the thought that goes into the scary part of Halloween and appreciate the tricks in the treats. Look at more than one place for ideas, don’t just google it and pick from the first list that pops up.


I traditionally like Pinterest to find good costume ideas, especially if you’re looking for a specific character. There are comic books characters, movie characters, tv-show characters, historical characters, you name it. Most characters that you can think of have concept art or how to costumes for cosplayers and people who really know how to work the costume magic, but there are lots of simplified versions to take inspiration from, too. Don’t forget that there are celebrities, memes, and pop culture figures that you can also use — the classic Audrey Hepburn always looks good and is really easy to recreate with a simple black dress and some gloves.

Halloween zombies at a bar (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia)


However, you can keep it even simpler and still rock a costume with classic Halloween ghouls and monsters. Zombies never go out of style — take literally any old outfit and splash some fake blood or red paint and poof, you’re a zombie. Some places to find fake blood, the stuff that won’t stain your clothes or get goo everywhere (hopefully) are Walmart, The Life of the Party, and Party City. Vampires, scarecrows, skeletons and witches are so easily adaptable to anybody’s wardrobe, which make these costumes easy for college students to create and still rock a recognizable costume. On a side note, I might caution against clowns this year, just trust me on that one.

Fake blood splatter and hand print (Photo courtesy of


Even if you have a character in mind, finding all the pieces is the tricky part. I have made several of my own costumes over the years and, surprisingly, had luck with thrift stores from all around. Some great thrift stores to start at here in Fort Collins are Thrift Rite, Arc thrift, and Flamingo Boutique LLC. Although some of the thrift stores don’t have the best websites, you can still walk in and find something surprising that is way better than anything you could get from anywhere else, so it’s always worth it to at least go in and see — bring some friends for an evening out and away from homework by trying on silly thrift store items.

Thrift Store clothes and boots on a rack (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)


If thrifting isn’t your thing, Halloween shops may have what you need. Although not everybody has the money to go and buy full costumes from Halloween shops, it is still fun to go in and try on at least a few to see how ridiculous they look. It’s even more fun with friends, and great for selfies, if the store allows them. Places like Wear it Again, Sam and The Life of the Party are open most of the year and have some costumes that you could rent if your pocketbook allows it. Otherwise, there are lots of costume options premade for those last-minute costume occasions available at a variety of different stores. Check out some of the ones mentioned above or, if those don’t satisfy you, the dollar store has some, albeit cheap in value as well as price, costumes that can suffice if you truly don’t have a costume for that special Halloween occasion.

So dress up, get scary and eat some candy!

Nightlife Writer Anna Hoover can be reached at or on Twitter @Hoovanna17 Leave a comment!!