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How to create a Halloween costume using your own closet

How to.. Make a costume

It happens every year -- the "Oh no, what am I going to be for Halloween?" question. And by the time Halloween is a mere couple days away, it's already too late. Instead of aimlessly searching for places to find a discounted outfit, just get up and walk to your closet! There's no need to spend that extra money on an outfit this Halloween. Here's why.
Budget-friendly and original
Woman with retro Halloween costume

Step 1: Anchor piece

Creating an outfit from your existing closet is easier than it seems. Picking the anchor piece from your wardrobe is the first step. Whether it's your shoes or your shirt, the starting point of this trick is having a piece of clothing in mind for the outfit. If you have a flannel shirt in your closet, a lumberjack or cowgirl costume can easily be created.

If your wardrobe has a more nautical style, try making a stylish sailor outfit. Any sports fans out there? If you or your significant other has a jersey in your closet, don't be afraid to break it out. Any jersey will work -- NFL, NBA, MLB or any university team jersey. Lastly, we've been seeing fringe making its way back into the fashion scene, so fringe shirts and boots are becoming increasingly popular. If you're on trend, then there's always room for a Pocahontas outfit!

Step 2: Pair up your pick

Pair your anchor piece with ordinary items waiting in your closet. Think about it -- this is what we do every day when we pick out the perfect piece of clothing to complement those new Jeffrey Campbell shoes we just bought. Creating a Pocahontas outfit around your fringed boots or moccasin slippers might seem like a challenge, but if your closet includes a plain oversized T-shirt, leggings and a denim vest, your mission just became a whole lot easier. If you have an old T-shirt you're not afraid to cut up, check out the Urban Outfits blog on how to fringe your own T-shirt. You’ll be Pocahontas in no time.

If your anchor piece is a jersey, flannel, nautical shirt or some other top, finding the shoes and bottom to complete the outfit is your next step. If you want to be an athlete this year for Halloween, pair your favorite team's jersey with black shorts, knee-high socks and Chuck Taylors to tie it together for a cute, sporty look. If you're going the cowgirl route, pair your flannel shirt with a pair of ripped jeans and brown leather boots (or cowboy boots if you have them) to bring it together for a Wild West costume. Most of us have a navy and white striped shirt somewhere in our closet. This is the perfect start to a sailor look. Add a pair of white skinnies, or a white skirt and Keds -- or better yet Top Siders -- to create a look appropriate for the deep blue sea.

Step 3: Emphasize accessories

This next step can really make or break the costume. Halloween is all about being dramatic, so why not emphasize accessories? Whether it’s adding a little face paint, extra makeup or a hat, accessories matter! Having some face paint in the house wouldn’t hurt this Halloween, but if face paint isn't handy, then eyeliner, lipstick, cream blush and shadows are great substitutes. Making tribal war paint stripes on your face is an easy way to add some spunk to your Pocahontas costume.

The face paint could come in handy in the athlete outfit as well, since many athletes wear black under their eyes when they play. Swipe on two lines of black paint and you'll look like the players you cheer for on TV.

Hair accessories will also add to the effectiveness of these homemade costumes. If you tend to wear hats, don’t be afraid to pull out your ball cap or cowboy hat for the night. If you're pursuing the Pocahontas costume, wearing a thin elastic headband around your head with an attached feather or flower makes this look a chic and festive.

More on Halloween costumes

Halloween costume and makeup ideas
How to make a Where's Waldo Halloween costume
How to create pinup girl makeup

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