Costumes on a dime for mom and dad

Eeeeek! You’ve received an invitation to a Halloween party where parents have to dress up. While you may have spent days-even weeks-planning your child’s costume, you have no idea what to wear yourself.

If the scariest thing about this time of year is finding an affordable costume in time for Halloween, you’re not alone. The National Retail Federation 2008 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found that more than 35 percent of adults planned to dress up for the holiday, with witches, pirates and vampires leading the top three choices for costume.

“Coming up with your own costume and creating it yourself is more impressive,” says Ashley Dodd, who along with co-author Bridie Clark, put together The Halloween Handbook to help inspire adult costumes.

Whether you’re going to a fancy Halloween party this year, volunteering at the school harvest festival or just trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, one of these costume ideas could be a great fit and great fun, too.

Take some inspiration from these simple-to-create ensembles:

Getups for gals

  • Fairy Godmother

    Making wishes come true? You do it every day! So dig into the dress-up clothes and find the tiaras, sparkly purses and feather boas your kids wear during pretend play. Add a little glitter to an old pair of tennis shoes, put sparkly stickers on your clothes and face-even hot-glue some gems to an old apron or sweatshirt. Carry a little bag of glitter for giving out wishes to neighborhood friends.

  • Dress like dad

    Super simple, right? Dig up a few of dad’s clothes, put your hair under a favorite sports cap and use mascara or eye liner to add some faux facial hair. You may look silly, but the kids will think you’re hysterical.

  • Sand witch

    Gather your best witch ensemble-black pointy shoes, black stockings, a broom and a black dress. Use an inexpensive witch’s hat, available at discount stores, drip craft glue generously over the hat, sprinkle sand over glue and let dry. For an extra cackle, carry a jar of peanut butter (Peanut Butter Sand Witch) or a canned ham (Ham Sand Witch).

Guys in disguise

According to the NRF, slightly more guys than gals will put on a costume this Halloween. If you’re stumped, try one of these:

  • Mummy

    If mom can dress like dad, then dad can certainly dress like “Mummy.” A white sweatshirt lays the foundation for this fun outfit. Have dad wrap a little toilet paper around his sweatshirt and head for a mummy effect. You’ll have kids hollering for their “mummy” in no time>

  • Boxer

    Dig out a robe, some bright-colored shorts and your gym shoes. If you don’t have access to boxing gloves, use a large pair of winter mittens, stuffed and hanging around your neck. Rough up your hair, blacken an eye and a tooth and you’ll arrive in Rocky style.

  • Waiter

    Dress in black pants, a white collared shirt and throw a dish towel over your forearm. Carry a tray with small treats on top to hand out to kids.

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