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10 Cute Halloween Costume Ideas for Any Budget


Halloween costumes

Halloween is right around the corner, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably been thinking about what costume you’re going to wear.

If you don’t have any Halloween costume ideas yet, or just want something easy and inexpensive, this list is for you.

Here are some of my favorite Halloween costumes for college girls, from fashion-inspired costumes to pop culture references, celebrities and more. Even though I don’t think Halloween costumes have to be slutty, I’ve included some of the best “sexy” costumes out there too, in case that’s up your alley. I tried to put something for everyone in this list!

Check back tomorrow for part two of this series, where I’ll tell you about some great historical and fashion-inspired Halloween costumes, plus my picks for the best of all the “sexy” Halloween costumes.

T.V. Halloween Costume Ideas

Serena or Blair from Gossip Girl

Serena and Blair from Gossip Girl

Everyone’s favorite upper east siders would make fabulous Halloween costumes! If you’re not in to dressing sexy or going out and buying a costume, either of these are a great choice.

You can’t buy a Gossip Girl Halloween costume online, so here’s how to be Serena or Blair for Halloween: If you haven’t checked them out yet, read the articles in my Gossip Girl Fashion series (How To Dress Like Serena & How To Dress Like Blair) – I break down their style piece by piece, so each character’s look will be easy to replicate!

To create your costume, take the ideas from my articles & find pieces in your wardrobe that work. Next, see if you can borrow what’s missing from friends. If you’re still out of luck check vintage stores (vintage shopping is very Serena anyway), and buy new pieces only if you have to. No reason to break the bank for a costume you’ll only wear once!

Daphne from Scooby Doo

The cast of the Scooby Doo movie

This one’s a classic, because it’s always fun to go as a cartoon character. If you have red hair or just love the color purple, Daphne is your perfect Scooby Doo costume choice. If you want to channel your inner geek or just feel like wearing orange, Velma’s your girl.

Both of these costumes are available to buy online, which makes things really easy (although you might want to buy separate shoes). You can buy a Daphne Costume for $32.99, and the Velma Costume is also available for $32.95.

Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite

Yes, there’s another vintage cartoon on this list – I just think they make great Halloween costumes. Rainbow Brite’s outfit is one of my favorites because it’s so colorful and fun. It’s also great because as we all know, the 80’s are back in style!

You can buy a Rainbow Brite costume online (FYI: it’s a little on the sexy side), and that would probably be your best bet unless you know how to sew well! Her outfit looks like it would be tough to make yourself, but if you’re great with a sewing machine, definitely go for it!

Movie Halloween Costume Ideas

Mia Wallace – Pulp Fiction

Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction

So iconic and so easy to put together, Uma Thurman’s look as Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction makes a great Halloween costume. Guys love Uma Thurman and this movie, so expect to get some extra male attention if you wear this costume on October 31st!

There are 3 essential parts to Mia’s look: the black capris, the button-down white shirt, and the hair. If you’re doing this costume, you have to get a wig (unless you have her haircut already) because the hair makes the costume. No one will know who you’re supposed to be unless the hair is right!

Holly Golightly – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Holly Golightly

A classic Halloween costume idea. Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s truly invented the idea of the “little black dress.” The character’s style is what everyone associates with Audrey Hepburn, and it’s really become the textbook definition of chic.

To get the Holly Golightly look, here’s what you need: A little black dress, a pair of oversized black sunglasses, a huge pearl necklace, white gloves, and an air of effortless chicness.

Cher or Dionne – Clueless

Cher and Dionne in the movie Clueless

One of my favorite movies ever, Clueless is not only a great film but an amazing source of fashion inspiration. The fluffy purses! All the 90’s clothes! The knee-high socks and mary-janes! I could go on and on about the great wardrobe.

To go as Cher or Dionne for Halloween, I recommend looking through vintage stores for yellow or black plaid skirt-blazer sets, worn over a coordinating cardigan and a white tee, knee-high white socks or black tights, a fluffy backpack, and cell phone or shopping bags.

Celebrity Halloween Costume Ideas

Sarah Palin

Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin

2008’s most popular Halloween costume by far (even Lindsay Lohan wore it), the Sarah Palin costume will get you laughs if you live in a liberal state, and probably some evil eyes if you live somewhere conservative. Wear this one with caution!

To dress up as Sarah Palin, you need to wear either a red skirt-suit (or “Miss Alaska” bikini as seen here). Then throw your hair in a beehive updo and put on a pair of glasses. For extra credit, make a few references to “joe six pack” and pretend to fire a shotgun while in costume. For even more ideas, here’s a great article on how to make your own Sarah Palin costume.

Kim Kardashian


If you have a little extra junk in the trunk or even if you don’t, Kim Kardashian is a great celebrity costume choice if you have a sense of humor about it. Bonus points if you have a boyfriend or female friend who agrees to go with you as one of her many boyfriends or a Kardashian sister.

Here’s what you need to make a Kim Kardashian costume: a long black wig (even better if you have natural black hair), lots of bronzer & smokey eye makeup, a skin-tight dress, and some kind of padding or butt-enhancer. Also, you need to have the confidence to pull all the costume off well & still be able to laugh about it.

One of the Spice Girls

The Spice Girls

Even if you went as one of the Spice Girls when you were 11, who says you can’t repeat a costume?

Grab four of your girlfriends for a group costume everyone will recognize, or three friends for the Spice Girls post-Geri. If you want to go solo, go as Victoria Beckham with a little black dress, killer heels, and no smile.

To make your costume, grab those platform sneakers out of the back of your closet, and don’t forget a dress in one of the Spice girl’s signature colors or patterns – leopard for Scary, black for Posh, light pink for Baby, etc.

More Halloween Costume Ideas

Need more ideas? See the second part of this article, where I show you some more great Halloween costume ideas and how you can make them or buy them! Don’t miss it.

What are you going to be for Halloween? Do you like any of the ideas here, or are you thinking something else entirely? Let me know your Halloween costume ideas, and let everyone know what you think by leaving a comment!

Posted on on October 13, 2008 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , ,

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44 Responses to “10 Cute Halloween Costume Ideas for Any Budget”

  1. 1
    October 16th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Argh, I accidentally deleted this post & lost all the comments! :(

  2. 2
    October 17th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Halloween is quickly becoming the most celebrated holiday of the year. These costume ideas are great. Love the Kardashian one.

    If you want to go a little sexier, check out this batch…

  3. 3
    October 20th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Using the Sarah Palin idea. Made a blood-stained straight jacket too. XD

  4. 4
    October 28th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Hey, I posted this link on my site. Pretty funny. I have one about Fey vs. Palin. Check it out.

  5. 5
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    hey, i love all the ideas. i wanna do something for duo day at school and i love the serena and blair idea and the clueless idea. where do you think we should look for the outfits? thank you and love the ideas!!

  6. 6
    July 19th, 2009 at 4:27 am

    OMG i lovelovelove the Holly Golightly idea. Its not one of those other sluttly costumes I usually see girls wear. I love the movie and Audrey!

  7. 7
    September 27th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Isnt halloween meant to be scary? i cant see why these ideas have any relation to halloween to be honnest

  8. 8
    October 3rd, 2009 at 1:49 am

    My daughter in college went to Target & got an extra large girls one piece sleeper complete with footies! She also got a pacifier & she will carry a teddy bear around while wearing pig tails. It should be really cute. (She usually wears maybe an adult size 6 and her friend got one too & she maybe wears an 8.)

  9. 9
    October 9th, 2009 at 2:30 am

    I’m going to be Lady GaGa!!! All you need is a leotard, a blond wig with bangs, tights, maybe her shades possibly a thunder on the face… I think anyone can be this because her style is so recognizable and unique.

  10. 10
    October 28th, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    ok well my gf and i wanna be kim kardashian and reggie bush im having trouble being reggie without spending alot and what not any help?

  11. 11
    October 29th, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    hahaa , good ideas . (:
    me & my boyfriend are going as Harley Quinn and the Joker .

  12. 12
    December 25th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    This year I was Mia Wallace and that costume is probably my favorite halloween costume that I’ve ever done. It was a very easy costume to pull off because I look like her anways- I have the exact same haircut, which is great because I hate wearing a wig. For the pants I found a pair of black dress pants at Goodwill and re-hemmed them. It was extremely comfortable for a costume, and Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite movies.
    I’ve also dressed up as Sarah Palin. I wore the costume to school and found a guy dressed as McCain.

  13. 13
    February 8th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Hey, is there a lady gaga costume for a talent show my neice needs one!
    : ) thanks

  14. 14
    August 3rd, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    These are great. Another easy fun one is Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood

  15. 15
    August 12th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Great ideas all around. I just found this article. Some uodated costumes for 2010 are Green Lantern, Star Trek, & President Obama.

    this site is great for find new ideas.

  16. 16
    August 26th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Those are some really good ideas in there. A few more that are relevant this year is a Betty White costume which can be put together at your local thrift store. Or even a Elin Nordegren (Tiger’s wife) with a cute golfing outfit and a broken golf club. :)

    Being creative you can come up with a TON more ideas!

  17. 17
    September 5th, 2010 at 10:13 pm


    Some really good ideas. I went as Daphne from Scooby Doo last year. This year I am thinking on the lines of Kill Bill. :)

  18. 18
    September 10th, 2010 at 3:33 am

    hey guys, im lookin to be coco chanel this halloween. any ideas?

  19. 19
    October 5th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I am already a Serena so it is easy to emulate her style.

  20. 20
    October 14th, 2010 at 2:43 am

    i recently found this awesome bear costume that i love on i was going to save my money for it. now that i have enough, it’s sold out! everywhere! does anyone have easy ideas for a sexy brown bear costume? it has to be brown to match my boyfriend’s bear costumes. (we love bears alot, lol) please help!!!!!

  21. 21
    October 29th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    OMG so cute

  22. 22
    October 30th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Snookie is easy if you’re short and plump haha

  23. 23
    March 7th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Such good costume ideas. I really like the classic clothing ones like the scooby doo cast or even the spice girls the clothing from back then is really different compared from today.

  24. 24
    March 17th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    What I can say is very nice and helpful as well as informative post…really help me very much more!! Thanks..


  25. 25
    May 2nd, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    what about the black eyed peas? lol

  26. 26
    July 15th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Im thinking about going as a the main character off of suckerpunch

  27. 27
    July 23rd, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I’m planning on going as Alice from the resident evil movie series and my friend is going as a zombie (we’re OBSESSED with the series and zombies in general) and I’m gonna get a pair of red short-shorts, red spaghetti strap dress and black boots-pretty easy, just need to fix the dress by cutting the end at an angle if it isn’t already (her outfit from the first Movie) Then gonna help my buddy with the zombie makeup (I’ve got scar wax I can use, and I’m basically the only person I know that knows how to use it to make “bites” and “cuts”).

  28. 28
    September 29th, 2011 at 5:08 am

    I was looking for a great Halloween costume.. Ur ideas helped me a lot.. Thanks :)

  29. 29
    October 9th, 2011 at 5:33 am

    inspirating, thanks for thatt Halloween Costume Ideas. Spice Girls my favorite one :)

  30. 30
    October 16th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    wooza i wanna go as a scobbydoo cracter!!

  31. 31
    October 24th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I’m going to be “Radio” GaGa!!! All you need is a leotard, a blond wig with bangs, tights, maybe her shades possibly a thunder on the face… I think anyone can be this because her style is so recognizable and unique, so cool.

  32. 32
    October 27th, 2011 at 12:16 am

    This is a great list! I’m so happy that you mentioned Holly Golightly as an option because that’s who I’m actually being this year. She truly did show what a woman’s “little black dress” should look like and defined class. I also liked the idea of one of the Spice Girls. This would be a great throw-back for our generation because we all grew up with them and probably all had a favorite one. The Spice Girls is a perfect way to have a group theme with all your friends. Another good idea for a group theme could be Disney Princesses because it goes along the same lines where everyone would know who you are and everyone can pick their favorite princess.

  33. 33
    July 11th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Great costumes ideas. Thank you!

  34. 34
    August 5th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Great costume ideas Love it!….I think I may do a post on my blog on a rory gilmore costume! because my obsession with GG has lead me to decide that will be my costume this year

  35. 35
    August 21st, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I am such a sucker at haloween parties. Time to unleash myself this time, i guess ;-)

  36. 36
    September 15th, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    This year I’m going to be the morton’s salt girl! I’m so excited. I already have the yellow dress, all I need is the shoes!

  37. 37
    September 17th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Wednesday Addams. It was a hit last year and I figured I’ll give it a second go around.

  38. 38
    September 26th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s deffinatly!

  39. 39
    September 29th, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Loving all these ideas. Another easy idea is the cast of Jersey Shore – although that’s really not all that “cute.”

  40. 40
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    ooo , i love this very fine ideas, i really love your list. very inspirational.

  41. 41
    March 13th, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I think it all depends on if you want to be sexy, or creepy. My past Halloween costumes have been ghoulish (Inferi from Harry Potter, a zombie, Bellatrix Lastrange) and so I am going to go as something sexy this year. Probably a character from a musical.

  42. 42
    September 13th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Your article gives me some good ideas for my next halloween disguise costume. Very interesting, thx !

  43. 43
    January 19th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    The Sarah Palin one, ohhh yeahh! ;)

  44. 44
    May 17th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    My brother suggested I might like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day.

    You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info!

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