50+ Easy College Halloween Costumes From Clothes You Already Own [2021]

With a few simple pieces from your closet, you’ll be able to create these easy Halloween costumes.

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50+ easy halloween costume ideas for college with items you already have in your closet

Every year without fail, away football games, homecoming, and my sorority’s Big Little night always seem to fall right around Halloween, leaving me with pretty much zero funds to invest in an awesome costume. So, what’s a girl to do when she’s broke but still wants a rockin’ costume (especially this year)? Find free Halloween costume ideas, that’s what.

Don’t worry friends, CF is to the rescue! In this post, I’ve listed 54 non-lame and non-lazy easy Halloween costumes that you can create from pieces that you (or one of your BFFs) will certainly have in your closet.

Related reading: 26 Halloween Makeup Looks We Are Obsessing Over

Let’s get right to it!

Classic Halloween Costume Ideas

1. A Doll

Barbie Halloween Tutorial
♡ BRATZ LOOKBOOK ♡

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This one is instantly recognizable. For Barbie, all you need is a hot pink dress and matching high heels. If you have an acid-washed denim jacket or anything sequined, be sure to wear that, too! Another fun idea is to look in your sorority house’s costume closets or even your mom’s closet for an ’80s inspired party dress.

Make your hair huge with hot rulers, a teasing comb, and ton of hairspray. Finish with pink lipstick, shimmery pink blush, blue eyeshadow, and tons of black mascara.

You could also be a Bratz doll, as pictured above, with different makeup and edgier clothes. Your choice!

2. Cheerleader

Cheer | Official Trailer | Netflix

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You might have already watched the popular Netflix series Cheer (and if not, go watch it ASAP). This series definitely made me want to be a cheerleader. If you also enjoyed this TV show, why not dress up as a cheerleader for Halloween?

This is also an easy costume to make because all you will need is a cute school skirt like this one with a cropped tank to match. Print out a school logo and tape it on. Also, if you want to add even more to the costume, pair it with matching pom poms.

3. Black cat

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You can do basically anything for this outfit. You just need to have black clothing of some sort. (And I’m pretty sure every CF reader has some black clothing.)

If you draw some whiskers on your face and get some cheap cat ears like these from Amazon, you’ll be the finest feline of the night.

4. Devil

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If you have ever been out on Halloween, you have definitely seen someone dressed as the devil.

This simple Halloween costume is super popular and is a fun idea for a costume that’s guaranteed to make you stand out. Just wear red and add some devil horns and you’re good to go.

5. Dark Angel

DARK ANGEL HALLOWEEN TRANSFORMATION!! 👼🏼🖤

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A dark angel is such a cute college Halloween costume that’s a little unexpected. And it’s a great way to repurpose an old set of angel wings — a little spray paint and you’re good to go!

Wear all black and add a few accessories, this seriously couldn’t be easier.

6. Hippie

Hippie costume for halloween
Look via Princess Polly

Thanks to ’70s fashion making a huge comeback, it should be a cinch to gather up all of the pieces you need for a fantastic hippie costume.

Start with a pair of bell bottom-shaped jeans and find your best tie-dye shirt to wear with them. Add fringe boots or platforms, then wear a hairband across your forehead.

Put waves in your hair or braid random strands around your face. Finish the look with layered statement jewelry, a faux fur or suede vest, and a cross-body bag.

7. Wednesday Addams

WEDNESDAY ADDAMS | Super Easy Halloween Makeup Tutorial

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I love this easy Halloween costume. It’s so simple, but everyone will know who you are.

For this, you need a black dress with a collar or a black dress and a white shirt with a collar. Bonus points if you can get the pigtails and act like you don’t care about anything.

{RELATED POST: 13 Little Black Dress Halloween Costume Ideas}

8. Modern Witch

Witchy Fashion Haul | Koi Footwear, KILLSTAR, Spencer's

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With a black dress, some white tights, black boots, and a round hat you’ve got yourself a costume worthy of the coven from American Horror Story.

Simple and Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

9. Holly Golightly

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

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There are a few key components to this classy Halloween costume.

The main ones include a little black dress, some pearls, and the iconic cat-eye sunglasses. Pull your hair into a chignon and maybe add a tiara while you’re at it.

Bonus points if you go out with a cup of coffee and a pastry in your gloved hands.

10. Sandy from Grease

Sandy uit Grease HALLOWEEN tutorial! Make-up, haar en kleding ♡

Leather leggings, red heels, a black bodysuit or tank top, and a leather jacket make up this ensemble. Bonus points if you break out in song whenever you need to make an important decision.

11. Nerd

Geek Chic Outfits l AESTHETIC ANALYSIS & Inspiration! l It's all about the aesthetic!!!

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All you need for this quick costume is a button down shirt (buttoned all the way up!), a sweater vest, geeky glasses, oxford shoes, and fun bow tie. 

Bonus points if you wrap tape around the middle of your glasses and put your hair up in some disheveled high pigtails!

12. A Parisian

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If you’d like a little comfort and glamour in your Halloween costume, dress up like a Parisian this year. 

Grab a beret, striped shirt, black skinny pants, ballet flats and add a pop of color with a bright red scarf and you’re good to go!

If you really want to play up your look, grab a coffee mug and a distinguished-looking novel.

13. Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever (Official Music Video)

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Many of us love Billie Eilish and if you’re a fan of her music, I know you’ve listened to her new album, Happier Than Ever.

If you are a huge fan of Billie Eilish or you just like her style, you can transform yourself into her this Halloween by copying one of her outfits from her music videos.

To get this costume inspired by the video for “Happier Than Ever,” you just need a baggy graphic tee, which Billie can be seen wearing in the music video. (I bet you already have one in your closet!) Also, if you want to really look like Billie, you can add a bleach blonde wig that matches her hairstyle.

14. Britney Spears

Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time (Official Video)

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Everybody has been talking about Britney Spears this year. So, why not pay tribute to everyone’s favorite pop star and dress up as her for Halloween?

Britney has so many famous looks, but to be instantly recognizable, go for one of her outfits from her music videos.

An iconic outfit of Britney’s is her schoolgirl look in her music video for “…Baby One More Time.” To get this look, you will need a black skirt that you can pair with a white button-up shirt, and don’t forget the cute fluffy pink scrunchies to get the hairstyle.

15. Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande - positions (official video)

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Ariana Grande is another favorite celebrity that makes a great Halloween costume, especially if you have long hair you can pull into a high pony.

I definitely recommend going for one of her looks in her music videos. For example, one of the last music videos she released was for the song, “Positions,” which features so many great outfits.

To get one of the outfits featured, wear a black dress with large round earrings and some gloves and you will have your Ariana Grande costume! Again, the hair and makeup are key for this look. (Here’s a tutorial to get her beauty vibe from the Positions video.)

16. Nerd

Geek Chic Outfits l AESTHETIC ANALYSIS & Inspiration! l It's all about the aesthetic!!!

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All you need for this quick costume is a button down shirt (buttoned all the way up!), a sweater vest, geeky glasses, oxford shoes, and fun bow tie. 

Bonus points if you wrap tape around the middle of your glasses and put your hair up in some disheveled high pigtails!

17. A 1950s Housewife à la I Love Lucy

Recreating CLASSIC 50's Makeup & Hair Tutorial | Vintage Beauty

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Full skirted dresses are so much fun to wear and there’s no better way to celebrate than to pull yours out for Halloween! Pair a 1950s-inspired dress with a cute apron, pearls, high heels, poofy ponytail, and bright red lipstick for a Lucy vibe.

18. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe in a white dress

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Another person you may want to dress up as is Marilyn Monroe. This is a super easy costume because you can base it on the classic scene where Marilyn is wearing a white dress.

Just make sure to get a white dress with a fit and flare style, and put some red lipstick and black eyeliner on and you will have your Marilyn Monroe look!

Easy Halloween Costumes From Movies and TV Shows

19. Regina George from Mean Girls

Regina George from Mean Girls

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Just cut a couple of holes in a white tank-top for this one and you will be so fetch. Everyone will admire and fear you for the queen bee you are.

For more on this idea, we talk about a group Plastics costume in our post on girly Halloween costumes from movies.

20. Black Widow

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Everyone has been raving about the new Marvel movie that came out this year starring Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. If you are a Marvel fan or if you just want a costume with a sexy vibe, you can turn yourself into the Black Widow this Halloween with a simple outfit!

All you’ll need to become this superhero is a black jumpsuit with long sleeves to match the Black Widow’s signature black outfit!

21. Cher (Clueless)

Clueless - "Ugh! As if!"

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A matching yellow blazer and skirt set and some knee-high white socks are the main players in this costume, although some mary jane shoes may be a good idea as well.

This look in general has come back in recent seasons, so you can find the exact pieces at a variety of stores.

22. Sabrina Spellman

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

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This show has some amazing outfits, and I’m not just saying it because most of them have vintage aesthetic. (See our full Sabrina Spellman style guide for more on our leading lady’s look!)

A Sabrina costume is pretty simple, just use a red off-the-shoulder sweater, a black skirt, and a black headband. Bonus points if you can find a black cat to follow you around.

Alternate idea: A Prudence Night costume would be easy to do as well, if you have hair styling skills and/or prefer an edgier vibe!

23. Blair Waldorf

Blair Waldorf costume

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Blair Waldorf is another iconic character that you might want to dress up as on Halloween. Blair has so many great outfits to choose from. (Yes, I know there is a new Gossip Girl series but if you ask me, no one can do it better than Queen B.)

But, if you really want to get the Blair Waldorf look that everyone will recognize, I recommend wearing a yellow headband, which is one of her famous styles from Season 1.

Also, you should purchase a white top with a bow in the front, which will give you a classic Blair Waldorf kind of outfit.

24. G.I. Jane

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If you have camouflage or military-inspired clothing, dressing up as G.I. Jane (or a generic person in the armed forces) is a great and patriotic option!

Some combination of skinny cargos, an army anorak, a camo jacket, or a patched button-down will work great for this look. Demi Moore as G.I. Jane had a bald head, but feel free to leave yours down or tucked into a hat. Smudge dirt (or brown eyeshadow) on your face for added effect. Finish with a pair of combat boots and you’re good to go!

25. Elle Woods

Top 10 Best Elle Woods Outfits in Legally Blonde

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One of my all-time favorite movie characters is Elle Woods. If you love the color pink or if you are also a fan of this iconic character, you can definitely dress the part for Halloween.

Honestly, this one is a cinch — just wear head to toe pink! If you’re shopping for this one, I recommend getting a pink midi dress like the one she wears in the movie with some pink heels to match.

26. Harley Quinn

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If you are into comics, you may also want to dress up as your favorite character. Harley Quinn has been a popular college Halloween costume for years now, and she’s still popular as ever this fall.

If you are considering dressing up as her for Halloween, I recommend basing your outfit on the looks she wears in the movie, Birds of Prey.

To get an outfit like Harley’s, make sure to wear very colorful clothing. For example, one piece of clothing she often wears is a colorful jacket, so you could totally wear something like that to get a Harley Quinn costume. And, if you really want to transform yourself into Harley Quinn, make sure to stamp a black heart on your face to match her tattoo.

27. Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy Gale

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A classic movie character that you may want to dress up as for Halloween is Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

This one is super easy, just make sure to wear a blue and dress like this one and put your hair in braids and you will be good to go! Bonus points for any type of red shoe.

28. Lola Bunny from Space Jam

SPACE JAM: Lola Bunny Costume DIY + Makeup Tutorial

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We all know that everything ’90s is back right now, and that includes movies! Space Jam was an iconic film from the decade and a Lola Bunny costume is such a cute costume idea.

To make this easy college Halloween costume, all you need is a cropped tank and shorts in white. You may already have one of these in your closet, or you can buy a set for cheap that you’ll wear again and again. Print out the TuneSquad logo and everyone will know who you are.

Throw your hair in a ponytail and rock some sneakers and you’re good to go!

College Halloween Costume Ideas You Can Try With Friends

29. Powerpuff Girls

I TURNED MY SISTERS & I INTO POWER PUFF GIRLS

This is an amazing group Halloween costume — just round up two friends and dress in each character’s signature shade. You can wear pretty much anything so long as you’re wearing your girl’s colors, so have fun and bring your own style to it!

Make sure to add hair accessories to give off a signature Power Puff vibe! So cute.

30. Bank robbers

Bank Robbery Gone Wrong (ft. Amanda Cerny, Inanna Sarkis, Sofie Dossi & Andrea Russett)

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Honestly, for this costume, you probably don’t need more than a striped or black shirt and a black beanie, although if you wanted a mask you can buy one for pretty cheap here.

31. Daphne and Velma

Daphne and Velma Makeup Tutorial: SCOOBY DOO

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I like that this is a day or night look for the characters. Also, that red beret is adorable.

For Velma, you need a pair of glasses, an orange sweater, a red skirt, and orange knee-high socks.

For Daphne, you need a purple dress or a skirt and jacket combo and a purple headband. These are some groovy costumes!

32. Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro

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You can buy a vote for Pedro shirt like in the movie here. The Napoleon costume also works well with some old glasses.

The Pedro one needs a Western-style belt, white shirt, and a bolo tie.

Otherwise, you both just need a pair of jeans.

33. Winx Club

Recreating Winx Club Outfits *accurately* ft. Zaful | Dressing like Ep. 2

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Channel your childhood by dressing up as Winx Club characters! There are six main members from the early seasons, so this is a fantastic group costume idea.

Each member has her own style, but the outfits lean heavily to crop tops, mini skirts, and colorful everything — so you will probably have similar items in your closet already!

Need more tips on dressing like the Winx Club characters? We have a whole post on Winx Club fashion, with outfits for each character.

34. Biker Chick(s)

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This one could not be easier — or cuter! It’s a cute solo costume but it’s even better if you can get a group of girls to do it with you for your own biker gang.

Just pair a Harley tee with your best leather skirt and combat boots. Add ripped tights for extra edge and be sure to layer on the eye makeup. You’re good to go!

35. The Cast of The Breakfast Club

This idea will only work if you have a group of five friends. The great thing about The Breakfast Club is, the characters (and stereotypes) of the film are so recognizable, that you could totally make this work with either a co-ed group or a pack of girls!

For Bender, you’ll need a pair of pants (the color’s not that important), a red flannel shirt, denim jacket, wayfarers, and black fingerless gloves, which you can make by snipping the ends off of some cheap black ones. Andy will need jeans and a varsity jacket, and Brian will need a green sweater, khaki pants, and a geeky lunchbox. Allison’s look is achieved by wearing baggy black clothes and a faux-fur lined winter coat, while Claire’s outfit requires a long brown skirt, brown boots, a pink top, and a silk scarf.

For a more detailed breakdown of the outfits from the film, check out our post, Fashion Inspired by The Breakfast Club.

36. Linda and Heather

Linda and Heather Theme Song | Liv and Maddie | Disney Channel

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If you watch a lot of TikTok or just grew up with the Disney Channel, you’ll recognize this one. Linda and Heather from Liv & Maddie makes such a cute BFF costume idea!

This one does require wigs and headbands, but the rest is really just colorful clothing — you don’t have to get it exact! Bright colors are trending this year, so break out your brightest pieces and have fun with it.

Just make sure you memorize the song and dance for this one — no excuses!

College Halloween Costume Ideas for Girls on a Budget

37. Frida Kahlo

THE MODERN FRIDA KAHLO (MAKEUP, HAIR, OUTFIT)

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For this costume, you mainly need a flower crown and a unibrow, which you can draw in with a brow pencil. You could make your own flower crown like this tutorial or buy one.

You can wear any dress for this, though floral or lace would work the best.

38. Rosie the riveter

Rosie the Riveter Hair and Makeup Tutorial | Melissa Alatorre

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This is an iconic costume and it’s relatively easy to pull off. All you need is a red bandana, a denim shirt, and a pair of jeans.

Pull your hair back and strike a pose for feminists everywhere.

39. Tourist

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Break out your Hawaiian shirt and a fanny pack for this. Bonus points if you can find some dad-like sunglasses and a lei.

40. Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange

a clockwork orange "alex" halloween makeup tutorial

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If you’re a film geek and want to catch the eye of other cinephiles, Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange would be an awesome and edgy costume option. This controversial movie is a cult favorite, so you’d better catch the movie on Netflix and read up on a few trivia facts on the film’s IMDB page if you plan on rocking this look!

Clothing-wise, Alex’s look is pretty simple — you really just need a white top, white pants, black boots, and suspenders. You can make this costume a little more sexy by substituting the pants and long sleeve top for shorts and a tank top instead. A black bowler hat and cane will be easy to find at any Halloween or party supply store.

And now for the fun part of your costume — the eye makeup. While leaving one eye bare (or with very light makeup on), heavily line your other eye with black liquid liner, and add false eyelashes to emphasize the look.

This costume is also great for any of you girls who want to dress as someone sinister, but not look too “scary-scary” on Halloween.

41. Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction

QUICK + EASY Halloween Makeup Look- Mia Wallace *Pulp Fiction* | amanda devon

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This costume idea is a classic for a reason — everyone LOVES the movie Pulp Fiction, and Mia Wallace‘s look is immediately recognizable and SO easy to put together.

All you’ll really need are black pants, a men’s white dress shirt, and a way to make your hair look just like Uma Thurman’s did in the movie. You can either buy a black bob wig from the Halloween store, or fake it by rolling your ponytail under to form a “faux-bob” and using temporary spray hair color. Carry a candy cigarette around with you all night (a trophy is optional), and always be the first girl out on the dance floor!

42. Marty McFly from Back to the Future

Back to the Future | The Very First DeLorean Time Travel Scene

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Here’s another great option for all of you film buffs. Dress as the ultimate ’80s teenage hero — Marty McFly from Back to the Future!

To get Marty’s look, wear a button-down shirt with a jean jacket (pick one up at any thrift shop if you don’t have one) and your staple down vest (bonus points if it’s orange). Add jeans and white tennis shoes, and look for a pair of aviation goggles at a Halloween store to wear pushed up on your forehead.

This costume idea would be fun because there are so many quotable lines from the film, and it will keep you warm if you happen to be at a bonfire or some other type of outdoor gathering. Plus, if you have a boyfriend or a best friend, they could easily make a Dr. Emmett Brown costume by wearing a lab coat and a gray wig!

43. Punny Halloween Costumes

Deviled Egg costume

I know these costumes are love/hate for some of you, but if you have a quirky sense of humor, a bit of imagination, and a small budget, this route might be the perfect one for you. 

Pictured above is writer Chelsea‘s little sister dressed as a Deviled Egg! 

Other funny options are a Cereal Killer, a Black Eyed “P”, a Baller-rina, Cat Burglar, a Pastafarian, or a Pig in a Blanket.

44. Waldo

DIY: Where's Waldo Costume!

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With a striped red shirt and a red beanie, people can’t help but spot you. Bonus points if you have glasses and hide whenever someone asks you what your costume is.

45. Selina Kyle / Catwoman

Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) - All Fight Scenes | The Dark Knight Rises

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Another crazy popular superhero film, The Dark Knight Rises broke box office records like crazy. Like Scarlett in the Avengers, Selina Kyle, the catsuit-clad leading lady (Anne Hathaway), was the movie’s fashion force.

This costume is beyond easy if you’re a brunette. As in the case of the Black Widow, you probably don’t want to buy the actual catsuit. However, Selina’s Catwoman outfit has enough accessories that the suit isn’t required.

Again, go for leather leggings and add a tight black long sleeved top and high heeled boots. Buy (or make) a black mask and get goggles or sunglasses to wear on your head as “ears”. Rock a red lip and tell everyone you meet, “there’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.”

46. Joel Goodson in Risky Business

Risky Business Official Trailer #1 - (1983) HD

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You’ve probably seen this costume at parties before — but it’s such a classic, I couldn’t leave it off my list!

To do a Risky Business costume, you just need a men’s button-down dress shirt and a pair of tube socks. I recommend wearing a small pair of exercise shorts under your shirt instead of tighty whiteys, though! Add a pair of wayfarers to this outfit, too — although Tom Cruise doesn’t wear them in this particular scene, Risky Business is credited as one of the main reasons why Ray Ban wayfarers made a huge comeback in the ’80s!

Easy Halloween Costumes: Disney Costumes

47. Kim Possible

Kim Possible Halloween Costume + Music Video?!

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You can use khaki pants or green cargo pants for this. Then you need a black long-sleeve shirt and some riding gloves.

Bonus points if you can find a belt to hold all your gadgets, and ask everyone you meet, “What’s the sitch?”

48. Snow White

Disney Princesses in Real Life | DIY Snow White!

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This costume is pretty easy to put together.

If you have a yellow skirt or pants and a blue shirt you’re pretty much set. Red shoes and red hair bow like this one (which a lot of people have used for Snow White costumes) help tie the whole look together.

Bonus points if you can find something apple-themed like this bag to take with you. (Or just grab an apple from the dining hall…)

49. Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

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You could do this costume and the next one as a group with your BFF or your significant other.

You need white tights, a black bow, a blue dress, and a white apron. If you had a long blue dress and a white apron you could do this as a Belle costume from Beauty and the Beast.

50. White Rabbit

THE WHITE RABBIT MAKEUP TUTORIAL | 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN

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This costume is adorable and it only has a few components.

For this easy Halloween costume, you just need a white dress, red blazer, white tights, rabbit ears, and something clock themed like this.

51. Cinderella

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Who doesn’t love feeling like a princess? And, you totally can on Halloween if you dress up as a princess. All you need is a cute dress and tiara.

If you really want to go all out, you can choose to dress up as your favorite Disney princess. You may think this is hard, but it is actually super easy. All you need to do is decide which princess you want to dress up as and choose a dress to match their signature color. Then grab one accessory of theirs.

For example, if you love Cinderella, wear a light blue dress and add a tiara and you will be good to go for Halloween!

52. Tinker Bell (or other fairy)

TINKERBELL | Halloween Tutorial

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Another Disney movie character that you could dress up as is Tinker Bell! I love the idea of dressing up as a fairy for a Halloween costume because you can wear wings and a cute dress.

But, if you want to make sure you look just like Tinker Bell, make sure to get a dress that matches Tinker Bell’s signature green color! This neon shade is trending this year, so it’s easy to find in any store.

53. Cruella de Vil

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Another popular movie that came out this year is the live-action version of Cruella de Vil. This may make you want to dress up as Cruella de Vil this Halloween, which you totally should!

All you need is a black long sleeve maxi dress and a black and white wig to really get the Cruella look!

54. Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

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For this costume, you need a white button-down shirt, a black skirt, and an umbrella. See if any guys you know have a red bow tie.

Bonus points if you can get your hands on a black hat like this one, which you could adorn with cheap fake flowers.

What are your go-to easy Halloween costumes?

Have you started your Halloween costume yet? What are you going as? What’s your favorite costume in the post? I can’t get over the Daphne and Velma costume!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2011; it was completely updated and revamped in 2021 with new photos and information.

4 thoughts on “50+ Easy College Halloween Costumes From Clothes You Already Own [2021]”

    • Biker gangs are real, at least in the US. My ex-step-dad is in one that blocks abusive people from entering events (mostly keeping people from disrupting funerals) and they also bring toys to kids in the hospital during Christmas. They’re good people but it’s still very much a gang and not a club.

      Reply

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