Five Things: Halloween Edition

Five Halloween costumes for $5 or under, for groups of five or fewer, and in under five minutes.
By Grace Sun, Andrew A. White, and LI S. ZHOU


With a sexy skunk costume coming in at 108.95 hard-earned dollars on, times have never been tougher. When times get tough, the tough get going, or in this case, they get creative. For those willing to be a little resourceful, here is a guide to putting together outfits that will leave an impression without emptying your checking account.

1. Tom Cruise’s Character From Risky Business:

Before Suri and Scientology, Cruise was singing “Old Time Rock and Roll” without pants on. His look offers affordability, along with maximum mobility for whatever action the night may bring.

College Events Board Wayfarer Sunglasses: $0.

Shorts: Boxers (Merona Knit Boxer, Target, $5.00)

Socks: Hopefully, you’ve got these bad boys covered, $0.

Dress Shirt (pink preferred): Girls, finagle one from a male friend and guys, break out those button-downs.

Total: $5.00

2.  The Cast of Jersey Shore:

Take on the GTL regimen without breaking a sweat.

G: Forget the gym—gel (Ampro Pro Styl Clear Ice Gel, CVS, $1.39) or a teasing comb (Conair Dressing Comb, CVS, $1.99) are your new best friends for a hair-raising Halloween.

T: While Cambridge might be hurting for UV rays, some bronzer (Wet ‘n’ Wild Ultimate Minerals Bronzer, CVS, $2.99) can provide the same natural orange glow.

L: That graphic tee or muscle tank lurking in your bottom drawer should get the job done—$0.

Total: $4.38 or $4.98

3. Vampire:

Cash in on the tween, ahem, young adult sensation that is Twilight for a get-up that will scare and seduce.

Fangs: Ones that glow-in-the-dark go for just $2.74 with free shipping on Amazon Prime (

Pale Make-up: Baby Powder (Johnson & Johnson, CVS, $1.99)

Normal Clothes (because that’s what vampires wear these days): $0

Total: $4.73

4. Super(wo)man as Clark Kent:

Put a fun spin on recruiting season by wearing the typical power suit with the shirt unbuttoned to reveal the hero within.

Power Suit (your own): $0

Blue T-shirt Underneath (your own): $0

Superman Crest: Print out an enlarged color copy of the crest (Science Center, $0.15) and make a copy on glossy photo paper (Gnomon, $0.65). Cut this out to size and tape to your blue t-shirt until secure.

Clark Kent (hipster) Glasses: $3.70 on Amazon Prime

Total: $4.50

5. Dobby:

Bring everyone’s favorite house elf back to life with the help of some linens and home-made ears.

Shirt/Dress: Tear up some arm-holes in an old white pillowcase or sheet, $0.

Socks: A symbol of freedom, the crazier the better, $0

Headband: Used for placing the ears (Scunci Cushion Tipped Headband, CVS, $3.99)

Ears: Glue two pieces of white paper together and cut them out, $0.

Total: $3.99


1. Scooby Doo (five people)

Come on, gang! Become meddling kids and meddle with other kids’ Halloween. You have plenty of “masked villains” to track down—go unmask them and say, “Look who it is!” really loudly each time. Then take all of their “Scooby Snacks” for yourself.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (four people if you stick to ninjas, five if you include Master Splinter)

Turtle power! Remember, TMNTs love pizza, so if you stay true to character you should be in and around Noch’s pretty much the whole night.

3. Spice Girls/*NSYNC (five people)

For single-sex blocking groups looking for ideas. Remember, if you’re in costume, singing the same song at the top of your lungs everywhere you go never gets old.

4. Power Rangers (however many you want)

Skin-tight suits in bright, eye-catching colors. If anyone in the group goes home alone, you’re doing it wrong.

5. Wizard of Oz (five people)

Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow form the core group here. Choose a victim to be the Wicked Witch. Throw water on the Witch every 20 minutes, taking the opportunity to scream “You’re melting!” every time.


1. Mad Scientist

Break into Northwest Labs and/or steal a lab coat from your pre-med roommate. Rustle hair to get an extreme morning-after look. Walk around with a disgruntled look on your face.

2. Magician

Find a deck of cards and begin stapling them to the outfit you happen to be wearing. Pour glitter over your head. Alakazam!

3. The missing H in HUHDS

Befriend a HUDS chef. Trade outfits. Use a black sharpie to write an “H” on your back.

4. Justin Bieber

Grab a pair of scissors and give yourself the Beiber swoop. Grab a hoodie and an ironic, age-inappropriate t-shirt. Grab the nearest brunette and make her your Selena Gomez.

5. Drew Faust

Put on the recruiting outfit from your latest OCS schmooze-fest. Proceed to spend the night nodding politely.

*For a costume in under four minutes, add “slutty” to any of the above and remove one article of clothing.

For The MomentA Little Levity