8 Last-Minute Halloween Hacks

By: Laura Lajiness

Whether you’re the type to pull a costume together last-minute or simply prefer a low-key approach to dressing up, there are plenty of ways to get creative with pieces from your own wardrobe this Halloween. A stylish starting point? Fall’s leading trends! From leopard print to colorful plaid and tailored separates, this season’s biggest looks can also help make for some fantastic costumes.

In addition to being convenient, shopping your closet allows you to avoid the trap of the pre-packaged costume you’ll wear exactly once (and see on about a dozen other people). Plus, you’ll be able to look back at your Instagram feed for years to come without cringing.

Here, we lay out eight fun Halloween costumes, in order of how much effort they’ll take you to pull together on the big night.

As if you didn’t know, punchy plaid prints are major for fall, and they’re inspired by your favorite ‘90s screen queen. For a modern take on the skirt-and-jacket set, start with this neon yellow dress and layer on a coordinating boxy flannel in lieu of a jacket. Black pumps and a cute bag are flawless finishing touches so your look isn’t a total Monet.


From cowboy boots to Americana motifs, Western style is having a major moment this fall. And the trend is just as prevalent in pop culture, too. Try pairing a puffy-sleeve top, ruffled maxi skirt, and cowboy boots for a modern take on the Old West  — and don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat.

If your Halloween plans include boogieing it up on the dancefloor, this is the costume for you. A drapey jumpsuit, metallic accessories and sky-high (yet comfy) heels are all you need to party like it’s 1979.



A leather jacket is essential for fall, but it can also easily transition into a Halloween look. This faux-fur-trim bomber style is a fresh take on Amelia Earhart’s famous pilot jacket, and with a plaid shirt, trousers, and a neck scarf, you’ll easily pass as a modern version of the accomplished aviator.


The slipdress is timeless, but paired with the right accessories and you’ll look as if you popped off the pages of your favorite ‘90s magazine. Aim for supermodel minimalism and team yours with strappy sandals and a mini bag.


This spooky standby is great because it’s easy as can be—seriously, the toughest thing about this trusty look is putting on the (super-cool) tights. Top off with cat ears and winged eyeliner for the easiest head-to-toe Halloween costume ever.


You’re not a regular witch, you’re a cool witch. Pair your favorite black jumpsuit with combat boots, a pointed hat, and a vampy dark lip and you’re good to go.



If you really just can’t with a full costume this year, but you still want to feel a little festive, throw on a cute, on-theme T-shirt, stop by the store for a bag of candy and call it a day.