10 Last-Minute Costume Ideas That’ll Win Any Contest

Halloween snuck up on you faster than you expected? Here are fifteen last-minute costume ideas that’ll be sure to win any contest!

As adults, we enjoy going out and dressing up. Generally, that means putting on nice clothes, doing our hair, wearing jewelry and going to dinner.

Halloween, however, provides the ultimate dress-up opportunity. It gives us an excuse to tap into our younger, more outgoing sides. 

Halloween is one of the best holidays, not only for kids but for adults, too. Between the parties, treats, decorations, and costumes, Halloween is a blast. It is a holiday that transcends age and maturity.

However, many people find themselves looking for last-minute costume ideas. Whether it’s because you procrastinated, received a last-minute invite, or just

ate the costume you already bought, sometimes you need to improvise.

We’re here to help!

Check out these 15 costume ideas that will win any contest!

Last-Minute Costume Ideas

In order to pull these off, you’ll need to tap into your creative and artistic sides. Don’t be intimidated, you can do this. We have faith in you! 

In fact, your ingenuity and improvisation may just end up winning you a costume contest. Plus, with a home-made costume, you can dress for your body type, accentuating all of your best features.

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1. Three Blind Mice

You’ll need a couple of friends to make these last-minute costume ideas work. However, if your friends are in the same boat as you, this could be a simple solution for everyone!

All you need is some mouse ears, dark sunglasses, a cane, and matching clothes. You and your friends can walk into any party like you own the place, just make sure you go to the same party!

2. 50 Shades of Grey

Of all the impromptu, last-minute costume ideas, this one may be the easiest to pull off. 

All you need is a black shirt and black pants. Then you can go to your local hardware or paint store and collect all of their free color strip samples. Obviously, you’re going for shades of grey here. 

Once you have them, attach them to your black outfit any way you want and boom, 50 shades of grey!

3. Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter began her famed life back in World War II. She was used as a symbol to both empower women and encouraged them to join the defense industries. 

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For one of the most classic last-minute costume ideas, throw on some denim jeans – an essential of any wardrobe and a denim top with rolled up the sleeves. Then, pull back your hair and don a red bandana. Complete the overall effect with some deep red lipstick!

4. Netflix and Chill

For these last-minute costume ideas, you’ll need a friend. After that, it’s all downhill.

Get any type of fabric. You’ll use it to cut out the letters for “Netflix” and “Chill”.

Then, adhere them to whatever clothing you’d like, one person with “Netflix”, the other with “Chill”. We suggest comfy, pajama type clothing, the similar to what you would actually wear on a Netflix and chill sort of day.

Walk into any party and people will immediately get your costumes!

5. It’s Raining Men

This last-minute costume idea is sure to win you some laughs, if not a costume contest!

You’ll need an umbrella, rain boots, string, staples, and a printer. Don’t worry, you won’t be carrying around the printer with you all night.

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First, find a few handsome, recognizable male actors and print out their pictures, headshots are best. Using string and staples, connect these cut-out images so they’re dangling off your umbrella.

Dress up as you would on a rainy day, including an umbrella. However, make sure the umbrella you choose is small, so it won’t be a chore to carry around all night.

6. Classic Nerd Costume

This is an “oldie but a goodie” in the world of last-minute costume ideas. 

Use your take on the traditional nerd. Use suspenders, a tucked-in shirt, pants that don’t reach your shoes, taped classes, and a calculator (bonus points for a calculator watch). Also, feel free do use a marker for pimples or freckles.

7. Marathon Runner

Break out the running shoes (we know you have them, even if you don’t use them). This one of the simplest and most organic last-minute costume ideas nearly everyone can pull of in 10 minutes or less. 

If you’ve run any races and still have your bib, this will be easy. If not, you can Google what one looks like and create it with little or no artistic talent required.

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Once you have your bib, you need some runner’s shorts (shorter is better for comedic purposes, especially for guys). Next, get a tank top or t-shirt and pin your runner’s bib to it. Don your running shoes and presto, you are a marathon runner.

8. When Life Gives You Lemons…

Most good last-minute costume ideas are based off puns, sayings, and pop-culture. This costume is based on the age-old adage about life, lemons, and lemonade.

All you need for this costume is a basket, a couple of dozen lemons, a plain shirt, and a name tag sticker. Most name tag stickers say “Hello, my name is…”.  In the blank spot, you will write “Life”.

As “Life”, you will go around handing out lemons.

9. Walking Identity Theft

Although Dwight from “The Office” would tell you that identity theft’s not a joke, we beg to differ.

To pull this improvised costume off, you’ll need two things. First, you need a pack of name tag stickers. Second, you need a market to fill them out. 

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All you have to do now is write down a different name on enough stickers to cover the front and back of your shirt. You will be a walking metaphor for identity theft!

10. Stick Figure

This quick and easy costume could easily win you the costume contest. It doesn’t take much work and will cost you next to nothing. 

You’ll need an all-white outfit with long pants and long sleeves. You also need black duck tape and a printer.

Layout your white outfit. Using the duck tape, construct the stick figure’s limbs on the front and back. Then, print out a life-sized stick figure smiley face.

Cut the smiley face out and fashion it into a mask. It’s that easy!

Get to Work 

If you’re in a pinch for last-minute costume ideas, now you’ve got some answers.

As a bonus, recycling some old clothes for a costume isn’t a bad move either. You’ve got your costume, saved some money, and produced less waste. Good on you!

But if you’re going to make your costume yourself, you’d better get to work!

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