Free and Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas for Women

Waited until the last minute? Or have little-to-no-budget for a Halloween costume this year? Pull together a Halloween costume with clothes and accessories you might already own, can easily borrow or purchase for very cheap.

Easy Halloween Costumes from Items Already in Your Closet

For an easy schoolgirl costume, wear a pleated skirt, preferably plaid, with knee socks, Mary Jane shoes, a white button down shirt and a blazer. For accessories, add a man’s tie, or use a woman’s scarf or kerchief tied as a tie, and eyeglasses. Wear hair down, in a ponytail or braided into pigtails.

For a sexy costume, draw inspiration from the popular-again world of burlesque. Wear a corset, fishnets, the tallest heels in your closet and a tight skirt or tap pants. Bring a prop, such as a fan or boa, for extra playfulness. Dramatic make-up and a sexy hair-do pull the look together.

Have a friend with a distinct look? Consider being that friend for Halloween. Simply look in your closet to create an outfit that is reminiscent of that friend, or borrow an outfit from him or her. Bring any accessories or props that might further identify you as that person.

Start with One Accessory to Build a Halloween Costume

Some costumes can be pulled together with only one accessory on hand – and if it’s a one-size-fits all accessory, borrow one from a friend or family member (even a child).

Wings and a halo from a past Christmas pageant can be worn with an all-white outfit for an easy angel costume. Have a witch’s hat? No need for a formal witch’s costume, just wear a black dress, or a black skirt and top, with black tights and black boots. A black wig is optional, or pick up some temporary spray-on black hair color. Wear devil’s horns with an all-red outfit, cat’s ears with all black or mouse’s ears with all gray.

Have a police officer’s cap? Wear black pants, a black or blue button down top and black shoes for an easy costume. Pick up a pair of handcuffs and a police badge at any Halloween store or aisle.

Use Costumes You Already Own on Halloween

Have you performed in a play, recital or other show in the past? Recycle the costume for Halloween! For dancers, a ballerina’s costume for stage looks just as great on Halloween.

Certain lyrical costumes can be worn with wings for an easy fairy costume – dark colors make a good “evil” fairy look. Jazz costumes can be worn with fishnets and jazz shoes or heels for a flapper or Jazz Dancer costume. Add a black or blonde bob wig to become Velma Kelly or Roxie Hart from Chicago.

For actors, consider wearing a period stage costume as a Halloween costume. Stop by a Halloween store or the Halloween aisle at a big box store for any final touches the costume needs.

Cheap or Free Secondhand Costume Ideas

If you have time, there are some great costumes that can be achieved through a visit to your local resale store.

Find the ugliest, most over-the-top bridesmaid dress – every resale store has at least one rack of them. Wear it with a pair of dated heels – preferably in the same shade as the dress if available – and accessories. To top off the look, style hair to match – the bigger, the better. Or, head over to the men’s section and search for a leisure suit in the gaudiest color or print available. This will probably require a trip to the men’s section.

Some resale stores carry old uniforms, such as school or sports uniforms, cheerleading uniforms, restaurant uniforms or scrubs for nursing or other clinical settings. Matching props and accessories can be found at a Halloween store.

Turn to friends for free costumes and have a costume swap party. Before Halloween rolls around, pick a date and time, and invite your friends and their friends, along with their already-worn costumes, to a Halloween Costume Swap Party. Everyone will come away with a “new” costume to wear to this year’s Halloween Party.

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