Putting Together a Halloween Costume on a Student Budget

Halloween might just be one of the most fun nights of the year – even if you are now too old for trick-or-treating. What could be better than dressing up in a ridiculous outfit and heading out on the town with your mates? However, putting together a convincing disguise on a student budget can soon become more stressful than enjoyable.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way! You might surrender to a simpler option, like an all-black outfit and bat wings, or covering an old shirt in fake blood. However, we’re sure you can do even better than that – and what’s better, you might already own what you need! Maybe pick one of your favourite fictional characters or pop culture icons…


Try simplifying a recognisable look from your chosen muse and get digging around in your wardrobe. You might be surprised how many well-known figures can be recognisably recreated using your everyday outfits. Of course, it is possible that you don’t have everything you need. If that’s the case, see if you could borrow it from a friend. Ask around to see if anyone has something that could work.

If this fails, and before you start frantically searching the internet and paying extortionate delivery fees, have a look in some local charity shops. But, if you really do have to turn to online shopping, look for something that can be worn after Halloween, too. This way, you can be certain to get your money’s worth of anything you need to buy.

Hair and Make-up

Make-up can be a great tool when creating a fancy-dress look. With the right equipment, you can create a convincing zombie, Frankenstein’s monster, or even pumpkin. However, creating an iconic make-up look from one of your favourite celebrities can be just as effective. If you are particularly skilled with the make-up brushes (or know someone who is) you might even be able to make yourself look naturally like your muse.

Hairstyles are another great – and usually quite easy – way to channel your chosen muse. Think Viking braids if you are going for the real Halloween vibe. Or if you are going for a more pop culture look, what about Gwen Stefani buns, or the Liam Gallagher do.


If you can’t find anything in your (or your friends’) wardrobes, or anything for a reasonable price, maybe you could consider brushing off your DIY skills. Think about how you could create an item out of things you might have lying around. Cardboard can be great for making props and accessories – whip out some paint and get those creative juices flowing. Halloween is supposed to be scary – but looking at your bank balance after putting together the perfect outfit, isn’t.

We hope we’ve convinced you that you can look great – monster or celebrity – on a student budget!

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