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Wales Online
Wales Online
Luke Weir

Halloween costume ideas using clothes you already have in your wardrobe

Buying a new Halloween costume, knowing it will likely only be worn for the one occasion, often represents an outlay many of us could do without. This is particularly apparent this year, as budgets tighten amid the cost of living crisis.

But there’s no need to splash the cash for costumes this October, when the perfect outfit could be waiting for you in your wardrobe. Fashion experts at Matalan have suggested six creative costume ideas that make the most of the clothes you already own.

Here are their recommendations for looking the part at fancy dress parties, without having to spend a penny.

Tommy Shelby - Peaky Blinders

Search for Peaky Blinders costumes is said to have increased by 50%, according to Pinterest Trends. The good news is there are few instantly recognisable characters as easy to portray as Tommy Shelby and his gang.

Most men will be able to recreate the synonymous look using their existing wardrobe. To get the perfect Peaky Blinders look, opt for a chequered suit, a waistcoat and a buttoned-up collared shirt.

A tie is optional, but you’ll definitely want to wear a flat cap, “by order of the Peaky Blinders”.

Where’s Wally?

Hundreds of people dressed as Wally (Birmingham Mail)

Both men and women can dress up as the infamously elusive character, with it working particularly well for couples. The classic costume idea may make you harder to find, but it shouldn’t cause too much trouble to arrange.

To recreate the look, simply wear a red and white horizontal striped shirt, combined with a pair of jeans, or a denim skirt if you adopt the persona of Wilma. Non-essential extras include a red and white hat, glasses and a walking cane.

Creepy condiments

It’s up to you to decide how simple or complex you choose to make this costume idea. Similar to the classic salt and pepper couple’s costumes, these outfits could simply consist of a red and yellow t-shirt to dress as your preferred condiment - be it ketchup or mustard.

Ways to make the outfits a little more extravagant include potentially labelling the t-shirts with your condiment of choice, or creating a cone hat to complete the fast-food dinner look. The latter could be achieved by taking a piece of card in your chosen colour, cut it into a semi circle, roll it into a cone and staple the seam at the base.

Elle Woods - Legally Blonde

As Elle Woods said, “Whoever said orange was the new pink is seriously disturbed”, and you could recreate Elle’s iconic look by going for a simple pink dress with matching pink accessories, such as a hat, sunglasses or handbag. For couples looking for matching outfits, Elle’s partner Emmett is an ideal choice for a simple coordinated costume, as the only items you'll need will be a simple black suit and a tie.


Olivia Newton John and John Travolta became late-'70s icons for their portrayals as Sandy and Danny (Getty Images)

Almost 45 years on from releasing in cinemas, Grease remains as popular as ever. Again, the iconic costume idea can be easily created, with the clothes slipping back into everyday use post-Halloween.

For T-Birds leader Danny’s outfit, all you’ll require is a black t-shirt and a pair of jeans, preferably dark. While Sandy’s look changes drastically from start-to-end, her classic post-transformation outfit consisted of a black top with a leather jacket and black trousers.

If you want to make a little extra effort, you could complete each look with the appropriate hairstyles adopted by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

The Addams Family

A great theme for singles, couples or families comes in the form of the Addams Family. The bizarre family members can be recreated with black dresses and suits, coupled with small amounts of white makeup, or perhaps the odd drawn-on moustache.

To increase the likeness, you can adopt Gomez Addams’ look with a simple dark, pinstripe suit, while Morticia’s attire needs nothing more than a black dress.

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