The Best Halloween Costumes That Can Also Be Part of Your Everyday Wardrobe

From Cliff Booth to Kanye at Coachella to Mister Rogers

Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, Kanye West at Sunday Service and Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse
Who'll it be: Cliff Booth, Kanye or Willem?
Photos: Sony Pictures / Rich Fury via Getty / A24
By Alex Lauer / October 25, 2019 2:15 pm

On Halloween, most of us fall somewhere between Heidi Klum and Jim Halpert. That is, we’re not going to win any $1,000 costume contests, but we’ve also been around the pumpkin patch long enough to know that no one is too cool to don a costume for one night (or two, depending on how many parties you’ve been invited to). But there’s got to be a better way than shelling out $100 every year for a costume that’ll just sit in a box for the rest of eternity.

There most certainly is, and we’re here to show you the way. Now that we as a society have generally shifted away from the ghouls and goblins to pop culture costumes, all you have to do is pick a distinct enough TV or movie character, musician, meme or other well-known figure that people will recognize them through a couple strategic garments, but who also wears clothes that you can employ in your wardrobe the rest of the year.

For example, Eddie Murphy as Dolomite is out because there’s no way you’re pulling off satin-accented paisley suits Monday through Friday. Same goes for the Joker. On the other end of the spectrum is something like Downton Abbey, which is also out because done up in white tie attire you could be anyone. Below, we’ve detailed five costumes with the two essential garments you’ll need, and that you’ll be able to put away in your closet and dresser (instead of under the bed) come November 1.

Cliff Booth from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Essentials:

Optional accessory:

  • Pit bull

Theo Decker from The Goldfinch

Essentials:

Optional accessory:

Kanye West at “Sunday Service” at Coachella

Essentials:

Optional accessory:

  • Multicolored hair dye and a posse of similarly dressed disciples

Mister Rogers from A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Essentials:

Optional accessory:

  • A true interest in the small talk people are trying to make at your Halloween party

Thomas Wake from The Lighthouse

Essentials:

Optional accessory:

  • Pipe, weathered beard and complete and total fluency in Melville-ian English

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