So, you’ve left your Halloween costume to the last minute, yet again. We’ve all been there. We know it’s all too easy to focus on the ‘party’ part of ‘fancy-dress party’ (after all, that’s what Halloween is really about, isn’t it?). Still, you don’t want to be *that* guy who shows up without a costume – cue: the inevitable last-minute costume panic.
Luckily, though, there’s inspo all around – and some of the best costume ideas can come from the pop culture icons that we know and love. From classic memes and trending series, to nostalgic movies and music legends – these low-effort looks are about to make your last-minute Halloween costume a whole lot easier. You’re welcome.
1 Bernie Sanders inauguration day look
It might not be the most current meme around, but Bernie Sanders’ iconic inauguration look will never not be funny. A coat, glasses, mittens, and a face mask (and hey, we’ve all got plenty of those to spare), and you’re good to go. If you want to *fully* commit, why not dye (or spray) your hair white and bring your own folding chair to the party. Bonus? You’ve got your own portable seating for when you’ve had enough of dancing to Monster Mash.
2 Squid Game
Easily the most viral pop culture moment of the year (and just in time for Halloween), it would be rude not to include Squid Game in this list. Go all out and dress as a guard or The Front Man. Or, take the easier (and comfier) route – grab a green tracksuit and add a number tag, and you’re there. It’s almost as easy as it was to binge-watch the whole series in 2 days – (seriously, if you’ve not seen it yet – get watching.)
3 The Rock
We don’t think anything surpasses the amount of cool that oozes from this classic meme – an oh-so-90s snap of the legendary Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. All you need is a black turtleneck, chunky silver chain, and bumbag. Plus, of course, an inordinate amount of attitude.
4 Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury’s Live Aid look is both culturally iconic and relatively easy to recreate – making it the perfect Halloween costume. Jeans (preferably faded), a white vest, and a studded armband and belt. Slick back your hair and add a fake moustache (or draw one on – we’re all about resourcefulness here), and you’re there.
5 James Bond
With the new James Bond film being all anyone can talk about at the minute – this will likely be a popular costume choice this year. We all know the drill – black tux (or black suit if you don’t have one lying around), and a black bowtie. You can also opt for the less recognisable, but much more accessible version of 007 – just don any suit and tie that you own, and add sunnies. Hey, you can even carry around a martini for good measure. (Shaken, not stirred, obviously).
6 Adam Sandler
Nobody does street style quite like Adam Sandler – that’s just a fact. His trademark laid-back fashion choices are comfortable, inexplicably cool, and super easy to emulate (which might be why ‘Sandler core’ went viral on TikTok earlier this year). All you need is an extremely baggy t-shirt, extremely baggy basketball shorts, and maybe a pair of sunglasses if you fancy it. Bonus points for anyone who adds a pair of Uggs.
7 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
With the resurgence of 90s fashion in full force, it’s entirely possible that you might already own something reminiscent of the cultural icon that is Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Think: baggy shorts, extremely loud prints, and sideways caps. You’ve got it. Now, try to get the theme song out of your head.
8 Harry Styles
Harry Styles has had a lot of standout fashion moments – not least of which was his trio of feather boas at the Grammy’s earlier this year. The most easily recognizable and easily recreate-able of these is his black leather jacket and green feather boa combo. Finding the perfect Halloween costume and looking undeniably cool at the same time? Check.
9 Men in Black
An easy and instantly recognisable Halloween fave – this one is a classic for a reason. All you need to emulate Agent J and K’s timeless looks are a black suit and tie, a dark pair of sunnies, and of course, a matching partner (which makes this option perfect for couples). If you can find a neuralyzer – great. If not, the copious amounts of Halloween punch might have the same effect.
10 John Lennon
Again, this one’s pretty simple. Whilst John Lennon has plenty of recognisable characteristics, the most easily emulated is probably his iconic round glasses. Pair with a black turtleneck, and you’ll be good to go. This look works best with long hair and a beard, but fear not. Those without can always opt for another iconic of Lennon’s looks, and don a ‘New York City’ sleeveless tank and sunglasses.
11 Connell from Normal People
This might be the easiest (read: laziest) costume on the list, and we’re so here for it. All you need is Connell’s simple (and inexplicably Insta-famous) silver chain and a t-shirt or shirt. Will you have to explain this one repeatedly throughout the night? Definitely. Still, for those who need something majorly low-effort or last-minute, it’s undeniably perfect.
12 Marty Mcfly from Back to the Future
We love a nostalgic costume, especially one which let’s us wear plenty of layers (after all, it’s getting pretty cold out). Don the double denim and add a red puffer gilet, and you’re golden. Bonus? Puffer gilets are everywhere at the min, so you’ll be bang on trend. Great Scott!