The stakes for coming up with a good (but easy) Halloween costume are pretty high. Sure, you can buy one in a bag at your local party store—but those are never the ones you remember or talk about for years after. You want to be clever and topical, but familiar and recognizable; you want to be creative, but not go to an extreme where you need to spend a lot of time and money. The last year has given us a lot of material, from Royal Wedding to beloved Netflix movies. And with a discerning eye, you can piece together pretty much any costume you’ve been dreaming up from your local mall or Amazon cart.
You might not be on Heidi Klum‘s level, but the easy Halloween costumes we’ve put together ahead will definitely get you on the “best-dressed” list. Put down the animal ears and consider our alternatives…
Meghan Markle at the Royal Wedding
C’mon, you knew this was coming: Meghan Markle‘s wedding to Prince Harry was one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year—and both of her custom wedding dresses have inspired many a copy-cat in the months since. So why not make like the Duchess of Sussex this Halloween with a boatneck top and fitted skirt, to mimic the silhouette of her Givenchy Haute Couture ceremony dress, and throw on a tiara and veil? Make the costume feel extra on-the-nose with a faux engagement ring inspired by Markle’s. (If you’re really committed, you can get one straight from Buckingham Palace.)
Another major event in the highlight reel of 2018: Beychella. For two consecutive weekends, Beyoncé dominated the Coachella stage with a performance that took over social media. Her outfits, co-designed by Balmain, were obviously epic. She also released official merch, which makes it all the easier to pay tribute to Beychella appropriately: Start with one of her official T-shirts, then add distressed short-shorts, a cropped hoodie, and sparkle-fringed boots. Now, onto the choreo…
Emily Nelson of A Simple Favor
The promo tour for Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor had Blake Lively on a suit kick, inspired by her character, Emily (and by Feig a little, too.) It’s a very specific look, but one that’s super easy to shop, thanks to the suiting trend. Try your hand at Emily’s tux-inspired ensemble by finding a fitted black blazer and trouser set, a polished white button-down, and a silky bow tie. Stay on-theme by carrying a martini glass all night; you can even sip on her signature drink, using gin made by Lively’s husband, Ryan Reynolds.
Lara Jean Covey of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
There are so many reasons why we love Lara Jean Covey from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and her fashion ranks high among them. (Buying combat boots on Etsy? C’mon, too cool.) What’s cool about her style is that it feels cool but attainable. Odds are you shop at the same places—you might even have some of her staples in your closet already. Stick to some of the classic high-school pieces (a corduroy A-line mini skirt, high-top sneakers) and pepper in some more obvious references to the movie: an envelope representing the letters, a scrunchie… Extra points if you find a Peter Kavinsky.
Edna Mode of The Incredibles
We waited a decade to get more fashion insight from Edna Mode, and the Incredibles sequel delivered—now, it’s time to dust off our original costume from way back when, and maybe give it a few updates: Start with the wig and glasses (the designer’s signatures), and build an outfit that’s muted, minimalist, and a wee bit dramatic. Depending on what kind of crowd you’re running with, you could also say you’re dressed as Rei Kawakubo—or, keep the wig, and go as Dr. Fujita from Maniac.
Josie McCoy of Riverdale
We predict running into many Riverdale residents far from home this Halloween. (The show is pretty much made for this.) While the Main Four tend to get the most play, some of the best costume potential comes from its supporting characters—there’s of course, queen Cheryl Blossom, and also Josie McCoy, eternal leopard-print muse. To channel the leader of the Pussycats, find an anchor item with an all-over leopard pattern (like a bodysuit) to build your outfit around. The rest of the pieces can be more low-key, like a denim skirt and a leather choker. Just don’t forget the cat ears.
Midge Maisel of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
While you wait for Amazon to confirm the premiere date of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two, channel the titular character with a 1950’s-housewife-turned-standup-comic-inspired ensemble. Midge loved her color coordination and smart accessorizing, so make sure to plan accordingly—finding complementary shades of pink and burgundy, scouring Amazon for a beret and satin-look gloves… Carry around a small notebook in your top-handle purse where you can write your material into, for added effect.