My wife and I love a good adult Halloween party, especially if it involves overly creative pumpkin carving. I suppose it has to do with the beer, the warm and inviting company, and the freedom to dress up in a goofy costume to have a little fun on a date night without the kids. However, in these cash-strapped times, it doesn’t make sense to go out and spend more than $50 on a costume that may see the light of the moon more than once or twice. We dug into our closet to see what unique items we could re-purpose.
Hunting For Unique Costume Ideas
In a box, buried beneath a pair of worn construction boots, I located a beginning. It was a tuxedo from a formal dance and a time when I didn’t know how ridiculous a skinny 15-year-old could look wearing tails and a top hat. My wife shuffled through her collection of, “What was I thinking?” bride’s maid dresses and found her plum- a green, satin dress from 1995. Of course, if neither were available, we could have picked them up for around $10 at Goodwill.
So the idea took shape- a prom date. But, we agreed that was simply too boring. How about pregnant at the prom? This raised the issue of tackiness and was slightly controversial for the crowd we run with. The only thing we could agree upon was that these would be the beginning of what was to come. We decided to put the outfits aside and brainstorm our approach.
After dinner, we popped in a movie – and before the opening sequence could roll for ‘Night of the Living Dead’ we had our answer. Zombie prom king and queen!
Making the Halloween Costumes
So, how to make these pleasantly outdated formal wear outfits into a zombie rig? We first started with distressing the fabric. This meant pulling at sleeves, scoring the slacks on my suit with a steak knife and popping a shoulder strap on her dress. A trip to the fireplace provided white ash to suggest decay, and this was rubbed well into the fabric of both get-ups. We now had old looking clothes, but more was needed.
Halloween Zombie Makeup
Neither of us wanted to wear masks or prosthetic scars, as these can come loose at the first sign of moisture, becoming uncomfortable. That meant going straight for the grease paint. For about $15, we were able to pick up a Graftobian Theatrical Makeup Kit at Target that was the perfect amount for both of our needs. We applied the muted white base, and highlighted with little eye black, and some blood smears from the color palette provided. We were now in old looking clothes, with a makeup job to match.
The Final Costume Accessories
As prom king and queen, we needed crowns, and these we found in the next aisle along with other Target’s costume implements. At home, I had a single red rose drying over the heater. I stuck a pin in it, and voila – a lapel boutiniere fit for a couple who were young, in love, and dead. What a way to spend Halloween!