Halloween costumes are hard.
Earnest highbrow efforts are pretentious and poorly received, group costumes nearly always result in regret, and the fuck-it-we’ll-do-it-live scenarios typically end in little more than a hangover and a $70 charge at Ricky’s. And yet somehow, not dressing up is worse than all three.
Pulling off a respectable costume that says, “Hey, I like good movies and I tried,” doesn’t have to be stressful. For some inspiration, we turned to our 2018 films for five low-effort looks that require little more than a trip to Duane Reade and some One-Day Shipping on Amazon.
Charlie from Hereditary
Pay tribute to grandma’s favorite with an orange hoodie (sized up at least three times over) over a pale yellow button-down. Stuff your sweatshirt with chocolate and a pair of scissors — a little bird tells us you’re gonna need both. Go heavy on the hair oil and complete the look with a creepily realistic stuffed pigeon ($20, but you did this to yourself). Finally, don’t forget to download the Soundcloud app so you can “Click” when least expected.
Kayla from Eighth Grade
Channel your social anxieties into a costume that makes them look deliberate. Depending on your level of inhibition, you can go one of two ways: School Kayla, clad in yellow tie-dye tee and just-slightly-ill-fitting jeans, or Pool Party Kayla, in a show-stopping green one-piece. Complement the latter look with fully wet hair (add gel to make it last). Accessorize with a cracked iPhone and a fresh coat of baby blue nail polish that you can chip away at all night. Gucci!
Reverend Toller from First Reformed
Are you washed in the blood of the lamb? Explore your inner pastor-turned-environmental-extremist with a First Reformed-inspired costume that doubles nicely as a walking FYC campaign for Ethan Hawke. You can go one of two ways here: the cheap polyester option available in literally any costume store, or the ad hoc black sweater + paper collar + cardboard cross combo. But the true devil is in the details; in this case, a glass full of Bourbon (neat) and a small journal to document your mounting spiritual dread.
*Liquid drain cleaner and barbed wire are both discouraged (spoilers!).
Stevie from Mid90s
If "you think you’re tough and shit" but are actually "just a little fucking kid," this aspiring skate rat costume is a no brainer. Best if you’ve held onto an old ‘90s graphic tee, but for an easier route, copy one of Stevie’s full skate-mode looks from the second half of the film. Any number of combinations work here: oversized t-shirt + beanie or too-big backwards cap, oversized t-shirt + baggy jeans, giant hoodie + sweatpants. Stevie’s shoes are LA Gear, but you’re not a costume designer — beat-up Vans will do. Obviously a skateboard is essential, but no actual skills required (you’re still learning!). And please, please add a short brown wig.
Charley from Lean on Pete
Make everyone at your Halloween party quietly uncomfortable with the bleakest and most obscure A24 costume of the year. Start with a few basics, these shouldn’t be hard to find: red shirt, blue jeans, green baseball cap slung low, and a world-weary stare at nothing in particular. Dust a generous layer of dirt (crushed brown eyeshadow works) over the entirety of your face. For a twist, convince someone desperate to wear a horse mask so you can talk softly at your best friend ‘Pete’ all night long — just make sure he drinks plenty of water.