Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Take a bite out of these fresh Halloween costume ideas

Warner Bros. Pictures
So -- you've been invited to a Halloween party and have been asked to dress accordingly. What might that be if you're not comfortable in a sexy witch costume or can’t muster the muscles to be a gladiator?

Think about it. If you are the generation that invented the hippie era and 1960s Carnaby Street-style clothing. Is that not a good start? 

"Even if you disdain the more youthful approach, there are still plenty of opportunities that suit our, ahem, dignity, while continuing the Halloween spirit," said Kate Forgach, a spokeswoman for Kinoli, Inc. an Internet marketing company with websites focused on helping savvy consumers save money shopping online.

Listed here is a selection of ideas for men, women and couples inspired by movies, news, celebrity goof-offs and other occurrences that have made us chuckle in 2011:

Costumes for men
Warner Bros. Pictures.
* Zach Galifianakis is the grizzly bearded actor who has several comedic roles one could borrow for Halloween. At the top of the list would be Galifianakis as Alan Garner in Hangover II - Part II. All you need for this character is a fake beard and maybe a bathing cap or bald head. In the teasers for the film, he is seen wearing a Chinese sun hat (think big-brim rice paddy hat). Here again, this character lends itself to a group costume: one guy as Alan (Galifianakis), one as Phil (Bradley Cooper) and the third buddy Stu (Ed Helms). If you're playing the role of Stu, you'll need to recreate a Mayan face tattoo and add wire rim glasses and stodgy clothes. The cute dude in your wolf pack need only wear khakis, a white dress shirt and cool shades to look like the third and handsome character of Phil. Also a funny look is Galifianakis as Ethan Tremblay in "Due Date." This costume might include distressed black jeans (skinny jeans-style), white running shoes, orange T-shirt, leather vest and a Mexican poncho. Don't forget the big black glasses (like the ones doted out after cataract surgery). If you want to win a prize for best costume, add the funny little dog with the cone around his head.

AP Photo/Abdel Magid Al Fergany

* Moammar Gadhafi, the infamous Libyan dictator, is sure to be attending at least one party this year. Forgach suggests a black curly wig, red fez, checked scarf and a homemade T-shirt emblazoned with "I Love Libya." For other Gaddafi garb ideas, Google him. You'll see the ruler in everything from decorative uniforms to ponchos and black hats. If you're going with a gang, play it up completely by adding a few Nigerian soldiers to do your bidding throughout the night.

The married zombies from The Walking Dead.

* Zombies are sure to be circling the cider and doughnuts at this year's Halloween parties. Need inspiration? Check out the popular AMC zombie-themed TV series, “The Walking Dead.” It features zombies in all shapes, sizes and ages.

* Super Heroes will always be a choice for someone. Batman remains a favorite along with the Joker (either Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson's version). Expect Captain America, Thor, Green Lantern and Iron Man to be hitting the Halloween party circuit as well. 

Costumes for women
* Zombie costumes will be just as popular for women as they are for men. However, the character of Elizabeth Bennett from the oddly popular “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” novel can offer ladies a grisly twist to the look of their zombie costume. To be Elizabeth, one will need a long, empire-waist dress. Look for something like this at a thrift store. Forgach said you could create the look with a floor-length skirt and a T-shirt with puffy sleeves. She wears her hair in a conservative bun, but the rest is zombie inspired including blood-splats and peeling skin.

* Mummy mommies are a natural look for Halloween revelers who are still shuttling kids to soccer and baseball practice. "Pick up some high-waist mom jeans at Goodwill, along with an appliqu├ęd shirt or sweater," said Forgach. "We're assuming such things aren't in your closet. Wrap yourself in toilet paper and carry a soccer ball."

* Celebrities on the A-list for Halloween costumes this year include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lindsay Lohan (with rotted out teeth). In this case, Forgach suggests a mask, wig and "Winning" hat (Buy Costumes). If you're going to order costumes online, Forgach recommends using codes from Free Shipping to bring the costs down.

* Babe Lincoln the vampire hunter? Why not, but you'll have to be clever in your disguise as not everyone has seen the trailers for the movie: "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," based on Seth Grahame-Smith's his successful book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It is scheduled for release in 2012. If you plan of being the president and vampire hunter, you'll need a stovepipe hat, a formal black coat, fake beard and a short skirt with high heels, Forgach said. Add a bloodied stake and you're good to go.

Universal Pictures

* The Bridesmaids cast is the female counterpart to the all-male “Hangover” costumes. The wild chicks of Detroit director Paul Feig's summer hit comedy can provide a number of costume ideas. If you're attending the party with a group of girls, you might consider dressing as Bridezilla's entourage of attendants, who wore Pepto Bismal pink dresses in a variety of styles. Here again, check the thrift stores for long gowns. As the bride herself, you'll need to wear a meringue-pie wedding gown with a matching pink ribbon for a waistband. 

Costumes for couples
* Jack and Jill are easy and cheap to do. Take two T-shirts and write "Jack" on one and "Jill" on the other. To complete, purchase a plastic crown for Jack (and then break it) or construct one out of poster board and paint it gold and splatter it with fake blood. Now you have Jack who broke his crown. To complete the duo, create bruises on Jill with black-and-blue face paints to recreate her role as the she-who-came-tumbling-after. Forgach suggests carrying pails of water and tripping occasionally to earn the big prize for best costume and best portrayal.

* A Pair of Blue Jeans is going to be one of those costumes you may have to explain but will catch on and likely become the pun of the party. Remember the guy who wore a monk's robe with a whole bunch of chip bags stapled to it and went as a chip-monk. Halloween is all about bad puns. To pull this off, you both need to wear blue clothes and, of course, blue jeans. Then all you need for the kicker is a couple of name tags: Gene for him; Jean for her. There you have it a pair of blue Jeans/Genes. If you want to win the prize, cover your skin with blue skin paint.
AP Photo, file.

* Prince Charles and Camilla will reel in more laughs than Prince William and his new blushing bride. Then again, all the members of the royal family would be excellent choices. Look for the masks for the passed-over prince and his consort, as well as the Queen Mum herself online and in area costume shops . To be authentic as a royal, one must not forget to wear a crown/and or topper (as in wild hat). 

Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody -- Mark Twain.

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