Expert-tested, editor-approved

Gear Guy

Q:

What Are the Best DIY Halloween Costumes?

Time to get creative

Don't forget an outfit for your second in command. (David Goehring/Flickr)
David Goehring outside outside magazine outside online pug dog costume halloween halloween costumes gear costume gear guy gear shed joe jackson diy costumes last minute costumes

Time to get creative

A:

You can scrape together gear from your garage to make a last-minute Halloween costume, but don't go for the standard—and boring—surfer or kayaker. You are better and more creative than that. With a few clever additions and some theatrics, you can turn your equipment into an award-winning Halloween costume. Here are five suggestions to get started.

Wetsuit Batman

gear guy joe jackson outside outside magazine outside online gear shed halloween costumes gear costume
(Courtesy of Joe Jackson)

You'll need a Batman mask, cape, and a wetsuit. You can make the first two items with material from a craft store, but if you're short on time, buy a children's Batman outfit for $20 and just use the mask and belt. While any form-fitting black base layer will work, the wetsuit looks like the bulletproof material Batman would use. Plus, it makes your pecs look good. Bonus: if you have a hydration belt you don't mind painting black and yellow, you can fill the bottles with booze.


'80s Hot Dog Skier

gear guy joe jackson outside outside magazine outside online gear shed halloween costumes gear costume
(Courtesy of Joe Jackson)

You can dress as a skier only if there's lots of neon and maybe a jumpsuit involved. A wig isn't necessary, but it helps tie the costume together. If you don't have a wig, you can make do with bright colors, sketchy facial hair, and a copious number of quotes from the 1984 hit Hot Dog…The Movie. Show up with a shot ski for bonus points.


Bivvy Sack Fanta Can

gear guy joe jackson outside outside magazine outside online gear shed halloween costumes gear costume
(Courtesy of Joe Jackson)

Last year, ultrarunning legend Jenn Shelton dressed up as a walking Fanta can to celebrate Halloween in Durango, Colorado. She used an orange emergency bivy sack as the body, while the lid was made from cardboard and aluminum attached to a helmet. "It was 10 degrees out so it was the best costume: it was so warm," Shelton says. Caution: this costume limits your ability to see. "I walked into a woman and she pushed me," says Shelton. Thankfully a group of people walking by came to her aid, yelling, "Nobody pushes orange soda!" It was a validating moment for the ultrarunner. 

Jumpsuit Superhero

gear guy joe jackson outside outside magazine outside online gear shed halloween costumes gear costume
(Courtesy of Joe Jackson)

Outside's Executive Editor Sam Moulton and his wife Nicole built their superhero costumes from baselayers last Halloween. "We both had Patagonia's one-piece suits," Moulton wrote in an email. "That was the inspiration, as they were both purple and lavender. Then I got to work—went to JoAnn's and got some fabric glue and fabric to make the belt, the logo on the chest, and the boots." They finished the ensemble with elf ears from Party City.


Sleeping Bag Larvae with Emerging Butterfly

gear guy joe jackson outside outside magazine outside online gear shed halloween costumes gear costume
(Courtesy of Joe Jackson)

All you need is a sleeping bag, butterfly wings, and some acting skills. Oh yeah, and a willing partner to deliver you to the party inside a zipped-up mummy bag. Emerge—with wings on—at your own pace. Just keep track of what happens in the sleeping bag after you've completed the metamorphosis.

Holiday Subscription Sale! Save 79% and Get a Free Gift!

Subscribe
Pinterest Icon