Last-minute Halloween costumes for less than $20

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Oct. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Elvira's Closet on East Rio Grande Street was bustling Wednesday as customers bounced last-minute costume ideas off each other.

Everything was marked down because the family-owned business opens for just two months of the year and needs a fresh inventory to do so.

And even with about 48 hours to go until trick-or-treating, the stragglers inside were not discouraged.

"We ran out of certain face creams and superhero costumes," said Jennifer Pyle, whose mother owns the shop. "We may not have something, but mostly everyone is flexible."

Pyle, 34, said the easiest costume to throw together this year is a zombie.

"Just toss on some fake blood and dirt, and you're good to go," she said.

Lupe Pena, 46, visited the shop on her lunch break.

She wasn't planning to dress up, but when she found out her co-workers at the First Convenience Bank inside H-E-B Plus! were, she thought she would join them.

Flipping through the racks, she came across a creepy plastic surgeon costume.

"That's a little weird," Pena said, chuckling and then moving on to the next. "Oh, can I be a cupcake?"

Here are some costume ideas that will cost less than $20 for all the procrastinators on All Hallow's Eve.

Keep in mind, most of the elements for each costume you can find around your house or at resale shops. Not all elements of the costume are needed to pull the look off.

1.What you need; 2. Estimated cost; 3. How to play the part


  1. A hat (any kind will do), sunglasses, knee-high socks, sandals, shorts, a T-shirt (preferably Hawaiian or one with flowers), a camera (may also be disposable) and a fanny pack
  2. $13
  3. Take photos of your companions and the sights of the night every chance you get. Ask for directions to the next house with the best candy.


  1. Your Sunday best and a large picture frame
  2. $10
  3. Anytime someone asks what you are dressed as, put the picture frame in front of your face, flash your cheesiest smile and hold it for a few seconds.


  1. A black suit or black T-shirt and pants and sunglasses
  2. $8
  3. Act like you are listening to an ear piece and tell people you are going to "secure the perimeter" at your friend's party.


  1. Normal clothes, fake blood and your zombie brain-bashing weapon of choice
  2. $16
  3. Skip a night of sleep so you look haggard. Shout "They're coming! Go for the brains!" anytime someone has a zoned-out look on their face.


  1. A suit, a blazer or a jacket, a Superman T-shirt and glasses


3.Act timid until disaster strikes. Then, unbutton the top of your suit to show the "S" on your T-shirt and say, "This looks like a job for Superman!"

*If you don't have or can't find a Superman T-shirt, you can replace it with a button-down shirt. Carry a calculator in your front pocket and be a nerd.


1.A blonde wig (if you don't already have golden locks) and orange or tan scrubs

2.Buying new scrubs will cost anywhere from $40 to $50, but several resale shops carry used scrubs that cost anywhere from $10 to $14.

  1. Don't complain about your food. Smuggle a screwdriver in your pocket.

*If you can't find orange or tan scrubs, you can buy a scrub in any color and dress as a doctor.


1.loafers and glasses

  1. $15
  2. Walk around with blue rock candy. Be gruff and blunt. Keep reminding people to stay out of your territory.


1.Red lipstick and a white apron

  1. $8
  2. Tease your hair. Write "Progressive" in blue marker on the apron. Act bubbly and tell people, "Now that's progressive!"


  1. A red bandana, a denim shirt and red lipstick
  2. $9

3.Roll up one of your sleeves, flex and say, "We can do it!"

SOURCES: Elvira's Closet, Hobby Lobby, Target, Wal-Mart, Academy, Encore Resale, the Uniform Connection, Professional Uniform Center



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