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Major masquerade: DIY Halloween costumes

Liz Howell

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If you’re feeling particularly low on cash this Halloween season, DIY costume making is the way to go. There’s no need to shell out 80 bucks for a poorly made witch, ghost or scandalous pirate costume that you will likely wear once, so why not get creative and crafty this year? When crafting a DIY Halloween costume, the best rule to keep in mind is to stick with what you know. For many of us, what we know is based on our identities as students and as pop culture fanatics. To find that perfect costume, consider choosing a character from a popular TV show or movie that relates to your respective major, proving how much you know on the screen and off the screen. Whether you’re majoring in finance, history or biology, a creative DIY costume awaits.


College of Science and Health

One of the most gripping shows in television history, “Breaking Bad” is a top contender for a hilarious male costume. Walter White, also known as the infamous Heisenberg, is the show’s main character. 

What you’ll need: To dress up as this talented chemist-turned-meth-cooker, you won’t need anything but white boxer briefs, a green apron and a pair of socks and shoes for an easy-to-make costume. Finish the look off with a fake mustache and a pair of glasses.

Optional extras: Blue rock candy as pretend meth and a bright yellow hazmat suit in case it’s cold outside.


College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Just because you’re a history student doesn’t mean you have to dress as an ex- president or a settler in tacky colonial garb. Instead dress up as the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and you’ll likely be mobbed for pictures on Halloween night.

What you’ll need: Assuming you already have a decent collection of preppy dresses in your closet, this costume shouldn’t be difficult to pull off. Grab an already styled chestnut-brown wig from a secondhand store, some fake pearls, a pair of 2- to 3-inch heels and you’ll be styling like a royal. 

Optional extras: A baby doll you’ve christened Prince George or a copy of Time magazine, which named her one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” this year.


School of Music

Channeling America’s most raunchy pop star is easier than you think, music majors. Say whatever you want about Miley Cyrus, but she knows how to draw a crowd and here’s how you can, too. To embody this risqu’ÛΩ pop star, it’s all about your attitude.
What you’ll need: Dress in your skimpiest lingerie and twerk the night away. Consider strapping a large teddy bear to your back, and don’t forget Miley’s signature tongue- wag.

Optional extras: A picture of Hannah Montana, so you can make an attention-grabbing entrance and tear it up in front of everyone. Miley’s only living the best of one world now.



It’s never too soon to dress up as an infamous athlete who recently tarnished his or her career forever. Seven-time Tour de France winner and long time doper Lance Armstrong would make a humorously unconventional Halloween costume for any athlete this year.

What you’ll need: Armstrong’s signature look is an all-yellow ensemble topped off with a few key accessories. Purchase cheap yellow spandex shorts and a tee and wear your bicycle helmet, sunglasses and the multiple Livestrong bracelets you used to wear.

Optional extras: Bring your whole bicycle if you plan on party hopping. It’ll be a quick way to get around and will only complement your costume.


The Theatre School

If you’re wondering how you, the modern man with limited funds but plenty of charm, can achieve the classic Gatsbian look, you’re in luck. If you pull it off the dapper look right, you might even win over your Daisy Buchanan by the end of the night.

What you’ll need: Iron a button-up shirt and a pair of slacks to a crisp and shine your nicest pair of shoes. Purchase a fake mustache and a flat cap, and borrow your grandpa’s walking cane for the night. Don’t forget to slick your hair back with gel.

Optional extras: There would be no Jay Gatsby without Daisy, so convince a friend or significant other to don a flapper-like dress, elbow-length white gloves, a feather boa, a glimmering headpiece and plenty of pearls. With Daisy by your side, you’ll be likely to turn heads all night.


College of Computing and Digital Media

With the buzz surrounding the Sept. 17 release of “Grand Theft Auto 5,” it’s no doubt that dressing as one of the game’s bank robbing characters will be a hit among your computer game developing peers.

What you’ll need: To dress as the mentally unstable ex-pilot and former bank robber Trevor Philips, pair a white v-neck cotton shirt with navy work pants. Top it off with a pair of dark brown utility boots and a wooden baseball bat, and you’ll look like the infamous trailer park star in no time.

Optional extras: A friend to dress as Phillips’ partner in crime, Michael De Santa, a rich and unhappy bank robber. Also, bring a good attitude, as dressing as these violent characters may cause controversy.


College of Business

For an ironic twist on the impeccable work ethic you most likely possess, why not dress as “Workaholics” star Blake Henderson? This character is a recent college dropout with the ambition of a fly and a tendency to not take his work seriously.

What you’ll need: To get Henderson’s underachiever look, you’ll need to rock a messy short-sleeved button-up with khaki pants and an incorrectly knotted tie. Purchase a curly ginger wig and matching mustache.

Optional extras: A furry brown coat with a grizzly bear’s head for the hood, which made a memorable first appearance in the second episode.

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Major masquerade: DIY Halloween costumes