The only people who love Halloween more than small children and crazy cat ladies are college students, because Halloween is an excuse for a day (or weekend) of rampant partying. Everyone loves an excuse to dress up in a costume, whether it’s something straightforward (witch, zombie, etc.), funny (sand-witch, zombie Whitney Houston), or revealing (slutty witch, slutty zombie). Here are the six types of costumes that you’ll likely run into come Halloweekend on your college campus.
Since this section is pretty much begging for a Mean Girls reference, here it is: “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Since Halloween is apparently a judgment-free zone, these costumes come in one of two forms: either a ridiculously over-the-top stylized anything, or an everyday, revealing outfit with the addition of cat ears, devil horns, or Playboy Bunny ears for the less subtle.
Of course, this can only really be pulled off if on Halloween you happen to look better than you would on any other weekend night because otherwise, what’s the point? Interestingly enough, actual nudity probably comes off as less sexual as the revealing outfits solely for the sake of irony. I suppose the lesson to be learned here is that Halloween is a really weird holiday for people that pay attention to gender politics.
Similar to the “sexy” costumes, non-costumes are the fairly self-explanatory throwaway look for guys who are either too lazy to think up a clever costume idea or think that nonchalance is more attractive than committing to a look. Like the girls’ sexy costumes, these are what you’ll find in people who either think appearance is the most important part of Halloween, or for the two hipsters that genuinely don’t care about the holiday. Also apparently Jehovah’s Witnesses. (I learned they don’t celebrate Halloween when I tried to trick-or-treat at my neighbors house at the tender age of 5 and was deeply offended when they weren’t moved by incredibly detailed imitation of a begging puppy.) But such is life.
Inside Joke Costume
These pieces are often a staple of college campuses due to the shared community values and experiences. On Halloween, it’s totally appropriate to dress up as your college president or as a member of an a capella group and it’s not considered to be in poor taste. These inside joke costumes are generally independent to your campus, but either way, it’ll definitely be a great conversation starter, although if you dare to dress as a member of Campus Safety, you might have some explaining to do when you’re caught stealing carved pumpkins from your locked dining hall at midnight.
Similar to ironic costumes, topical and funny costumes tend to require some explanation, but they’re generally more amusing and accessible to the general public, or at the very least, the cute girl dressed as a sexy dinosaur that asks what you’re wearing. These costumes either tend to be funny because they’re a clever play on words (i.e.: “I’m a bumblebee ghost, otherwise known as a boo-bee!”), something topical (i.e.: “I’m a binder full of women!”) or something creative and fun without being too weird (i.e.: “We’re the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia!”).
Sometimes, these costumes can be cheesy or just plain silly, but this is probably the one situation in which you can get away with using a ridiculous pick-up line related to your costume and actually have it work on some eager co-ed. That is, unless you’re dressed as Mr. Krabs.
You’ll see these costumes on those hipster or creative types, or at the very least, people who think they’re being creative when they actually stole the idea from a fake celebrity Twitter account. These can be amusing costumes, although they often require some explanation first (i.e.: “I’m dressed as Tony Shaloub circa 1998!”).
These have the intended effect of topical or funny getups with the added bonus of nobody really understanding it. But that’s okay because Halloween is the one night a year when a person can dress like a total douchebag and no one else can say anything about it. Does that quote apply here?
Nah, just kidding. Nobody dresses up in “normal” costumes in college. Good luck getting laid while dressed up like a pumpkin.