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10 Easy Halloween Costumes for Guys That Are Budget-Friendly

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Halloween is not just for kids. Plenty of adults dress up and have parties of their own, or accompany the kids as they head out for trick-or-treating. There are tons of great costume ideas for adults, but purchasing a pre-made Halloween costume is often incredibly expensive, and the good ones also sell out quickly.

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Instead, we’ve put together a list of ten easy Halloween costumes for guys that are also budget-friendly, especially if you can shop secondhand or pull items from your own closet.

Ken Doll

Barbie’s famous sidekick, Ken, has had many incarnations, but he’s being reimagined in a forthcoming movie, “Barbie” by writer-director Greta Gerwig, and would make a great costume, according to GQ Magazine. In it, Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, sports acid washed jeans and sleeveless jean vest, some high-waisted tighty-whitey underwear, and nothing else.

If you never had, or didn’t save, your own ’80s acid wash, Etsy has you covered, starting at $20 per pair and up. You can probably find a jacket at the Goodwill or similar for about $5-6 and cut off the sleeves, and a package of three Hanes white underwear at Amazon for $7. If you have to buy this outfit from the ground up, expect to pay around $30-$35.

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Danny Zuko From ‘Grease’

Few costumes are more iconic, and simpler to put together, than Danny Zuko from “Grease” — played most famously by John Travolta. For the “greaser” look of the ’50s, you need one white T-shirt, which you most likely already have in your closet, and one leather jacket. Now, the leather jacket might seem expensive, but on places like Etsy, ThredUp, Poshmark and other sites, you can find them for $25 and less.

These jackets are often much cheaper at in-person consignment stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, as well.

Lumberjack

You can’t go wrong with the classic lumberjack outfit for Halloween, and it gets bonus points for warmth if you live in a cool part of the country.

You need a plaid button up shirt, ideally some suspenders over jeans or Carhart style work pants, boots, a beanie, a beard (real or fake) and a fake ax or machete for cutting. You could buy the accoutrements at Amazon, including fake beard, suspenders and hatchets for $19.99 and simply pull the rest from your closet, or you could once again shop secondhand. An outfit of jacket, jeans, beanie and boots from Goodwill would cost you about $20, though you’d still need suspenders and the ax.

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Marty McFly From ‘Back to the Future’

Whether you lived through the ’80s and want to represent the nostalgia of the decade, or you just love “Back to the Future,” the Marty McFly costume is a simple and affordable way to go.

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Marty McFly is the affable and nearly doomed protagonist of the movie played by Michael J. Fox, who wears the iconic outfit throughout the film — a blue and white checkered button up shirt with dark undershirt, red (or orange) puffy vest, blue jeans and white sneakers. You might be able to round up the whole outfit in your closet, but if not you can buy a used version at Poshmark for $15. Or, put together the outfit yourself from a local Goodwill or similar secondhand store. If you can provide your own undershirt and white sneaks, you can get a similar outfit secondhand for around the same price.

Game of Twister

Folks have been playing the remarkably simple but wildly engaging game Twister for decades, and now you can dress up as the game itself with a very simple costume, according to College Life Made Easy. You need a white t-shirt you can paint on, some simple fabric paints, white jeans and a bit of white cardboard. Paint the four primary colored circles on your shirt, and paint yourself a spinner on your white cardboard. Voila, you are a human-sized Twister game. Just be careful you don’t get stepped on at your Halloween party.

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The jeans and t-shirt you could snag from a Goodwill for about $10. If you have to buy the white jeans, which may be hard to find, Ebay sells pairs for as low as $22.99. A set of primary acrylic paints is just $3.49 from Michael’s, and Dollar Tree sells poster board for $1.25 a pop. If you had to buy all elements, you could do it for about $30.

Remote Worker

So long as you don’t live in a super cold area, you can pull off a costume that gives a nod to the wild times we’ve all lived through during the pandemic, and create an easy and affordable costume: a remote worker. On bottom you can wear either a pair of boxer shorts or sweatpants, and on top, a dress shirt and a tie. Carry your laptop or tablet with you, or make a fake one out of cardboard. If you dress from your closet, this whole outfit is free. If you purchase the shirt, tie and boxer shorts from Goodwill or similar, you can get the whole outfit for $10-$15.

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Mr. Clean

Men who are bald, or brave enough to shave their heads for a gag, could have a very simple costume with some of the same elements as the Twister game. Go as the mascot of cleaning products, Mr. Clean.

You need a white t-shirt, white pants or jeans, white shoes, and fake white eyebrows and a gold earring (can be a clip on). The jeans and T-shirt you could snag from a Goodwill for about $10. Two sets of adhesive white eyebrows are $7.29 at Amazon. Shein sells clip-on “gold” earrings for $1.50. Again, you can find the white jeans on eBay, and white shoes can be found pretty easily secondhand. You could put this outfit together anywhere from about $10 to about $30.

Waldo

The children’s book series “Where’s Waldo” is the inspiration for a simple, easy and recognizable Halloween costume that’s affordable, too. All you need to be the hard-to-find Waldo is a red beanie and a striped black and white or red and white T-shirt over any kind of pants. Shein sells a red beanie for $2, and Amazon sells a two-pack of men’s black and white striped shirts for $10.90. If you had to buy all the pieces, you’d be out about $13.

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Toilet Paper Roll

If you want to get a little bit more creative, but still stay way under budget, consider being everyone’s favorite thing to hoard during the pandemic: a toilet paper roll! All you need is some brown paper or soft cardboard that you can tape into a roll shape around your body, and some actual toilet paper or tissue to tape on so that it looks like the end of the roll. You can buy 180 feet of brown paper (way more than you need) on Amazon for $3.38, and a box of Great Value tissues at Walmart for $1.58, making your costume total less than $5.

Grass

It really doesn’t get much easier than this costume, recommended by College Life Made Easy. You need two things: some glue and some dried grass (and maybe an outfit you’re fine ruining with glue). Not only is this outfit simple, it’s basically free. Cut yourself up enough grass to plaster to your body, let it dry out, then glue it on. Voila, done. You’re grass. Curl up in a pile somewhere and surprise the neighbor children.

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