Before I deactivated my Pinterest account a couple of months ago, one of my favorite boards to pin to was my Halloween Costume Ideas board. Like, all year long. I am constantly coming up with costume ideas, from the impossibly elaborate to the obnoxiously esoteric. (I like my costumes like I like my jokes: I have to spend the entire night explaining them.)
I won't see most of these costumes through. I've come up with far more costumes than I have Halloweens left in my lifetime. And besides, even though I say I love Halloween, I typically shrug it off when it rolls around.
Another reason I won't be dressing up as some of my ideas: a lot of them are for couples. Long before I deactivated my Pinterest account, I deactivated my dating efforts, so I'm not in a position to ask someone to do a couples costume with me.
If you happen to be in a couple -- the kind of couple who does couples costumes -- and you're still looking for something clever but not too complicated to go as, I'm giving you some of my favorite ideas. Oh my gosh, it's just like that scene in "My Best Friend's Wedding" when Julia Roberts gives them her song and Dermot Mulroney gets that adorable look of shocked gratitude on his face. Except I probably won't cry.
Wayne & Garth as Laverne & Shirley
If you haven't already dressed as Wayne or Garth, you probably know someone who has. It's pretty easy to pull it together from what you already have in your closet, and you may not even need wigs depending on the current state of your hair. But I like the idea of taking this popular couples costume to a referential new level: Wayne and Garth when they get distracted by the thrill of being in Milwaukee and insert themselves into the "Laverne & Shirley" theme song.
Simply take the foundational Wayne and Garth get-ups of ripped jeans and respective plain black and concert T-shirts and add bandanas (ideally on top of a black baseball cap for Wayne) and light-blue lab coats. Don't forget to draw a script "L" on Garth's! Extra points (just pretend there are points, OK?) for wearing work gloves and putting one of yours over someone else's beer bottle and waving at it.
Buddy Holly & Mary Tyler Moore
For the couple who loves Weezer! Seriously, how cute and relatively easy would it be to go as this widely recognizable but rarely Halloween'd song reference?
Whoever goes as Buddy -- ideally whichever one of you has short, curly hair -- can wear a suit and black-rimmed glasses. For Mary, if you don't have shoulder-length brown hair you can flip up at the ends, there are plenty of wigs that can do the trick. A midi skirt, blazer and turtleneck round out the look, and while you don't need to wear a knit beret, it wouldn't hurt to carry one with you and sporadically throw it in the air like a triumphantly independent woman.
FUN FACT: The theme song of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was written and sung by Sonny Curtis, who was friends with Buddy Holly and joined The Crickets after his death. Repeat this throughout the night for maximum annoyance.
Robert Palmer & An "Addicted To Love" Lady
Want to wear a costume that implies to fellow partygoers that you're probably going to have sex to Robert Palmer's "Riptide" album later that night? Who doesn't, right?
I actually did this costume way back in 2005 when I was married. I found a black mock-turtleneck dress on sale at Banana Republic -- any long-sleeve black dress will do -- and wore it with black sheer hose and black heels. I slicked back my hair in a tight bun, and I wore smoky eye makeup, glossy red lips, and heavily contoured blush. The wasband wore black slacks, a white button-down shirt and a simple yet '80s-ish tie.
For the record, we didn't have sex to "Riptide" that night. We didn't have sex that night, period. We were, like, two months away from divorce and kind of didn't like each other. But don't worry -- you probably won't break up with your S.O. if you do this costume. Probably.
Death & Taxes
I tend to go for pop-culture costumes, but this is a nice conceptual costume that lets you quote Benjamin Franklin and/or Daniel Defoe all night.
Death can be portrayed with a grim reaper costume, obviously. For taxes, you can turn a "nerd" costume into an exaggerated IRS guy -- in the case of the one pictured here, replace the super-clever "Nerd 4.0" badge with a homemade IRS one, and the magazines with a clipboard filled with tax forms.
The Skeleton Twins
One of the loveliest scenes from my favorite movie so far this year is when reunited twins Milo and Maggie, played by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, go out for Halloween together for the first time in decades. They practically give you a tutorial for Milo's glamorous costume.
The requirements for Milo's costume: a retro blonde wig, a glamorous vintage dress from the thrift store, satiny gloves, costume jewelry, and every last drop of turquoise eyeshadow available. Maggie's costume, not pictured, is a classic cowgirl with a little more makeup than a cowgirl would probably wear, because hey, it's Halloween.
Literal Skeleton Twins
Roll your eyes all you want, but if you'd describe your friends as cinephiles who love wordplay, this is an easy way to temporarily impress them. Plus, it's perfect for a last-minute get-up. Halloween shops always have skeleton costumes in stock. It's, like, the law.
Full disclosure: I thought of this one before seeing Bill Hader's SNL monologue last weekend, in which he made a joke about "The Skeleton Twins" being a "spooktactular Halloween remake of the classic film 'Twins,'" so if there's a dramatic height difference between you and your S.O., I urge you to wear matching tan suits and sunglasses with skeleton masks.
Calvin & Hobbes
Instantly recognizable to anyone with the capacity for emotions, this costume isn't just easy, it's comfortable.
Whoever dresses as Calvin -- I vote for whichever one of you has short, blonde hair, if that's an option -- gets to throw on black shorts and a red-and-black-striped T-shirt. For Hobbes, get one of those pajama-esque hooded onesies in a tiger print. If you haven't instantly fallen asleep from intense coziness, you can use a black eyeliner pencil to color the tip of your nose.
Pete & Pete
This is definitely another comfortable costume -- especially if you already have red hair and don't have to wear a wig -- but the details matter, especially with Little Pete.
In addition to either an oversized black turtleneck or a plaid flannel button-down, Little Pete needs a red and black buffalo plaid hat -- it's non-negotiable -- and a Petunia temporary tattoo. Big Pete can just throw on a striped T-shirt and call it a day.
Both should wear jeans, by the way. I didn't think it was necessary to say "wear pants," but I'm throwing it in there just in case you thought this was supposed to be a Sexy Pete & Pete costume.
Edina & Patsy
Dressing as a hot mess and speaking in a British accent is something I'd like to do pretty much every day, but Halloween at least gives me -- or in this case, you and your S.O. -- a widely acceptable excuse.
An "Ab Fab" costume has the potential for epicness, which is not a word but will become one if you do this well. If you're the shorter member of your duo and have long brown or red hair, a little curling-iron action and semi-dramatic makeup is all you need on the beauty front for Edina. It's the clothing that matters most with her; pile on as many clashing fashion trends as you can bear, including a backwards snapback.
For Patsy, head-to-toe leather -- especially in the form of a blazer and pencil skirt -- is ideal. But most important is the very heavy makeup and, of course, the blonde updo.
80s Couple Who Didn't Clarify Beforehand What Kind of 80s They Meant
Finally! A costume that hilariously captures the pervasive communication issues in your relationship!
"What do you wanna dress up as for Halloween?"
"I dunno, 80s?"
Hey, it could happen.
Of course, any of these couples costumes can be worn with a friend; you don't have to have be romantically involved with the person, especially considering a few of these suggestions are siblings.
Either way, let me know if you try any of these costumes, and share your best couples costumes ideas in the comments!