BY BELINDA M. PASCHAL
With pre-Halloween parties going full-tilt this weekend and the holiday itself just four days away, there’s still a ghost of a chance for Johnny-come-lately types to find the perfect costume. Sure, a witch’s outfit is easy to throw together and what it lacks in originality is made up for in … well, nothing. So give Grandma’s lacy, black shawl back, unless you’re going as Stevie Nicks.
The key to throwing together a last-minute ensemble is to keep it simple yet clever. The idea is not to be instantly recognizable, but to make people interested enough to ask, "Who or what are you?"
Some years ago, I bought red horns and a matching tail, a plastic pitchfork and a navy-colored thrift store frock. It cost me less than 10 bucks, but the inexpensive price tag was worth the fun of telling people I was The Devil with the Blue Dress On. (Ba-dump-bump!) Groan if you will, but it got their attention and won me many compliments on my ingenuity.
I was celebrating Halloween in L.A. that year, so it was no small feat to stand out from the other couple hundred partygoers – especially that Courtney Love lookalike. I still shudder at the memory of that belligerent, sunken-eyed … wait – that wasn’t a lookalike.
My point: You don’t have to spend a fortune to be interesting and unique this Hallows Eve. Hollywood offers a broad spectrum of themes to be imitated and improved upon, so that’s a good jumping-off place. Here are a few ideas off the top of my little pumpkin head.
A big Cher fan? Pick an era, any era – there’s a wide array of looks since her career has spanned from the 60’s to the present – then recruit a friend to wear identical garb (butt tattoo optional if you opt for latter-day Cher). Two is always better than one, especially when you Cher and Cher alike. (Thank you, ladies and germs, you’re a lovely audience!)
Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette is a lovely choice, but you can add a twist simply by adding a platter of Ho-Ho’s. Why the desserts? So you can let them eat cake, of course!
Remember the classic black bodysuit with a skeleton on the front? The bad boys wore them in The Karate Kid when they welcomed Ralph Macchio to the neighborhood with a beatdown. Add a pair of gi-normous sunglasses, top it off with a blonde wig – and voila! Instant Nicole Richie!
Wrap yourself in an oversize leather jacket, wear an impeccably styled, side-parted dark wig and a wise-beyond-your-years Mona Lisa smile – poof! You’re Suri Cruise. Unfortunately, you’ll have to remain out of sight most of the evening or the effect will be ruined.
Throw on a Medusa wig – any Halloween shop worth its salt will carry them – then strap on a pair of cardboard wings with "TWA" written on them and look, Ma, Snakes on a Plane!
Don’t despair if you haven’t the time or resources to bring these ideas to fruition. If all else fails, you can make a giant leech costume out of a Hefty trash bag and go as Kevin Federline.