Halloween isn't just for kids. And with plenty of grown-up parties on the agenda, a great costume is a must this October 31. Take a trip to a local costume or party store or visit online shops to purchase one of these looks. If you're creative, you can recreate the characters below with our simple suggestions.
Want to look as though you're ready for a high seas adventure? Pair solid-colored fitted pants with a vertically-striped shirt. Black, white and red are traditional pirate colors, but as this store-bought costume shows, other colors work just as well. Just don't skip the must-have pirate accessories: A black eye patch, a gold hoop earring, a pirate's hat or head scarf and a large plastic sword. Your pirate's booty: All the Halloween candy you can score!
Flapper costumes for the "dolls" (and gangster getups for guys) are easy to come by around Halloween. You'll find a variety of colors at different stores but the signature style is the same: Fringed dresses, feather boas, and headbands or headpieces. If you're a talented seamstress, you can make your own flapper dress by attaching rows of fringe to a straight, spaghetti-strap dress. Whether you make or buy your costume, be sure to choose comfortable shoes so you can Charleston and lindy all night!
Fans of the movie The Matrix and its sequel Matrix: Reloaded will be flocking to their local costume stores to snap up character costumes including Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, and the Twins. The easiest costumes for do-it-yourselfers: Black-clad Neo for guys and Trinity for gals. Turn yourself into hero Neo with a long-sleeved black robe, black shoes, and black sunglasses. Channel Trinity with a long, black coat or robe (leather or a leather-looking material is best), black boots, black gloves, and a sexy pair of black shades. With this chic look, you'll be ready to save the world!
Transforming yourself into a wizard doesn't require any black magic -- just a long, dark robe (black or royal blue are good choices), a straggly white beard, and a cone-shaped sorcerer's hat. To make yourself a sorcerer's cap, simply fold a piece of poster board (buy it in black or dark blue if you can, or paint it yourself) into a cone shape and punch two holes opposite each other on the part of the hat that will sit on your head. Attach a piece of elastic to act as a chin strap. You can also decorate your hat with glitter stars and moons. No time to brew up your own costume? Head to the costume store or buy one online.
Love Lord of the Rings? You're not alone. You can be Frodo the hobbit, Arwen the elf, or Gandalf the wise old wizard. Great costumes for each of these characters can be found at your local party store, or you can create a Hollywood-worthy look on your own. To nail Gandalf's attire, you just need a few items: A long white dress or robe, a white cape, and a black fabric sash. Top it off with a wiry white wig and beard -- both of which can be found online and at costume stores.
Hear ye, hear ye! Renaissance attire will be popping up at costume parties and parades all over. This historical look has been a perennial Halloween favorite for lords and ladies of all ages, and this year is no different. There are plenty of options for ladies, from Renaissance royalty to the village wench. Each has a slightly difference dress code, but in general, ladies wear full skirts and laced-up tops. A queen or princess can wear a jewel-toned velvet dress and a crown or headpiece with a veil. Wenches can opt for an off-the-shoulder top and an apron over their full skirt. The look for lords: Long tunics over pants. If you want to make like a knight, add metallic-looking "chain mail" on your head and arms. The good news? Ye olde costume or party store will have plenty of outfits for you to choose from.
Presidents and other politicians are always a good source of inspiration for Halloween costumes. Try Arnold Schwarzenegger -- as himself or as the characters he's played in movies like Terminator. Get Arnold's Terminator look by donning all black: jeans, shirt, belt, leather jacket, and sunglasses. If you want to go all the way, check your local stores for a realistic-looking Arnold mask.
The exotic belly dancer and wish-fulfilling genie are always top on the Halloween hot list, and this year is no exception. Are you brave enough to bare your belly? Then pick up a packaged costume -- most contain pants, a midriff-baring top, and a sheer veil or head scarf. Or create your own exotic outfit with long, flowing pants, and a short top. Add fringe or sequins. Fun accessories for belly dancers include finger cymbals or a tambourine. For genies, a small golden lamp is just right.