What makes a zombie special? Its deep love for eating vast quantities of brains. So your zombie outfit should incorporate this key element in zombie culture. First, cook up a big pot of noodles. Udon noodles work best, but if they're too difficult to find, spaghetti suffices. Next, toss in some olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, and one can of tomato chunks. Serve it on a plate and it'll look like dinner—but carry it in your hands while shoving sloppy pieces into your mouth and screaming 'Brains!', and you've got a last-minute zombie costume. You really don’t need much else; maybe some old, ripped clothes and a slash of makeup, ketchup or dirt on your face.
Man of the 1950s—
This costume can be assembled in a flash, with items that most people can find lying around the house. To transform yourself into a super-authentic looking Man of the 1950s, all you'll need is a pair of jeans—preferably Levis, but any pair of blue jeans should do—a jar of extra-strength hair gel, a white T-shirt, and a small black comb that fits into your back pocket. Just slick that hair back into a ducktail, step into your outfit, and roll up the bottoms of your jeans to your ankles. Have a pair of lace-up black sneakers? Perfect. If not, black dress shoes do the trick. That’s it! You’re ready for the sock hop.
Woman of the 1980s—
Step one: gather every single bracelet in your house—if you actually have bracelets from the 1980s, that’s even better—and layer all of them onto both arms. Cut a strip of cloth from an old sheet, dishrag or towel to use as a headband. Muss your hair by teasing it and spraying random sections with hairspray. Go for a just-rolled-out-of-bed look, and tie the headband into a big bow atop your head. Find a pair of thin gloves or mittens, and cut the fingers off. Even with no other accessories, your costume will be easily identifiable, but if you have a giant belt, a puffy crinoline skirt or lace leggings, you’ll be in even better shape. If not, a simple pair of black pants and collared shirt with three inches cut off the top—so that it falls off your shoulder—will do. Don’t forget the heavy makeup, especially eyeliner.
Greek God or Goddess—
This may be the easiest last-minute costume to make. Take an old white sheet and cut out a circle to put your head through. While putting your head through the hole, hold your arms out, so the sheet drapes comfortably over each. Then, have a helper gather up the bottom and bunch it at the waist. Take a rope, leather belt, or other corded material and tie the sheet at your waist. Gather any excess fabric around your arms and secure with safety pins around your shoulders. Sandals complete the look. Have children? Then they must have toys. Ladies can borrow a rubber snake to tuck into their hair, which will transform your toga getup into a Grade-A Medusa costume. Men can add almost anything tied around their head—homemade leaves cut from green construction paper and glued or stapled into a crown—and become Julius Caesar. Try not to pontificate too much, though, or you might not get invited back to the party next year.
Just like the mentality of some beauty pageant contestants, this outfit doesn’t employ a tremendous amount of thought. All that’s needed? A formal evening gown, homemade sash, high heels, hairspray, and lots of makeup. If you’re the adventurous type, use a bathing suit or bikini instead of a dress. Cut a sash from an old sheet and tape or glue the ends together. Choose a 'Miss _____,' name and state—there are tons of opportunities to get really creative here. If you have a bunch of fake flowers, a tiara, or a generic trophy, use them as accessories. All that's left is practicing your best beauty queen wave, and trying to work up some fake tears. You’re a runway sensation—and master of the last-minute costume!