Trash Costume

Who doesn’t love stories about resourceful high school girls who made their own prom dresses? Not out of fabric, mind you, but out of gum and candy wrappers, or duct tape. They’ve been applauded for their creativity, but what of their sustainability? After all, instead of ending up in a landfill, these recycled materials have gone on to make for rather distinctive attire. We’ve decided to follow their lead for Halloween 2011 and come up with a few one-of-a-kind and wallet-friendly costumes made out of, well, garbage.

  1. The Pleather Hefty Bag. Has anyone else seen photos of Anne Hathaway on set in her leather Catwoman costume? Meow. But, there’s no need to kill a cow to imitate Anne’s skintight garb. And, this costume idea will help you to reuse any plastic trash bags you’ve got lying around. Grab some clothing patterns and black trash bags (ask around!); with enough time and dedication, a sexy, shiny Catwoman ensemble can be put together. If you’re strapped for time, or just lazy – no judgment – wrap the bags around yourself in the form of a tube dress, grab some roller skates and go by “Betty, the Naughty Derby Girl” for the evening. Go for a belted look with string, ribbon or a chain made from paper clips.

  2. The Desperate Racecar Driver. No, you’re not alone: Many people can’t understand why racecar drivers are covered with so many brand names and logos. Fortunately, it’s easy to dress up as one for Halloween. Look around for as many discarded, major brand items as possible and peel off the labels. Come Halloween, throw on a pair of overalls and a long-sleeved shirt, cover them with the labels and finish the look with a helmet. If you’re really lucky, someone will be hosting a Talladega Nights-themed party.

  3. The Bad Luck Charm. Everyone knows that a broken mirror means seven years of bad luck: A perfectly eerie, spooky concept for Halloween. If you own aluminum foil, you can personify this superstition with a costume. Cut a large piece of aluminum foil (preferably a recycled one) into smaller, geometric pieces and attach them to black items of clothing. If you really want to freak people out, cut the number 13 out of cardboard, attach it to a string and wear it as a necklace.

  4. The Frazzled Grad School Applicant. Anyone who’s recently taken an entrance exam will appreciate this one. Got an old study guide that you’d like to burn? Instead of creating greenhouse emissions, turn it into a Halloween costume. Rip pages out of the practice book and put them together to form a dress. Alternatively, just wear them over your normal clothes. Accessorize with disheveled hair and a thick pair of glasses. To create a greater effect of insanity, splatter the pages with red paint.

Keep in touch with Amanda on Twitter: @Amanda_ZW

Image: Casey David