I suppose you could go as the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Yellow King if you want to get really creepy for Halloween, but assuming you don’t want everyone to flee the room when you arrive, Rust Cohle is probably the best choice as far as True Detective costumes go. It’s pretty easy, too — look enigmatic, mutter cryptic statements about crime and the universe, and enjoy your own personal McConnaissance.
Sturdy work shirt: $29.97, Langston’s Lone Star beer: $12.99 for a six-pack Been-living-in-a-trailer-for-ten-years-because-existential-angst wig: Improvise with this Jesus wig-and-beard set, $29.25, CostumeCraze.com
Poor Shia may or may not be famous anymore, but still, if you turn up with a paper bag over your head and an air of burgeoning insanity, people will know who you are.
Tuxedo: Wear it if you have one, otherwise one of these will do just fine Paper bag: From any good grocery store Sharpie: $1.49, TheConsumerLink.com Calamitous career trajectory: Model’s own
Watch your fellow party-goers cower at the majesty of the mighty VULVATRON! Gwar’s new vocalist is terrifying and amazing and hilarious and, just like everything else Gwar-associated, basically looks like a walking Halloween costume already. Also, I mean, she’s called VULVATRON. What more do you want?
Pink dreadlock wig: $88, Etsy Face paint kit: $10, Party City Mountainous prosthetic breasts: $52.25, eBay Lethal-looking purple leather corset: Here‘s one on DeviantArt! (Or you could get a, y’know, garden-variety purple corset and then cut bits out of it — it’s up to you!)
One of 2014’s most distinctive pop-cultural figures is a bearded lady, sort of — and I’m not talking about Kathy Bates in American Horror Story, although that’d make for a pretty fine costume, too. But no, the one I have in mind is Eurovision winner and proudly bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, whose gold ballgown/facial hair combination was, let’s be honest, a lot more memorable than any of her songs.
Gold long-sleeved evening dress: $150, KM Dresses Gold belt: $8.39, eBay Rich, full beard: Grow your own!
Gold-flecked androgyny has been a theme for 2014, actually. If you’re not into the bearded look, why not rock out with your take on Mike Hadreas’ new-found flamboyance? No family is safe when you sashay past!
Gold sequin tank top: $19.99, Amazon White ladies’ high-waisted trousers: $119, Alexander Wang Brylcreem: $4.94, Amazon
A 3D printer
Super easy, and oh so 2014: Stencil “MakerBot” on your T-shirt, take requests for common household objects, and distribute them three hours later!
Broad City can’t come back soon enough, but in the meantime, you can channel your inner Ilana by adopting her style for Halloween. Just make sure you’ve got a pair of old shoes you don’t want any more if you get caught in a hurricane, yeah?
Napkin/crop top: $23, American Apparel (cut it off for full effect) Mens’ Y-fronts: $14, American Apparel Baggy jeans: $88, Abercrombie & Fitch (or just find a pair at the thrift shop, duh) Afghan hound: Wait, which house was this supposed to go back to?
The state of Colorado
Of course, if you really want to demonstrate your stoner credentials, there’s really only one thing to do: go to the party as the state of Colorado!
Old-school Denver Nuggets jersey: $109, NBAStore.com Silly ski-goggle woolen hat: $40, Etsy Supermarket bag full of weed: Um, yes, by medicinal marijuana prescription only, OF COURSE
Nicki Ninaj circa “Anaconda”
If you’ve got the ass for this, then shake it proudly! And if not, you can probably improvise with a couple of couch pillows or something. Anyway, this shits all over Miley as far as twerking goes. Shout out Sir Mix-a-Lot!
Perilously short jean shorts: $12, Kmart Pink sports bra: $65.99, Lorna Jane Blue Jordan VIs: $170ish, eBay
At the other end of the scale: the easiest costume of all! Turn up in everyday clothes! The plainer the better! It’s all the rage, you know!