Leaves are on the ground, the nights are getting chilly—and before we all know it, it will be Halloween. Halloween costumes can be expensive, though, and tend to leave you with random articles of clothing you won’t wear again. To solve this problem, here are some suggestions to help you create this year’s most popular costumes by using materials from your own closet. If your closet doesn’t cut it or if you just cannot bear to alter your clothes, you can always turn to discount stores like Goodwill.This year, popular costumes will be focused on pop culture rather than the typical scary zombie, vampire, or Playboy bunny. The top Halloween costume of the year will definitely be Michael Jackson. For guys, Kanye West, Max from
Where The Wild Things Are
, and the Joker will undoubtedly be common sights as well, while girls will focus on other pop icons such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Farrah Fawcett.For Michael Jackson, it’s best to go classic, and that means “Thriller.” As with all celebrity costumes, you want to be recognizable, so identifying the person’s most classic look is key. The Michael Jackson “Thriller” costume comes down to two basics: a red leather jacket and matching pants. This is where it’s easy to cheat. Vinyl or plastic are both really cheap materials that look essentially like leather. Goodwill would be the best place to find these, and it is possible to spray paint clothing of a different color if red is unavailable. His red jacket in the music video has bold black stripes in the front and along the sides—an important detail. These can be created with black duct tape. Finally, he’s wearing white socks and black shoes, which are items that should be in any guy’s closest.Even though he doesn’t wear the glove in this video, a classic Michael Jackson accessory is a white glove on his right hand. Again, it is possible to find such a thing at Goodwill or on the cheap at a costume shop. I especially recommend “Thriller” because it’s also possible to go zombie with the look, which is more traditionally appropriate for Halloween. For this, borrow your girlfriend’s makeup—green and black tones will help you look dead. And if you aren’t feeling it, most of his other recognizable outfits can also be pieced together at Goodwill.If you choose to dress up like Kanye West, you will need one essential accessory: a pair of sunglasses. The most obvious choice is shutter shades (the ones with colored-plastic stripes instead of lenses). These are usually pretty cheap and can be found online or at a mall. Otherwise, Kanye tends to stick to large, ’70s-era, cop-style glasses which should be easy to borrow from a friend.Once you have the glasses, you have to choose between a more casual or dressy Kanye. If you’re going to a party, I recommend a casual outfit. Luckily, most articles for this can be found in your closet. Find a trendy t-shirt with a bright, urban design, nice denim jeans, and bright brand-name sneakers, and you should be set.For girls, the choice female celebrity for Halloween 2009 is Farrah Fawcett. Once again, it’s important to go with her most famous look. Think “Charlie’s Angels” the TV show. Basically, this will require a trip to Goodwill in search of the sexiest ’70s clothing available. High-waisted denim flares, a button-up blouse with a pointy collar, and a pair of boots are all that should be necessary. Remember that a very important aspect of Farrah’s look is her hair. If you want to splurge on a wavy blonde wig, those will be available at costume shops. However, it is also possible to get her look simply with a curler, a blow dryer, and some hairspray. Blow dry your hair upside-down to create volume, using some hairspray. Then part your hair down the middle and curl it so that the curls go outward, and then hold it all in place with a little more product.Remember to check the Internet for help getting the right look—music videos and Google Images are great resources. Most of all, be innovative and have fun with your costume. Have a happy Halloween!