Doing the research so you don’t have to.
The current economic climate means that ‘buying a new outfit’ and ‘going out drinking this month’ have become mutually exclusive events. With this in mind and a mere 4 weeks to go before Halloween, let’s review our top three most cost-effective costumes!
Approximate budget cost: £25
First is an homage to the fantastic BSG. The costume comprises boots, pants, a couple of tank-tops and some dog tags. While it’s not the most affordable option, it shouldn’t be overly costly to assemble – provided you go the alternative route, that is.
Then again, I’m certain a similar effect could be achieved using some cereal-box cardboard and gold paint. I will be attempting to create a cheap version of this costume next month so I’ll let you know how well the gold-paint thing pans out.
2. The double-tank top
The ideal place to get one of the famous BSG double-vests is Anovos. At $64.95 a pop. However, the investment may seem a bit steep. ThinkGeek does a version for $39.99 (Battlestar Tank Top) but again, this isn’t something I can afford this year.
The alternative here is to go for a DIY version of the double-tank, which will work out far, far cheaper. What you’ll need to search out is a steel grey sleeveless t-shirt such as this one from Buy.com or Fruit of the Loom for the under-layer. Worst case scenario, buy a grey t-shirt, cut the sleeves off and re-hem.
An olive drab racer-back tank top for the outer-layer, more likely than not worn backwards, will be harder to find. There is this fairly accurate Nike Racer Tank top for £18, though this Basic Racerback brings in the cat at £4.99
Tip: these things are easier to find (and are significantly cheaper) in white, so it may be worth getting an olive drab dye from a haberdashery and going from there.
Trousers, shoes and accessories
Once you’ve assembled the double-tank, simply pair it up with an acceptable pair of olive cargo pants (check updates on eBay for these – average price £10) and military-style black boots (again, eBay – average £6 though I’ve seen them go for 99p).
Normally I would suggest an army surplus store for the boots, but if this year has left you, like me, with a draught in your wallet then a round of your local charity shops may well be in order.
Throw in a black belt and you’re done! For the Kara Thrace tattoo simply grab yourself a Sharpie and go crazy on your left arm:
The real trouble with this costume will be trying to convince someone to go as Anders simply to complement your tattoo.
Princess Leia’s White Robe
Ah yes, the classic! Now, for this one you will require a sewing machine and a significant amount of patience. Chucrew.com provides a simple Leia dress pattern, suggesting that you use 8 yards of white polyester fabric (prepare to sweat!) which can be bought here for £1/metre.
Princess Leia Hair
There are many useful Leia how-to guides if you want to do your own hair. An alternative to actual hair buns would be to take a couple of pairs of brown tights/stockings, stuff them with whatever is at hand, plait and coil the resulting sausages into buns, pinning them in place or attaching them to a headband.
Now just slap on a belt and you’re done!
Dressing gown. Towel.
Bonus points for concealing another costume beneath the dressing gown.
Failing the above ideas, you can always just grab a bed sheet and go as a ghost (also a classic).
While bearing in mind all of these affordable and perfectly adequate costume ideas, I am nevertheless saving up to someday land one of these flim-flams from BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs.
Do you have any other costume suggestions? Comment below with your ideas!