Halloween Costume Ideas On A Budget

Halloween Costume Ideas On A Budget

Mes chéries, comment allez-vous? I’ve had a hell of a month and a weekend that probably took 5 years off my life. But regardless, I am here with some Halloween ideas for all you loves that are in the same “WHAT ON EARTH SHOULD I BE THIS YEAR” limbo that I’ve been thriving…ish in.

In this post, you’ll see all of my previous Halloween costumes these past 4 years (along with dynamic duo/couple costumes) followed by a list of ideas I’m considering based on two pieces of clothing I already own: a white tulle dress and a black velvet bodycon dress.

I debated actually creating many of the looks I’ve listed for this post. But if we’re being honest, buying all the accessories for each idea would have added up to the cost of a new Halloween costume which personally goes against the idea of using what you already have or staying on a smaller budget. That and I have yet to have time to find all the accessories, haha!

I hope this gives you a little inspiration using things you already own or are inexpensive to purchase (and helps me figure out if I want to re-wear a costume…) without breaking your bank!



Mulan was my favorite Disney character growing up. Funny enough, it wasn’t because she was Asian but rather she had the best story at the time. As girlie as I am, I love a good tomboy badass. To create this look, I paired a light pink wrap crop top from Tobi ($23) with a burgundy body con skirt from Charlotte Russe ($8). To complete the look (and hide my bloated stomach from carb-loading during dinner), I wrapped a printed blue scarf around my waist to recreate her classic look. Since it’s usually chilly during Halloweekend, I threw on a pair of OTK heeled boots to amplify the look. On my neck is a necklace of my last name in Chinese that I made in high school art class with metal. Although Mulan and I have different last names, I figured it would add to the costume ¯\_(ツ)_/¯




My iconic costume with one of my best friends Rebekah that neither of us can ever live down. We all know the term THOT (That Hoe Over There) so I figured why not put a spin on it since it’s a homonym?

This costume was very simple: a provocative all black costume with an empty thought bubble made from pipe cleaners taped to paper all tied on a headband.. Is it THOTs with Thoughts? Or Thoughts with THOTs? Do THOTs have Thoughts? What Thoughts do THOTs have? I don’t know. What do you think?


Looking for a very casual and comfortable costume? Be your favorite emoji! I was the side eye 😏 with my old roommate and sorority sister Linda who was the 😉. All you need is a yellow tank or T-shirt, black fabric paint, and black pants or leggings! I was silly and blocked off the side smirk in the photo, but I included the photo of them when drying below for reference.

The yellow tank top was from Amazon ($5) and the black fabric paint was somewhere around $7 for a large jar. Deal? Deal!

RING LEADER (couples costume)

I was a ring leader sophomore year of college (hence the very old iPhone photos) with my ex as a tiger. He’s pretty irrelevant, so I didn’t bother showcasing his half of the costume. But if you want to recreate this look with your significant other, just toss on a white tank top, black shorts, fishnets, a red blazer, a bowtie, cheap top hat, and black riding boots. Out of these, the red blazer might be the hardest to find (luckily, I somehow had one). I purchased the cheap top hat either off Amazon or at a local dollar store (my apologies, I’m old and this was three years ago) and borrowed the bowtie from him at the time.

(Peep my sorority Godlittle in the second photo as Bam Bam!)


JACK & COKE (couples costume)

Linda and I were Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola our sophomore year as well! You’ll see by the end of this post that we loved doing dynamic duo costumes that were comfortable and easy to do on a college budget. So what better idea than be our favorite mixed drink at the time?

The tops were off Amazon as well, both under $10, and we had the rest of the ensembles in our closet.

THING 1/THING 2 (couples costume)

This is the last of our #1 guest star, Linda. Our very first year of Halloween together, we were Thing 1 and Thing 2 our freshman year of college. All you need are the Thing 1/Thing 2 shirts and red shorts! What could be simpler or more affordable on a college student budget?

As you can probably guess, these tops totaled to a little under $15 and were bought off Amazon!



Like I mentioned above, these are all the ideas I’m considering. You’ll find the photos that inspired me to piece something together as well as a short description of how I would recreate the look. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and watch my stories to see which costumes I choose this year!

London Tipton

We can’t all forget about Disney Channel’s golden days, can we? I was a HUGE Suite Life fan, naturally leading me to grow up with London Tipton and the PRNDL. I am leaning close to this costume idea for work (depending on how lavish my team is trying to dress up). For this costume, I will be wearing my white tulle dress from my #22 Dresses @ 22 post with colored tights, my floral heels for my Capturing Your Capsule post, some sort of sparkly jewelry (when I dig around my closet to find them), and a sequin hat from Forever 21. For makeup and hair, I plan on putting on a glittery smokey eye and my Bellami hair extensions.

A more comfortable option for London is an all pink and gold ensemble. Forever 21 has gold leggings I’ve been eyeing as well as a sequin hat and pink sequin bomber jacket. Essentially, London rocks the early 2000s glitzy and glamorous style, so anything sparkly, pink, or girlie would be perfect!



Going off the same white tulle dress I mentioned above, I am also thinking about being a ballerina! I would pair the dress with my white Keds and tights, pull my hair in a tight bun, and wrap a ribbon up my leg. Maybe it’ll help with my bad posture…

For makeup, I would keep it very light colored and pink!


It wouldn’t be Halloween without some set of wings! If I’m feeling angelic, I might get a set of white wings and/or halo for my white tulle dress and pair it with white heels, similar to the following:


If I’m feeling more demonic, I’ll be wearing my black velvet dress (linked in the next costume) with black OTK boots and set of black wings and/or halo.


This was my original costume idea, as it was the easiest for me to recreate. I have a velvet asymmetrical dress from Necessary Clothing and nude heels to pair with a beanie, my hair extensions, and her lip kit. But honestly, it’s a little bit boring and I didn’t want to add a possible baby bump to the costume…


As much as I love all-white everything, I love wearing black for nights out or Halloween as it sticks to the haunted theme of the holiday. As a light unicorn, I would put together some sort of all white floral costume using this romper (excuse the fact, it’s taken out of context hahah!), white heels, hair extensions, and a pink/purple/white floral headband with a unicorn horn.

If I were to be a dark unicorn, I would wear the same black velvet dress from Necessary Clothing  with OTK heeled boots by Steve Madden and get a dark colored unicorn horn headband. My makeup would be a colorful rainbow eye look similar to my A Unicorn’s Daydream tutorial (except with darker shades of each color) and I would strobe heavily with white highlighter. Lastly, I would top it off with dark purple or black lipstick.

Below are some photos I used for inspiration:



You can never go wrong with an all black ensemble and a set of ears. If push comes to shove, you’ll find me out this Halloweekend with the black velvet dress, OTK boots, some set of ears or horn or hat on my head, and a dark smokey eye.

That’s it for now, mes chéries! Stay tuned on my Instagram and Snapchat (@echuanggg) to see what I end up going with this Halloweekend. I hope sharing my inspiration list and showing how you can build multiple costumes off of two or three main pieces of clothes you already have inspires you to be creative with your costumes.

If you end up being anything off this list, be sure to comment below and let me know. Until next time. Bisou, bisou…







Erica Huang
Erica Huang

Based in New York City, Erica Huang is the creator and voice behind Bouge & Rouge. This blog is a playground of her thoughts where she invites you to join her on her journey through her 20s. Erica shares her lifestyle, fashion and beauty tips, adventures, and personal thoughts with the goal of inspiring others to always persevere and be unapologetically yourself.

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