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This Halloween, scare up a costume for yourself - just in time and on a dime!

By Sharon Miller Cindrich


Eeeeek! You've received an invitation to a Halloween party where parents have to dress up. While you may have spent days - even weeks - planning your child's costume, you have no idea what to wear yourself.


If the scariest thing about this time of year is finding an affordable costume in time for Halloween, you're not alone. The National Retail Federation 2007 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found that over 33% of adults planned to dress up for the holiday, with witches, pirates and vampires leading the top three choices for costume.


Store-bought costumes are easily accessible, however, they can be costly and finding your size at the last minute can be a challenge. "Coming up with your own costume and creating it yourself is more impressive," says Ashley Dodd, who along with co-author Bridie Clark, put together The Halloween Handbook to help inspire adult costumes .


"It's been a lifetime of research," says Dodd, adding that from backyard parties to college campuses to high-profile night clubs, dressing up for Halloween has never been more popular.


Whether you're going to a fancy Halloween party this year, volunteering at the school harvest festival or just trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, one of these costume ideas is sure to be a great fit and great fun, too.


Getups for gals

Finding the right outfit has never been easier. Take some inspiration from these simple to create ensembles:


Fairy Godmother: Making wishes come true? You do it every day! So dig into the dress up clothes and find the tiaras, sparkly pursues, and feather boas your kids wear during pretend play. Add a little glitter to an old pair of tennis shoes, put sparkly stickers on your clothes and face - even hot-glue some gems to an old apron or sweatshirt. Carry a little bag of glitter for giving out wishes to neighborhood friends.


Dress like Dad: Super simple, right? Dig up a few of Dad's clothes, put your hair under a favorite sports cap and use mascara or eye liner to add some faux facial hair. You may look silly, but the kids will think you're hysterical.


Sand Witch: Gather your best witch ensemble together: black pointy shoes, black stockings, a broom, and a black dress. Use an inexpensive witch's hat, available at discount stores, drip craft glue generously over hat, sprinkle sand over glue and let dry. For an extra cackle, carry a jar of peanut butter (Peanut Butter Sand Witch) or a canned ham (Ham Sand Witch).


Guys in disguise

According to the NRF, slightly more guys than gals will put on a costume this Halloween. If you're still stumped, try out one of these.


Mummy: If Mom can dress like Dad, then Dad can certainly dress like "Mummy". A white sweat shirt lays the foundation for this fun outfit. Have Dad wrap a little toilet paper around his sweatshirt and head for a mummy effect. You'll have kids hollering for their "mummy" in no time!


Boxer: Dig out a robe, some bright colored shorts and your gym shoes. If you don't have access to boxing gloves, use a large pair of winter mittens, stuffed and hanging around your neck. Rough up your hair, blacken an eye and a tooth and you'll arrive in "Rocky" style.


Waiter: Dress in black pants, a white collared shirt and throw a dish towel over your forearm. Carry a tray with small treats on top to hand out to kids.


Still haven't found the right fit? Check out these online resources for more quick costume ideas:

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