Post-Halloween regret is inevitable. Hungover, we reflect on the hodgepodge of accessories we donned atop spandex and lingerie, wondering whether dressing as busty Big Bird was really the right call. While the social cost of our Halloween choices is nonrefundable, don’t let the money you poured into your Amazon cart go to waste. Instead, keep the Halloween spirit alive and repurpose your costume for everyday use.
Sexy healthcare practitioner
From pouring shots to administering them, the sexy doctor and naughty nurse costumes are eternally useful. Why leave your bedside manner in Halloween’s past when you could put it to use at Searle? You have what it takes to make Northwestern’s totally unsexy health service center hot again. Just swap the plastic stethoscope for the real deal, and the only unbelievable thing about your job credentials is how good you look doing it. Just don’t ask for my Symptom Tracker, because I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hot and bothered!
Flag on the play! This is a cop-out costume for sports kids who are too cool for Halloween. Regardless, there are ways to resurrect that striped shirt. Try interpersonal mediation, for instance. Instead of calling out linemen for being offsides, call out some emotional players for ghosting your friends. Redirect that ref whistle at your local frat brother! Flag down manipulation! Make calls on vital questions like “What are we?” and “Why did you leave my Snap on open?” Alternatively, you can add a mask to the mix, grab a burlap sack with a giant dollar sign on it and rob a bank. If all else fails, you can always apply for a job at Kids Foot Locker.
Without your best friend in a devil costume by your side, the angel outfit may garner some unwanted attention — specifically from the campus missionaries, who will be thrilled to see that their message is sticking. TBH, wings are hard to style, so you might as well lean into it. Once you have the look down, show everyone you have the vocals to match! What better place to use that voice of an angel than the Alice Millar Chapel Christmas show? Make it a multi-holiday look — you in a white tutu, surrounded by a bunch of kids playing wise men and sheep. Churchgoers will love your corset top (so Reformation-chic), and you’ll be fielding “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” pickup lines till Lent.
Screw. Hammer. Nail. Drill. Bang. Construction lingo is hot, and so is the costume. The whole ensemble is pretty utilitarian post-Halloween, too. The reflective vest is a great start to your career as the first Sheridan Road crossing guard. Standing in the Arch intersection and ushering students safely to the other side is a vital service our campus lacks. Your hard hat can be used as a helmet to protect that sexy brain in case you crash your electric scooter. Your utility belt is like an extra-capacity fanny pack. It’s the New Age mom bag that can carry snacks, wet wipes and five types of wrenches. So versatile, so hot. This costume basically repurposes itself.
If you dressed as a sexy schoolgirl for Halloween, you seriously have to put down the academic obsession for a night. It’s not hot to be overworked, girlboss! That being said, this look is super versatile. Office hours, LinkedIn photos, rushing business frats, consulting fairs, meeting your partner’s parents — plaid is fashion-forward for all occasions. Costume components can be used in isolation, too. Those thigh-high ruffled socks are great for preventing ticks when hiking in wooded areas. Suspenders are totally coming back too and are a foolproof way to avoid being pantsed. Props for being functional as fuck.
I get it, you were trying to put that cowboy hat to good use, but let’s face it, we live in a Midwestern suburb. Congrats on manufacturing a reason to wear it, I guess? Alas, the useful part of this costume is not the hat. It’s the chaps. The assless chaps. It’s important that they’re assless. Picture this: You just ate an ungodly portion of dining hall buffalo chicken strips. They’re hitting your intestines hard and fast. You’re starting to preemptively mourn the loss of a perfectly good pair of pants. But wait, you wore your assless chaps! You can let it fly right out that convenient gap, knowing no pants will be in harm’s way.
Air traffic control agent
The sexy cop costume is not chill. It can really only be repurposed for the Republicans-only dating app, Righter, or for cosplaying Zootopia’s curvaceous cop, Judy Hopps. Not the kind of sustainability we’re looking for. Instead, Halloween hotties are dressing as everyone’s favorite federal employee: the air traffic controller. They can still handcuff you, but instead of shutting down your house party, they’re safely sending you up into mile-high-club territory. Depending on your favorite branch of air traffic jurisdiction, it is also an excuse to rock head-to-toe camo. Now once you’ve got the camo jumpsuit, the natural next step is to take it on a little birdwatching trip. You’ll be well-hidden while you meditate on the sights and sounds of nature. You can keep up the flight theme, but instead of promoting the airline industry’s immense carbon footprint, take a moment to appreciate nature’s airplanes. Identifying aviary fauna is the best way to decompress after Halloween.
Sexy package delivery worker
For the first time in human history, your khaki shorts are sexy. That is, of course, only when complemented by an open vest and a cardboard box with a conveniently-placed hole cut in it. But after you’ve delivered your Halloween package and retired the USPS badge (Is it a felony to impersonate a federal employee?), what do you do with your saucy khaki ensemble? There’s no reviving the allure of those shorts, so toss them. The vest could be cute over a turtleneck or something, but the cardboard box has the most potential. For example, it can be repurposed as a receptacle for any frogs or rodents you catch outside, especially because it already has a breathing hole to keep them oxygenated. It could also be transitioned into a multi-holiday accessory — just wrap it up and add a bow, and you’re ready to give the Christmas / birthday / Hanukkah / anniversary / Valentine’s gift as old as time. Special delivery: your package.
Jolly green giant
Oh my god, you leafy bastard. Literally come over right now. My roommates aren’t home. We can like, watch a movie or something. That tunic needs no repurposing — you can keep it on.