Every year there are those Halloween costume ideas that are topical and also easy to execute. That means at least one person at your Halloween party is going to have one of these costumes on. Don't be one of those cultural lemmings! If any of the following ideas are on your list, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
You don't want to do something that's so easy that anyone can pull it off. Spend time thinking about something really original that will wow the crowd. Do it well and you'll get something better than candy this October 31—a ton of attention. The costumes from last year's list are still ones to stay away from (Jersey Shore cast member, Sarah Palin, Lady Gaga, anything quote-unquote Sexy). But here are a few others you'll need to steer clear of. Together we'll make sure everyone is wearing the best, most original costume this Halloween.
Political costumes always come easy, especially because most ladies have a pantsuit already hanging in their closet. Get yourself a wig, some crazy eyes, and the belief that evolution doesn't exist and you're ready to go, right? Wrong! This is a hard one to pull off because she doesn't' have an iconic look (like Sarah Palin or Hilary Clinton) that will allow people to immediately recognize you. All she has is stupidity and gonzo ideas about government, and that's really hard to pull off with a costume. If you really want to go this route, dress as fey Marcus Bachmann instead. Now that's funny.
Every nerd you know is going to try this. Why? Because they're sad that he's gone and all it takes is a pair of jeans, a mock turtleneck, and one of the Apple devices you already own. One trip to the Gap and an astounding lack of creativity, and you have yourself a costume. No,"zombie Steve Jobs" or "ghost Steve Jobs" isn't any better. Everyone thought of that, too. "Steve Jobs on an acid trip," however, might be fun.
Men like nothing more than an easy costume, and certain men (I don't want to say hipsters, but...) don't want to put in the work but still want to come up with something cool. This year, it's going to be a satin jacket from a thrift store spattered in fake blood like Ryan Gosling wore in Drive. Instead of looking like an individual, you're going to end up looking like a little league baseball team from Ho-Ho-Kus when everyone at the party has on matching jackets. If you really like Gosling, why don't you work on your abs all year and then go as him in Crazy, Stupid, Love next year. We'd much rather see you ripped and dapper.
Casey Anthony and/or Amanda Knox
These two are the acquittals that won't quit. They are on everyone's minds, thanks to the constant media coverage, and they're both comely young ladies, so it will lead every woman to try to add their "sexy" spin to the costume. Just don't. Don't put on a short skirt and bad makeup and cart around a doll that's supposed to be your dead child or an Italian dictionary and a bloody knife. It's not cute, entirely expected, and you're going to spend all night going, "You know, the girl who went to Italy and got accused of murder and then got off. No, not like that." If you really want to be subversive and gross people out, go as Nancy Grace's nipple slip.
Every summer there's a political scandal and a bunch of people think, "Oh, I'm going to be that for Halloween," but by the time October rolls around it's already old and dated and something we'd rather forget about. This year, it's Anthony Weiner and, well, his weiner. Anything related to his Twitter feed, his shirtless pictures, or any sort of Congressional hot dog puns is just too easy. Try Puerto Rican Sen. Roberto Arango, who got caught spreading his buttcheeks on Grindr, instead.
Zombie Amy Winehouse
This is every Halloween store's last year to sell off their giant stock of bouffant wigs and you know they're going to be pushing them right at the front of the displays and positioning next to the zombie makeup trying to get everyone to take the bait. Don't you dare do it. Not only is it morbid and slightly in bad taste, but you're going to run into more Amys than the year after she won all those Grammys. And how can you tell "zombie Amy Winehouse" from "druggie Amy Winehouse" anyway? Instead, get the same wig and go for early Ronnie Spector. Not everyone will get it, but those that do will think you are amazing.
Occupy Wall Street Protestor
While I support the 99% and what they're doing around the globe, making yourself a sloganeering sign and just dressing in normal street clothes does not a costume make, you lazy jerk. No, not bathing for a week doesn't help. Neither does that hacky sack. Sure, you're "spreading awareness" and all that, but if you really want to do that, go down to Zuccotti Park and actually, you know, protest! God, you're doubly lazy. To get original, dress up as a parody of the 1% using duds from a thrift store and some ingenuity. You'll draw awareness and get to wear a silly yachting outfit. Everyone wins!
Princess Beatrice Hat
This costume is a potent combination of Internet meme and Royal Wedding mania that is going to be very hard for some people to resist. You must do it! While wearing your own fascinator and going as a Royal Wedding Guest could be a cute idea, don't go as the most famous one of all, especially if all you did was buy a costume version of the hat online. Now if you want to buy one of those and gussy it up like one of the many Photoshopped memes, that might be something to get behind. As far as Internet memes go though, Nyan Cat would be a hit, especially if you share your Pop Tarts.
Dick in a Box
Boys, this is not 2008. Just because you have access to a dick and a box does not mean you can or should go as Dick in a Box, the Grammy winning sketch from Saturday Night Live. If this is the best you could do, just stay home and watch SNL and give up on Halloween entirely.
Gay Men as Anything 'Sexy'
Last year I railed on the ridiculousness of girls adding "sexy" before any noun and thinking that is a Halloween costume. Then I realized that a certain subset of gay men are just as bad. They'll go as "sexy" Superman, "sexy" football player, "sexy" sanitation worker, and that perennial favorite, the "sexy" gladiator. This usually involves taking a traditional costume for one of these things and cutting it to shreds to show off as much of the pectoral, abdominal, and bicep areas as will allow while still keeping the costume intact. There are plenty of costumes that will let you wear next to nothing (lifeguard, underwear model, Romance novel cover) that you don't have to change a normal costume in order to slut it up. Of if you want to go as a gladiator, go as damn gladiator, chest plate and all. You're going to look just as hot covered up as you will naked. But if you have a body like this guy, I might be able to think of a few ways to forgive you.
Keep all of these in mind when getting ready to enter Gawker's second annual costume contest. Yes, people, it's coming back, and it's going to be amazing.
[Images via Getty and AP. Gladiator photo via Flickr]