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CLOSET Rx : Poof! Put Together a Costume Like Magic


Halloween is about ghosts, goblins, witches and haunted houses. But those supernatural highlights aren't what scares us about this holiday. It's that terrifying call just as the sun is going down on the 31st. You pick up the phone and the voice on the other line says "Wanna go to a party?" Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

What is a woman going to wear?

It's too late get a hot costume, so what can she pull out of her closet that won't make her look like she was invited at 5 p.m.? Besides the obvious ghost made from a top sheet, with some creativity she probably can make a great costume in an hour or less from the average wardrobe.

"The easiest look for most women to make is a Gypsy," says Liz Menzies of Swept Away Clothes to Go in Irvine. "Usually when you go out you're careful about the amount of jewelry you wear, but when you dress up as a Gypsy you just wear whatever you have, the more bangles the better, with big hoop earrings and lots of makeup."

The floral, flowing skirt is a staple in many closets, and that worn with a black top, a scarf for the hair and one for the hip will complete the outfit. If you have one of the new push-up style bras, now's the time to try it out.

"You can also do a belly dancer pretty easily," Menzies says. "You use a bathing suit top, a big wrap for your waist and a chain around the middle."

Both outfits can easily be modified. For one sponsored by the local PTA, you can tone it down, but you can make it racier for the late night bash at the fraternity house.

If you've been to Disneyland recently, you may be able to turn a simple souvenir into a great costume.

"Take the average pair of mouse ears and wear a black unitard and red pumps," says Cassie Piasecki of Body Issue in Laguna Hills. "Add a black nose and whiskers made with eyeliner ,and you're Minnie Mouse."

Cut off the leg from an old pair of black nylons, pin it on the back and you're ready to go.

Another look that can be done quickly is the Lost Tourist.

"I'd wear my husband's ugly Hawaiian shirt, or you could use any loud shirt or top along with some khaki shorts, sunglasses and a camera," says Piasecki. Add tennis shoes and some black socks, and people will start asking if you got lost on the way to Knott's.

Demented costume ideas include:

* The Monica Seles: A simple tennis outfit with a piece of wood resembling a knife handle attached to the back.

* The Leftover: Wrap yourself up in about three Price Club-size boxes of plastic wrap.

* The Heidi Fleiss: A skimpy dress and a big black address book.

Next week, Closet Rx offers costume ideas for men.

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