Halloween costumes are something that we spend months obsessing over, but only end up wearing at most a handful of times. What’s the point in spending a hefty amount on these costumes, for both kids and adults, if they’re just going to gather dust for the rest of the year?
As a matter of fact, many easily recognizable Halloween costumes can be forged with everyday garments and items that are already sitting in your home or can be easily purchased online. It just requires a little thinking outside of the box. Even though Halloween might not be as wild as usual this year, you don’t have to miss out on dressing up.
We compiled a guide to assembling foolproof DIY outfits, along with a few ready-to-wear costumes that are low-maintenance but still command attention. Don’t panic when October rolls around — instead, stay ahead of the game with the best cheap Halloween costumes for men.
The Best DIY Cheap Halloween Costumes
1. Bernie Sanders Inauguration Look
There have been so few positive viral moments in 2021, but a cold-weather ready Bernie Sanders at President Biden and Vice President Harris’ inauguration was definitely worth the meme-ories. The senator from Vermont knows how to dress for a chilly day in January and appreciates a supportive seat for a long ceremony. This is a great costume for anyone who fights for justice for all, enjoys sensible outerwear and has no problem asking you to once again please pass the chip bowl at this year’s Halloween party.
What you need: A pair of handmade mittens, a disposable blue mask, black pants and shoes, and a sensible jacket. Bonus points for a folding chair.Buy: Burton Jacket $295.00 Buy: Jumbl Blue Disposable Face Mask $14.99 Buy: Bernie Sanders Inspired Double Knitted Mittens $49.03
2. Ship Stuck in Suez Canal
A three-point turn has never been more difficult than when a cargo ship got stuck in the Suez Canal in March 2021. The massive ship forced other cargo ships to reroute and take longer trips to their destination, causing delays around the world. Even after the Ever Given ship was freed, it was then stuck in a logistical nightmare of when its goods could be released. Think about that next time you complain that your package is a day late.
What you need: A giant inflatable ship that you can use to block party-goers trips to the food, drinks, and bathroom.Buy: Universal Specialties Giant Titanic Inflatable Pool Toy $19.99
3. The Weeknd at the 2021 Super Bowl
It was tough to not be a fan of The Weeknd when he hit the massive stage at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 7. The Canadian became one of only a handful of artists to play the Half Time show solo and ran through his incredible discography while bringing his latest music videos to life. Be as cool as The Weeknd this Halloween with a costume that pays homage to Abel.
What you need: Red blazer, black tie, dress shirt, gloves and pants. Add a face bandage to double as a mask for added safety.Buy: COOFANDY Men's Shiny Sequins Suit Jacket $71.99
4. TikTok Star
TikTok videos appear to fall into two categories. There’s the II – Incredibly Impressive, a list that includes dance tutorials, cleaning hacks, and celeb videos with Hollywood-style editing. Then, there’s the OL or Other List. It’s less impressive. Grab a Tik Tok sign and turn every action you do on Halloween into a video worthy of the internet. There’s room for everyone.
What you need: A TikTok sign and a willingness to keep all actions and conversations under three minutes.Buy: Social Media Cutout Photo Frame $68.00
5. Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Whether you were a fan of 2021’s F9, or any other eight movies that came before, you know that it’s all about family in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Win Halloween by an inch or a mile with a Dominic Toretto costume that requires minimal materials and a commitment to a permanent scowl and a slow delivery of all conversations. Seriously, it’s all about family.
What you need: Tight black sleeveless t-shirt, large silver cross, blue jeans.Buy: Champion Men's Classic Jersey Muscle Tee $12.00 Buy: Sterling Silver Polished Embossed Cross Pendant Necklace $28.90
6. Friends Opening Scene
So no one told you that your Halloween party was gonna come a week early? Pivot towards an easy DIY costume as one of the characters from Friends. Recreate the show’s iconic opening with an automatic umbrella and show your pop culture prowess by paying tribute to the series that finally got a reunion in 2021.
What you need: Automatic open yellow, red or blue stick umbrella, black pants and white top. Bonus points for a hairstyle with extra gel (Ross) or one that is a cultural phenomenon (Rachel).Buy: Balios Prestige Walking Stick Umbrella $34.99
7. Indiana Jones
Become the action star of your dreams in this timelessly cool outfit. Tuck a button-down into cargo pants and intentionally add wrinkles by crumpling a wet shirt and hanging without ironing. Some brown makeup and a sponge can add stubble and the appearance of dirt — you’re on a mission, after all.
What you need: A brown felt fedora or outback hat, leather belt, and jacket, khaki shirt and pants, boots.Buy: Dorfman Pacific Men's Outback Hat $38.00
Growing a beard is necessary for this look, so either paint one on or invest in a fake one if facial hair is a challenge for you. Style the shirt with sleeves partially rolled up and a couple of buttons undone. Top it off with the classic beanie and rugged work boots for a comfy and fast costume. Suspenders are also a fun add-on if you’d like.
What you need: A red and black plaid flannel shirt, beanie, work boots, ax.Buy: Men's Button Down Long Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirt $20.99
9. Where’s Waldo
You’ll be hard to find but easy to recognize in this children’s classic. If you already wear round glasses, you’re halfway there! Just a few artfully coordinated stripes and people will be pointing you out in the crowd in no time at all.
What you need: A white and red horizontal striped sweater/shirt, matching hat and round black glasses.Buy: Largemouth Men's Striped Long Sleeve Shirt Red White $24.99
10. The Dude
Forever our favorite movie character, The Big Lebowski’s “The Dude” can be completed with your laziest outfit. If you don’t normally wear robes, invest in a poorly fitted tan one, with pajama pants and indoor slippers. Feel free to wear this cheap Halloween costume a few times, stain it up and skip a couple of showers if you want to add authenticity to the character.
What you need: A slouchy tan robe, comfy pajama pants, old white tee, slippers.Buy: Mens Plush Fleece Robe $25.99
11. Hulk Hogan
With some red pants, a Hulkamania shirt, a bandana, and some artificial white hair, you’ll be looking just like this famous wrestler in no time, brother! Sunglasses and a boa complete the look but try to stick with the red and yellow outfit for the maximum effect.
What you need: A Hulkamania shirt, fake mustache, white wig, trucker hat, sunglasses.Buy: Hulk Hogan Hulkamania Mens Red T-shirt $21.95
12. Adult baby
We definitely prefer this cozy alternative to wearing an adult diaper with a pin in it! Purchase an adult onesie — the more childish the print, the better. Think stars, checkers and unusually bright colors that grown-ups wouldn’t opt for. Finally, a pacifier finishes off the look. You can even carry around a teddy bear if you want.
What you need: An oversized patterned adult onesie with footies, pacifier.Buy: Forever Lazy Footed Adult Onesies $39.99
13. Marty Mcfly
Looking like Doc from Back to the Future is a harder feat, but to look like Marty, you just need some ‘80s classics, so hit a thrift shop or look online for a broader range of products. Most of the items required for this outfit are probably already lying around your house as old L.L. Bean buys.
What you need: A red puffer vest, plaid button-down, acid-washed jacket, Levi jeans.Buy: HOW'ON Men's Outdoor Casual Classic Quilted Vest $36.98
If you find yourself scrambling for a superhero costume that won’t cost a pretty penny, the Clark Kent/Superman combo is always a classic. All you need is a Superman tee, hidden beneath a partially undone button-up and a suit jacket, depicting Clark mid-transition as he busts out of his suit.
What you need: A Superman shirt, dress pants, button-down, dress shoes.Buy: Superman Officially Licensed Shield Logo T Shirt $19.99
A farmer’s outfit is one of the easiest cheap Halloween costumes for men to recreate. You can even add some self-tanner for tan authentic farmer’s tan. A bonus of this costume is that it’s very practical, which means no fussing with a complicated outfit. It might not be the most abstract or creative look, but it’s certainly one of the most comfortable, and a good way to avoid the over-asked question, “what are you?”
What you need: A pair of overalls, an old flannel shirt, some cowboy boots or rubber barn boots, and a straw hat or cap.Buy: Dickies Men’s Bib Overall $39.99
16. Smarty Pants
For the punniest cheap Halloween costume for men ever, turn yourself into a Smarty Pants. This costume is accomplished by using dots of glue or double-sided tape to attach rolls of Smarties to pants (ideally black ones, so the smarties are visible from far away) and your look is done! This is our favorite DIY lazy costume because even though it might take someone a moment to figure out, once they do, they can’t help but chuckle to themselves.
What you need: Black pants, Smarties, double-sided tape/glue, glasses, suspenders.Buy: Giant Jumbo Smarties $18.41
17. Men in Black
If you grab a friend (ideally someone who has a small dog) you’ll have no problem at all dressing up as the famous MIB. Just don matching suits like this one, paired with black sunglasses, and these amazing cosplay Men in Black agent identification badges. If you don’t already have a black suit and white dress shirt at home, don’t shell out money for expensive formalwear — instead, get this fancy-looking slim fit alternative for under $40.00.
What you need: A black suit, ID badge, sunglasses.Buy: OFFSTREAM Plain Suit for Men (Jacket, Pants, Tie) $39.99 Buy: Special Agent MIB Badge IDs $14.95+
18. Harry Potter
Besides the accessories, all you need for a solid Harry Potter costume is a schoolboy suit or a black robe. The tell-tale signs of an HP on Halloween are the rounded glasses, that maroon and gold tie, and obviously, a lightning bolt on the forehead. A wand also helps. This costume accessory set can help you look like a student straight out of Hogwarts, and for $9.99, is a fantastic cheap Halloween costume for men that doesn’t require explanation.
What you need: A tie, black robe/schoolboy suit, and round glasses.Buy: XUECHEN Besmon Striped Tie, Lensless Glasses $11.99
19. Mister Rogers
You might need additional accessories to really sell this look, but once you put on a red cardigan, everyone will know that you’re dressed up as beloved children’s TV show character Mister Rogers, who was recently celebrated in the 2019 flick A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. To transform yourself into the iconic Fred Rogers, invest in a zippered red sweater with cable detail — this one even has an embroidered Mister Rogers patch on the front.
What you need: A red cardigan, tie, tennis shoes, gray wig.Buy: Surreal Entertainment Mister Rogers Sweater Costume $49.99
The Best Cheap Ready-to-Wear Halloween Costumes
If you don’t want to put together your own cheap Halloween costume, there are plenty of affordable Halloween looks that can be bought pre-assembled for $50 or less. From pop culture looks to hilarious novelty picks, these are some of the best-ranked men’s cheap Halloween costumes that are sure to turn heads.
The first season of the new Disney+ series Loki left the Marvel universe upside down in 2021. The series is a must-watch for Marvel viewers and its impact will continue in the movies. Season 2 has already been confirmed, so bring your own timeline to Halloween with a Loki costume that you can continue to wear for years.Buy: WKDFOREVER 3D Captain Fashion Cosplay Hoodie Jacket $35.99
2. Halloween DJ Mask
Whether you’re on the ones and twos at this year’s Halloween party or want an easy way to mask up on October 31, this DJ Mask will do the trick. Pair with a hoody and some jeans and you’ll instantly be one of the most famous DJs in the world … which you could be. Does anyone know what Marshmello actually looks like?Buy: Halloween DJ Mask $19.99
3. Moana Maui T-Shirt/Pants Halloween Costume
Wonder what you would look like with full arm and leg tats? Wonder no more this Halloween with a Moana-inspired cheap Halloween costume for men. Delight your kids, make plenty of lei jokes for the adults, and enjoy all the body art with none of the painful tattooings.Buy: Moana Maui T Shirt/Pants Halloween Costume $26.99
4. Peacemaker Costume
The second Suicide Squad film was released in 2021 and may have paved way for future stand-alone films, including one for John Cena’s Peacemaker. Get ahead of the curve with your own Peacemaker cheap Halloween costume for men that will work for this Halloween and future years.Buy: Peacemaker Costume $39.99
5. TOLOCO Inflatable Adults Sumo Wrestling Costume
This costume is one size fits all and allows for plenty of breathing space. It’s a novelty to wear and inflates very quickly. If you’re someone that likes your personal space at parties, this costume is the ideal pick. It also “holds up well against lots of chest bumps” as one customer puts it.
6. Spooktacular Creations Men’s Flight Pilot Costume
Ever feel the urge to channel Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Doing a DIY take would take a lot of vintage shopping, but this green aviator suit turns you into a military fighter pilot in mere minutes. It zips up on the front and comes with dog tags, but beware: the sizes do run quite small, so get one or two larger than your usual choice.Buy: Spooktacular Creations Men’s Flight Pilot Costume $24.99
7. Rubie’s Men’s Marvel Black Panther Deluxe Costume
This realistic costume is extremely affordable for the muscular aesthetic it provides and comes just in time for us to get excited about Black Panther 2. If you’re looking to beef up for Halloween, this popular movie character is sure to earn compliments.Buy: Rubie’s Men’s Marvel Black Panther Deluxe Costume $53.50
8. California Costume’s Men’s Horror Robe Costume
Although they refer to it as a “horror robe,” this is a grim reaper outfit that can be turned into a Scream look if you swap the provided face shield for the ‘90s classic. However, this cheap Halloween costume for men doesn’t come with a scythe, so you’ll need to buy one or forge your own out of some spray-painted cardboard and a broom handle.Buy: California Costume’s Men’s Horror Robe Costume $26.21
9. Cosplaysky Adult Outfit for Jedi
While many of the Mandalorian or more detailed Star Wars costumes with bells and whistles can look a bit cheap, this tunic-based Jedi look is a foolproof choice every year. It contains pants with belt loops, a faux leather belt and an attached pouch, a hooded full-length cape, and a brown shirt, all finished off by a waist sash. Users found themselves surprised by the quality of the outfit, which is made of a thick and durable linen. The rob has more of a polyester feel but doesn’t sit directly against your skin.Buy: Cosplaysky Adult Outfit for Jedi $59.99
10. Adult Mario Classic Halloween Costume
Any classic video game lover will appreciate this Super Mario Brothers get-up, complete with a jumpsuit, hat, and self-adhesive fake mustache. Bonus points if you can gather an entourage with the game’s classic characters like Princess Peach, Luigi, and Bowser. Its affordable price is enhanced even more by the fact that all accessories are included. Of course, if you’re already rocking your own impressive mustache, you can opt-out of the self-adhesive faux version.Buy: Adult Mario Classic Halloween Costume $29.49
11. LIFEGUARD Officially Licensed Men’s Halloween Costume
This cheap Halloween costume for men can easily be worn as a basic lifeguard outfit, but we vote for tying the sweater around your shoulders and opting for a half-naked Baywatch costume, since the outfit is already red. If it gets chilly out, you can always put the sweater back on. It also comes with shorts, a hat, and a fanny pack for all your lifeguarding essentials. If you’re on the taller side, consider going for the XL size, as the hoodie runs a bit small.Buy: LIFEGUARD Officially Licensed Mens Halloween Costume $49.99
12. SOGUYI Plague Doctor 3-in-1 Mask Set
A plague doctor is always a badass cheap Halloween costume choice that stays timeless and has a steampunk factor that’s equally scary and elegant. There’s something chilling about that beak mask, but it’s also perfect if you’re looking to avoid eye contact with anyone. The black leather mask, which comes with a hat and balaclava, is also versatile enough to wear to Mardis Gras, Masquerade, or punk-themed parties. Just add a cloak or a tailcoat to complete the outfit.Buy: SOGUYI Plague Doctor 3-in-1 Mask Set $20.99