Arts | November 9th, 2023

Are Costumes Creative Enough?

By: Danae Daniels
Are Costumes Creative Enough?

Halloween is a magical time of year when creativity takes center stage as people of all ages transform themselves into fantastical characters, ghoulish monsters, and pop culture icons. Nevertheless, what truly makes a Halloween costume creative and unique? 

Athaiya Mack, a junior broadcast journalism student with a passion for artistic expression, aptly puts it, “Something that makes a Halloween costume truly creative and unique is not originality necessarily but authenticity. Making something personal, your own, you’re not wearing the costume, it is a part of you! That really helps bring the uniqueness out of it.”

Shifting Trends in Halloween Costume Creativity

Over the years, Halloween costume trends have seen a significant shift; in the past, conventional store-bought costumes reigned supreme, but today, there is a growing inclination towards do-it-yourself (DIY) and more elaborate, imaginative costumes. This shift reflects a changing mindset where people are putting more effort into creating one-of-a-kind looks. 

Jalynn McDuffey, a third-year broadcast journalism student and award-winning multimedium artist from Miami, added her artistic perspective and stated, “Originality in Halloween means nothing. Since Halloween was All Hallows Eve, we dressed as witches and vampires. I know Playboy Bunny girls get a lot of hate, but…”

“Halloween is about fun and expressing your costume how you want,” McDuffey said. “Halloween is a judgment-free holiday, that’s why it’s my favorite. Dress up as yourself in every form you choose.”

One common misconception is that creativity requires a complex and extravagant costume. However, this is not the case. A creative costume can be simple yet effective, and it’s all about how the idea is executed. Originality can shine through in the choice of materials, attention to detail, or a clever twist on a familiar concept.

Making Your Costume YOUR Own

Mack emphasizes the importance of personalization as she illustrates her point by sharing her experience with a unique Avatar costume.

“Being creative isn’t just about having the most expensive costume or all of the pieces to finish a look, it’s about the execution,” said Mack. “What does the finished product look like and most of all does it speak to you?”


FAMU student Athaiya Mack, in full Avatar-inspired face paint and makeup || Photo Courtesy: Athaiya Mack

“For my Avatar look, I only bought face paint and some rubber ears. I used acrylic paint for the ears and put acrylic paint on top of the face paint once it hardened on my skin. I only painted my face and chest. I finished at 3 a.m., and all of my photos were taken in a robe or towel… it was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done! I was able to express myself, my talent, and my art. I left my curls out and everything. I made it my own. That’s what being creative, original, and authentic means to me…”

“Halloween is a time for expression,” Mack said.

Halloween is a time when creativity knows no bounds, and the definition of a creative costume is as diverse as the people who celebrate it. Whether you opt for a homemade masterpiece, a beloved classic, or a pop culture reference, the key to a truly creative costume lies in the passion and effort put into its creation.


Saweetie’s Edward Scissorhands costume || Photo Courtesy: Saweetie on Instagram


For instance, the rap star and popular icon Saweetie effortlessly coined her Halloween 2023 look as Johnny Depp in the 1990 gothic romance film, Edward Scissorhands. She stunned her fans with her impeccable attention to detail, using silver accessories to recreate the iconic scissor hands of the character.

Her dedication to capturing the essence of the character demonstrated that creativity in costumes extends beyond just wearing the right outfit; it is about embodying the character and putting your own unique twist on it.

Saweetie’s transformation showcased the power of passion and effort in creating a memorable and truly creative Halloween costume.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what makes a Halloween costume creative and unique, it is clear that originality, attention to detail, and an individualized touch all play vital roles in unmasking the spirit of Halloween creativity.