The only thing you need to put together your budget-friendly Costume of the Year is your imagination. A couple of points to keep in mind as you're digging for change: Traditional faves are always a hit--but try to add a fun spin on it. Ladies, flaunt your stuff, but remember that sometimes too sexy can be a little scary.
Start with what you have in your closet. For the many of us who own a pair of jeans and plaid shirts, being a cowboy or cowgal is simple--top it off with a vintage hat and toothpick. Or, add a tool-belt and hardhat to transform yourself into a city worker.
An American Apparel bodysuit paired with an old sweatband and legwarmers will have you ready to do the locomotion. If you're a single lady, add some heels to the mix and work some diva magic. Daring types may even choose to glue a bunch of pens on their faces to go a little Gaga.
College studs who own a pair of sleek black dress pants can be transformed from the laid off Wall Street banker by day, into a shirtless, bow-tie wearing Chippendale by twilight. A little twist can turn your Halloween DIYs into staring eyes. Who knows, you may win best dressed after all—creative and economical is the new thing.