Halloween: Non-Scary Costume Ideas for Men and Women

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Halloween: The scariest day of the year

Each year, on the 31st of October, people of all ages in countries like Canada and Ireland, dress up as ghosts, witches, vampires, serial killers and other scary fictional creatures and characters in order to celebrate Halloween. Considered, ‘the scariest day of the year’, Halloween is the one time of the year where it’s fun to be terrified. And people go all out by participating in fear-creating activities like visiting fake haunted houses and watching scary movies.

However, while Halloween is a fun tradition in some western countries, many people in Tanzania don’t see the humor in Halloween and consider it to be the devil’s holiday!

The Tanzanian controversy with Halloween

The thing is, Tanzania is an incredibly superstitious country, and for many, dressing up in scary costumes is asking for unwanted attention from the spirit world and the demonic. Moreover, for some of the religious, it is seen as ‘pagan’ worshipping.

In reality, Halloween is not a satanic or demonic holiday but instead has its roots in Celtic and Gaelic Christian traditions. The holiday is also known as All-Saints-Day and is a time of year dedicated to honoring saints, deceased loved ones and the pious. Nevertheless, Halloween does have some roots in pre-Christian belief systems, but yet again, so do many of the other traditions that we practice, including Christmas. Moreover, modern day Halloween has lost most of its religious association and is instead viewed as a secular holiday celebrated by people of all faiths.

Growing popularity of Halloween in Tanzania

Despite the cultural complications, in recent years, celebrating Halloween has become increasingly popular in cities like Dar es Salaam and Arusha. This is mainly due to the significant number of expats in these cities and increased exposure of Tanzanians to western traditions through media, the internet, and travel. As a result, there is an increasing number of Halloween-themed parties at popular social spots like George and Dragon, Triniti, and Salt in Dar es Salaam.

However, because it’s still relatively uncommon to celebrate Halloween in Tanzania, scary costumes are not easily available or affordable in most local retail shops. As a result, it takes a bit more effort to come up with a costume, something that many adults aren’t bothered to do. Moreover, many Tanzanians are still uncomfortable with dressing up as supernatural creatures.

Luckily, Halloween costumes don’t have to be scary, instead, people can dress up as celebrities, movie characters, inanimate objects, and more. So, if this is what you want to do, we’ve got 10 great non-scary Halloween costume ideas for men and women.

Halloween Costumes for Men

1. Your favorite football player

Most men have a jersey of their favorite Football player or team. So wear that with shorts, football shoes and add a football as your accessory for the full effect.

2. Muhammed Ali

The legendary heavyweight boxing champion of the world passed away this year. Honor him by wearing boxer shorts and a pair of boxing or exercise gloves. To complete the look, make a belt out of some cardboard paper and write ‘the greatest’ on it.

3. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Will Smith’s character on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air is as equally memorable for his sense of style as he is for his humor. His signature 90s look was incredibly bold and colorful, and always included a hat, sweater or shirt, bomber jacket, shorts, and sneakers.

Go the extra mile and get a friend to dress up as Carlton, and you’ll surely win ‘Best Costume’ at the Halloween party.

4. Clark Kent a.k.a Superman

If you have a Superman shirt, then pair it with black pants, a white dress shirt and jacket (even though it’s hot) and voila, everyone at the party will know that you are Clark Kent. For the finishing touches wear a pair of fake glasses (if you don’t have real ones).

5. Donald Trump

2016 is definitely Trump’s year, so dress up in a dark suit, red or blue tie and get a cheap blonde wig from a beauty store or female friend. To make your costume more identifiable, stick paper with infamous Trump phrases like ‘nasty women’ and ‘locker room talk’ all over your suit. For many, this will be truly a scary costume.

Honorable mentions:

6. Diamond

Want to be (arguably) the biggest pop-star in Tanzania for a night? You don’t need to do much. Just wear a crisp white t-shirt, some slim fit jeans, sneakers, sunglasses and a gold chain. However, to distinguish yourself from just any other rapper, cut out some diamond shapes from paper and stick them all over your outfit.

Halloween Costumes for Women

1. Beyonce

If you have a blonde wig then here’s your chance to shine! Beyonce has so many iconic looks, from the checkered shirt and shorts in the Flawless video to the yellow dress in Hold Up, whatever you decide to wear make sure you have the diva attitude to match and maybe even bring a mic as an accessory.

2. Wednesday Addams

If you have ever watched the Addams Family cartoon show or movies, then you must remember the one-liners and signature style of Wednesday Addams. Her look always included two braided pigtails, a white collar shirt under a black dress with stockings and black shoes. However, her best accessories are definitely her sarcasm and frown.

3. A snapchat filter

Snapchat filters are super popular this year, especially the one with the flower headband that makes everyone look like a beautiful fairy. To pull off this look, first, you must have some serious make-up skills or hire a makeup artist to glam you up as much as possible. For the finishing touches,  get a flower headband to represent the filter and cut out a square hole on cardboard paper and write ‘Snapchat’ at the top.

4. The 90s

The 90s are back in style, and many of us probably already have a 90s inspired clothing items in our closets. So, the look is simple enough. Pair a choker necklace with a crop top, high waisted jean skirt, and platform shoes. For makeup, apply a dark lip liner and lipstick.

5. Felicia from Friday

Everyone knows the phrase, ‘Bye Felicia!’, but do you remember the movie character that the term is based on?

Well, in the movie Friday, Felicia was the drug addict who kept asking Ice Cube’s character for money. To pull off the Felicia look, all you need is a red/maroonish baggy t-shirt, khaki pants, white socks, and flip flops.

However, to ensure that people know that you are wearing a costume rather than simply looking a hot mess, write the phrase ‘Bye Felicia’ on a piece of cardboard and hang it around your neck.

Honorable mentions:

7. Cookie Lyon

Everyone loves Cookie Lyon on  the T.V show Empire. To pull off the sassy character, wear a short tight print dress with some big chunky jewelry. If by any chance you have a big fur coat – wear that. To have fun with the look, buy a box of cookies and pass them out to people you meet at the party and say something like, ‘Hi! I’m Cookie Lyon’.

Stand out this Halloween

These simple yet fun costume ideas will ensure that you stand out at the Halloween party for all the right reasons. Instead of being scary, you’ll be emulating some of the most memorable fictional and non-fictional people around. So what are you waiting for? Start putting together your Halloween costume today!

Download the infographic with all the images below.

Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.