10 Very Last-Minute, Very Of-The-Moment Chicago Halloween Costume Ideas

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 27, 2017 7:10PM


Halloween weekend is upon us, and while we do know many Chicagoans who have been planning their costumes since July, we have been lazy. If you too prefer to procrastinate on Halloween, but find yourself with a need for a very last-minute, but very current events-y, Chicago-themed costume, we've got some thoughts for you. Here are 10 costume ideas for the Chicagoan with a sense of humor and but virtually no desire to plan out a costume. Go forth and amuse or confuse your friends this Halloween weekend.

Biker Bruce
Gov. Bruce Rauner likes to remind us that he can blend in with billionaires and bikers alike, and his latest costume (which we've dubbed Biker Bruce) is inspired by his new campaign video attire, pictured above. Not to be confused with Rural Appeal Rauner—featuring trademark red striped button down shirt and jeans—another Rauner alternative costume that can can be worn with a cowboy hat and Carhartt jacket, and accessorized with a roll of duct tape to show that even a billionaire can look like an average workin’ Joe. But if you want to show friends and family that you *really* mean business about shakin’ things up in Springfield, then Biker Bruce, featuring a black leather vest festooned with pieces of flair worn over a hooded sweatshirt that reads “governor” on the sleeve, will let people know you’re ready for a party and for governin’. —Aaron Cynic

An Activist Witch
Why be a regular witch this Halloween, when you can be a gentrification-fighting, government-hexing, activist witch? The artist-activist-feminist witches known collectively as WITCH returned this year, after hexing gentrifiers in Logan Square last year, to put a spell on President Donald Trump and his followers. For this costume, grab a black cape, come up with a foreboding chant ("we usher the demise of the patriarchy" will work), and chalk to draw circles in the ground—for binding the bad vibes in one place, we assume. Bonus points if you wander around Trump Tower scowling at River North revelers. —Rachel Cromidas

Caddyshack Bill Murray
We suppose you could also go as Jerky Chicago Symphony Center Meet-&-Greet Bill Murray, but that might be a bit high concept. Chicagoland's most famous comedic son (and several of his siblings) announced earlier this year that a Caddyshack-themed restaurant will soon be hitting the Chicago area—which we'll take as opportunity to dust off the old Carl Spackler duds. It doesn't take much: a camo bucket hat, a greenish-gray tee shirt, maybe a toy rifle and/or "varmint" to top it off. Random choruses of "Great big globs of greasy, grimy, gopher guts!" are encouraged. —Stephen Gossett

D&D Dungeon Master Sue The T-Rex
Sue The T-Rex is an obvious choice for a Halloween costume, if you can get your hands on a dinosaur suit. And sure, you could throw a Chicago sports jersey and helmet on top of that and call it a costume... but we think you should honor Sue's nerdy spirit by going in a different direction. The Field Museum's Twitter account for Sue The T-Rex ran a popular Dungeons and Dragons game on Twitter this year, and you could pay homage to the fun by dressing up as Sue and carrying around a d-10—or maybe throwing on a wizard's hat and telling people you're a "dinosorcerer." —RC

A Cat Cafe
The cat cafe trend finally made its way to Chicago this year (to Rogers Park, specifically, because of course). For this costume, you are a cat cafe patron, or you can embody the cat cafe itself. We recommend dressing up as a cat and sewing as many stuffed animal cats as you can find to your clothing, then carrying around a cup of coffee, or several, to complete the look. As a bonus, whenever you take a seat outside, you can declare your location a "catio" (as in, "cat patio." Yup). —RC





Vacation Obama
Some world leaders just want to kite-surf while the world burns. Just kidding—we know President Barack Obama needed a break after eight long years of presidenting. But we still like the idea of poking fun at Vacation Obama via costume. For this one, you'll need a life-vest, a wetsuit, and a huge grin on your face. —RC

A Giant Rat
Given that Chicago is the proud birthplace of Scabby the Rat, a rat costume on Halloween is pretty much evergreen. But rats are (unfortunately) on top of mind—and top of garbage bins—in Chicago for another reason: our city was named “rattiest” city for the third consecutive year, as officials scramble to up the funding and increase crews in the seemingly Sisyphean struggle to ward off so many rodents. It's sadly a good call any year, but no more so than 2017, aka The Year of Tucking Your Pants Into Your Socks When Taking Out the Garbage. —SG

Trump's Magic Cop
For over a year now, Donald Trump has been referencing the magical mystery Chicago cop who, as the president tells it in increasingly mutable fashion, claimed he could fix the city's violent-crime problem, first in one week, then "immediately." Of course, no one knows what Trump's Magic Cop actually looks like. (The fact that local law enforcement said last year that the president's claim was discredited might have something to do with that.) But an imagining is easy enough: any reputable costume shop should have a cop costume and its fair share of wizardly regalia. Mix, match and you're all set. —SG

Mothman
Speaking of elusive, mythical creatures that persisted in 2017, there's always the more appropriately paranormal route of the "flying humanoid." Black slacks or a black dress, a refashioned black bat costume with wings for the top, and red glasses should do the trick—at least judging by the testimonials. —SG

Malort Tasting Notes
Another immortal option, since Malort is now and will forever be Chicago's face-contortingly unpalatable liqueur of choice. But the good folks at Wrigleyville oasis Nisei Lounge took the love of the wormwood stuff to new heights this year, with their epic, 100-bottle-strong Wall of Malort—and its equally acclaimed sequel. You probably won't be able to affix several dozens of bottles to your person, nor would we recommend you try, but you could get by with a few with the help of some duct tape. Slap on a few of your own Malort Deep Thoughts/tasting notes and you're as golden as the bizarro-ambrosia itself. —SG