13 Cheap and Trendy Halloween Costumes for 2016

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Every year Halloween creeps up and scares thousands into last-minute, costly costume choices. But with just a little planning, you can come up with a timely and affordable Halloween costume. These pop culture icons from the past year, real or imagined, can be easily and cheaply replicated.

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"The Walking Dead" and the popularity of the companion series "Fear the Walking Dead" make this a good year to resurrect an old zombie costume -- or ask someone who once dressed as a zombie to loan a severed limb or two. Alternatively, make a costume with old clothing and ghastly makeup.

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Personify the sought-after Pokémon with a cheap yellow hoodie. Blacken the tips of yellow ears cut from felt and attach them to the sweatshirt. Use fabric markers to draw eyes, a mouth, and cheeks on the hood, or simply draw red circles on your face with lipstick.
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All that's needed to dress as the Republican presidential candidate is a suit, a tie, and a cheap comb-over wig (starting at about $10) or a red "Make America Great Again" cap (starting at about $7).
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To impersonate the Democratic presidential candidate, wear a pantsuit and style your hair or a blonde wig into a bob parted on the side. There are Hillary Clinton masks, but supporters can save money by opting for a campaign button instead ($5 for two).
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Going as a couple? Create a companion costume for the former president and prospective "first gentleman." The formula: a business suit plus baby powder to turn hair white, along with one of the Hillary buttons.
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For a group costume, invite friends or family members to embody different emojis. It's easy for anyone to re-create one of Apple's new iOS 10 emojis, given their focus on gender and racial diversity, or go with a classic heart-eye emoji made from a yellow T-shirt and fabric paint (instructions on YouTube).

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Men willing to bare (almost) all can don a Speedo swimsuit to pay tribute to the most decorated Olympian in history. A 24-pack of fake gold medals ($5 on Amazon) leaves only one to spare. Use purple makeup to create the distinctive marks from the swimmer's cupping therapy.
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Sticking with the Olympic theme, get a group together to become the USA women's gymnastics team, aka "The Final Five." Purchase a pack of fake medals and sport matching leotards or track suits. Wear "stage" makeup, put hair in a ponytail or bun, and apply some patriotic glitter.
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A DIY Harley Quinn from the movie "Suicide Squad" requires a black miniskirt, a white-and-red baseball tee, and mismatched thigh-high socks. Put hair into pigtails, then apply heavy black makeup to one eye and create a diamond shape around the other with black liner (instructions on YouTube). Consider dyeing the bottom of each pigtail (one red, the other blue) with Kool-Aid or wash-out color. Finish the look with a black ribbon choker.
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To become the "Suicide Squad" villain, start with black pants, black shoes, and a maroon or purple button-down shirt from a thrift store. Wear the shirt open, and use face paint to create fake tattoos on the chest. Apply white face paint, then add some dark eyeliner and red lipstick. Try green hair dye for authenticity.
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Become a trending topic with two cardboard hashtag cutouts painted black, a glue gun, and felt to attach the cutouts so they drape over your shoulders. Wear a contrasting color underneath, so the hashtags stand out, and carry your phone as a visual aid.
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Dressing as Finn from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" begins with black pants, a black T-shirt, and gray or dark shoes. Wear a tan jacket if you have one, or head to the thrift store. Wear the jacket open, and apply red electrical tape to create the design of the jacket from the film. Add a squirt gun for fun.
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It's a costume for the online generation: Throw on black lounge pants, slippers, and an oversize red sweatshirt with the Netflix logo pinned to the front. Or, put together a seductive ensemble in white or pale blue with "Chill" written on the front, and finish off the look with frosty makeup. Pair up with someone to play the other part.