As Halloween approaches, students across ASU are picking out and piecing together wickedly good costumes.
Whether they are investing in one meaningful costume, using pieces already in their closets or purchasing five days worth of unique looks, there is much that goes into the craft of costuming.
Four students shared how they crafted, budgeted and planned the perfect look for this Halloween season.
The Nostalgic Ninja Turtle
Riddhesh Bele, a first-year graduate student studying construction management and technology, grew up in India, where he said that Halloween was not as widely celebrated. He has always loved the holiday, even organizing his own small Halloween carnival in India. Now, he is preparing for his first Halloween party in the U.S.
"I've been looking forward to it from (the time) when I was applying to grad schools," he said.
At the party, Bele will don a bright green jumpsuit to become Michelangelo from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
"This is my first Halloween, and I will dress as my favorite character from back in my childhood," Bele said. He added that he hopes that the iconic cartoon series character will be recognizable following the 2023 release of the movie "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem."
Bele ordered his costume, complete with a shell and Michelangelo's orange mask, from Walmart, where it currently costs $49.60. Now he said he is in the process of convincing his roommates to complete the look by dressing up as the other turtles.
Costumed in Context
Ethan Zohn, a junior studying digital audiences who does local comedy, recently put together a last-minute, cost-free costume for a Phoenix stand-up event on Oct. 13.
"I dressed up as my friend Maxwell," Zohn said, referencing a fellow local comic.
Zohn said he grabbed some khakis and a button down, pieces that are a part of Maxwell's "clean cut guy" onstage persona. To his surprise, the other event guests loved his clever rendition of one of their fellow comedians.
"Even people who don't really know me, they were like, 'I don't really know you, but this is a great costume,' so that's awesome," Zohn said.
The friend costume does not always work.
"It's context," Zohn said. "If I went anywhere else people would try to assume who I was."
Zohn is still planning what he will wear for other Halloween outings and brainstorming a costume that can lean into his work as a comic.
A recent song of his poked fun at the irony of people who dress up in "canceled costumes," as Zohn put it, but get upset when they feel their personal or political beliefs are misrepresented in other's costumes. To pay homage to this act, he said he might wear a bodysuit with a red cancel symbol.
Trick or Greek
"You dress up everyday: it's Halloweek," said Ellie Schmidt, a freshman studying nursing and a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta.
Schmidt and her sorority sister Claire Montigny, also a freshman studying nursing, each have five different Halloween costumes planned to wear to greek life social events and parties.
Looking at her shopping receipts on her phone, Montigny calculated that she spent about $70 on costume supplies. She had a couple different strategies to keep up with the Halloween season's demand for different outfits while on a budget.
Many of her costume pieces she is sharing with her friends. She used low-cost, online retailers Shein and Amazon to keep expenses down, but tried to select base pieces for her costumes that she can restyle for future sorority events.
"Like the pink dress I wore for Princess Peach, I'll wear that," Montigny said.
Schmidt was able to cut back on costs even more. She said she spent between $45 and $50.
"I basically had everything besides the accessories. I tried to DIY a lot of it," Schmidt said. She is also using makeup that she saved from past Halloweens.
Schmidt is most excited about debuting her Queen of Hearts costume, which she made by attaching playing cards to black clothes she already had in her closet using velcro. She will match with one of her fellow sorority members who is going as Alice from "Alice in Wonderland."
Schmidt said that she prefers to embrace the creative aspect of Halloween costumes, but that she knows some girls "just buy lingerie and they just turn it into a costume and that's enough."
"But we wanted to go all out," Montigny said.
"I wanted to go all out but be covered," Schmidt added.
For Montigny the most nostalgic costume in her lineup is Tinker Bell.
"For Tinker Bell it's kind of funny," Montigny said. "That was the theme of my room when I was younger and everyone is always like, 'You would be so cute as Tinker Bell,' so I just have to do it."
Though the pair agreed that all of the Halloween preparations were stressful, they said that they are excited to go out in all of their looks and happy they didn't go over budget in the process.
Edited by Claire van Doren, Sadie Buggle and Grace Copperthite.