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From closets to costumes: Students predict this year's resourceful Halloween styles


Halloween in Chapel Hill isn’t just one night: It’s a succession of costumed nights out, a marathon known as Halloweekend.

This year, Halloweekend revelers drew inspiration from pop culture and their closets with imaginative takes on Halloween classics spotted up and down Franklin Street

Joey Marmaud, co-editor-in-chief of student-run fashion and lifestyle publication Coulture Magazine, said musical artists are a popular source of inspiration — especially the ones who had big tours or distinctive looks this year. 

“I’m sure there will be an alien superstar wave," he said, referring to looks inspired by “Renaissance,” Beyoncé's most recent album and tour. "I think a lot of silver mixed with a space cowgirl — I mean, that’s already popular."

Third-year Olivian Ingledue said she is positive there will also be a lot of costumes that align with the styles of Taylor Swift’s different albums, or "eras."

Arianna Darden, co-president of fashion club Xpressions, predicted that Megan Thee Stallion’s pumpkin head costume — essentially a normal outfit with a jack o’lantern worn as a mask — along with Ice Spice and Bob Ross will be popular.

“The Bob Ross outfit is really easy to recreate," Darden said. "Add a button-up and then an afro — and some of us already have afros on top of our head, so it’s really not that hard."

Marmaud said it’s an evergreen trend for the biggest movies of the year to be sources of inspiration — especially “Barbie,” considering Barbie and Ken’s expansive wardrobes in the blockbuster hit. 

“The ones that are most obvious to me are going to be any iteration of Barbie and Ken,” Ingledue said. "I feel like that’s something everyone is expecting to see."

However, Marmaud noted that due to the recent strikes in Hollywood, there has been a lapse in broad culture since “Barbie” — meaning that there haven’t been many big movies in the past few months.

“Which I guess makes it even more exciting to see what people wear, because of that lack of clarity,” he said.

More and more people are piecing together costumes according to what they already have in their closet, channeling their own personal style into Halloween, Ingledue said.

Instead of ordering a ready-made Halloween costume off of Amazon or a fast fashion website, Marmaud suggested elevating a simple, classic costume with unique makeup as a way to add flair with things you already own.

“Consult your closet, consult your friends, I'm sure they're willing to lend things," Marmaud said. "Look online for inspiration for like makeup and other ways you could create a costume without just buying clothes."

For elements that are harder to source without buying firsthand, Marmaud advised looking for high-quality pieces than can worn in other contexts.

When choosing a costume, Darden said she starts by picking a character she likes, then looks in her closet for pieces she already owns to recreate their outfit. Next, she might buy identifiable accessories unique to that character.

“That way I'm not going out and spending hundreds of dollars on a costume because the things are coming from my closet and it's more authentic that way,” she said.

On Halloween, the status quo dissolves, according to Marmaud.

Ingledue said that in Chapel Hill, people’s Halloween costumes are at the intersection between something they’re comfortable wearing and something they need an excuse to wear.

“I feel like I always see really bold, unique costumes on Franklin, which I think is just a really fun part of Chapel Hill’s Halloween culture,” she said.

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