I never was one for pre-fab costumes. I don't think I've actually purchased one since grade school, and even then my spending budget was limited to cheap accessories to augment some kind of thrown together deal. Sometimes this didn't work out quite so well, as in the unfortunate toilet skirt-viking ensemble I rocked for the 5th grade explorer's pageant as Leif Ericson. But my track record's pretty good otherwise. Now's as good a time as any to think about next year, so here's some helpful hints from costumes past:
Taped together paper boxes + Crayola poster paint + low center of gravity and ability to shuffle = Pez dispenser
Black hooded sweatsuit+ paper emo drawing taped to stomach + cutesy headpiece + bad attitude = maladjusted Teletubbie
White hooded sweatsuit + cotton balls + construction paper ears = sheep
Orioles hat + oversized googly eyes + yellow leggings + walking cane = lame duck (best implemented in major election years and on Capitol Hill, where I promise this is hysterical)
And this year's accomplishment, which is admittedly a bit baffling at first: blue tube dress + blue wig + roll of blue painter's tape + moderate threshold for pain when it comes time to take the damn thing off = "Tangled Up in Blue"
Best implemented among those with similar musical tastes and high tolerance for borderline pretentious wordplay.