Empire's Cookie and Lucious Difficulty level: 3 / 5
The best option if you and your date are likely to both fight and make out before the party is over. Cookie requires an over-the-top outfit, especially in the accessories department; raid a Forever 21 for giant earrings and a flashy ensemble. Lucious can go prison-style in an orange jumpsuit, or freedom-style in a purple blazer and gauzy scarf.
Doctor Who 's Twelfth Doctor and Clara Difficulty level: 3 / 5
Travel through all of space and time in style as the current Doctor and his companion. To embody the Doc, stick to mostly black or navy blue. Wear a stiff-collared white shirt under a button-down vest and “parachute” (or tapered) pants. Tie everything together with a long blazer or coat (preferably with a red lining) and shiny black Doc Martens. Just don’t forget to salt-and-pepper your hair and carry a (sonic) screwdriver. For Clara, channel schoolmarm chic with a few combinations: a crewneck sweater under a plaid jumper, dark tights and ankle boots or Mary Janes; or, wear a button-down shirt underneath a cardigan, over a (plaid) miniskirt and the same tights and shoes.
Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod and Abbie Difficult Level: 2 / 5
For Ichabod, just hit a costume store for a Revolutionary-era men’s costume (currently, the character is wearing head-to-toe brown). A mahogany leather jacket or navy blazer, tight dark jeans, and boots work for Abbie (just stay close to Ichy all night, or you might be mistaken for nearly every other tough TV female detective type). When it comes to the wigs: Remember to go short, as this season, both characters are sporting brand new bobs.
House of Cards' Frank and Claire Difficulty Level: 1 / 5
Take out the slinkiest power suit you have, match it with sexy pumps, add a short blonde wig, and you’ve mastered Claire. Frank needs a dark suit, blue tie, and a little paunch around the middle. (Add a bit more frump, a bad bra and flats, and in two years maybe you can use the same costumes to play President and First Man Hillary and Bill Clinton.
Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE
Sherlock's Holmes and Watson Difficulty level: 2 / 5
There are many variations of the famous duo, but if you are taking your cues from the Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman series, your Sherlock will need a hell of a coat and a knotted scarf, as well as a curling iron to perfect those wavy locks; your Watson should sport cords, a checked shirt and possibly a grandpa sweater under a classic trench.
Portlandia's Candace and Toni Difficulty level: 2 / 5
Put on your best hippie knitwear (bonus points for hand-crocheted vests and Birkenstocks) go as the hyper-feminist owners of the Women and Women First bookstore. Add a flowing gray wig for one of you, black-rimmed glasses for the other and carry a copy of anything from your Women's Studies 101 syllabus.
Nick Briggs/The CW
Outlander's Claire and Jamie Difficulty level: 5 / 5
There's no halfway for this costume: you've got to go full-on period garb, complete with corsets and kilts. Keep the colors muted, the hair mussed and adopt your best accents for the night.
Fargo's Ed and Peggy Blumquist Difficulty Level: 3 / 5 (2 if you have clothes-hoarding older relatives)
The in-over-their-head Minnesota couple at the center of Season 2 is mostly a you-betcha for Halloween ease. The late '70s getup may be a little hard to come by for some, but chunky multicolor sweaters and fur-laced coats seem to be back in vogue and should be easy to find at vintage stores—and if your parents boogied in the disco era, chances are they may have retained some of their choice shiver-wear on the frosty nights. Plus, a good Old Navy waffle long-sleeve should double nicely for Ed's fondness for under-layers.
Grace and Frankie's Grace and Frankie Difficulty Level: 2 / 5
What better women are there for two best friends to emulate than Grace and Frankie of the Netflix comedy series? You’ll both need old lady wigs, but your outfits couldn’t be more different. Whoever’s going as Grace (Jane Fonda) will need a chunky knit sweater and a pair of sophisticated slacks, while your Frankie (Lily Tomlin) needs an oversized earth-tone top, flowy pants, and any other accessories you have that look like they belong on an art teacher.
The Muppets' Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog Difficulty level: 3
A platinum blonde wig, pig snout and strand of pearls make for a classic Miss Piggy. For Kermit, find a green hooded sweatshirt, (or onesie, if you’re really dedicated.) Using a lime green material, (felt or an old T-shirt will work), cut out a pointed bib (resembling a statue of liberty crown) for your neck. Cut a ping-pong ball in half, turn the pieces into eyes with a black marker and glue them to the hood of your sweatshirt.
Danny Feld/The CW
Jane the Virgin's Jane and Rafael/Michael Difficulty level: 2 / 5
To be Jane, wear a brunette wavy wig and brightly-colored dress, with a Season 1 baby bump or Season 2 baby doll -- and don’t forget to hang your “V-card” somewhere visible. Your partner has two options: a suit or khakis and a button-down (in a Miami-appropriate hue) to be Jane's baby daddy/hotel mogul Rafael, or the same outfit with a police badge if you're more into her ex-fiance/detective Michael.
Another Period's Bellacourt Sisters Difficulty level: 5 / 5
Conjur old-timey Kardashian style as Lillian and Beatrice. You'll need turn-of-the-century silk gowns and upper-crusty costume jewelry; add a cocktail and disdain for the lower classes, and you're good to go.
Rick and Morty's Rick and Morty Difficulty level: 2 / 5
One of you will need a mad scientist wig, drawn-on unibrow and lab coat; the other, jeans and a yellow T-shirt. Perfect if your Halloween plans involve inter-dimensional travel.
Jack Rowand/Disney Channel
Descendants' Mal and Maleficent Difficulty Level: 5/5
Any of the villain-and-child pairs from the Disney TV movie will do, but bonus points if you can pull off Maleficent's magnificent headpiece and Mal's purple locks. (See sketches of Descendants costumes here.)