Once Upon a Time's Dark Swan Difficulty Level: 4 / 5
For an of-the-moment costume that harks back to traditional Halloween haunts, dress up as Emma Swan's evil alter-ego, the Dark Swan. Imitate her fierce number at the end of the Season 5 premiere by wearing a black Matrix-esque trench and doing your hair up in a severe bun. All you need then is a bit of wash-out grey hair dye, a few feathers, and a whole lot of sickly-looking makeup, and you’re good to go.
The Last Man on Earth's Phil Miller Difficulty Level: 2 / 5
The leading man on the Fox comedy is an easy costume to pull together last minute: a plain zip-up hoodie over a T-shirt, coupled with cargo shorts and sneakers--maybe a yellow sweatband, too. The difficulty level increases if you take the time to grow your own post-apocalyptic facial hair. Bonus points if you carry around sports balls with faces as props. Lastly, make sure you’ve got the right Phil Miller (also goes by middle name Tandy) – because the end of the world is apparently filled with them.
Blindspot's Jane Doe Difficulty Level: 5 / 5
If you’re going to tackle going as this season’s biggest badass, you better make sure you’re ready to put in some time. The Blindspot lead played by Jaimie Alexander spends seven hours each day having her head-to-toe tattoos applied. Recreate the look using body paint, but wear pants and a tank top to eliminate some surface area. Just make sure you don’t skip out on the most recognizable tat on her back: “Kurt Weller, FBI.” And if you’re really looking to make a statement, go fully nude like Jane did in the pilot’s opening scene, and wear only a duffel bag that you’ve cut leg and arms holes into.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Titus Difficulty level: 3 / 5
The flamboyantly fabulous Titus Andromedon has many looks -- off-the-shoulder tee and rainbow sweatband, off-brand Iron Man costume -- but for the full effect, go with an outfit from his magnificent "Peeno Noir" video
. A silk robe and PJs might be the comfiest option, but our favorite would be the tearaway coveralls over gold leggings and sequins -- because it's all about the showmanship.
David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Mr. Robot's Elliot Alderson Difficulty level: 1 / 5
The costume for people who hate wearing costumes: A basic black hoodie, plus dark jeans and black sneaks, a smear of gray shadow under your eyes for that sleepless-and-seeing-imaginary-people hacker look. Speak in mumbly monotone if you're really committed to the character.
Empire's Cookie Lyon Difficulty level: 3 / 5
When considering your Cookie ensemble, ask yourself: Does it sparkle? Are the accessories oversized? Is there metal, fur trim or animal prints involved? Are my heels high enough? If you can say yes to at least two of those questions, you're on the right track. And if you attempt to be television's most delicious diva without getting a manicure? May the ghouls get you.
Empire's Rhonda Lyon Difficulty Level: 1 / 5
Sure, you could wear a leopard print dress and a fur coat and be one of the 17 Cookies at your costume party. But the clever route is to go as Rhonda Lyon, who had one of the first season’s most memorable moments when she tied a bib around her neck before beginning oral service on her husband. All you need is hair curlers and a bib, and you’ll be a huge hit.
Justified's Raylan Givens Difficulty: 1 / 5
Cowboy boots and a dark shirt with a suit coat or denim jacket will do just fine, but it's The Hat that'll tell everyone what's up. If you feel the need to carry a fake weapon for authenticity's sake and you don't live in the American South, you should probably go with a Nerf gun.
Jack Rowand/The CW
iZombie's Liv Moore Difficulty: 2 / 5
To pull off the super pale (but stylish) undead look, stick to one of two outfits in dark colors: a button-down shirt tucked into a mini-skirt over opaque tights and chunky ankle boots, or the same shirt untucked over skinny dark-wash jeans and ankle boots, plus a moto jacket. Add a choppy blonde wig and apply extra-light foundation to your face. Finish it all off by carrying a bottle of hot sauce and a toy (or gelatin) brain. (If you're fully committed, here's how the iZombie makeup team create's Liv's look.
The Goldbergs' Bev Goldberg Difficulty Level: 3 / 5 (or 5, if you count the embarrassment factor)
Someone you know, possibly your mom, has a horrible '80s sweater with huge shoulder pads and some unfortunate design on the chest. Find that person and raid their closet. Then, tease your hair into a massive winged, Aquanet-enforced helmet. Some high-waisted pleated khakis or mom jeans and no definable boundaries when it comes to your children complete this ensemble.
Gotham's Oswald Cobblepot Difficulty Level: 4 / 5
To really get the vibe of Robin Lord Taylor's Penguin, you need more than just the black pants and jacket over a white shirt. You need to affect the slight sideways turn of his bum foot and rock some carefully orchestrated bed head. We suggest a flattening iron and some heavy-duty hairspray. Oh, and a little white powder for the face--Oswald is as pasty as he is twisted.
JSquared Photography/The CW
Arrow's Oliver Queen Difficulty Level: 2 / 5 for Oliver; 4 / 5 for Green Arrow
If you are going as Oliver, this one is a snap: Toss on a nice V-neck sweater and be hot. But if you're aiming for Green Arrow, it gets tricky. You'll want either a short-sleeved green leather jacket with a hood, or a green hoodie with cut-off sleeves (please go with this because nobody besides Stephen Amell should be wearing short-sleeved green leather jackets.) A kid's store should have a toy quiver to throw over your shoulder. Finish with a smoky eye for evening. A really smoky one...like a mask, OK?
American Horror Story: Freak Show's Bette and Dot Tattler Difficulty level: 5 / 5
Get yourself an orange dress and a bow or a silky outfit and headband. You're going to need to papier-mâché another head (print out a picture from the internet and paste it on).
American Horror Story: Hotel's The Countess Difficulty Level: 4 / 5
You're going to have to up your hauteur game to match your couture game with this one, given that this character is embodied by the one and only Lady Gaga. Some smart costume jewelry and a good hat shop should take care of the well-groomed, classic Hollywood top half, but the eye-popping, extravagant gowns worn by Gaga (beautifully designed by resident AHS costumer Lou Eyrich) will be harder to replicate, especially with trains so long you'd think they were manufactured by Amtrak.
Craig Sjodin/ABC/Getty Images
The Bachelor Difficulty Level: 3 / 5
A suit and a dozen roses: that's all you really need. To go all out, arrive with real flowers and hand them out during the party. And should you have a few gal pals looking for costume ideas, have them dress trashy-nice, apply running eyeliner and a sheen of internal desperation to become our favorite people ever: Those eliminated from the show.
Robert Voets/CBS/Getty Images
Survivor's Jeff Probst Difficulty Level: 1 / 5
Throw a last minute look together by dressing up as Survivor's long-time host. All you need is a pair of khaki shorts, a blue cargo shirt, and a baseball cap fashioned with a print-out of the Survivor logo. Throw on a necklace you bought at the beach in 2002, and you’re good to go.
BoJack Horseman's BoJack Difficulty level: 3 / 5
Resurrect that horse-head mask everyone had circa 2012
and dig out jeans, a sweater-blazer combo and some red sneakers, and you're ready to spend Halloween horsin' around.
Bonnie Osborne/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Supergirl's Kara Zor-El/Supergirl Difficulty level: 4 / 5
The CBS series makes its debut just days before Halloween, so a blue leotard, red skirt and cape, plus the signature S, will be super timely.
Bob D'Amico/Disney Channel
Descendants' Evie Difficulty Level: 4/5
If you're going as the daughter of The Evil Queen (aka Snow White's nemesis) from the Disney TV movie, you're going to need a bedazzler for sure. A long, dark wig, and some puff-painted leggings, and you're a ringer for Sofia Carson. (See sketches of Descendants costumes here.)