Woman in a binder:
Materials: Two pieces of foam core; solid-colour wrapping paper; string; black marker; power suit and heels.
Method: Wrap two large square pieces of foam core in paper and make a sandwich board out of it with string. Cut another thin piece to make the “spine” of the binder, securing it with duct tape. Get dressed in your best “office presentation” outfit and slip between the covers.
Overall effect: You will have capitalized on one of the year’s best memes. Add a label to the binder cover that reads, “Mitt’s Chicks” or “Romney’s Surprisingly Literate Angels,” for maximum impact. (Trish McAlaster)
The NHL lockout:
Materials: National Hockey League jersey; large chain; large padlock; jeans; hockey helmet.
Method: Once dressed in the jersey and pants, have a friend wrap the chain around you, Houdini-style, and attach both ends with the lock. Make sure there is enough wiggle room for you to at least hold a drink.
Overall effect: By combining the jersey and the sweatpants, you get two costumes in one – the locked-out player and the abandoned fan. Just be sure to give the key to someone you trust – better yet, tape it to the inside of your palm. (Trish McAlaster)
Fifty Shades of Grey:
Materials: Paint chips in all shades of grey from your local hardware store; fishnet stockings, pumps; bathing suit; set of costume handcuffs.
Method: Put on fishnets and a bathing suit. Then have a friend tape the paint chips over you in the shape of a mini-dress. Put your hair in a sexy updo and grab your handcuffs.
Overall effect: Wordplay – especially with literary titles – is always a crowd favourite. And if you wind up at the same Halloween party as NHL lockout, you can ask to borrow his chain. (Trish McAlaster)
The ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise:
Materials: Oversized sunglasses; Katie Holmes-esque wig; outfit you wouldn’t normally be caught dead in (jean shorts with pantyhose, booties and fitted flannel shirt); doll wearing pearls and child-size heels; Mission Impossible DVD.
Method: Assemble the outfit, both for you and the doll. Cover the word “Impossible” on the DVD with a label that reads, “Accomplished.” And spend some time in front of the mirror nailing Holmes’s trademark side grimace. (It’s surprisingly difficult.)
Overall effect: A déclassé take on the year’s juiciest celebrity story. (Trish McAlaster)
Materials: Yellow shirt; bicycling shorts; helmet; plastic syringes; Ziploc bag; red pipe cleaners; ketchup; wraparound sunglasses; yellow Livestrong bracelets; duct tape; black permanent marker.
Method: Fill Ziploc with ketchup, attach pipe cleaners to the bottom of it, and tape the whole thing to your arm. Write “LIVESTRONG” in block letters across the T-shirt. Place pieces of duct tape on the arm sleeves, where sponsor logos would appear, and over the letter “V.”
Overall effect: With one piece of well-placed tape, “Livestrong” becomes “Liestrong,” and voila, your topical costume doubles as witty commentary. It’s almost too easy. (Trish McAlaster)