You've been invited to a costume party at the last minute and all the costume shops are closed. Or maybe you are the great procrastinator and just never got around to ordering a professionally designed costume. No need to panic. There are usually items from your current wardrobe as well as from around the house that you can rely on to create some very interesting and easy-on-the-budget costumes at the last minute.
Have a swimsuit? Go as a Miss America contestant, placing a ribbon sash across your chest written with the name of your home state. Guys who have a Speedo in their wardrobe can go as an Olympic swimming champion, complete with a gold medallion from the jewelry box tied to a ribbon around your neck.
If you have a leather jacket, sunglasses and tight black jeans, you can go as a motorcycle chick or babe magnet. That same leather jacket will come in handy if you want to be costumed as a John Travolta-style character from the movie Grease, complete with black comb and gel-slicked hair.
Put on an exercise leotard and a bandana on your head, carry a book like Jane Fonda's Workout and go costumed as a fitness instructor.
If you have some paint brushes and paint cans lying around, put on your grungy jeans and oversized work shirt and baseball cap and go costumed as a house painter.
Dress up in a dark business suit and fill an attache case with plenty of phony Monopoly money showing out the sides and go to the party as a Wall Street Banker.
Dress up in any sort of western gear, including cowboy hat, jeans and riding boots and you're a cowboy. Carry a guitar and sing, and you could be Glen Campbell!
A black suit matched with a white collar and a prayer book or Bible and you have an instant costume for a preacher or priest. A black dress matched with a black shawl placed over the head works equally well for women to go costumed as nuns.
Find the most colorful, gaudiest skirt and blouse in your wardrobe, wear dangling earrings and carry a deck of tarot cards and go the party as a psychic reader, telling each guest some bit of good fortune.
Pair a fedora hat with a trenchcoat and sunglasses and go as a spy. Put the words "Press" in the hatband of your hat, carry a pencil and notebook and go as a newspaper reporter.
Why not head to your closet right now to see what piece of wardrobe might inspire an instant costume for you?