Dressing up for Halloween becomes trickier as you get older. The pressure to decide on a costume, then find the time to actually put the look together, looms in the back of your mind like a silent slasher villain waiting to strike. Suddenly, it's weeks or days before October 31st, and you're scrambling. You could poke around the clearance section of Spirit Halloween, or piece together a makeshift getup out of whatever's in your closet. Or, if you want to go the lazy route, you could treat yourself to a Halloween T-shirt or sweatshirt that poses as a costume - or, at the very least, proves you're celebrating in some way or another.
Have you noticed the surplus of spooky and cutesy Halloween T-shirts invading your social feeds over the last few years? We have a feeling that's by design. Adulting is hard, and adhering to the same holiday traditions you once loved as a kid can be challenging. Even the easiest last-minute costumes require some amount of effort, and between juggling work obligations, family obligations, not to mention being mindful of a global pandemic, energy is of the essence these days.
So whether you're desperate to don some kind of costume on All Hallow's Eve or have decided that this year, you'll just have to accept defeat and go for convenience over creativity, we've rounded up some of the spookiest and quirkiest Halloween T-shirts and sweatshirts on the market. From costume substitutes to movie homages, there's something for everyone.
Mineral Wash Scream Graphic Tee
Do you like scary movies? What's your favorite? If you answered Scream, Rue21 has the graphic tee for you. Wear the mineral wash shirt solo or add a ghostface mask for fun.
Shop now: $22; rue21.com
Doesn't Even Go Here Hoodie
Mean Girl stans will immediately get the reference, and this one works for after the holiday, too.
Shop now: $54; betches.com
Halloween Skeleton Print Long Sleeve Casual Shirt
Even if you're not officially observing Halloween at the office, this button-up from Chic Me is festive and appropriate for work. Pair the skeleton print top with a pencil skirt and heels and act confused when co-workers stare.
Shop now: $23; chicme.com
GiftswithPassion Halloween Friends Sweatshirt
Freddy, Jason, Michael, Pennywise, Chuckie, Ghostface, Jigsaw — the gang's all here!
Shop now: $27 and up; etsy.com
Star Wars™ Graphic Gender-Neutral T-Shirt
While you could go all-in on a Storm Trooper costume this Halloween, it's probably safe to assume that, if you're reading this, you're looking to do the bare minimum. Claim your fandom — the easy way! — with this comfy tee from Old Navy.
Shop now: $19; oldnavy.com
Tipsyelves Women's Skeleton Sweater
Tipsyelves is a go-to for easy Halloween costumes. While its skeleton onesie will forever have our hearts, the brand's cozy skeleton sweater is also a genius Halloween garment. If your celebratory plans involve lounging on the couch and watching scary movies, just pair the sweater with some biker shorts or yoga pants and call it a night. Heading out in search of boos? Take the look to the next level with this easy skeleton makeup tutorial.
Shop now: $65; tipsyelves.com
Vans x IT Pullover Hoodie
Pay homage to an iconic creepy character — IT's Pennywise — while also channeling little Georgie in this yellow hoodie. Stick with something simple for the bottom part of your look, such as dark denim or leggings, or add a clown-like twist with a pair of striped pants.
Shop now: $75; zappos.com
OUNAR Basic Witch Top
Just add a pointy hat, UGG boots, a Starbucks to-go cup, and you're set.
Shop now: $18 and up; amazon.com
BlueChicShop Sandersons Witch Museum Sweatshirt
Sure you could support Hocus Pocus' Sanderson Sisters by wearing their photo, but why not pretend you actually work at the museum where they came back from the dead? Just add skinny jeans and your favorite over-the-knee boots to complete the ensemble. If you have to layer up because it's chilly, opt for an elevated leather jacket worn open to make sure the logo remains on display.
Shop now: $10 and up, etsy.com
I'm Fine Graphic Novelty Zombie T-Shirt
Zombie costumes are cool. Zombie victim costumes? Even better, not to mention easier. Throw on this tee with your favorite pair of jeans and running sneakers (as proof that you at least tried to get away) and voila! You don't have to add blood splatters and scars on your arms and neck, or dust on powdery makeup to give the impression that you're 'turning,' but it's highly encouraged if you're willing to put in the effort.
Shop now: $20, amazon.com
Scream Queen Halloween Graphic Tee
Whether you associate the title with the FOX series (RIP) or personally identify with the label (tis the season of shriekin' after all), this graphic tee from Windsor is both cool and cryptic. Pair it with a mini skirt and tights or opt for ripped jeans and add a ghost face mask for effect.
Shop now: $17, windsor.com
Street Graphic Dancing Skeleton Sweatshirt
Who says skeletons can't be lively? This dancing skeleton sweatshirt is all over social media, so you know this pick is, at the very least, photogenic AF. It's also extremely comfortable and slightly oversized, best paired with leggings (these if you're doling out candy, these if you're heading to a Halloween-themed happy hour) and combat boots.
Shop now: $14; bushmark.com
boohoo Witch Halloween Printed Oversized T-shirt
Sure, it's simple, but it still gets the spooky point across — without the annoying pointy hat.
Shop now: $7; boohoo.com
Vlcraftworks Halloweentown University Sweatshirt
If you were a '90s kid, chances are you couldn't wait for Disney to air Halloweentown every year after its initial release in October of 1998. You also probably wished you could visit the holiday-themed realm and go for a ride on a Windsweeper 5000 (the 'It' broomstick before Harry Potter's Nimbus 2000 came on the scene) with Grandma Aggie. With this Halloweentown University Sweatshirt by vlcraftworks on Etsy, you can live out the fantasy this Hallow's Eve, while simultaneously representing one of the best DCOMs there ever was.
Shop now: $18 and up, etsy.com
I'm a Ghost Duh T-Shirt
Going as a ghost? Keep your sheets on your bed and opt for this white t-shirt instead. Trust us, you'll breathe better.
Shop now: $14 and up; etsy.com
Hot Topic Monsters Inc. Mike Wazowski Eye T-Shirt
Technically, this is a nod to Mike Wazowski, but depending on what you wear on the bottom or the pieces you layer over it, you can be any old monster. We suggest going all out with some sort of fuzzy coat or working animal prints into your look for a fashion-forward spin.
Shop now: $20; hottopic.com
Grayson Threads Women's Halloween Pumpkin Face Short Sleeve Graphic T-Shirt
Basic? Yes. But it's definitely the most under-the-radar option if you're hoping to subtly dress up for all those fall-themed activities.
Shop now: $8; target.com
ShopForeverFriday Max Likes Your Yabos Unisex Sweatshirt
Shop now: $37 and up; etsy.com