You remember the magic eight ball, right? It was a plastic ball, filled with some noxious looking fluid and a little triangle with answers printed on it. You asked the magic eight ball a question, shook it and then turned it over to get your answer. If you really wanted a different answer, you would shake the thing mercilessly until you heard what you wanted from it. While it is perfectly fine to leave things like love and career questions to the magic eight ball, you should not leave something as important as costume ideas to a child’s toy!
There are several ways to get your costume ideas, starting with the very obvious: check the theme of the party or event you are going to, however, if you are invited to a Halloween party, you have no help there at all. If there is a theme, you can start with thinking about who the main people (or things) in the theme would be and go from there. Do you want to be a main character or a bit character? Do you want to personify the theme in general? Friends of mine were invited to a Harry Potter themed party and needed interesting costume ideas. They both knew they did not want to be Harry or the other main characters- they wanted something a little more unique. One of them ended up going to the party as a Harry Potter book while the other came as Parry Hotter, an ultra sexy version of Harry. (It was all adults)
You can get good costume ideas by browsing in a local costume shop or online at the costume sites. Either way, you should not plan on buying on your first visit, instead looking through the offerings and get an idea of the price you would be willing to pay for the right costume and the size range that you would need. If you are not familiar with costume makers, you should go to a local shop so that you can try on a few. Do not get hung up on the number that you end up with; costumes tend to run on the slightly smaller size. It is especially important to know the size that you need before buying online as some of the sites have fairly strict return policies.
Costume ideas can also be taken from everyday things, with a twist. Friends went to a party dressed as the Castaways from Gilligan’s Island if they did not find the island. The hit of the evening was Gilligan who featured a large shark firmly applied to the seat of his pants.