TV-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas For 2010

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who think Halloween is for kids, and those who think that trading in your regular persona for one night gets even more entertaining as an adult.

You're probably not reading this story unless you're in the latter group, so ... welcome aboard the fun train! I love Halloween just as much as I love TV (maybe even more!!), so it's only natural that the two would come together at some point.

So, with Halloween just around the corner, here are some TV costume ideas based on different moods, as well as some tips to get you started. Happy haunting!

If you...

... want something hair-raising: Snooki or Pauly D from Jersey Shore.

This is the first Halloween to occur since the cast of Jersey Shore took the nation by storm, so these costumes will probably be some of the year's hottest. (They are actually selling prepackaged costumes and "Guido kits" online.) What will make your ensemble stand out is perfecting the infamous hairdos.

What you need: Hair long enough to achieve either look -- wigs won't do the job here. Also, a can of AquaNet; a blow dryer; and someone who grew up in the 1980s to help you achieve maximum height.

As for clothes, men need a graphic print t-shirt; rosary; jeans; multiple tattoos (fake or real); and self-tanner. Women should look for a dress that's two sizes too small; a couple of cantaloupes for breasts; orange body paint. Then you're done because... no panties required!

... want to be stylish: Someone -- anyone -- from the Mad Men cast.

If you're a dude, your best option is Don Draper. He's the star of the show: The guy who gets all the chicks; the hottie; the powerful businessman; and most importantly, the best-dressed fella. If you're a lady, you can choose based on hair color, body type or mood. Petite, blonde Betty, a former model, has infinite class and style; curvy redhead Joan is the sex bomb. Even the plain brunette Peggy Olson has stepped up her game from frumpy to conservative chic.

What you need: For Don, a nice suit and tie; dark, gelled hair; a pack of smokes; a glass of Scotch in one hand. This is the perfect costume for getting totally blitzed, because, hey, you're just getting into character, right?

For the ladies, a quaint, beautifully cut dress. To truly achieve greatness, you'll need to comb consignment and vintage shops or hit the sewing machine. (You might even be lucky enough to find a gem in your mom or grandma's old clothes, if they saved them.) For Joan, add a gold pen and hang it from a chain around your neck, which should rest nicely between your ample bosom. For Betty, consider adding a block of ice where her heart would be.

... want to be scary: A True Blood vampire.

The great thing about these characters is that each has its own distinct, sexy look and personality. Between Eric Northman, Bill Compton, Pam or baby vamp Jessica, there's a TB vamp for everyone.

What you need: Fangs and fake blood. Then add personal touches for each bloodsucker based on their characters. Eric, for example, could have foils in his hair; Bill could carry a bottle of Tru Blood; Pam always dresses like she's going to the nighclub and has an affinity for fabulous shoes; Jessica has a more innocent, small-town sex appeal. Just be sure you make it home before dawn...

... want to be scary, but are also lazy: Dexter. The beauty of this ensemble is that Dex looks and dresses like a normal guy. You probably already have this stuff in your closet.

What you need: His everyday look entails a neutral, short-sleeved button up shirt and a pair of khakis. His killing outfit isn't all that tough either: A long sleeved olive green shirt and black pants. Spatter some blood on yourself, grab a couple of fake knives and call it a night. Extra credit if you have some garbage bags hanging out of your pants pockets, or carry around a box of blood slides.

... want to make an entrance: Tareq and Michaele Salahi from The Real Housewives of D.C.

Even if people don't watch Real Housewives, they couldn't have missed White House state dinner party crasher news story that dominated media almost a year ago. To pull this off, show up to the party late and make a big scene upon arrival ("Of course we have an invitation!").

What you need: For Tareq, a suit, white hair, and to nail in the point, you could cover yourself in slime. For Michaele, wear a boldly colored sari; a long, blonde, scraggly wig; and a perma-smile. You could even add some maroon and gold pom-pons, as the former makeup artist also has lied about having cheered for the Washington Redskins during the 1980s.

... are of a certain age, but still hot: Jules Cobb from Cougar Town.

Sure, you could go as a cougar in general, but why not throw in a pop culture reference while you're at it?

What you'll need: An outfit that's sexy but perhaps a tad too revealing. Jules never leaves home without an oversized purse, and she's always sucking down a glass of red wine. (This is another costume with a built-in excuse to drink.) Last, secure a date that's 10 years your junior -- for authenticity, of course (wink, wink).

... go in a group: Real Housewives of New Jersey, or Big Love family.

Going out with the ladies? A Teresa/Danielle/Jacqueline/Caroline foursome would be divine! Have a couple of guys in your group? Add in Teresa's hubby Joe and Danielle's thug friend Danny. Or go a completely different (and more warmly-dressed) direction and go as some Mormons from Big Love.

What you need: For the Housewives crew, lots of animal print, hair spray, black eyeliner, potty mouths, attitude. (Bratty kids optional, but Teresa should carry a table and throw it from time to time.) For the BL crew, you'll need conservative clothing in varying levels of modesty to capture Margene, Barb and Nicki. Bill needs a suit, perhaps some political propaganda from his recent campaign, and a backpack full of children.

... are answering the door for trick-or-treaters: A character from Yo Gabba Gabba!

If you want to be the hit at the door or at a kid party, dressing up as Muno, Brobee, Foofa, Toodee, Plex or DJ Lance Rock is the way to go. A cult-favorite among kids and parents alike, this children's show is steadily gaining in popularity and poised to be as big as Dora the Explorer in no time.

What you need: A sewing machine, and likely, more patience than a Project Runway contestant. You see, you can buy these costumes in toddler sizes (and DJ Lance Rock comes in adult men sizes), but big kids are going to have to concoct a full-size, mascot-like outfit. So, start early! (FYI, Brad Pitt was Lance Rock last year!!)

... want a unisex costume using things you already have: A hoarder.

During the past year, hoarding has become the latest disturbing illness captured by documentary television. Showing up to the party as a traveling hoarder would not only be timely, but totally unique. After all, no two messes are exactly alike!

What you need: One of everything; a Costco-sized tub of safety pins or hot glue gun. Just put on a long-sleeved shirt and pair of pants and start affixing stuff to yourself. Stop when you can no longer move your arms and legs. (Suggestions for specific attachments, as seen on Hoarders: newspaper comics pages, beer cans, empty liquor bottles, stuffed toys, cockroaches, bed bugs, cats, cat skeletons, bags of feces. Use fake varieties of the last several items, please.