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Halloween 2020: Costume Ideas That Cleverly Incorporate Masks

Halloween will be here any minute, and it goes without saying that it’ll look a little different this year. As challenges tend to do, Halloween during the coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the creative side of people. From candy graveyards to a banister-turned candy chute, no contact candy exchanges are the obvious theme this year. So if you plan to get out there for some trick or treating, you’ll want to get creative too.

We’ve put together some Halloween costume ideas that all have one thing in common. You guessed it: masks. The CDC recommends not to substitute your costume mask for a cloth mask, unless it’s made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face. They also recommend not wearing a costume mask over a cloth one, since it can make it harder to breathe. The following costumes can work with either a medical or cloth mask, so you don’t have to worry about substitutions or doubling up!


Let’s start with a classic, the cowboy. While this one can take many iterations, this year’s will certainly include the bandana mask. Cowboys used to wear these to filter the dust from the air when riding behind a herd of cattle, but it could also come in handy as a washcloth, a sling, sun protection, filter for drinking water, or a shield from the cold. In 2020, we’ll use it for protection against COVID-19. Make sure to fold your bandana in half before tying it tightly around your nose and mouth.

Medical Worker

Superheroes are a typical go-to for Halloween costumes, but with little-to-no blockbuster films to serve as inspiration for new ideas, real-life heroes are taking their place. What’s great about this costume, is everything you buy can be used for more than just a night out trick or treating. Wear your scrubs as pajamas, and re-use your medical mask for daily use (assuming it’s not disposable).

A Mummy

Start by tearing a sheet up into one- to -four-inch strips. If you’re working with a brighter white sheet, you can soak the torn strips in coffee for a couple of hours to give it a more lived-in feel. Throw a white cloth mask in with this step too. Once you’ve rinsed and dried the strips, you’re ready to begin tying them together around the body. If this costume is going on you, you’ll probably want someone to help with this step. Make sure you’re wearing something of a similar color to the sheet as a base. What’s great about this costume is it’s perfect when it isn’t perfect. Leave gaps, leave the knots messy, and keep going.


Nothing will hide a mask better than the full-on face make up of a clown. You’ll want to decide whether you’re going for a scary or silly clown up front, since that will help you to pick out the clown mask that’s right for you. Then you can use that as a base for how to move ahead with the rest of your face. If you went scary, you might want to add some deep, dark lines around your eyes. If you went silly, you may want to add colorful eyebrows and big eyelashes.

Handmaid’s Tale

In episode six of Season Three, June makes a trip to Washington, DC where she’s exposed to a new addition to the handmaid’s uniforms—a face mask of the same cloth and color as their notorious bright red dresses. While the handmaids in DC are only wearing the masks around their mouths, for reasons we won’t get into, you can wear your mask over your nose and mouth and still fit the bill. If you’re looking for the easy version, buy a ready-to-wear Handmaid’s Tale costume and buy a mask as close to the color as you can find.

Cousin Itt

If you’re a fan of The Addams Family, then this one is a no-brainer costume that doubles as a face covering. All you’ll need is an insanely long wig without an opening for the face, glasses, and a hat. Given the lack of haircuts happening right now, you may be able to use your real hair. Just make sure that it’s really, really long. A good measure is that the hair should make up about half of your total height. If you don’t have long locks going on, grab a ready-to-go Itt costume. Either way, you can throw on a basic cloth mask in black so you’ll barely notice it. Yes, this is technically wearing two face coverings, but hair is pretty breathable, so you should be fine.

Need more inspiration?

AMC’s annual horror movie spectacular, FearFest, is happening now through Halloween on-aironline, and on AMC+, a premium subscription bundle currently available to Comcast Xfinity, DISH and Sling TV customers.

This year’s library of spooky selections features 91 titles (see the full list here), including horror franchises such as HalloweenFriday the 13thThe Amityville HorrorFinal DestinationChildren of the CornInsidious, and many more. See the full on-air schedule here.

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