Rachel Peterson

$5.77 billion is a massive amount of money. It doesn’t touch the national debt or the amount of money spent on the war in Iraq, but it certainly speaks to America’s ability to play dress-up.

According to the Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions survey (because apparently there is one), $5.77 billion is the estimated amount that will be spent by millions of Americans this Halloween on costumes, candy and decorations.

Well, at least we have our priorities straight.     

But this is the rest of the country. What about the poor college students who populate college campuses everywhere? Well, let’s take a look at the most popular costumes here at Miami-and give you some last minute inexpensive ideas. And because Friday is Halloween, if you haven’t thought of a costume, you clearly haven’t been procrastinating on your homework successfully.

For Girls:

1. Sarah Palin. Our beloved Republican vice presidential candidate. It seems impossible to go anywhere without hearing this idea being thrown around, which means come Halloween night, the streets will be swarming with potential VPs.

“I don’t know,” first-year Sarah Bradford said. “I think it’s getting overplayed-there are funnier things to be. Why not do sexy McCain?”

But for those who don’t think they could make the presidential candidate himself sexy, Ms. Palin is a good route to go. Simplicity is key here, and the only things required are glasses, a suit (if you want to bump up the sex appeal, try one with a blazer that can be unbuttoned and a skirt that can be shortened) and an adorable smile. Who says politics and sex appeal can’t mix?

2. Anything with the word sexy placed in front of it. Sexy pirate, sexy maid, sexy garbage woman …you get the point. As Mean Girls so charmingly reminds us, “Halloween is the one night a year that a girl can dress like a total slut, and no other girls can say anything about it.”

Miami, I wish this wasn’t true, but let’s face it-“the less you wear, the lower the fare” is never more true than on Halloween.

However, for those who desire a more tasteful approach to the holiday (and don’t want to freeze), any of the above costumes can be made classy by adding leggings, a jacket, etc. or simply by creating a costume that doesn’t involve

flashing everyone when you try to bend down. Look into being a Go-go girl, a hippie, Juno, Dorothy or any myriad of other characters. Taste and sex appeal can definitely go hand in hand.

For Guys:

1. Take your pick-John McCain, Barack Obama, even George W. Bush. Politics are in hot demand this Halloween. To avoid looking like just a guy in a suit, go invest in a mask of the person you’ve chosen to impersonate.

2. Its painfully easy for girls to come up with a Halloween costume, but you boys face more of a challenge.

“It’s just harder for guys to come up with something good,” senior Brad Zavakos said. “Girls just show some cleavage and suddenly everyone is saying what a great costume it is.”

Some popular ideas that don’t leave you feeling ridiculous? The Joker (if done right, this one could be a showstopper), Zorro, a pirate, or some form of man in uniform. One clever Miamian even plans to dress up as a kissing booth.

If none of these ideas strikes your fancy, never fear-a sheet with two holes cut out for the eyes really hasn’t lost its touch. So Miami, best of luck in the quest for a Halloween that will be the stuff of legend.