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The Tech-pert: A Fast, Free and Easy Halloween Costume Idea for Geeks

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 10:57AM Thursday October 27, 2011
under Holidays

Image Evanil Mendes [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago I was invited to a grown-up Halloween party. I spent weeks trying to figure out the perfect costume, one that would properly reflect my personality. Sure, I thought about Star Trek uniforms and Jedi robes, but those seemed kind of on-the-nose...and expensive.
Rumor has it that Charlie Chaplin devised his soon-to-be-signature tramp outfit just minutes before the cameras rolled, and my inspiration similarly arrived at the last minute--less than an hour before party time.

I would go as…tech support.

Rummaging through my stockpile of discarded electronics, I found every piece of wearable technology I could: Bluetooth and corded headsets, belt-clip cases for PalmPilots and BlackBerrys, a geeky wristwatch, a tech-oriented baseball cap, a couple lanyards with name badges and flash drives, and so on. I basically wore every old gadget I could affix to my body.

I also happened to have ThinkGeek's Wi-Fi Detector Shirt, which actually lights up when you're in proximity to a hotspot. (It's currently on sale for $14.99, FYI.) That was a nice touch, I thought, but any shirt with a tech logo would do just as well.

If you don't own enough geeky stuff like this, you could always ping your friends to see what gear they might be willing to donate to the cause. Also, consider going a little more professional with a button-down shirt and pocket protector.

Broida Halloween 2007

What I loved about this costume is that it wasn't immediately obvious what I was. So everyone asked, and when I said, "I'm tech support!", it always got a big, knowing laugh. And, I don't mind saying, I won a prize for Most Original Costume. (FYI, the gorgeous bumblebee in the photo is Mrs. Tech-pert.)

Okay, your turn: what's your favorite cheap, geeky, DIY Halloween costume?

Self-proclaimed cheapskate Rick Broida has been a technology writer for over 20 years. He has authored over a dozen books, including, most recently, "How to Do Everything: Palm Pre." Currently he writes the Cheapskate blog.