Attention couples: You’re going to have to try harder than Raggedy Ann and Andy this Halloween. While the classic (read: overused) look isn’t the absolute worst Halloween costume for a duo, there’s a plethora of timely ideas for couples that will actually impress, not simply be passable. You can do a lot better than a racially-insensitive geisha/ninja pairing, the downright dumb “got balls beer pong and red cup” costumes, or something called “the refreshinators,” which appear to be tailgate/beer superheros). Here are five timely costumes for couples, specifically for Halloween 2012. Nothing quite like a costume that follows the newscycle.

1. Mitt Romney & his “binders of women” OR Mitt Romney & disgruntled Big Bird

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s anecdote faux pas at the recent presidential debates. First, he reiterated his point about cutting PBS funding by noting that he loves Sesame Street‘s Big Bird, but that won’t stop him from essentially making him homeless. And thus, disgruntled Big Bird is born. A legit Big Bird suit might be available at more formal costume shops (where you rent the costumes instead of buying them), but if that’s not an option, dress in all yellow, get yourself a plastic beak and feather boa, and don’t forget a “vote Obama”/anti-Romney sign.

If you’re going the “binders of women” route, create a binder around yourself (works best if you are, in fact, a woman) by using large pieces of cardboard or posterboard, folded with yourself in the middle. Spray paint it pink, or if you go the posterboard route, colored options are available. Attach straps, write the word “women” on the front, and voila!

As for Romney, you know the drill: Black suit, white shirt, red tie, American flag pin on your lapel, spray tan, side part in your hair. Try gray hair dye spray (temporary, of course) to emulate Mitt’s roots. Body powder also works, in a pinch.

2. Barack Obama & Bill Clinton – a bromance

Though the may have started as hesitant allies, the presidents’ bromance was out display in full glory at the Democratic National Convention, where Clinton sang the president’s praise. The two have been extremely chummy in recent times, always quick with a long hug or an arm around the shoulder. This costume’s especially good for a gay couple, unless your wife or girlfriend doesn’t mind rocking a men’s suit. There are really only two crucial parts to these costumes: suits and Clinton/Obama masks, which are readily available at not only costume stores but big-box retailers like Target. Try this one for Obama, this one for Clinton.

3. Zombie Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes

To celebrate their bloody divorce and a love that’s nearly dead. Or maybe go as a zombie Tom Cruise and robot Katie Holmes, since she rarely showed emotion in public towards the end of their marriage.

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Katie’s style has become more refined in recent months, but that’s likely because she recently launched a fashion line. She’s all about simplicity, though, and is rarely overdressed or all that edgy. You can’t go wrong with with a sweet dress or jeans/flats/cardigan/scarf combo. Pin-straight brown hair is a must, as is an adorable child who essentially doubles as a mini-me. A baby bjorn with a baby doll inside isn’t a bad way to play it, though Suri is older now.

As for Tom, go for a leather jacket, aviator sunglasses and tight jeans. And of course, the zombie makeup, which you can easily achieve with an inexpensive zombie makeup kit.

4. KimYe

As engagement rumors swirl, now’s the perfect time to go as celeb “it” couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The key to this couples costume is matching. On numerous occasions, Kim and ‘Ye have stepped out in coordinated outfits (as seen above), so pick a color scheme and commit. We’d suggest black and/or white. Something to keep in mind: Kanye has upped Kim’s fashion game, encouraging her to look more sophisticated and couture. So while a super-tight dress is important in order to draw attention to Kim’s, um, assets, don’t go too trashy. An easy outfit of KimYe’s to emulate would be their matching leather pants, complete with some bling. 

If you need a little help in emulating Kim’s famous behind, try these. And for the Kim’s long brown locks, she actually has a line of wigs modeled after her own ‘dos (because of course she does). Go for a full face of makeup, including fake lashes, and the tallest heels you can stand.

The key to Kanye is the shoes: Nike Air Jordans or better yet, Air Yeezys (his own line) are a must, typically in a light color. As for the rest, go for anything that feels “couture fly.”

5. Gotye & Kimbra in “Somebody That I Used To Know” video

Gotye and Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” is, without, 2012’s biggest pop hit, with the innovative video racking up more than 300,000,000 views on YouTube. Want to recreate the elaborate body paint from the video? Check out our step-by-step tutorial. You’ll need: Body paint (water-based or latex) in multiple colors, a dozen sponge brushes for application, a couple of small container for touch-ups, plenty of disposable or old towels for clean-up. Note: This costume requires a lot of prep time and can get really messy. The key is to wait for each layer to dry before moving onto the next.

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– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local; photos by Getty Images