My recent canvas of costume stores found an inordinate number of wench, naughty nurse, Daisy Duke and straight-up lady of the evening type costumes for the ladies to wear on All Hallow Even. Now usually, we have the style advantage over the fellows when it comes to garments, particularly since women have more options to begin with…skirts, dresses and pants in all lengths and silhouettes, for starters. And shoes, don’t get me started on shoes.
However, when it comes to Halloween the guys get a broader, more clever range of options. Last year, I remember howling at all the funny and creative costumes that I saw menfolk wearing, from a CHP officer to a lederhosen and feathered cap yodeler. Sherlock Holmes, a werewolf, Axl Rose, Vincent Van Gogh and on.
So I thought of a few Halloween costume ideas that might be a satisfying alternative to dressing up on Halloween as either a a) skank, or a b) super skank. Alternatives that won’t have you donning a thick wolverine outfit, or pulling a sheet over your head and poking out the eyes as a last-minute ghost who couldn’t find anything to wear except for a dusty devil costume in the corner of the store that generously came with a plastic staff, chintzy red lace lingerie and pair of horns.
These are fairly easy Halloween costumes to pull together and they have a bit of sass. And, since the word “Practical” is half of the name of this website, they all include a few garments and accessories that you can use throughout the year for more “Glamour,” (the other half of the equation here) so your Halloween investment is one that will last beyond October 31.
Grecian Goddess. Easy, easy and cute, too. Start with a strategic undergarment, such as a strapless or one-shoulder bodysuit. Fashion a white toga, or your most goddess-looking garment (could be a bridesmaid dress that is dyed, nipped and tucked) around your body and cinch with a wide belt, preferably gold. Since the gladiator sandal has been as commonplace as air during the last few seasons, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a hold of a pair. Arrange your hair in ringlet curls, or employ a wig. Situate a little gold crown in your hair or a gold leaf accessory. For makeup, keep it light and glittery in places. Emphasize your eyes with liner and mascara, and dust highlighter with shimmer across your lids, cheekbones and shoulders.
1920’s Good Time Girl aka Flapper. You get to be sassy and culturally historic at once. You’ll need bobbed hair, or a wig, a cigarette holder and long pearls. Don a beautiful silk slip-dress, t-strap shoes and knee-high stockings, and voila. Don’t forget a smoky eye, thin brows and bee stung dark lips, either. If you have a flask and you’re of drinking age, bring it along as a nice, very useable accessory.
Spanish Dancer. Notice I didn’t write “slutty dancer.” I bust out the Spanish Dancer card on Halloween because I happen to have a few of these costumes on hand. Start with a pair of black heels with ankle laces and pair with a long circle skirt that cinches at the waist. Pair with something white or polka dot and flouncy on top. Pull hair back in a low ponytail and twist into a tight bun. Adorn your head with a big, bright flower. Paint your nails red. For makeup: Foundation, a bit of blush, an exotic cat-eye and deep-red lipstick on the mouth. False lashes and a fan or castanets to click-click-clack are nice extras.
Jacqueline Onassis. Bright pink skirt and blazer with floppy tie blouse or simple sheath top and pearls. Matching pill box hat. Bobbed dark hair. Vintage structured handbag, white gloves and low flats. Light lipstick and dark, but not dramatic, eyes. Fake eyelashes if you have them.
Equestrienne. Do you have an English riding hat? Do you have a friend who has an English riding hat? You’re halfway there. Knee boots, a pair of jodhpurs (use leggings in a pinch), a white button up shirt and a blazer, the tweedier and the brown-er the better. And get a crop; you’ll need a crop. Pick up one at a local feed or tack store that stocks riding accessories. A very helpful item to have in your little hand if you happen to find yourself near a drunken heel on Halloween, by the way. Or anytime.
Chinese Bride. A traditional Chinese wedding dress is a nice thing to have in your closet year-round because the silhouette is so feminine, flattering and crisp. Plus, the shimmery brocade of the cloth adds a nice touch of well-behaved glamour. Buy an authentic one, either online or at a Chinese import-type shop in your city or town. The dress fabric is typically a brocade of red (considered good luck) with gold and silver embroidery. Wear matching red shoes, slippers or even gold mules with a delicate heel, if you have them.
Straighten your hair and pull it back in a sleek bun, adorning it with an ornamental pair of lacquer chopsticks, all the better if beading is attached. Simple red drop earrings. For makeup: Opt for medium- to high-coverage foundation to even the complexion, and use face powder generously to achieve a matte look. Blush the apple of the cheeks, add a non-smoky cat eye and a carefully painted scarlet mouth.
Have a lovely Halloween, ladies. And if you have any dandy ideas for Halloween costumes that are fairly DIY, easy to pull together and wear, feel free to share with the class.