Here I will explore a few vintage Halloween costume ideas. Many of these costumes can be created easily, through the use of color and cleverly placed accessories. However, these looks can also be elaborated upon to create a more detailed costume. It is up to you how much time to spend on creating a Halloween outfit.
As the autumnal months approach, Halloween is almost here. Part of the allure of Halloween is the fact that clothing and costume are encouraged to be as outrageous as possible. On the 31st October, the conformity of daily life may be cast aside. Showgirls, ghosts, witches, cats, kings and queens. These are all characters and personas that may be embraced for this single October night.
For lovers of the vintage style and genre, it may be argued that with a daily style influenced by the past, why get dressed up for Halloween? Because it is fun, and any opportunity to explore characters and personas through costume may gladly be taken advantage of!
Vintage Halloween Costume Ideas – Glamorous Ghost
For this glamorous ghost costume, as inspiration I have chosen Elvira from the 1945 movie Blithe Spirit. Throughout the movie, Elvira wears a beautiful 1940s nightdress. The nightdress, with its diaphanous layers perfectly evokes an otherworldly aura. In the collage, the nightgown from Betty Blues Loungewear is a beautiful piece, with perfect vintage details. Shop more vintage robes and nightgowns.
To add a ghostly look to the costume, makeup may be considered for a spectral countenance. This look can be easily achieved with light layers of fabric in pale ghostly shades. Generally, the stereotypical ghost costume is a simple white sheet – which of course could also be used.
For more ghostly Halloween costume ideas, see 8 classic vintage Halloween costumes
As a costumier, Lauren’s costumes are amazingly accurate, with incredible attention to detail – plenty of Halloween inspiration to be found!
Vintage Halloween Costume Ideas – Dolores Umbridge
In the popular Harry Potter series, Dolores Umbridge was a professor at Hogwarts. Later, her character went on to become headmistress of the school. Despite her fluffy, pink approachable appearance, she concealed decidedly evil tendencies.
The character of Dolores is strangely fascinating and at the same time, repulsive. Dolores is an avid cat lover, thereby filling her office with pictures and figurines of cats. For the cat enthusiasts and Harry Potter fans out there, Dolores is the perfect choice for a Halloween costume.
To recreate the style of Dolores Umbridge, varying shades of pink may be worn. The silhouette of Dolores’ costumes tends to be mostly early 1960s, however some of her outfits have a 1930s influence. Of course, cats also feature prominently throughout the costume.
Vintage Halloween Costume Ideas – Pumpkin
Pumpkins come into season around October, as a result of this they are synonymous with Halloween. The tradition of carving into pumpkins to create lanterns dates back years. For pumpkin Halloween costume ideas, the costume can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.
The color pairing of orange, green and black immediately evokes pumpkins. The costume can be as easy as teaming an orange skirt with a green top and black accessories. However, if you wish to echo the shape of the pumpkin, wear a full skirt with a petticoat underneath in order to create volume.
Vintage Halloween Costume Ideas – Carmen Miranda
A fashion icon, a Carmen Miranda vintage Halloween outfit may be easily created. In the collage, I have teamed a simple black crop top with a plain black skirt. The outfit may be as uncomplicated or as outrageous as you wish. Using the black top and skirt as a ‘backdrop’,the accessories are allowed to stand out.
Carmen famously adored platform shoes. Watching her sing and dance in movies such as ‘The Gang’s All Here’ is astonishing – particularly if you pay attention to her feet and the enormous platform heels she wears!
Vintage Halloween Costume Ideas – Fairy
A fairy or butterfly is another vintage inspired Halloween costume idea that is easy to create. The key component for this look is of course a pair of wings. I sourced the wings featured in the collage from Accessorize. Look out for wings in the children’s departments of shops too, or general costume stores. Alternatively, try making your own wings with this tutorial by Pretty Prudent (substituting the measurements for a child with your own):
To make the style more ethereal, opt for a layered, light gown such as Nataya brand dresses. Enhance the fairy look with glitter make up, and perhaps butterfly wings and false eyelashes.
Vintage Halloween Costume Ideas – Mary Poppins
For couples, Mary Poppins and Bert are a great choice for an easy Halloween costume idea. Again, this look can be as detailed and accurate as you wish. Likewise, it may also be as simple as you wish. To create a period-accurate style, the Mary Poppins movie was set around the year 1910.
For an easy to create costume, follow these key points:
For Mary – team a simple white blouse with a black or navy skirt as a base for the look. Then add a red ribbon bow at the neck, and a red belt at the waist. Finish the look with a bowler hat – pin flowers and faux berries onto the hat for a more recognizable style. Add an umbrella, boots and a carpet bag to finish the look.
Vintage Inspired Halloween Clothing
If for Halloween you prefer to wear vintage inspired Halloween clothing, rather than costumes, there is an abundance of styles available.
Unique Vintage, Modcloth and Hot Topic all carry perfect Halloween inspired clothing. Many of the garments could be worn throughout the year to compliment an existing vintage wardrobe. Other styles are more Halloween specific, featuring pumpkin or cobweb prints. Shop vintage inspired Halloween themed clothing.