Halloween is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it holiday. My friend group is divided into two resolute camps: those who throw themselves into dressing up, spending time and money artfully assembling the perfect costume, and those who treat it like any other day. At a push, they might entertain a scary movie night or pumpkin-picking activity.
Whichever side you sit on, there might come a time when you’re invited to a party or event the dress code is strictly “fancy dress”. In these cases, it’s common to make panic purchases online and wind up with a cheap-looking costume that you’ll only wear once. Not only is this unsustainable, but you probably won’t feel great in it. Instead, build an outfit with items you already own, and perhaps one or two spooky extras.
Need some visuals to inspire you? I scouted six great (and fashionable) Halloween costumes from Instagram, one of which requires little more than an LBD and knee-high boots. Yes, really. The beauty in all these ‘costumes’ is that you can re-wear the pieces time and time again, and not just on October 31st. Check them out below, and have fun re-creating your favourite.
Style Notes: It’s no mystery why Wednesday Adams makes a great Halloween costume. All you really need is a black dress (ideally collared) and two braids. Plus, she’s a beloved character, so everyone will recognise your efforts right off the bat.
I’d wear this post-party, too.
An essential part of the look.
Go heavy with the eyeliner to achieve the Wednesday aesthetic.
A worthwhile buy whether you’re celebrating Halloween or not.
Style Notes: It’s 2023, which means you definitely won’t be the only Barbie at your party. But that just means you can have your very own “Hi, Barbie!” moment. To achieve a similar look, pair the pink items in your wardrobe together. It’s that simple.
To keep you warm on those cold October nights.
This set has Barbie written all over it.
I love the asymmetric detailing.
H&M has delivered on the boot front yet again.
Style Notes: For a dose of nostalgia, look to The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy for outfit inspiration.You can easily create a cute costume with just a blue gingham dress and patent shoes.Bonus points if you have your very own Toto.
This is on sale, too, just to make it all the more tempting.
Adorable, and it feels very Dorothy-esque.
You can’t go wrong with this basic.
Red Mary Janes happen to be huge for autumn. It’s like it was meant to be.
Style Notes: This might be the most “costume-y” outfit on the list, but minus the bright green tights, it’s really just a medley of forest green items. Oh, and the iconic red hair, of course—coloured hairspray or a wig will tick that box.
Wear this into the festive period.
Wash out at the end of the night. Easy peasy.
A comfortable and affordable option to pair with your bodysuit.
Style Notes: This one will make people laugh, but also wonder how you possibly made a mushroom look so chic. Props to Aimee (and her sweet family) for thinking this up; we definitely wouldn’t have thought of it ourselves.
Impossible cute—and it’s handmade!
You’ll live in this once the temperature drops.
Suede boots always feel classy.
Style Notes: Easy A remains a classic in the minds of millennials. Emma Stone’s character is recognised by the letter ‘A’ pinned to her chest—and aside from a corset-style top, this is all you need to imitate her look.
There are so many corset tops out there, but I’m into the simplicity of this one.
It just takes £2 to transform this outfit into a Halloween look.
You’ll cherish this necklace for years to come.
If you don’t already own a pair of leather-look trousers, consider this your sign.