The Ex-Wife: A Halloween Costume For The Hardcore 'Mean Girls' Fan

Look totally grool this year with a costume inspired by THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME.

Halloween is a night where we confront our deepest fears and embrace our wildest dreams by dressing up as them.

Seriously. People who are terrified of their own mortality dress up as the Grim Reaper. Girls who always wanted to be Rainbow Brite throw on some colourful socks and hit the town. Dudes who dream about being superheroes draw on some hilarious facial hair and are Tony Stark.

Me, I exhausted my supply of fears from which to draw Halloween inspiration pretty quickly, so I was left thinking about the stuff that I loved instead. And there’s really not much that I love more than Mean Girls.

Let us take a moment to consider the words of Cady Heron:

“In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut, and no other girls can say anything about it.”

This is fine for a sheltered high schooler to say in a movie; in real life, we all know that everyone can dress however they want year-round. xoVain votes “no” on slut-shaming in any form! But it’s true that dressing sexily is a time-honoured Halloween tradition. It’s also true that I am a giant five-year-old child, and dammit, I want to beg for candy.

So everyone, please meet Alle as Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron as “The Zombie Ex-Wife.”

If you’re down for a lot of “Why are you dressed so scary?” comments, let’s work this look.


The old wedding dress is the key component of this look, and I had every intention of hitting up a thrift store and getting one for $20. Unfortunately, life got in my way a little bit and I had to make do with what I had on hand. I wore a white long-sleeved t-shirt with a v-neck, but if I were wearing this to a party, an actual white wedding dress is essential.

The other essential is a bridal veil. I tried to buy one at a Halloween store, but they all came in $30 packs with strapless dresses that I didn’t need (and couldn’t return). Instead, I made one that cost about four bucks and 20 minutes of my life.

I used:

  • A white satin headband (craft store; 99 cents)
  • White tulle (two yards will make you a butt-length veil)
  • A needle and white thread
  • Some little white bridal flowers on wire stems

First, if it isn’t already, fold your tulle in half longways so that you have a long, narrow strip that is two layers of netting thick.

Next, fold the tulle in half horizontally, making sure it's uneven. You want the top layer to be about half as long as the bottom. Cady’s veil hits in two places: her butt and just past her shoulders, and I want mine to be the same.

Then I wrapped the top fold over the headband, scrunching the tulle down so that it all sat mostly in the middle.

Once I was happy with how that looked, I sewed it on to the headband. I first did a running stitch (in-out-in-out) all across the tulle to keep all the folds together, then doubled back and stitched in the opposite direction. This double-stitch makes sure none of your pleats will come undone or slide off your headband.

Remember how the tulle was first folded in half longways? Now is the time to snip up that long folded edge and set your veil layers free!

Finally, I took some white wedding-y flowers and twisted them together to form a floral chain a little longer than the amount of space the tulle takes up on the headband. You want it to hide the tulle from the front.

I stitched the flowers on to the tulle, then put a couple stray stitches into the satin of the headband itself, just to hold them on all the way down.

I arranged the flowers the way I wanted them--they're on wires, so they bend--and I was done!

If you’re trying to make a real veil for your real wedding, probably don’t ACTUALLY do this. It’s good for a costume--less good for life.


If you don’t have black hair, get thee to a Halloween store and buy the cheapest black wig you can find. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if it looks a bit basic--it’s meant to. Cady threw this together with the help of her mum a couple hours before the party!

I’m using my black lacefront again, because I have it, and I’m gently teasing the lengths with my wide paddle brush to give it a messier look.

With the veil, I’m looking really awesome.


In the commentary, Tina Fey mentions that Cady’s makeup is white at the party, and more green when she busts in on Damien and Janis.

You can go either way with this. Mix some green facepaint in with white for a pale green look, or stick to plain white. I tried this out with pale green, and it would look AWESOME at a dimly-lit party, but it really didn’t work in naturally-lit photos. So I stuck with my tried and true MAC Face and Body Foundation in white.

Cady only painted her face white--she left her neck and chest normal-coloured, which is what I did too. I think it really shows up the blobs of nail polish blood, don’t you?

Next, we do our eyeliner. I’m using matte black eyeshadow and a slightly damp brush to really get the raccoon eyes effect, but you can use eyeliner if you like.

Seriously, get nuts with this. Top and bottom lashline, as close in to the inner corners as you like. Blend it a little once it’s dry, but not too much--you want it to look really extreme.

I used a shimmery white shadow on the very inside corners of my eyes to highlight, because bringing the black all the way around my eyes would make them look SUPER close-set. Then I curled and mascara'd my lashes, defined my brows with dark brown eyeshadow (Cady Heron wasn’t into matching her wig) and I was done!

Even though it’s only visible occasionally, Cady’s Zombie Ex-Wife has her some defined cheekbones. I used a coral blush (Boots No. 7 blush in Coral Flush) and brushed it under my cheekbones, not blending too much because I wanted it to be visible, but also not just leaving it as an orange-red stripe.

Finally, the lips. I used NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil--seriously NARS, call me, I am literally your poster girl--and drew all around my lips, avoiding their natural shape and making them much bigger. The reason for this is that when you wear your silly teeth, it sort of pulls your lips in and makes them look thinner.

Because I will do literally anything to avoid fake blood, I used a thin red lipliner and drew a couple lines of blood from the outer corner of my mouth. I like straight lines, so I decided not to make these squiggly.

Finally, I put in my goofy teeth AND THE ILLUSION OF GLAMOUR WAS COMPLETE.

The Ex-Wife is ready to blow off the Mathletes meeting, do some weird voodoo on a used Kleenex to make Aaron Samuels like her.

You look super grool! But when the teeth get a little much and you take them out, it STILL looks amazing.

What a maneater. Weirdly, this might be one of my favourite pictures of myself I've ever seen.

OK, guys, let's talk. Have you ever made out with your first cousin at a Halloween party? What lingerie and animal ears would you pick for your costume? Would you cheat on Aaron Samuels with MIKE FROM HOMELAND? I totally would. What do you think Tina Fey is dressing up as for Halloween this year?