Spooky and/or Kooky Clothes You Can Wear on Halloween (and Way Beyond)

Don't waste your dough on stuff you can only wear once a year. Here are some Halloween-appropriate threads for tricking, treating, and everything in between.
Publish date:
October 17, 2011
shoppables, clothing, fun, halloween, costumes, outfits, non-embarrassing halloween costumes

I have a crazy-busy Halloween weekend planned, but still haven't decided what to wear. The main problem being that I am somewhat of a cheapskate, and it pains me to spend too much on some crappy novelty costume I'm only going to wear once. So I've been filing away ideas for clothing I could wear to a Halloween party, but that I wouldn't be embarrassed to wear when I'm not shoving pumpkin-shaped peanut butter cups in my face. Allow me to share them with you.

Keep Watch leggings ($64.99, MishkaNYC.com) OK, I might be alone in my thinking on this one -- and it's not really a "costume" so much as just a Halloween-appropriate item of clothing-- but I would rock these suckers 24-7, 365 days a year. Could there BE anything better to wear for a night of scary movie-watching with your friends? Especially if you paired them with a classic ribcage T-shirt, like so:

I'm way into this nicely fitted version by Smarmy Clothing ($35, Etsy.com), which was made by hand-painting the shirt with bleach. I LOVE IT, and they offer them in sizes S-3X which is always a plus (I'm not making a pun there, Jane, I swear).

See the Stars dress ($74.99, ModCloth.com) I am always in favor of looking like a powerful superheroine, and this strapless number does the job handily -- and without exposing 20 miles of buttcheek, unlike your typical leotard-based costumes. Pair this with some knee-high boots, gold bracelets, plus a red cardigan if you're cold and you have a costume that says "comic book babe" without being too on-the-nose. Make sure your hair is big and shiny, too.

I would also wear this dress on the Fourth of July, like a big ol' patriotic nerd! Or just to a picnic. Or to the the beach, the grocery store, to walk the dog -- just wherever! Stars are cute.

The Knitted Dress with Lace Collar ($78.57, ASOS.com) would be a great choice for a grown-up Wednesday Addams look ... or I suppose you could go in a "saucy Puritan" direction, if that's your thing (put your hair in a bun and pin a scarlet "A" on yourself). But for Wednesday -- just wear it with a severe center part and braids, black tights, and ankle boots. I like the simplicity of this look, and the fact that it's made of cotton and therefore is probably pretty damn comfortable.

I actually tried on this leopard print Boatneck Sweater Dress ($44.94, OldNavy.com) a couple weeks ago and it was really soft and adorable, I may just go back and get it. You could do the obvious thing here, which would be to pair it with glamour-girl type accessories for a pin-up look -- but I'd dress it down for a "Cozy Cavewoman" costume. Rat your hair and pull it into a high, bone-bedecked ponytail a la Pebbles Flintstone, add a chunky necklace like Wilma, and dare to go barefoot (or maybe just wear some nude-colored ballet flats for a barefoot look without the discomfort).

Embarrassing admission: I look at this Metallic Dress ($189, Zara.com) online about once a week. I will never buy it though, because it would probably flatten my boobs too much, I don't want to spend $189 right now, and I would feel weird about wearing a leather dress. I freaking love how it looks though, so I really want somebody to buy and wear this and be a sexy robot or cyborg of some kind. Yeah, I know, I'm not supposed to want to dress sexy on Halloween -- but this isn't one of those skanky looks some costume manufacturer is foisting upon me. Besides, I like to feel sexy, and something about this dress does it for me. You know, if I had smaller boobs.

I leave you with the Ruffle Neck Swing Dress (ON SALE for $20.95, ASOS.com). Imagine this without the dazed expression and noncommital hairdo pictured above. Instead, I want you to picture this worn with flats, a pixie-cut wig, and freckles dotted on with eyebrow pencil. Also, as an accessory: a baby doll to which you have glued devil horns. MIA FARROW IN ROSEMARY'S BABY, people! Any minidress with a swing shape will do, preferably with a big peter pan collar if you can find one.

Have you narrowed down your own costume choices yet? Do you dress up at all? If not, who destroyed the child in you? Viva la Halloween!