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Fancy Dress Ideas, Halloween

High Street Halloween Costumes | Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress

Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw is one of the best-known fashion icons of recent years, and a Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress costume is an easy way for fashion fans to dress up, using clothes they either already own, or can easily find on the high street or internet. Here’s how…

carrie bradshaw fancy dress

Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress ideas

Carrie Bradshaw wore lots of memorable outfits in the course of Sex and the City, but perhaps the most iconic is the white tutu she wears in the opening sequence, in which tulle-clad Carrie is splashed by bus bearing an advert for her own newspaper column. As luck would have it, this is a super-easy costume to recreate, and while it’ll be that bit easier if you happen to be a blonde, a cheap wig from eBay or Amazon makes a Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress costume a possibility for anyone. Here’s one we put together:

Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress costume for Halloween

white tutu | pink tank top |strappy sandals | wig

Tulle skirts are very fashionable right now, but ones designed to be worn AS skirts can be on the pricey side, so if you don’t want to spend too much money, we’d suggest buying a cheap tulle petticoat instead: we found the one in our image on eBay. Pink tank tops, meanwhile, can be found just about anywhere: with a bit of luck, you might already own one. As for the shoes: Carrie wears a pair of high, strappy sandals with this outfit (designer, naturally), but if you don’t own a similar pair, and don’t want to splash out on Manolos, don’t worry: a regular pair of sandals will be suitable for a Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress costume, as long as you remember that:

a) they must be FABULOUS.

b) they must be high – or as high as you can manage. Carrie Bradshaw doesn’t really DO flats.

That just leaves you with the hair: as we said above, this will be easy enough if you already happen to have long, blonde hair – just use curling tongs to create a head-full of ringlets, and you’re good to go. If you don’t happen to have hair like Carrie’s, though, curly blonde wigs are easily found on eBay/Amazon, and shouldn’t cost more than a few pounds.

If you want to do Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress, however, but you can’t track down these exact items, don’t despair. As long as you can create (or fake) the blonde curls, it should be easy enough to create a Carrie-inspired costume, using the type of clothing she’d be likely to wear. Look out for:

* Extravagant shoes – the crazier, the better

* Big skirts/dresses

* Multiple strings of pearls

* Giant corsages

* Crop tops

(And remember, you don’t have to wear them all at once: even although Carrie probably would…)

Good luck creating your Carrie Bradshaw fancy dress: have fun!

Fancy Dress Ideas, Halloween

High Street Halloween Costumes | Flapper Girl Costume

Our High Street Halloween series focuses on helping you create Halloween costumes using clothes you can buy on the high street – and which you’ll have a much better chance of wearing again than you would with a store-bought costume. Today’s post is about that costume party classic, the Flapper Girl costume.

flapper girl costume for halloween

Flapper wig | headband |dress | cigarette holder | necklace

How to find  a Flapper Girl Costume on the High Street

Ah, the flapper girl costume! It’s an all-time favourite for women who want to look glamorous rather than scary, and it’s a really easy costume to put together, too. Of course, you’ll find no end of flapper girl costumes in fancy dress stores, but why spend your money on a costume dress, when you could buy one of these ACTUAL dresses instead?

flapper dresses

Aztec beaded midi dress | Black flapper dress |Cream embellished hem dress

These dresses are all from Miss Selfridge, and while they’re definitely more expensive than the average Halloween costume, the fact that they’re so much prettier than one makes them the kind of thing you’ll want to wear again. It won’t take much effort to make these the basis of a flapper girl costume, but it also won’t take much effort to wear them as part of a more contemporary party outfit – and a really unusual one at that.

To complete your flapper girl costume, you just need a few more props:

The hair

If you have short hair already, or the ability to make your hair LOOK short, you can DIY this look, but if not, check out the selection of flapper girl wigs on Amazon: most cost just a few pounds.

The headband

We also found the headband in our image at Miss Selfridge: if you can’t find something ready made, however, a regular, stretchy Alice band, worn around the head, with a feather stuck into it, will create the same look, and cost you next to nothing.

A cigarette holder

Again, if this is something you don’t own, your only real option is a joke shop/eBay/Amazon: luckily this is the kind of prop that can also be picked up very cheaply.

Other accessories

Strings of beads, art deco brooches, fishnet tights… all of these will help add the final touches to your flapper girl costume, and can be found easily enough, if you don’t already own them.

Have fun!

Fancy Dress Ideas, Halloween

High Street Halloween Costumes | Betty Draper fancy dress

We don’t know about you, but when it comes to Halloween costumes, we’re just not down with the idea of spending lots of money on something we’re only ever going to wear once. After all, why spend your money on custom made Halloween costumes when you can spend the SAME money on ACTUAL clothes which you can wear for Halloween… but then keep on wearing for other stuff too. In this series, we provide some ideas for Halloween costumes using clothes you can find on the high street, and then keep right on wearing after the party. In other words, these are the Halloween costumes that are really just an excuse to go shopping: as if you need one.

We’re starting off with a really easy one:

Halloween Costumes: Betty Draper fancy dress

Dress: Lindybop | Wig: Amazon | Fake cigarette: Amazon | Necklace: New Look

High Street Halloween Costumes: Betty Draper


If you’re a Mad Men fan, then Betty Draper needs no introduction. Although she’s living in the 60s, Betty’s style aesthetic is firmly rooted in the 50s, making her an easy  – and fun – choice for a fancy dress costume (especially when we’re talking about Halloween-Costumes-That-Aren’t-Really-Costumes). There’s no shortage of 50s-inspired dresses around at the moment, and they’re the kind of shape that never goes out of style. While the dress shown above is just a little too fancy for everyday wear, it IS only £39.99, and could easily work for any future parties or special events you have planned. If you’d rather spend your hard-earned cash on something you’ll get more use out of though, a classic floral prom dress can be worn all summer, and dressed up or down as required. These dresses, for instance, look nothing like “Halloween costumes” (because they’re not), but will make a passable Betty Draper costume when paired with the right accessories:

Betty Draper inspired dresses

Florence & Fred   | Oasis | Voodoo Vixen

Betty Draper Halloween Costumes: other ingredients

As for the rest of your “costume”, the key to becoming Betty Draper is all in the styling. As well as the dress, you’ll need:

  • Perfectly-coiffed blonde hair: if that doesn’t come naturally to you, you’ll find plenty of cheap wigs on eBay and Amazon. Search for phrases like “60s starlet”, “bombshell wig” or “short blonde 60s wig”, and be prepared to do a bit of styling if you can’t find an exact match.
  • An ever-present cigarette: remember, kids, smoking kills, but fake cigarettes are just a couple of pounds online or in joke shops.
  • A string of pearls
  • Your alcoholic beverage of choice 
  • An icy glare (OK, you might want to skip this one if you actually want to socialise at your Halloween party…)

When it comes to Halloween costumes you can wear again, it’s important not to get too hung up on tiny details: remember, you don’t need to recreate an exact look to get the point across, so relax, have fun and let your imagination run wild!

Fancy Dress Ideas, Halloween

5 Halloween Costume Ideas for People Who Hate Dressing Up

Looking for Halloween Costume Ideas? Hate the idea of fancy dress? This one’s for you…

For some people, Halloween is the perfect excuse to get all dressed up in the most creative and outrageous outfit they can come up with. When else do you get to walk the street dressed like an extra from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, after all? Exactly.

For others, however… well, not so much, really. If you’re the shy and retiring type (or even if you’re just plain lazy), the idea of wearing ANY kind of costume can be daunting to say the least. No one wants to be a party pooper, but at the same time, you don’t want to spend the night feeling horribly self-conscious in a “hilarious” costume, which is funny to everyone but you. Some people just hate fancy dress and if that person is you, you probably spend every October desperately dreaming up Halloween costume ideas that will allow you to dress as someone else… but still feel like YOU.

What’s the solution? Well, we’ll tell you: you go for the Halloween-Costume-That-Isn’t-Really-a-Costume. The outfit that’s made up from your own clothes, doesn’t require you to look ridiculous, and instead, is basically an excuse to dress up in the more usual sense of the phrase. In other words, you’ll be fancy, but you won’t be in “fancy dress”. Are you following this?

Some might call this a cop-out, of course, but hey: the point of a party is to have fun, and if you can’t do that while dressed as a scary clown/cartoon animal/whatever, then here are some Halloween costume ideas just for you…

1. The Person From the Past / PinUp Girl

Halloween Costume Ideas | Sailor girl

Like retro fashion? Great! So do we! The little “sailor girl” outfit shown above isn’t a Halloween costume: it’s Bettie Page’s Sailor dress, and it’s a retro fashion classic (You may also remember seeing it on Blair Waldorf in an old Gossip Girl episode…). With a dress like this, you can be a sailor girl, a pin-up girl, or simply a 1940s girl, and you can do it with just a dress (which you may already own, if you’re into this kind of style). Alternatively, if you don’t have something like this, and don’t want to spend any money, retro/vintage fashions can provide Halloween costume ideas a-plenty. Got a circle skirt and a tight sweater? Hey, you’re a 50s starlet! Capri pants and a white shirt? Hello, Audrey Hepburn! Ever bought anything even vaguely ‘Mad Men’ inspired? You’re fresh from the Sterling Cooper typing pool, and don’t let anyone tell you different. Speaking of Mad Men, our second Halloween Costume idea of the day is to go as…

2. A character from a TV show or movie

Anyone ever tell you you look like X celebrity? Does X celebrity have a signature clothing style, or something else that really defines their character/appearance? If so, just pick up on that quirk, whatever it may be, and your Halloween costume is sorted. Who you go as is up to you, and obviously the more creative you can be the better, but if we can give you one tip here, it’s to dress as someone relatively recognisable, or you’ll be spending the entire evening explaining who you’re supposed to be over and over (and over, and over…) again. Trust us when we tell you, that’s one way to guarantee you end up hating fancy dress even more than you do already.

3. A Stepford Wife

Wear your best dress. Do your hair. Bake some cakes, perfect a suitably vacant look, and tell anyone who asks that you’re a Stepford Wife. Then offer them a drink before they can ask any more questions.

hipster glasses

4. A Hipster

Giant glasses (with clear glass in the frames, naturally). Skinny jeans. A band t-shirt – the more obscure, the better. Something vintage or thrifted. Ugly shoes. You’re a hipster, baby! And if you actually ARE a hipster (in real life, we mean), you’re not even “dressed up”: bonus!

5. This t-shirt:

error 404: costume not found shirt

Buy it here

Because it doesn’t get easier/lazier than this, does it?

Got any easy Halloween costume ideas for us?

Do you hate Halloween? Does the idea of fancy dress make you break out in a cold sweat? Have you found the solution to dressing up without ACTUALLY dressing up? Share your Halloween costume ideas here, so we can all be party poopers together…


Fancy Dress Ideas, Halloween

Fancy Dress Ideas from The Fashion Police

Fancy dress ideas

Looking for fancy dress ideas? Look no further…

Halloween: the only time of year when it’s OK to commit crimes of fashion without fear of being arrested by The Fashion Police. As fun as it is to dress up, though, coming up with creative fancy dress ideas can be harder than you might think: especially if you’re working to a budget, or don’t want to buy a ready-made costume.

Luckily, The Fashion Police are here to help: here are some quick and (relatively) easy fancy dress costumes we’ve come up with over the years:

Fancy Dress Ideas from The Fashion Police

Alice in Wonderland

Whether you’re Tim Burton’s stylish Alice, or a rather more traditional version, if you own, or can find, a dress in the right shade of blue, going down the rabbit hole is an easy option for Halloween. Don’t forget the Alice band…

[Click here for our Alice in Wonderland fancy dress guide]

80s Fancy Dress Ideas

If it was acceptable in the 80s, it’s surely acceptable for a fancy dress party. 80s fashion provides tons of inspiration for fancy dress ideas: find a few of them here.

Lady Gaga Costume

Ya gotta love Gaga for providing us with fancy dress ideas. Will you be Meat Dress Gaga? Prisoner Gaga? Classic Hair Bow Gaga? It’s like Barbie, only for Halloween! There are lots of ready made Lady Gaga costumes available to buy these days, but if you’d rather DIY it, there are some ideas for you here.

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly

The classic costume for people who want to dress up without actually “dressing up”, if you catch our drift. Got a little black dress? A string of pearls? Hair you can turn into a beehive? Then you’ve got all the ingredients for an Audrey Hepburn/Holly Golightly fancy dress costume. Go here for some more suggestions.

Marilyn Monroe

Another good option for girls who want to look glam rather than gruesome. Step this way for some Marilyn-inspired fancy dress ideas

Betty Draper 

Mad Men’s Betty Draper provides another opportunity to go glam for Halloween.

Fancy Dress Ideas for Fashion Lovers

You’ll find some of the costume ideas we’ve already mentioned, and a few more besides, in this article aimed at those who love fashion, and want their Halloween costume to reflect that.

And, for those of you looking for slightly more obscure fancy dress ideas, may we suggest…

The Fashion Blogger

We love fashion bloggers. Hell, we ARE fashion bloggers. That doesn’t mean we can’t dress up as one for Halloween, though, does it?

The Fashion Criminal

No one loves a fashion criminal… except at a costume party, where dressing as a fashion criminal is a great excuse to bust out some hilarious – and appropriately frightening – items of clothing.

The Fashion Victim

People who love fashion a little TOO much can sometimes become victims of it. Here are some ideas on how to play the [fashion] victim this Halloween.

We’ll have some more fancy dress ideas for you soon, but for now we hope these articles from previous years will help give you some inspiration!

[Image © Vladimir Nikulin |]

Fancy Dress Ideas, Halloween

Fashion Police Halloween Costume Ideas 2011: The Fashion Victim

Fashion Victim Halloween Costume

If there’s one thing worse than a Fashion Criminal, it’s a Fashion Victim.

Fashion Criminals may dress badly, you see – that’s a given – but at least their style is their own. Fashion Victims on the other hand, have no style. So devoid are they of anything resembling personal taste, that they will blindly follow any trend that’s presented to them, regardless of whether it looks good on them or not. THEY are the people the magazines are targetting when they publish all of those articles on how to wear this season’s “difficult trend” (the rest of us just don’t bother to wear it if it’s that “difficult”). THEY are the ones who constantly use the phrase “bang on trend”, and THEY are the ones who can always be relied upon to pop up in the comments thread of any Fashion Police post and say, “But IT’S DESIGNER!” or “These were on aaaaaaalllllll the runways this season!” as if that means the item in question cannot POSSIBLY be anything less than perfect.

The sad fact is, the Fashion Victim actually believes these things. Because they don’t have any style of their own, they rely on the presence of a designer label to tell them whether or not an item is acceptable. The more expensive it is, the better, and if it has a visible logo, so much the better: that will allow other people to see that the item is OMGDESIGNER, too.

Marc Jacobs covered in Louis Vuitton logosA Fashion Victim, yesterday

Because of this label-lovin’ tendency of the Fashion Victim, we’ve chosen to illustrate our Fashion Victim Halloween Costume with a bunch of random items, all of which have one important thing in common: visible logos. Don’t want to rush out and buy a few thousands pounds worth of Louis Vuitton? We don’t blame you. Don’t worry, though: you can easily put together a Fashion Victim Halloween Costume using items you already own. All you’ll need is an old t-shirt you no longer need, a sharpie, and the ability to draw a designer logo with it. (The Louis Vuitton ‘LV’ or interlinking Chanel ‘Cs’ are easy ones, but if you can’t draw, simply print out the logo on a piece of paper and stick it to your t-shirt.) Add logos to t-shirts, bags, hats, jewellery: if you can somehow attach a logo to it, it can become a Fashion Victim accessory!

For a more subtle variation on this theme, simply pick a few current trends, as pretend that they’ve all attacked you at the same time. The Fashion Victim, for instance, will be totally into colour blocking right now, because colour-blocking is “bang on trend”. The Fashion Victim will love 70s style, because 70s style is, like, SO this season, dontchya know?

Looking to add a little fun to your party? Play our Fashion Victim drinking game! Have fun!

Fancy Dress Ideas, Fashion Police, Halloween

Fashion Police Halloween Costume Ideas 2011: The Fashion Criminal

Halloween Costume Idea: Fashion Criminal
For the next in our series of Fashion Police inspired Halloween costume ideas, we present… The Fashion Criminal!

Now, we COULD give you a list of suggested items to use for this costume… or we could just direct you to our fashion crimes archive. Or to any street, in any city around the world, where you will find endless inspiration from the fashion criminals who pass you by. If you really need some ideas, though, the items which are arrested most often here at TFP include:

  • Drop-crotch pants: well, d’uh!
  • Crocs
  • If you don’t want to wear Crocs: peep toe boots, or almost anything by Jeffrey Campbell will do.
  • Sheer clothing without the appropriate undergarments.
  • Any item of clothing which is attached to any other item of clothing.
Or, of course, you could also choose to go for some classic Crimes of Fashion: socks with sandals, nude hose with open shoes, a visible thong protruding from the top of your too-small jeans… the opportunities are endless. If you can’t create the costume from your own closet – and we really hope you CAN’T – hit up the thrift store and purchase anything that doesn’t match and looks TERRIBLE. Add a pair of handcuffs, available almost anywhere at this time of year, and you’re done. And remember: we have a special amnesty on Crimes of Fashion on Halloween itself: wear any of your costume items before or after, however, and we just might arrest you…
Fancy Dress Ideas, Fashion Police, Halloween

Fashion Police Halloween Costume Ideas 2011: The Fashion Blogger

Halloween costumes 2011: The Fashion Blogger

Are you sick of reading the phrase “It’s almost Halloween!” yet? We are. It’s too bad, though, because we’re going to subject you to it a few more times this week, as we share with you some Halloween Costume ideas which will allow you to express your love of fashion – or your fear of it, if you prefer. After all, what could be scarier than some of the fashion trends we’ve showcased here over the years? We rest our case.

We’re kicking off with our personal favourite: The Fashion Blogger. It’s our favourite because, as fashion bloggers ourselves, let’s just say we didn’t have to look too far for our inspiration here… (Also, and for the avoidance of any doubt, please note that we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with wearing any of these items – well, except maybe the hipster glasses – just that they’re things we associate with fashion bloggers.)

You will need:

1. Hipster glasses.
You will find these almost anywhere. If all else fails, head to the supermarket, buy a pair of those non-prescription reading glasses, and poke the lenses out. Remember that when it comes to hipster glasses, “The bigger, the better” should be your maxim.

2. A topknot
Take the opposite approach to the hipster glasses: you want the topknot as small and tight as possible for true fashion blogger effect.

 3. Macarons
They’re the new cupcakes, dontchya know?

 4. Fashion blogger clothes
We’ve used a pair of trashed cutoffs to illustrate this part of the outfit, but really anything goes. Things you may want to consider include: colorblocking, layering, “arm parties”, Modcloth dresses – let your imagination run wild here.

5. Jeffrey Campbell ‘Lita’ boots
If you actually ARE a fashion blogger, you’ll already own these. If you’re not, and you don’t want to buy them (and we don’t blame you: it would be like selling your soul to Satan, wouldn’t it?), any pair of super-clunky shoes will do.

6. Boyfriend-with-a-camera
Your BFWAC should photograph you all night. If you can’t find someone willing to do this (and this time we don’t blame THEM), simply set up a tripod and pose in front of it: voila!

7. An iPhone
Live-Tweet the entire party. Because it doesn’t count if it’s not recorded on the internet, you know?

Fashion Blogger Behaviour for Added Authenticity:

Just to make your Fashion Blogger Halloween Costume that little bit more realistic, you may want to adopt the following behaviourisms for the duration of your costume party:

1. Adopt a pigeon-toed stance at all times.

2. Tell anyone who will listen that your outfit is “remixed”.

3. And also “thrifted”.

4. Touch your hair, stare at your feet, or stare wistfully into space. Do this aaaaallll night.

Did we miss anything?