? la Mode: Stylish Halloween costumes that aren't so basic


Mean Girls has conditioned this generation of girls into a couple truisms. For example, you should always wear pink on Wednesdays, everyone from Africa knows Swedish and big hair is full of secrets. But the most abided by rule is Halloween is for dressing sexy.

"Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it,” Cady tells us.

But, let’s be honest, sexy costumes are getting to be quite basic and extremely obvious.

This Halloween, maybe put down the fishnets, hang up the lingerie, wipe off some makeup and explore a more demure, original costume. You may not win any costume contests, but you’ll sure win some compliments on creativity and style – not just on your booty shorts.

Betty Crocker

Last Halloween, I turned to the one archetypal woman I will never be – the stay-at-home wife that can whip up a delicious meal – to inspire my Halloween outfit. Betty Crocker’s uniform has remained relatively the same, but also elusively vague in the media, allowing you a stable structure to build off and enough freedom to create an updated look.

If you browse through the Betty Crocker website, then you can see portraits of Betty Crocker since her inception as the face of the famous baking line. She is always shown wearing a red suit jacket and a white collared shirt underneath – snooze fest.

Half the fun of dressing like Betty Crocker is being, in reality, nothing like the homely, stay-at-home middle-class mother of the 1950s.

For this costume, I went with the color scheme typical of Betty Crocker and silhouettes of the 1950s. My mom and I made this red polka dot pleated skirt, and I paired it with a cropped blue cardigan and a white polo shirt. To add a bit of pizazz to the look, I wore the Betty Crocker Award pin my mom won in high school – she was really good at converting fractions, essential to changing the size of recipes.

Like mother, like daughter – both of us are Betty Crockers, and neither of us cook dinner.


Twiggy epitomizes mod fashion of the 1960s. In fact, she played a major role in creating the mod fashion look of England and America. Twiggy is an ideal inspiration for a Halloween costume because of her immensely distinctive look. I also place a lot of stock in Halloween costumes that allow for a level of warmth to be in the outfit – I just don’t get walking around at night in a mini dress without any jacket.

To become Twiggy for a night, draw fake eyelashes underneath your bottom lash line with eyeliner and make sure to layer on the mascara on your top lashes. Sweep your hair to the side and smooth it down with product. Pull on some low-cut flats, a plaid miniskirt or colorful, solid color shift dress. You can play with brightly colored tights and socks and layer on top with turtlenecks or graphic print jackets. The look is playful, yet simple.

Audrey Hepburn

This year, I’m considering replicating Audrey’s famous black outfit in the film “Funny Face.” She wears straight black pants, black flats and a black turtleneck. Despite the look’s utter simplicity, it is an iconic image.

Audrey created so many ultra-famous looks that you have a whole array of options. From the glamorous black dress and strings of pearls of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to the adorable full skirt and white collared shirt from “Roman Holiday” to the red suit and leopard print turban of “Charade,” you can pick from many different Audreys.

Annie Hall

Diane Keaton in Woody Allen’s film “Annie Hall” created one of the foundational masculine looks for women. Loose trousers, man-like brogues, brimmed hats and unfitted button-up shirts epitomize Annie Hall. Keaton pulled a lot of Annie’s wardrobe from her own closet and still plays with the style in her daily life. You can accentuate the look with ties, long jackets and a self-deprecating attitude.

Lisbeth Salander

After seeing the American version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” all I could think about wearing was tight black pants, my black combat boots and a black leather jacket. I desperately wished – for about five minutes – that I had a sick Mohawk.

In the film, Rooney Mara is a force to be reckoned with, and her style is impeccable. To embody the powerful, edgy and dangerous look of Lisbeth Salander, pile on the black eyeliner and pretty much wear the most badass black outfit you can come up with. Add a dash of heavy metal jewelry, and you’re ready to take down criminals.

email: emma.janicki@ubspectrum.com