Halloween: sexy vs. scary – 5 tips

Halloween is hard. There’s the mountains of candy and the knocking on doors to acquire candy, and the constant scalding from strangers for apparently being “too old to ask for candy”. And not to mention the horror of choosing the right costume. Werewolf or Wonder Woman? Bunny or Bono? Whatever thrilling activities you get up to this All Hallows’ Eve, we’d like to throw a few killer bits of advice your way to balance sexy vs. scary…

1. Don’t be a nurse.

Just don’t. We know it is one of the most widely-sold female fancy dress costumes; it’s easy, stylish and most definitely will have a secondary use, but what is its actual relevance to Halloween? The naughty nurse outfit (even with desperate stains of blood added for effect around the mouth) is no doubt a sign of one of two things:

The wearer either a) left buying a costume until the final hour and the unprofessional nurse is all eBay had on next day delivery or b) someone browsed the role-play area of the fancy dress store rather than the seasonal and made a silly social faux pas purchase. Oh yes, and third point, we’re trying to save the NHS are we not, rather than shame it?

2. Do be a fictional horror-related character

There is a very long list of potential characters to tailor your costume to for Halloween. We’ve seen everything from Cat Woman to Lara Croft, and Cruella de Vil to Fat Bastard. How can you possibly choose? We have come up with a very straightforward formula to help you narrow down the options and bring our Janes closer to the perfect sexy/scary combo.

Simply ask yourself if your character is from film or literature? If it’s a yes, brilliant. If it’s a no, you are most likely coming quite close to dressing as a real sinister personality from history. Avoid! It has the potential to kill the vibes of the evening and wrench up some dark references to reality – not the point of modern day Halloween, which I think is to eat sweets and drink till your face paint melts off. That, or yell at children.

3. Try our costume check list

Consider whether your choice of costume features any of the following:

  • Additional hair – other than on your head
  • Bodily protrusions of more than 1 metre
  • Changing your voice
  • Staining your clothes with victim’s blood
  • Restricting your movements with material
  • Limited vision
  • Pungent smells as part of the attire

If you answered YES to any of the above, we’d say you’ve strayed the wrong side of sexy.

4. Complement your figure, but be comfortable

The key is to spend the night looking like a monster, not feeling like one! Essentially if you are going out-out for Halloween, you want to have an element of style to your costume. The last thing you want is the burden of having to lug around a costume that is only really relevant for the first hour or two of the night. After that, we all become ghouls, right? The trick to this is to tailor your costume so that it is a combination of being smart and comfortable. This could be flats with a cheap LBD, slashed for effect. It could be dramatic zombie make-up with a simple playsuit. Killer heels with a prison jumpsuit!

5. Although tempting, avoid working humour into your costume

I once dressed up as ‘shrimp on a barbie’ for a student Halloween party. As in, I wore a blonde wig, short pink dress, red lippy, fancy heels and pinned little tissues rolled to look like shrimp all over my outfit. Needless to say it did not go down as successfully as I’d hoped, with the most memorable comment of the night being: “Why do you have tampons stuck all over your body?” Janes – please take heed of my advice for your Halloween costume this year – you must resist that inner urge to dress humorously, as it will just slide right over all those merry people’s heads. It’s blood and gore they crave, and maybe brains too, but certainly not elegant puns.

For more Halloween costume tips check out our Halloween makeup guide.

That’s our top tips for balancing scary vs. sexy this Halloween. What’s your costume choice this year? Share with us @tweetjanes