by Beth Hammarlund
Finding the perfect Halloween costume is tricky business. Just about everything out there for women stamps the words “sexy” and “naughty” at the beginning of the title. And everyone knows that the only cool “sexy” costume out there is “Babe-raham Lincoln.” Obviously. But let’s not dwell. You weren’t going to buy a pre-packaged costume anyway. So for the fashion conscious, I’ve put together five ideas that are recognizable (at least to fellow fashionphiles), but uncommon enough that you probably won’t run into another version of yourself at your fabulous party. Ideally, you can put these looks together with items already in your closet, but if not, you can grab just about anything on this list at Savers or one of those cheap pop-up Halloween shops. Trust me.
Little Edie Beale: Who doesn’t appreciate a Grey Gardens reference? No one awesome, that’s who. A Little Edie costume is one that you can likely build out of your own wardrobe, but be warned, this costume tends to be a little on the warm side. (You might end up ditching your improvised skirt. Edie would be proud.) You’re going to want to wear thick tights in a dark color, and then tie a dark sweater around your hips in some semblance of a skirt. Fasten with visible safety pins. Let it look all willy-nilly. Next, create a turban out of whatever you have lying around. If you have a pair of tights that have a run and are already destined for the scrap heap, they make a great option. Secure your turban with a brooch, the more costumey, the better. Top the look off with a dark sweater and messy red lipstick. If you have a moth-eaten fur coat lying around, her spirit might even pay you a visit.
Edie Sedgwick: The Other Edie! This costume is quick, easy and cheap. All you need is a black leotard, black flats, black tights and a pair of chandelier earrings. Finish it up with heavy black eye makeup and a poofy middle part. If your hair is long, pull the length into a tight chignon. Drink and smoke excessively. Hook up with Bob Dylan. Be troubled.
Diana Vreeland: The recently released film Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel has thrust the legendary fashion editrix back into the spotlight. The imminently quotable former editor of Vogue‘s look isn’t as identifiable as the magazine’s current editor, but true fashion nerds will appreciate your efforts far more. Think lots of black, perhaps a caftan, if you have one of those lying around. Then pile on the bangles and necklaces. Wear black tights and a pair of colored pumps. Here’s where it gets good. Pull back the front sectio of your hair into a tight little samurai bun, leaving the rest in a turned-under bob. (If your hair is long, just pin it under to fake it.) Apply seriously over-the-top red blush to your cheeks and temples, and top it off with a classic red lipstick. Practice Vreeland bon mots to drop all night long. “A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”
Karl Lagerfeld: Some people use Halloween as an excuse to act like a nympho bunny. But isn’t it more fun to use Halloween as an excuse to act like an eccentric douchebag? Enter the Kaise. A black skinny suit, sunglasses, black tie, and black or white shirt buttoned all the way up are musts. A true commitment means a belt buckle and black leather gloves. Then of course, you’re going to have to hit up the Halloween shop for a Lagerfeld-esque hairpiece. Spend the evening speaking in a German accent, and when people ask you why you’re wearing sunglasses, tell them it’s because you never know who might throw acid in your face. Then walk away from them because they aren’t a model.
Anna Wintour: And finally, the reigning queen of fashion, Vogue editor Anna Wintour is instantly recognizable. Copy her look with a patterned shift, inoffensive heels, sunglasses, and an inscrutable expression. A statement necklace isn’t required, though it’s a nice touch. Bring a skinny cardigan in case you get chilly. If you don’t have Wintour Hair, you’ll have to hit the wig shop. The hair is really what makes this look. Spend the evening judging people. Like you wouldn’t have been doing that anyway.