Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What to Wear: Classy Costumes

As Oct.31st draws near shortly, many will be rushing around to find the perfect details for their costume. Others are still trying to figure out what character they want to emulate for an evening. I don't know about you, but I'm so over the regular-character-turned-trashy costumes that a lot of women tend to wear. I've often felt that this one day is an excuse for some women to dress overtly sexy, wear very tight clothing and reveal more than anyone needs to see in an attempt to attract the attention of men and strut their stuff.  I'm sure their rebuttal would be that it's 'just a costume' and only for a night but how we dress says a lot about our character-whether it's a day in the life of someone else via costume or a day at the office.

Let me first begin by saying that while I decorate for fall and enjoy participating in harvest festivals, autumn activities and decorating for the season, I do not personally celebrate; decorate for or promote this 'holiday' in any way (which is why I have chosen not to even call it by its name or name this post as such) as the main underlying demonic theme and dark spirit it represents is the opposite of what I value in my personal Christian faith). I like to lead and live by example in all areas of my life and this is one area that I will not compromise in, not to mention I haven't missed it one bit since partaking as a child and teen! Although it's not my 'thing', I don't judge others who participate in the fun of dressing up and eating sweet treats. I wanted to write a post for those ladies who do enjoy costume parties in an effort to offer some classy and non-wicked costume alternatives in case you find yourself stumped on what to wear.

Classy women don't dress scantily clad in costume or in real life.  They don't feel the need to wear an ultra push up bra to put their 'goods' on display or wear super short mini skirts or shorts that barely cover which reveal far too much. We've seen this time and time again with the sexy nurse, maid or sailor costume, but it's taken a turn for the worst as women try to vamp up every costume now. You can see this in everything from bumblebees to Little Red Riding Hood, it seems nothing is exempt. This is especially true if you're looking for a store-bought costume as you'll find most are geared towards young women and apparently costume manufacturers think all women want to dress in this manner.

For those that are still struggling to come up with a great costume that lets you be yourself and allows your creative mind to shine,  instead of your womanly assets, here are a few that I think you might like.


1. Audrey Hepburn-Audrey was not only beautiful but fun. She is best known for her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's, her attire is classic and elegant which makes a great costume. Here's the perfect dress to get you started that you can wear long after the party is over, this dress is a favorite of mine.

2. Jackie O. -Always classy and elegant, you can't go wrong with this costume and you likely already have a dress in your closet to get you started! If not, here's a great dress option that you'll love to add to your wardrobe.

4. Miss America (complete with sash)-For every woman that's ever dreamed of that coveted title, now's your chance to bust out that bridesmaid's dress you'll never wear again for the 'evening gown' competition.

5. Princess at a Masquerade Ball-Intriguing, mysterious but still feminine and modest. Here's an affordable mask you might like.

6. Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz-A sweet, innocent but playful costume. This could turn into a group or family costume if others choose to dress up in the accompanying characters such as the tin man or the scarecrow, an an opportunity to bring  your pup out for the evening as 'Toto'. These gorgeous red heels are the perfect finishing touch!

7. Hippie-Have fun reliving a time in your youth or experience it for the first time! Opt for a streamlined look with a great pair of bell bottoms or flares and a boho top as the retro 70's vibe has definitely made a comeback! It will be easy to put this look together and then work these into your own wardrobe afterwards. Here's an affordable pair in light wash.

8. Cleopatra- All around great option for any age. Here's the Cleopatra costume shown above.

9.  Old Hollywood/Flapper Girl-You can still be playful but refined with this costume. The fringed skirt or dress is key. Black skirt options here and here. There are so many dress options that are inspired by this era, here are some great ones: 1 | 2 | 3 (my favorite!)

10. Princess Leia (Star Wars)-A great option for going solo, as a couple or as a family with other characters.

11. Martha Stewart- If you're a DIY-er, avid entertainer, you love to cook/bake or are crafter at heart, this is a great option. A crisp white button-down shirt is a must!

12. Oprah (with or without Steadman)- She is classy, entertaining, engaging and who wouldn't want to live in her shoes for a day?

13. Mary Poppins- This costume can mostly be assembled with what you have on hand-long coat, umbrella, hat, oversized handbag, etc. If this was a favorite movie as a kid-why not?

14. Nun- This is a great idea for a solo costume or going out as a group with other women.

15. Kate Middleton- She is effortless in her style, modest and a real life Princess. If you're a mother to an infant, pushing a vintage baby pram would be the perfect accessory. She is know for wearing royal and navy blue shift dresses often. Here are a couple that epitomize her style (here and here)  *Update: I had to add this one since she married Prince William after I originally wrote this post.

A friend recently told me that someone she knows is going out as the house (complete with tied balloons)  from the Disney Pixar movie "UP". How cute and unique is that?!

Below are some pre-made classy costumes for women, if you do not have the time or inclination to gather all the necessary pieces for your costume. Click on any image and be taken to the direct item:


These can be a lot of fun at parties. There are so many great ideas for couples.

If you wanted a laugh or to push the envelope a little bit among adults, this outlet & plug costume (also found here) does have some sexual innuendo (although I admittedly didn't realize it at first) but doesn't require you to reveal any skin at all.

Similarly you could arrive as a salt & pepper shaker set, bacon and eggs shown above (also here and here) OR fork + spoon. You get the idea....
The possibilities are endless for couples' costumes. There are so many movie, book and TV-inspired pairs to emulate for the night.  Here are a few classic ideas:

1. Fred & Wilma Flintstone

2. Popeye & Olive Oyle

3. Bonnie & Clyde

4. Batman & Batgirl

5. Lois & Clark of Superman

6. Romeo & Juliet

7. Beauty & The Beast

8. Don Draper & Joan Holloway of Madmen

9. Noah & Allie of The Notebook

10. President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama-The first lady always looks regal and well put together. She is best known for her fit & flare A-line dresses (like this one OR this onehere's an affordable dress I just bought) which flatter her figure whether she's wearing high end designer or J.Crew.

Below, you'll find some cute ready made costumes for couples, click any link to get the details at from the direct site.

By creating a DIY costume vs. purchasing a ready made version from a store you can also better control the overall look, customization and cost, and it will up the originality factor.

What is the best costume idea you've ever come up with for yourself, as a couple? What are your thoughts on how provocatively women dress while in costume?

If you liked this post, please feel free to share it or pin it to Pinterest! *Post updated as of Oct 2015 so all links are current.

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  1. Wonderful post .... I love this time of the year for autumn and harvest .. in Canada Thanksgiving (Oct) `` I have not been a big celebrator (??) of Halloween ... but like to decorate with a harvest theme. Maybe its because we have no children , yet. As for dressing up if I'm attending a Charity Gala - I will otherwise no. xo HHL

  2. Oh finally! I dont celebrate it either for the same reasons you state here and I have to say...you're the first blogger I follow who believes the same way I do! (And I follow a TON of blogs!)
    I agree with you that "to each his own" but Im really relieved someone out there believes what I do!
    Thanks for being brave enough to share

  3. My husband and I were invited to a costume party last year and I was horrified by the costumes available. There was very little fabric and the costumes were outrageously expensive. I'm not a prude, but I don't want to wear a mini dress with a plunging neckline either.

  4. Great list! I will have to save this. And I agree, a classy woman doesn't use Halloween as an excuse to expose herself.

  5. While I agree that costumes don't need to be skimpy to be fun, I'd just like to point out that classy women also don't judge other women for what they may deem to be inappropriate. I believe it's okay to think that you would not feel comfortable in a certain outfit, but ultimately, I think class is best defined as making others feel welcome and comfortable around you. I'm thinking of when Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde was tricked into going to the "costume" party. The classiest response would have been to ease her embarrassment as much as possible.

  6. Thanks Ladies! I enjoyed reading your comments.

    @Sarah, I'm so glad to meet another blogger that shares the same values in the big blogosphere. :)

    @Katie-It sounds as though my post may have struck a nerve with you. I definitely welcome opposing views and feedback. This post was meant to offer some suggestions on classy costumes in a modern day when for many, morals and strength in character have been tossed aside.

    It's true, I do happen to feel strongly about the way a woman dresses, as there is a direct correlation with it and how they are treated. How men treat them and how young girls (maybe even their own daughters) may choose to emulate them and perpetuate the lack of class our society as a whole is currently experiencing, is a growing concern that affects other areas.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. :)


  7. Great post Karla. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Halloween is not really celebrated very much in Europe. The 1 Nov (the day after) is a religious holiday here in Spain; so the Spanish also feel that the theme of Halloween goes against the Catholic faith. I'm British (not Spanish), but can really see where they are coming from. Nonetheless, I love your costume suggestions, especially the "eggs and bacon!"

  8. These are great ideas, and going as the house from Up is pure genius.
    I should say at this point, I've never dressed up for Halloween, but I can tell you, Beloved Husband would be totally thrilled if I did, and the tartier, the better. He'd probably settle for Princess Leia, though :)

  9. Thanks for your help! I am a teen girl, but hate that all costumes for my age group are so sexual and revealing. I will definately use some of these ideas! (I am thinking of being Audrey...)

  10. Hello! Thank you for your Halloween costume ideas. I am searching for something feminine and modest and your suggestions are perfect.


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