top of page

Halloween Costumes for Cool Girls

Halloween costumes are a ghost that comes to haunt most of us yearly, with a mess of glitter and tulle and costumes that lack definition beyond 'cat' and 'mouse'. This list is a combination of costumes that are so iconic they require no explanation, or niche enough that when people get it, they'll love it. Why not attract new friends this Halloween?

Florence Pugh in 'Don't Worry Darling' | Hailey Bieber as Mia Thermopolis | Claire Danes in 'Romeo + Juliet"

Let's begin with dresses with the base of a white dress/gown. Mia Thermopolis of The Princess Diaries is a personal favourite, pairing sunglasses, tiara and headphones with a white mini dress. In terms of current films, Alice from Don't Worry Darling falls right into this section with half-up half-down hair, a fringe, a bloodied long white dress, complete with a Florence Pugh frowning face. Bloodied dresses are a gateway to many other cool girls, say Carrie or another disastrous prom queen. Vanessa from The Little Mermaid is quickly composed from a long white flowy dress, a shell necklace, beachy waves and a hand mirror. Whilst possibly overused, but forever iconic, Juliet Capulet (from Romeo + Juliet 1996) is angel wings, a masquerade mask, silk dress, half-up half-down, with a cinch round the waist.

Sally from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (via Pinterest) | Ella Purnell in 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'

Wide eyed, mysterious looking characters of Tim Burton's universe are composed quite easily of Victorian gothic clothing and black eyeshadow. Corpse Bride presents the potential for Emily herself — blue hued gown, dead flowers and a torn veil. As well as this, Victoria's long white dress, high neck, slick back hair in bun and Victor's middle part with a suit are fairly recognisable. I've never seen costumes from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which has group costume opportunity, and welcomes SFX makeup magic. Emma Bloom for example, can be achieved by a dainty dress with the chunkiest boots that can be found, whilst Olive Elephanta requires a pair of leather gloves to prevent arson. Both of these costumes can also be alternated due to typical book to screen inconsistencies. Sally and Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas are never a let down at Halloween, with outfits that are easily replicated thrifting and stitching.

Totally Spies, Bratz, and Winx Club (all via Pinterest)

With animation, comes cartoons, none of which are as iconic as those from the 2000s. There's Bratz, characters who have such an abundance of different outfits, that can easily be replicated with the y2k trends of today. Totally Spies, who wore a latex suit and GoGo boots, complete with a collection of gadgets. Winx, whose day to day clothes are quite regular, and fairy outfits can be recreated by a matching skirt & top set with wings. Similarly, the Pixie Hollow fairies follow a similar formula, but might make more sense with a flowy silk dress and signature hairstyles.

On the topic of Tinkerbell & green dresses, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo's eponymous character's is one of the most infamous, and is a character that comes with the counterpart of Celia St James, if you seek to be an Old Hollywood starlet. A similar long emerald dress could be used to replicate that of Cecilia Tallis in Atonement.

Kate Hudson in 'Almost Famous' | Shy Smith as Jennifer Check ('Jennifer's Body')

To complete this collection of characters, I want to look at costumes of the typical cool girls we should see every year, who are so iconic that they're rarely mistaken. Margot Tenenbaum (The Royal Tenenbaums) with a long fur jacket, Penny Lane (Almost Famous) with an Afghan coat and tight curls. Jennifer Check (Jennifer's Body) with a cropped heart hoodie and low waisted jeans, Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Carribbean) with vintage clothing pieces and 'pirate' accessories.

Here's to hoping that costumes start conversations this year.

Words by Tia Shah

( on IG)

Edited by Lucy Eaton

(@llucyeaton on IG)


bottom of page