What kind of costume are you wearing for this Hallowe’en? Something gross and gruesome, something cute, or something retro? Here are my best vintage-themed ideas for a fantastic Halloween – what do you think of them? And what other ideas could we add to the list?

Bride of Frankenstein

The Bride of Frankenstein was released in 1935, and while most people won’t have seen the movie, everyone recognizes Elsa Lanchester’s moster’s bride with that white streak in her hair!

Bride of Frankenstein

The costume itself is as easy as pie. Just a white sheet cut into a sleeveless draped dress shape and wrap bandages around your arms. The tricky part is the hair. If you have masses of lovely dark hair to begin within you could have a try at this hairstyle yourself, but it might be easier to get a Bride of Frankenstein wig. You can get them in most fancy dress shops!  Team those with some wildly flared eyebrows, scar marks along your jaw and a startled expression and you’ll really look the part!  Take a look at some more photos of Elsa as the monster’s bride (and even Dita Von Teese dressed up as her) in my Halloween Pinterest gallery here.

Silent Movie Stars

I love this idea which I spotted on Shrimp Salad Circus a few years back. Don’t they book look amazing? I particularly love the idea of having silent movie caption cards too! Take a look at this blog post to find out how they got this great look.

Silent Movie stars halloween costumes

Day of the Dead Bride

You can get an amazing Halloween costume together by finding a gorgeous vintage wedding dress and turning it into a Day of the Dead outfit.

I’m not a great fan of wearing heavy Halloween makeup – I always manage to smudge it and it makes my face feel all greasy, so I’d go for a Day of the Dead mask instead. I particularly love this one (below) by Paradisocurio – isn’t it incredible? Etsy is a great place to look for something really unusual and fabulous. Just because it’s Halloween it doesn’t mean you need to wear cheap nylon costumes and plastic masks!

Day of the Dead Mask

Vintage 1970s wedding dress

This vintage 70s wedding dress would make an amazing Day of the Dead costume. Click on the photo for details.


If you’re lucky enough to have the figure for it, Catwoman is a great vintage Hallowe’en costume. Julie Newmar played the role in a long-sleeved black catsuit with a low-slung gold belt, black gloves (with claws) and some cute matching ears. Don’t forget the Sixties style hair and makeup to go with this one! Her mask was a simple black eyemask (very much the same as Eartha Kitt’s below).

Kitt played the part only a year later and very little changed except for her hair, attitude and the heavy gold chain she wore around her neck! See more photos here.

Julie Newmar Catwoman

Julie Newmar as Catwoman, 1966

Eartha Kitt Catwoman

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman, 1967

1940s Pin Up Witch

If you’re brave enough for this one then I applaud you!  Pin up girls in the 1940s dressed up as pretty much everything imaginable, and a great Hallowe’en favourite was the sexy witch pinup.  Wear your best vintage swimsuit teamed with heels, seamed tights, a witches hat and cute 1940s hair for this look!

1940s Halloween costumes
Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit in Black'S Marvelous Heel

Endora from Betwitched

I love watching reruns of Bewitched and while it would be great to dress up as Samantha, she’s kind of hard to do because she was just ‘herself’. No particular costume or anything, just that little wiggle of the nose. So realistically, her mother Endora is a much better Halloween costume!

Go for wildly winged eyeliner, over-the-top coiffed 60s curls and something flowing with a big collar, oh and a crazy attitude too!

Samantha and Endora in Bewitched Endora in Bewitched

Zombie Pinup

Wear your favourite pinup dress with zombie makeup. Of corse you could change this to be in any style you like. A zombie flapper would be equally fabulous, as would a zombie gangster with a wide lapelled pin stripe suit!

If you don’t fancy doing zombie makeup, then these amazing masks are a great alternative!

Zombie masks
Traveling Cupcake Truck Dress in Black

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Image source and copyright: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.