For Halloween

Wear a modest costume, save a life. (I’m referring to your baby’s.)


How did it happen that Halloween would become the official eve of undesired-child-conception? Maybe it’s just me but somehow, a Christian-rooted celebration of Saints and the like doesn’t all that fluidly transform to promiscuous professionals.

When did the Ricky’s superstore come to fruition?

In an effort to debunk the loosely recent perceptions of Halloween, please enjoy in just a scroll, six compelling, creative and most important: modest Halloween costume ideas. This is the stuff contest-winners are made of. It took time and required several enormous spurts of brain power that ultimately came to demonstrate October’s mantra: this holiday does not have to mean baring your all for the sake of conformity.

Quite the contrary, in fact. You can keep your shins covered, heck, even your shoulders should you feel inclined.

Just kidding, guys. I’m totally kidding.

On the one hand though, I get it: why not seize the opportunity to publicly bare your most intimate of negligees on the least judgmental night of the year (though I should warn you that exposed ass-cheek in below-50-degree-weather is always cause for judgement and what’s more? The flu.)

But to that point, I’ve had a hard time understanding why women are willing to spend upward of $150 on costumes made from plastic and polyester for one night’s wear. Why not, and you just tell me if I sound crazy, use Halloween instead as a launch pad for investing. In stock options and commodities. Kidding again, wearable clothes.

You just tell me when the jokes become insufferable. Or have they? I digress.


On the other hand, I ask this: why not use Halloween as simply one more expressive vehicle to demonstrate the inner-workings of our influence? Yes, in the book of man repelling, Halloween is just another opportunity for me (you) to do me (you.) In my case, that means utilizing Mexican painters, Wes Andersen-conjured characters, uncomfortably confrontational screen writers, mobile devices, hit TV-show anomalies and the exquisite pioneer of queen-ing as a verb, as reference points.

To be clear, I’m not sure emulating Steve Jobs is a good idea–going as an iPhone, however, novel as ham.

I recognize and respect that for some, unleashing an inner feline is most important on this eve. And look, if that means baring inner-wear as outerwear, than so be it: the primary goal is self-expression and that can be conveyed in a myriad of weird ass outfits.

If you’re going to do it though, at least do it ironically. Enter queen of Drag: Rupaul. I had the most majestic fish once, I named her Rupaul. She very tragically died after three months. (I tried to change her water while I was drunk.) Shiva just ended, actually.

What you’ll need: a penis but I couldn’t put that in this collage. In addition: some very durable hair spray, Kiki de Montparnasse lingerie (why not?) and when better an opportunity to bust out a $4,000 pair of 57239827 inch Christian Louboutin heels equipped with the obligatory studs and crystals. Choker by Dorothy Perkins.

For Frida Kahlo, you’ll need what is called a “traditional yemenite” scarf from Etsy, flower crown from Rock and Rose (I’d try Asos too though,) Topshop maxi skirt, Kenneth Jay Lane coin necklaces. Stella Jean parrot print short sleeved blouse, faux lashes that are actually not for your eyelashes but rather meant to wear in place of what is probably not a unibrow on your face, definitely one on mine. Bobbi Brown lipstick and Aurelie Bidermann earrings.

For Margot Tenenbaum, you’ll need Marc by Marc Jacobs’ hair pins, Alexander Wang oxfords, copious black eyeliner, an Old Navy striped polo, a J. Crew skirt, faux-fur 60s style jacket by River Island and Falke socks.

As for Larry David, the easiest outfitting of all. You’ll need a pack of razors to shave the crown of your head. I suppose a bald mask is fine too though. As for the clothes, the blazer pictured is Stella McCartney, the sweater is Rag & Bone, the jeans are J Brand, the sneakers are Adidas Originals and the eye-wear be from American Apparel. The cost of this one is pretty damn high but the sweet validations rest in your having done it to celebrate a. Halloween, b. Seinfeld, c. the integrity of wood.

I haven’t quite entirely figured out how to procure Richard Harrow’s face just yet but it’s do-able and highly suggested. Isn’t he great? Now you tell me, what are you thinking for Halloween? Will you dress up? Use any of this advice? Do you even celebrate? I might go as candy corn which is not on here because I just thought of it. So, that’s that.

Get more Humor ?
  • pahah this is brilliant

    xo Camilla

    Into The Fold

  • Cassandra

    Richard Harrow! Bad ass, I want to see someone do this WELL.
    Also, my favorite of your offerings was Frida Kahlo. Seriously perfect.

  • Joao
  • HerdianaSurachman

    Actually i don’t DO halloween, but to see you guys dressing up for this thingy is quite entertain me hahahaha

  • no time ! will be busy with reblogging

  • LOL- I love this post! I can’t wait to see your costume 🙂

  • ohkate

    Halloween is by far my favorite event! I have plenty of costume ideas! I will be posting them on my blog later today!

  • A. Nightmare

    The best post in quite some time, lady. I would argue for the inclusion of children’s costumes– pumpkin, penguin, et c.

  • Filipa Camões

    I want to be Frida Kahlo !!!!! I am been thinking about it dor a long time!!!!!! great tip…I will keep it! (in my country we use costumes for Mardi Gras and not halloween….but I am really proud to be her in a nearest future)

  • lavieenliz

    I think I’m doing Edie Sedgwick this year…I just need a wig! I’ve never been the store bought costume type. They’re horrible! Or the slutty type…I’d rather be something funny!

  • Amanda

    My best friend and I are going as Jack and Wendy Torrence!


    Here in Norway only a few people celebrate Halloween – the girls mostly do it so they have a reason to dress like a slut ..

    – L

  • ana

    HAHAHA LEANDRA I LOVE YOU, Richard Harrow!!

  • Reptilia

    hahahaha cool ideas! Love Frida’s costume!


  • Eva

    I would definitely go for Richard Harrow, love it! xx

  • Brooke Allen

    ahhhh i love this post, i never understood why girls go out and pay so much on crap to look so slutty in….i would rather just buy a new pair of shoes and call it a night!
    brooke @ what2wear


    Thank you! I hate store bought costumes, the beginning of this post made me so nervous haha !

  • Frida Kahlo is not Spanish

    • anna

      I am confused as to why you wrote this? Where does it say she’s Spanish??!

    • It actually says Mexican…

  • Margaux

    I have dressed as Frida for the past three halloweens – always a winner. But I think you forgot another important man repelling icon – Juno. She’s easy to replicate and fun to go out as – people always wonder if your eggo is actually preggo/if you should be drinking. OOPS.

  • Katherine

    lol … I’m sending your first line to my colleague, since we were so depress that all commercial costume have this vibe of: just-add-horny-before- animal/profession/object/caracter-name-and-call-it-costume. NOT!
    you wanna dress sexy, dress like something that HIS: like French cancan dancers, hooter’s servers, charleston or burlesque something …
    otherwise keep it in your bedroom or boudoir lol,
    Your Frida Kahlo’s combo looks really interesting, maybe next year, already got my costume for this year.

  • Where’s Andy Warhol at? All I have to wear is a black turtle neck, a blonde wig, and hold a Campbell Soup around. I still dont understand why you didn’t add him here.

  • axelle.van.damme95

    I’m going to dress up like those Dia De Los Muertos skull. I’ll do the make-up, make my hair wavy and put burgundy roses in it. For the outfit I’ll go for a silk LBD, a Léonard kimono and some cool booties. Kinda Dia De Los Muertos meets gypsy. ♥-Axelle

  • Maria Nichole

    I think I HAVE to be Margot…already have the haircut and fur, now all I need is a pack of Spirits. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Christina

    I always use Halloween to procure things I’ve been wanting, but haven’t justified spending money on yet 😉 I was actually thinking of Margot already, so this definitely helps!


  • Kate

    This is an awesome post 🙂 Best Halloween costumes I’ve seen yet!


  • Love it! A much better idea to invest that money in wool, fur, leather and cotton. Skip the polyester skin show.

  • AlexsFashion

    I could actually wear my vintage style dress (neckholder at the top and then a circleskirt from the waist) which looks very well-behaved until you notice the skulls and guns in between the Roses 😀 with a rockabilly hairstyle and some heels 😀 THat would ACtually be pretty awesome if Ihadn’t gone to the spring ball of my dance class like that XD

  • Me and a friend of mine dressed up as cute roadkill once. I don’t think people quite got it, but I really did enjoy that outfit.

  • Kara

    Halloween isn’t from Christians, it’s from Pegan Samhain- Celtic. SO IMPORTANT.

    • Leandra Medine

      Christian influenced though, no? All Hallows Eve?

      • pixiedust8

        You are right that there is definitely a Christian influence, but (not to be a party-pooper) it’s like basically every other Christian holiday–substituting for the original pagan celebration. A lot of sects of Christians won’t celebrate Halloween, although I’m not totally sure why. Perhaps it’s more associated with pagan holidays than all the others–although Easter is pretty clearly a fertility festival with all the eggs and bunnies.

        • Catholics, which are not a sect, but they are Christians also, do not consider it as a holiday. But they celebrate Nov. 1st and 2nd as All Deads and All Saints Day.

  • I was thinking of going as The man repeller. Hmmm what to wear.

  • thais yoshioka

    Hiliarious post! Being a teenager, Halloween dress up parties basically consist of girls dressed up as cats or devils in tiny black dress… so I’m not really fond of the occasion. Loving Larry David, thats just brilliant, but I’m thinking Joan Collins… I’d be scared to see her face in the middle of the night!


  • Lisa

    This is a great post! I love the Frida Kahlo idea…and Larry David — it would give me an excuse to buy some new great clothes! lol

  • Pauline T

    I have to admit, I had a good laugh 😛 I think the main problem is that whenever I/we go subtile or humourous, people just don’t get it. But “Oh you’re a playboy rabitt, I get it, that’s cool” … not!

  • Bonnie Clyde
  • Have to Have

    Who’s going as the Man Repeller herself? THIS is the stuff contest-winners are made of.

  • truebluemeandyou

    Oh Happy Day did cute kid costume versions of Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh (with bandage where ear used to be) in their Little Artists’ Costume Series here:

  • Law Moda

    Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday…other than my birthday and Christmas ‘cuz I’m greedy. I was thinking I could be Rosie the Riveter only because I’m the only girl in the world that doesn’t own a denim shirt and this is my excuse to get one. Like I said, greedy.

  • ladycoveted

    Larry David is the best!

  • Chloe

    My boyfriend and I are dressing up as one another for maximum repelling of all genders.

  • swoomer


  • Last year I went as “crazy cat lady” with cat stuffed animals pinned to a negligé and wired into Bardot hair and cage heels. Some people didn’t get it, but maybe they were just being nice… This year I will be rocking Lamb Chop à la white lace dress, falsies, red socks on my hands, etc.

    Looking forward to seeing your costume!

  • pixiedust8

    I’m going as Tippi Hedren from The Birds. I’ll cut a bitch who shows up the same place I am in the same costume.

  • monkeyshines

    brilliant looks!


  • rochelle
  • Amalie Espeland

    ahahha! I LOVE THIS POST. and dude, i am so sick of those sluts dressing up like its boobween, all “boobs'” evening. (i could do worse, i was just making my point:) ANYWAY. totally doing a presentable queen of drag this year,(OR i’ll actually go as myself, the greatest witch of all).. with investable clothes! instead of the polyester angel costume hanging in… actually, is stuffed in my bag of shame..
    i would say that mask would be working progress! LOOKIN forward to what you have to bring to the costume podium!! xxxx

  • Cony

    I actually dressed up as Frida Kahlo when I was
    little for a Halloween party! I hated it back then of course, but with a stubborn and artistic mother you can never say no! And nowadays, I would love to do it
    again! Don’t tell my mom I said that!

    • Leandra Medine

      my mom dressed me up as a gypsy once. i wore printed socks with clear jelly sandals, several scarves as a layered dress (clear foreshadow) had moles penciled on to my face and red lipstick on my lips. My hair was a in a fizzy half-pony.

      • Cony

        I guess they do it so that we stand out and so that they can say things like ‘Look how pretty my daughter looks in that costume, it was MY idea’ haha

  • Alison
  • EQ

    i dressed up as margot tennenbaum one year…so great

  • Paisley

    I went as Margot once for Halloween and it is still one of my favorite costumes…last year I went as Mary Poppins and I was covered from head to toe… I felt nice, warm and supercalifragilisticexpialidocous next to some scantily clad “sexy cats”.

  • Lali

    My department at work is doing an 80s theme (best group effort wins some kinda prize…not that I need an excuse to dress up, but an added bonus is always welcome). I’m gonna be Jem, minus the Holograms. Gotta head to Fabco in search of plastic hot pink pumps which I shall accentuate with her signature lightning bolt myself. Truly outrageous!

  • Tegan

    I dressed up as Vicky Pollard for a back to school theme. Dressing slutty just isn’t fun. Although I am impressed at the fact that they somehow always incorporate corsets into things like fireman, police and nurse uniforms. Quite clever!

  • Mary Poppins: took sewing classes from a costume designer at the A. Arsht Center and built the whole outfit, including a vintage hat hunting trip. Final look seems an outfit out of the LV Fall ad campaign (I said “seems”, no bragging!)

  • Leslie

    the fish tale (tail) made me crack up. i’m still cracking up

  • sketch42

    Im gonna go as you.

  • The Urban Promeneur

    HA! Frida Kahlo. This would be your best shot here in Mexico!
    I am actually considering it right now.

  • lovebug

    Dressing up as Max with my dog as a Wild Thing. Overdone? Probably. Cute? Definitely.

  • Eve Bromberg

    I’m being you!

  • Ldubbs

    Sheet ghost. Nuf said.

  • Zoë

    you have now affirmed my initial costume choice of Frida Kahlo

  • Love Margot Tenenbaum

  • alia


  • btw i am going to be a homeless person. i love the way they layer.

    • Kristina

      nice… maybe I will go as a shallow fool.

  • Kate

    I guess in Austria, or Europe in general we don’t celebrate it as much as you inthe US:)
    But if I did, I would go as Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction!
    xx Kate

  • Aimée

    Boy! I do love your blog! Halloween is not big in Spain at all…i miss my nyc years!!

  • richard harrow is a winning idea. why be a whore when you can be so much more? 😀

  • Christiane Nickel

    I’ve always wanted to go as Frida but some how every year I ended going as either Mommy Dearest or a Stepford Wife. This year I’m going as Yayoi Kusama which I think its going to be a covetable hit. I can’t even imagine how many people are going to go as Steve Jobs, in fact Im dreading it, although I would like to see a skanky college girl going as sexy Steve Jobs.

  • Casey

    Genius, loved the banter. Great costume ideas.

  • Shaniece

    I would like to go as Leandra Medine Man repeller, how can I do that? At least I’ll invest in a few wardrobe pieces

  • misty

    I think I’m going to go as the female version of Arthur Fonzarelli (Fonzarella, obvs). Mostly because I wanted to wear my new favorite leather jacket. misty

  • I actually really like the Steve Jobs tribute costume idea.

  • Julia

    The Spice Girls with a group of friends… I’m Posh Spice, simply because it’s ironic.

  • LOVE this. I’ll have to see if I can pull Margot Tenenbaum off, she is one of my fave fictional characters ever.

  • sexyshoesfetish

    Not sure if Alexander McQueen bee costume counts as manrepelling but
    wearing lampshade covered in mesh and crinoline over peplum and bustier
    top isn’t too sexy just freaky : )

  • Sasha

    I came across this candy corn craft and thought you might enjoy it:

    It looks like it would be really satisfying to make (and sickeningly delicious afterward)

    Can you imagine if relative male nudity were the trend instead? Happy Halloweiner!

  • Emma

    This year i am going as Cruella Deville … Pencil skirt, white and black bralet, fur stole and leopard print shoes, cigerette holder and the all important talc to turn half of my hair white! Job done minimum expense!

  • Del

    I pride myself on having both amazing and equally man-repelling costumes each year. Last year, my roommates and I went as 80’s pro wrestlers….see the picture below. I am Macho Man Randy Savage. My roommates are Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. The majority of the costumes were made by hand. We love man repelling fashion especially on Halloween. I also loved overhearing the discussions of whether or not we are men or women. For the record, we are all young women who just commit to the look. (The Beard is fake–and it was spectacular).

    • Gail

      This is amazing.

  • Court

    I am being suzy bishop from moonrise kingdom!

  • amandaaaaa

    I’m being (B)abe Lincoln for halloween! ( Waynes World Reference)

  • saaa


  • have to have

    I’m going as Karl Lagerfeld and his beloved kitty Choupette… who doesn’t want to wear dark shades to peer at the less fashionably dressed at the halloween party?

  • Jules

    I’m going as one of the two Feminist Bookstore owners from Portlandia – proponents of all things man-repelling!

  • Uriel

    Bane Capital. I bought a cheap Bane mask on Amazon for $10, I am wearing the vest and pants from my suit and bought a Mitt Romney pin. I am passing out business cards I made with a fake number and email address. Should be fun.

  • I’ve always wanted to get very creative with it and go as Mario Kart with a group of friends. How great would it be going from bar to bar in little tricycles through paper-mache turtle shells and banana peels at each other. The bowser costume alone would be worth it!


    Yearning for Zion Man Repellent

  • susanarezee

    My feeble attempt at Boo Radley several years ago did not go well. White, button down oxford shirt, khaki pants – but I couldn’t find hair product to make my hair white like Robert Duvall’s in the movie. Also, I meant to make a cardboard door to hide behind but ran out of time. All I got were strange looks and lots of “What kind of costume is that?” comments. Nothing like being man repelling and scorned for a lame costume at the same time. Hey Boo.

  • disqus_lnQUIjY0OG

    My great ideas include Florence and the Machine (floor-length sparkly gown, red wig, and a toaster or similar machine) and Mayhem (better if you’re a guy) from the Allstate commercials. For Mayhem you don a suit, bandaid on face, and mess sh*t up. Never been used. I’m going as a non sluty peacock (not meant to reference Katy Perry).

  • Vera

    Since I’m living in Spain at the moment I decided to be Carmen Miranda- the woman with all the fruit on her head. Oh wait wrong country, oh well. I will still be repelling the men with my fruit covered head 😉

  • HerMajestyS

    Two Words: Mildred. Pierce. Fierce eyebrows, cozy fur coat (and hat too even), seamed stockings, wearable black heels that you already own, getting to bronze in the cheekbones you never had…and hetero men asking if you’re Faye Dunaway.

  • One of these years I am going to need to throw a Wes Anderson party. That would make for fantastic revelry. This year I hopped on the Hunger Games bandwagon and went as Effie Trinket I felt quite clown-like during the makeup application process but it turned out in the end!

    Cable Car Couture

  • Dani

    Was an acid trip on saturday night and my roomie was a cat…I would say we spared being over exposed and did it pretty well, and I was Rosie the riveter on friday

  • Gail

    This is sort of late but my man-repelling costume was “crazy cat lady”. Not the most original, I know, but I was rewarded by my dude’s oh-so-sweet and also sort of terrified response when he got home and saw me in it: “Looks like you have been having a relaxing day!”

  • Natalie

    Dammit how am I just now seeing this post?! Margot is such a good idea, that very well may be the incentive I need to finally chop off my long locks so I can pull that off (after donning an enormous afro wig that got caught in just about anything/anyone I passed last year, I’m sticking with my own less aggressive head of hair). And Richard is my favorite Boardwalk fella… I just want to hug him.

  • Angela

    I don’t do Halloween, like EVER. But this year was an exception. I went as Lady Gaga, as it was easy, and only had to spend £20. Black leggings (worn as trousers, yes, ONLY on Halloween), black turtleneck, black Jeffrey Campbell boots, black swimming cap, coloured face paint, done. Easy peasy. But I’m commenting because I find it mildly amusing that at the party I went to last night there was not only a Frida Kahlo, but also a Margot Tenenbaum. MR readers, possibly??

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