Picture it: it’s Halloween 2021 and you’re invited to a big bash. Yay for you for having plans! Now, because it’s Halloween, you will be expected show up in costume — and now you have a big decision to make. What do you wear? Of course, you could take your pick from the countless, pop culture biggies that everyone loved this year. If you’re feeling a bit evil, you could dress like Cruella; if you’re feeling sporty, why not toss together the iconic look Selena Gomez put together for Only Murders In The Building; or if you really want to fit in with the crowd, everyone is definitely suiting up for the Squid Game this year!
Then again, maybe you’re thinking about a costume that’s timeless, a costume that’s super recognizable — a costume you could recycle again because it will always be relevant! We hear you, which is why for you, it might be a good idea to invest in a classic Halloween look. But what is a classic Halloween costume? Think of something that’s perennial, but is always a crowd pleaser. You’ve got your ghosts, vampires, pirates, mummies, and even the classic Frankenstein. Plus, you have perhaps the most famous Halloween costume of all: a witch! And, better still, a lot of these classic ideas can be DIY’d.
But let’s look at some ideas, and how better to help you decide on a look than your favorite stars! Because guess what — they too have decided over the years it’s a better idea to dress in a classic costume than something of the moment. Let’s get some ideas!
Bet you can’t guess who’s under the sheet? Give you a hint — this is by far the least wacky thing she’s ever worn! Ok, it’s Lady Gaga, wearing a sheet with two holes for eyes when she’s arrived at the Bristol Hotel in Paris after a concert at the Zenith of Paris in 2014. This is a costume that’s particularly easy to DIY, and you can personalize it however you like! You can even swing a pop culture reference if you like; remember when Eleven dressed as a ghost in season 2 of Stranger Things?!
She wants to suck your blood! Nicole Scherzinger dressed up as a vampire for Heidi Klum‘s Halloween Party in 2015, proving that this is another classic look that could be done up in so many ways. If you’re feeling a classic Dracula vibe, by all means; if you’re thinking of dressing a bit sexier, than really all you need is some fans, some fake blood, and a killer outfit. Vampire done in a flash. Of course, you could also try for a Twilight vamp, if you’re looking to give things a pop culture spin.
Chanel Iman understood the assignment when she attend Heidi Klum’s Halloween Party in New York City in 2016: classic Halloween costume, but make it sexy! A mummy costume is pretty simple to DIY at home and you can get as elaborate with the wrappings as you like. Chanel made sure to show off what her mama gave her, with a look that allowed her to combine scary, spooky eyes with a twisted look. Even her boots got in on the look. Smart!
Frankenstein & His Bride
When looking for a classic Halloween costume for couples, look no further than Halloween’s power couple, Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein. Kate Beckinsale and her husband Lens Wiseman committed to the look when they took her daughter Lily trick or treating in Brentwood, CA in 2010. This one does take a bit more planning, and a bit more skill with a makeup brush, but it’s worth it!
The ultimate classic Halloween costume that you can 100% DIY if you own enough black clothes (we know you do!) Jennifer Garner went out as a witch on Halloween in Brentwood, LA on Oct 31, 2011, clearly using closet pulls to complete the look. Black boots, black T-shirt — really, all she needed to grab was a hat and she was good to go! But again, no need to go so simple if you don’t want to. Let your creatively thrive!
This look will give you the shivers! Ariel Winter attended the 2018 Just Jared Halloween Party in Beverly Hills, California in 2017 with then BF Levi Meaden looking spooky, scary in this Skeleton costume. Always one to make a statement, she opted for a skeleton print body suit, matched it with some fishnet stockings, and did her makeup up proper for a ghoulish look! Go big with a whole getup like Ariel, or simply DIY some white and black makeup for the timeless costume.
Alyson Hannigan and family dressed as Dorothy’s favorite friend of all for Halloween in 2011. This is another easy closet pull, if you want to DIY a scarecrow costume. Grab your freshest plaid shirt, some comfy boots, and invest in a bit of hay to fill in the sleeves, pockets, and what not. It could be the start of a whole, group Wizard of Oz group costume, or head out solo.
John Legend dressed up as a pirate for Roberto Cavalli’s Halloween Party at Cipriani 42nd Street on Oct. 21, 2007. To recreate the look, you can easily grab a white button-down shirt, black pants, and a bandana that you already have in your closet. The only things you would need to buy are a fake sword and a red jacket, if you don’t already have one. And if you do — how fun are you?!
Kourtney Kardashian dressed up as a zombie bride for a Halloween party at Bootsy Bellows in West Hollywood in 2016. The mother-of-three got into the Halloween spirit when she made her spooky costume sexy by rocking a tight lace white mini dress, knee-high socks, heels, and a veil. You can recreate this look with a white dress you already own, a pair of high socks, and any pair of heels. But the options are endless when it comes to zombies: zombie dancer, zombie fashionista, zombie barista. If you can dream it, you can make it into a zombie look!
Alessandra Ambrosio dressed up as a sexy devil for the Heaven and Hell Halloween Party in Los Angeles on Oct. 31, 2015. Being a devil for Halloween is actually very easy to DIY, because all you need to do is wear head-to-toe red and add little horns. Whether you rock a headband or two horn hair clips, you are good to go. But if you can, get yourself a pitchfork. It’s just fun!
Kate Middleton dressed up as a bat for a Halloween party at Mahiki club in London on Oct. 31, 2007, and her costume is very simple to recreate. All you need to do is throw on a black dress that you have, add a cape, and black boots, and you’re set. To make your costume even more believable, add some ears – duh!
A black cat costume is one of the easiest and most classic looks to recreate but Lala Anthony took it up a notch when she rocked this sexy costume in NYC on Oct. 30, 2014. She threw on a skintight latex bodysuit with a plunging neckline and topped it off with a pair of lace cat ears. If you don’t feel like wearing a tight jumpsuit, you can rock black pants and a top or a black dress, add the ears, and boom! You’re all set.
Gwen Stefani dressed up as Disney princess, Cinderella, for a Halloween party at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Oct. 29, 2011, when she looked gorgeous in this satin blue ball gown. Considering this is such a classic costume, you can simply buy one online, or, if you don’t want to spend, simply throw on a long blue dress you already own, add a tiara, and a pair of elbow-length gloves. But princesses come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, so as long as you have the royal hardware, you can dress however feels good to you!
Doctor & Nurse
Coco Austin and Ice T dressed up as a sexy doctor and nurse at Heidi Klum’s 11th Annual Halloween Party in New York City on Oct. 31, 2010, and they slayed their costumes. If you want to DIY Coco’s look, throw on a tight white dress and a white hat, drawing a first aid symbol on it. To dress as a doctor you can wear a pair of black pants, a white shirt, and any long white coat that you have. Adding tools like a stethoscope will also make your outfit look more believable.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon dressed up as firefighters for Mariah’s Halloween party at Marquee in New York City on Oct. 30, 2008. Mariah went the sexy route, throwing on red lingerie and knee-high socks while Nick went the more traditional route. You can wear whatever you want, as long as you throw on a baggy black jacket and add a firefighter hat. This also can be a great group costume, if you have enough folks for the entire firehouse!
A cheerleader is one of the most classic costumes of all time and Jamie Lee Curtis slayed her look at the 17th Annual Dream Halloween party in Los Angeles on Oct. 30, 2010. If you were a cheerleader in the past, then you are set, because you can just rewear your uniform. However, if you weren’t, then all you need is a tight mini skirt and a matching top. Add some patches to the bodice to make it look like a school logo, grab some pom-poms, and hit the road.
Paris Hilton looked sexier than ever when she dressed up as a schoolgirl for Halloween in Los Angeles on Oct. 31, 2019. A schoolgirl is super easy to DIY because all you need is a pleated mini skirt. Once you have that, you can wear a button-down shirt – either rolled up or tucked in, and maybe a sweater on top if you prefer. A pair of glasses makes the look complete.
Paris Hilton dressed up as a sexy bunny at the Treats! Magazine 7th annual Halloween party in Los Angeles on Oct. 31, 2017, and it’s such a cool twist on the classic cat that everyone wears. Basically, you can wear any white outfit that you already own, and if you can add feathers or fur to it, even better. Once your outfit is set, grab some bunny ears and you’re ready to rock.
A hippie costume could not be easier to recreate and it’s one of those costumes that always works and looks cool, which Rachel Bilson proved while out for Halloween on Oct. 26, 2008. You can just throw on a T-shirt and jeans from your closet, adding a flower crown, some oversized sunglasses, and some body paint of flowers.
Kourtney Kardashian and her friend, Steph Shep, dressed up as sext cowgirls for Kendall Jenner’s Halloween party at Blind Dragon in LA on Oct. 31, 2019. Being a cowgirl is simple to DIY: throw on a pair of jeans or jean shorts, tuck a button-down shirt in – preferably a flannel to make it more realistic – add a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and you’re all set to go for any kind of Halloween hoedown you might be invited to!
Jenni “J-Woww” Farley dressed up in a classic nerd costume for a Halloween party at Chateau Nightclub and Gardens, in Las Vegas on Oct. 28, 2012. Dressing up as a nerd is not only easy, but it’s also super cost-effective. You can throw on a pair of trousers – plaid or not – tuck a button-down shirt into them, and add suspenders. Don’t forget the eyeglasses though, as they make the costume. Adding a piece of tape in the center bridge of the glasses makes for a more realistic costume.