Last Minute Costume Ideas for the Vintage Loving Gal

I love Halloween. I basically walk around cosplaying as myself most of the time, so the opportunity to really get dressed up and go nuts is totally my jam. Unfortunately, sometimes a good costume doesn't come together. Either you get caught up in other things, or some vital part of the costume doesn't come together, or you realize whatever it was that you were planning to be just isn't going to work for you. Either way, sometimes you need a costume, and it needs to be something you can put together from stuff you already have.

Wednesday Addams

A black shift dress (either with a white collar, or a white collared shirt underneath), black shoes, pigtails or pigtail braids, and a bad attitude. (Oh hey, I already kind of did this one!)


A drop waist dress, bob or faux bob with a headband worn low on the forehead, a long necklace, and maybe a flask. Can you do the Charleston? Doesn't really matter, most people won't know what that's supposed to look like anyway.

Don Draper's unhappy secretary

Any 60s style outfit - a shift dress, pencil skirt and cardigan, etc - paired with a big bouffant hair-do and tear streaked mascara. Bonus points for a cigarette and tumbler glass of scotch.

Agent Peggy Carter

You can either be Peggy in the field, with a military style jumpsuit and boots; Peggy in the office, with a smart suit and red hat; or Peggy the super spy, wearing a slinky dress and seducing secrets from the unwary. Either way, a great curl set and red lips are required.

Hard-nosed 1940s newspaper woman

Any suit with a strong shoulder, a slightly outlandish hat (preferably in a matching or coordinating color), low-heeled pumps, a notebook and pen, and a sardonic smile. Try to have at least two besotted men following you around, alternately telling you how much they love your independent spirit and how much they want you to give it all up and have their babies.

1950s schoolgirl who is in a gang

You used to be a good girl, but now you've fallen in with the wrong crowd. Tight pencil skirt, tight sweater, wide belt at the waist, too much eyeliner, and red lipstick. A switchblade (fake, please) and a couple of old schoolbooks complete the image.

Like a Virgin era Madonna

A white petticoat or tulle skirt, long-line white bra (consider adding some kind of nipple cover if yours is see through), waist belt, a ton of jewelry, curled and teased hair, and dark eyeliner with red lipstick. I don't really recommend humping the floor because if the crowd is cool with it, the floor will probably be nasty.

Gothic Heroine

Long white nightgown or dress, hair either down and curled or up in a Gibson Girl pomp. Soft, minimal makeup and a melodramatic expression will help sell the look. Invent a tragic back story about how your loving parents were killed, and the convent where you were sent to be educated by nuns was attacked by an evil man who had become besotted by your beauty and kept you captive in a cave, but then it turned out that your mother wasn't dead after all! She helped you escape, and now you're at this cool party.

Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to pull a costume out of my own closet this year. I was supposed to be Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop, but I procrastinated in getting the pieces together and a couple of the things that I got aren't going to work. 
Is anyone else excited to get dressed up? Do you already know what you're going to be?