The Mancunion

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Halloween’s unlikely style icons

Fashion and Beauty Editor Talia Lee-Skudder discusses the trials and tribulations of the Halloween period and its unexpected fashion icons

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It’s that time of year again. The leaves have started to fall, the nights are drawing in, and Halloween is looming just around the corner. In previous years, I have struggled to fully embrace the 31st of October, the memories still haunt me of lathering decade old makeup onto my face as a child and coming out in a rash.

Most people seem to give the night a very halfhearted attempt. Usually, fancy dress involves a very cute — albeit, revealing — outfit, with killer makeup which is less than scary.

And that’s just the lads. It’s tricky ground, you don’t want to appear as though ‘you are too cool to bother’, but you also don’t want to find yourself having a Cady Heron moment. Halloween is the most complicated event in the fashion social calendar.

Aside from manoeuvring the do’s and don’t’s of this festive period, Halloween does also provide us with some very unlikely style icons. As we move into the winter months, take inspiration from some of the most memorable Halloween characters and fancy dress favourites and incorporate their styles into your everyday winter wardrobe.

Morticia Addams

Whilst her trademark long black hair has become a staple of every Halloween party, The Addam’s Family matriarch Morticia is a very improbable fashionista and knows exactly how to rock a fitted black dress and a red lip.

Although her complexion is on the paler side, her makeup and nails are always immaculate. If you can take any fashion advice from this fictional character, let it be to find what suits your body shape and stick with it.

Morticia wears the same black dress throughout the much-loved series, was this because of the small wardrobe budget or because she knew her fitted black fishtail dress was a flattering, failsafe signature look? I am fairly convinced it has to be the latter.

Take inspiration from her, know what suits your body and never be afraid to wear black lace.

SJP in Hocus Pocus

When I was little, watching Hocus Pocus was a regular feature in the run-up to Halloween. I was always so desperate to dress up as Sarah Sanderson, who just also happens to be the very stylish Sarah Jessica Parker — I had good taste even as a five-year-old, but I didn’t understand that a child wearing a corset was just not appropriate.

Now, it is perfectly okay to incorporate a corset into an evening look, whether you wear it over a t-shirt or under a jacket, the corset is a great way to update your outfit. In their SS18 runway show, JW Anderson showcased their relaxed take on the classic style by creating less structured corsets that can be worn every day.

Chokers

Chokers have been big on the scene for the past year or so now and their popularity does not seem to be wavering. A choker is Halloween chic at its finest and an easy addition to complete any outfit.

The origins of the choker trace back to the French Revolution in the 18th Century when women wore a red ribbon around their necks in homage to those who met their death at the guillotine. The red colour of the choker symbolised the blood of the dead. From its bloody background to the choker craze of the 1990s, the popular necklace trend is now enjoying a long revival.

Velvet

Think Debbie Reynolds in Disney’s cult classic film Halloweentown. The fun-loving grandmother knew how to wear velvet in rich autumnal shades, whilst the style is outdated velvet certainly is not.

The sumptuous and lavish material has always been a staple in the autumn/winter wardrobes of the rich and famous. Velvet clothing is great for transitional clothing and taking you into those colder winter months — less witchlike, more chic. The perfect Halloween inspired fabric.

Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice

The 1980s classic Beetlejuice provided us with Michael Keaton’s famous fitted striped suit, a statement look that would not look entirely out of place in our everyday wardrobes. The striped suit is not reserved solely for men but is a super stylish choice for all of the fashion-forward women out there.

Cara Delevingne and Olivia Palermo are fans of wearing a fitted tuxedo on the red carpet, and Beetlejuice’s vibrant vertical striped suit would not be out of place here. Vertical stripes are also a winner for elongating your legs, what’s not to love?

Alternatively, you could wear each item separately. Team a black and white striped blazer with your black skinnies or some striped trousers with a leather jacket and be more understated in your channelling of Halloween’s favourite film character, Beetlejuice.

Whilst Halloween only lasts one day, these pieces will become timeless additions to your autumn/winter wardrobe.