What Should I Dress Up As For Halloween? Head To The Movies!

Sometimes there are so many options for costumes at Halloween, that it can be hard to narrow it down to just pick one or two ideas. When that happens to me, I usually try to narrow down the field a bit…I’ll pick a favorite singer, or actor, or classic evil character.

If you happen to be a movie buff,  it’s even easier to decide on a costume since there are dozens of movie-based costumes out there to choose from. For you women, I’ve selected a few of my favorite ideas from around the web. Check them out below.

Princess Leia

If you’ve got the bod, then this might be the year you head out dressed as the one and only darling from Star Wars, Princess Leia. Forever hailed by young geeky teens from the late 70s and 80s as a first onscreen crush, a Leia costume us sure to draw attention your way.  If you remember the 90s sitcom “Friends” the episode that features Rachel dressing up as Princess Leia is still pretty funny and is evidence of the effect the character had on hormone-filled teens of the time. Plus, it’s completely hot. (Why am I so old!? *Pouting.)

Alice In Wonderland

The latest film version of the story “Alice In Wonderland” from my personal favorites, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp had me at hello. (Hard to believe it was even a product of milquetoast-girl-heroes-movie-maker, Disney.) If ever there were a film that got the idea of a heroine right, this is it. And, it makes the idea of going out in a baby blue tea party gown dressed in an Alice In Wonderland costume very appealing. This one is good because you can either go as cute, sexy or like the classic character.

 Edward ScissorHands For Her

Another nod to Johnny Depp for this outfit, because it’s based on the film, “Edward ScissorHands”. I remember watching the ice dance scene with Winona Ryder and wishing I were that girl dancing in the snow.

But, this year, with the new female-friendly Edward costume, I think it would be more fun to run around with scissors on my hands. Who wants to be sweet little Kim when you could be interesting and troubled Edward? As Jim said in the film, “Sweetheart, you can’t buy the necessities of life with cookies.”


Let Them Eat Cake? Really, Marie Antoinette?

Marie Antoinnette Costume

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that you may not have known about me: I am secretly obsessed with the Country of France, and everything about  it. I was trying to find a way to tie this passion into one of my other passions which you are all so aware of, Halloween. So, I sat around for a good ten minutes before I realized what I could do: Revolutionary French Halloween costumes! I don’t know why it took me 10 minutes to come up with it…I must have forgotten my pills that morning.

Here’s the funny thing about the French Revolution. After all that happened in it, the only thing that people (or at least Americans) seem to remember is Marie Antoinette and her infamous phrase “Let them eat cake!” Well, let me let you in on a secret: there is no proof that Marie Antoinette ever uttered this phrase. I know, I know, I just shattered your whole universe, but there is no proof that she ever said that. Well, anyway, she is a popular figurehead and so are her clothes.
The mantua dress is to Marie Antoinette as Marie Antoinette is to the French Revolution. Every courtly woman at the time wore a mantua, yet when an image of one is shown, the only association most people are able to make in their brain is “Marie Antoinette”. That’s okay, because is there really much that needs to be known about the mantua anyway? Not really.
The only thing that needs to be known about the mantua is that it makes a great Halloween costume! At one time, it used to be really popular but lately, with all the talk of vampires and Katniss Everdeen, Marie Antoinette has fallen by the wayside. However, Marie and her mantua are always an excellent costume idea for your next Halloween party.

Mantuas, otherwise known as Marie Antoinette dresses, can be found in most costume stores, and even most department stores. The next essential thing to have is the powdered wig, though historically, women did not wear powdered wigs. That was left to the men. But to Americans, the outfit is not complete without the wig. Don’t forget the white make-up and bright red lipstick and pearls look very elegant strung across the throat.

If you want your man to join you in the French Revolutionary garb, stick him in a pair of knee highs and knickers with a kerchief and a powdered wig and you will be all set to impress as an 18th century Marie Antoinette. Plus, you can “wow” everyone with the fact that you know that it’s not a Marie Antoinette dress; it’s called a mantua.

And make sure to blurt out the famous-but-never-actually-uttered phrase, “Let them eat cake!”

Emma Rae Curtis is a costume/dressing up/makeup & accessories expert. She mainly writes about Halloween but also about all things costume and dress-up related.

DIY Effie Trinket Costume

Effie Trinkett Halloween costume

Effie and Katniss

“The Hunger Games” is going to be all anyone is talking about for the next couple years. It has created quite a stir in the popular culture of today and it will definitely be one of those things that continues on immortally. But while “The Hunger Games” is popular in the here and now, you’ll want to really make yourself stand out at your next Halloween party. To complement the Katniss costume I told you about, why not dress up as the eccentric Effie Trinket, the always fashionable escort to the District 12 tributes during the Hunger Games.? It’s a fun and exciting way to spice up the party.

Effie Trinket Costume Photo via Jdursh.blogspot.com

Effie is known for her pale skin, bright lips and bright hair. A bright pink, powder white or light green wig (if you can find such a thing!) is perfect to emulate Effie.  The color of the wig will determine what kind of outfit you want to get. In chapter one of “The Hunger Games”, Katniss describes her at the Reaping as having a “scary white grin, pinkish hair, and spring green suit.”

You can emulate the outfit that Katniss describes, or you can try putting together the outfit they chose for the Reaping scene in the movie, the fuchsia suit. If you’re looking to score a deal on this costume, scour any thrift store you can for a fuchsia pencil skirt and jacket. An old 80s prom dress would also be a good idea to alter because the puffy sleeves were all the rage back then. Put on your pink or white wig and to top it all off, find a large pink clip flower because that is what really sets Effie apart.

As for make-up, the base really needs to be pale white powder all over your face. Her eye make-up consists of bright pink eye shadow that surrounds the whole eye or a rainbow of different colors, depending on the outfit you choose. The lipstick can either be a straight application of fuchsia color or applied more in a heart shape, in a Tim-Burton-Alice-in-Wonderland-esque kind of style. Fake eyelashes wouldn’t hurt one bit either.

Effie Trinkett Make-up Photo via Emily Duke

The best part about Effie is that she is so eccentric! As long as you have the standard pale face and bright wig, you can pull off just about any outfit and people will still know who you’re trying to be. Just have fun with it! If you and a friend show up as Katniss and Effie, you will be the true life of the party! As Effie so eloquently states, may the odds be ever in your favor!

Emma Rae Curtis is a costume/dressing up/makeup & accessories expert. She mainly writes about Halloween but also about all things costume and dress-up related.

Save the World…Together!

At Halloween, one of the most fun things to do is to try to come up with a costume that you and your loved ones can wear together. That way,  when people come up you at the party, they’ll say, “Oh, look at you two, you’re so and so. You’re so cute!” and you’ll beam with pride. If you’re in need of an idea for a group costume, there’s few things more popular than superheroes lately.

With “The Avengers” breaking all kinds of box office records and “The Amazing Spider-Man” opening that recently opened, (It’s getting pretty decent reviews.) people are naturally going to want to dress up as superheroes. So why not join in the fun and dress a superhero and a sidekick, or the superhero with the lady he loves? An Avengers Halloween costume is a great idea, or other superheroes make the perfect duo for a woman who wants to show up at a party with her beau in matching costume.

An obvious choice would be to dress up as Superman and Lois Lane, or if you wanted to stray from the comic book story, Superman and Wonder Woman. Pre-made Superman costumes are pretty easy to find in any department store as are Wonder Woman costumes. Lois Lane may take a little bit more creativity, though all you really have to do is put on a dress or jumpsuit and have dark hair.

You can take it “old school” and go as Batman and Robin, and that’s a great choice for young men, since Batman seems to have more girls than we can count. Since “The Avengers” has been so popular, you can go as Black Widow and Hawkeye (they date each other in the film) or Black Widow and any of the Avenger guys since there are plenty of them. Or, you can be Iron Man and Virginia “Pepper” Potts (from the film). With the newest Spider-Man just hitting theaters, a good idea would be dress up as Peter Parker (with the Spidey suit underneath the normal clothes) and Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane, if you feel so inclined to do a throwback costume (though we all know that Gwen Stacy was his real true love).  One that is lesser known but still sexy and would be a fun project to put together for the both of you would be Daredevil and Elektra from their 2003 and 2005 respective films.
Guys, if you’re lucky enough to have a girl who would agree to dress up in skintight spandex in front of who knows how many people, don’t let this opportunity pass you by. If you can pull off convincing costumes, it’s no doubt that you’ll win all the awards for best couple costume at your next Halloween party. Ok, now you’ve got some great ideas, so go ahead, be a hero.

Emma Rae Curtis is a costume/dressing up/makeup & accessories expert. She mainly writes about Halloween but also about all things costume and dress-up related.

Women of the Roaring 20s

 “All women do have a different sense of sexuality, or sense of fun, or sense of like what’s sexy or cool or tough.”
-Angelina Jolie

The roaring 20s were a decade of fun, decadence and freedom…at least in terms of the kinds of self expression that women began to take part in. One of the most memorable icons of the decade was that of the free-spirited “flapper.”

A woman who shunned traditional conventions in favor of short hair, shorter dresses and behaving in a less-than-typical standard. As dance clubs became incredibly popular, the classic fringe-style dresses of the era were adopted by women as a means to draw greater attention to the dancing. If there were ever a costume that conjures mental images of a liberated sexy woman, the flapper costume is it. If you want to learn about some famous flappers as inspiration, you can check out the back story on these beautiful women. Drinking, dancing and carousing until all hours of the evening were the name of the game and represented a wild version of Americas women, who, as descendants of puritanical religious traditions, were much more mild-mannered.

Modern women who are interested in adding a touch of flair to a fall costume party can easily find one of these Sexy costumes to dress up in. There are great necklaces, hats, fishnet stockings, flapper heals, and those adorable fringe dresses to try on until you get the perfect look. Men are easy to dress if you plan to go out as a couple, since the suits, hats and ties of the era are all very popular costume pieces.

Emma Rae Curtis is a costume/dressing up/makeup & accessories expert. She mainly writes about Halloween but also about all things costume and dress-up related.

Finding the Right Costume for Your Figure


Many women struggle with body image issues and will sometimes skip out on the fun of holidays because of this. However, I firmly believe that life is worth living to the fullest, especially during the best seasons of the year…namely the one during the fall that involve Halloween. That’s why I think that despite your figure size, be it teeny tiny or well-proportioned, you should consider going all out and dressing up.

There’s nothing that makes me more discouraged than seeing a beautiful person hanging out on the sidelines because they feel too self conscious to engage in the festivities. It’s one thing if you don’t like parties, or naturally are too shy to dress up, but it’s quite another issue altogether to skip out on costumed fun because of self-loathing. I assure you that there are costumes out there for every figure, and ones that will flatter every body type, from super skinny toplus sized costumes. The trick to pulling off a great costume no matter what the body type inside of it is some self-confidence. Even if you don’t have it, if you walk into that halloween party like you own the joint, you can fake like you do.

So, why not dream up a costume that will make you feel comfortable and still allow you to join in the holiday awesomeness? One friend of mine made this concept work when she sewed her own antique-style swimming suit to wear to the beach, weight be darned. I promise one you start getting compliments on your great outfit, you’ll be happy you didn’t hang out in the corner dressed in a gunny sack….unless that’s the costume you had in mind.

Emma Rae Curtis is a costume/dressing up/makeup & accessories expert. She mainly writes about Halloween but also about all things costume and dress-up related.


Nautical Inspired Women’s Costumes

As far as fashion trends go, there’s one that gets recycled every other season, but with a new twist. But, did you know the classic colors and bold stripes of the nautical look also lend themselves well to costume design?

Whether you are designing your own outfit that would make Popeye gaga over you, or you just want to go with a nautical theme for that Halloween boat party you plan to attend, I think these looks are fabulous. (And, before you ask, the answer is yes. If you are going as a couple, there’s an Olive Oil costume out there.)

 Even if you haven’t really decided on what or who you are going to be, it’s still fun to check out a sailor costume or other cute water inspired outfits that are available. (Even if you are just doing it for fun, it is still interesting to read about the history of women in the Navy, or to learn that a Navy woman by the name of Grace Hopper was involved in the creation of the internet.)

The point of dressing up with in a nautical-inspired outfit is great fun, but it also underscores the point that there have been some significant contributions that women have made and a little bit of costumed homage to them can’t hurt, can it? Well, if going nautical isn’t your style, there’s always the opposite site of the coin. You can learn all about famous female pirates here.


Emma Rae Curtis is a costume/dressing up/makeup & accessories expert. She mainly writes about Halloween but also about all things costume and dress-up related.

Atten-HUT! It’s Patriotic Costume Time!

Patriotic Costumes For Women

Memorial Day is Monday, May 28 of next week and Independence Day is just around the corner, we women have even more chances to strut our stuff in some fire engine red heels inspired by a sense of national pride.

I might be a little too far on the south side of 40 to go out dressed in these outfits, but that doesn’t mean I don’t just love a women’s costume with a gorgeous silhouette. If you got it, flaunt it, right ladies? In fact, some people might argue that it is your patriotic duty to look like your inner hottie. Just check out this “Little Firecracker” costume that you can wear to that backyard dress-up barbecue you’re going to throw.

Besides, if you are careful, you can find a flirty patriotic costume that’ll be just right for you. Women who are more conservative can don any red-white-and-blue outfit to get in the spirit of the occasion. If you look, many costume retailers have sequined blouses that would go great with those Uncle Sam style hats.

If you are young and want to make an impression, there are darling soldier’s uniform dresses, the Statue of Liberty, and sailor costumes galore. If you happen to be have a friend who served our country, why not dress up and pay them a U.S.O. style visit? If you know of older Veterans who are alone on the holidays, a cute woman in patriotic costume can certainly lift their spirits.

Dressing up can be a display of national pride, and why not make this year’s patriotic holidays as memorable as possible?

Happy holidays!

Emma Rae Curtis is a costume/dressing up/makeup & accessories expert. She mainly writes about Halloween but also about all things costume and dress-up related.


Classic Women

It’s incredibly helpful to keep lists of costumes for Halloween. As a woman I forget how many powerful and sexy ladies have come before me. And since Halloween is all about the magic and fun of becoming someone or something else for an evening, I like to be able to see all of my options laid out in front of me.

Here is my personal list of five of the most iconic female personas that I would want to dress up as this Halloween. What are yours?

  1. Dolly Parton – Yes, I know Dolly is looking a bit scary these days from all of the plastic surgery she’s undergone. But, if you remember her adorable hair and crazy outfits from the 70s and 80s, you’ll understand why I can’t wait to be her this Halloween.
  2. June Carter Cash – Her simple look, and big smile is such a classic 1960s country-singer style. If you want something to do this Halloween, pack your guitar and sing harmonies with friends at this year’s Halloween party.
  3. Helen of Troy is the face that launched 1,000 ships. Why, every woman wanted to be Helen. In her Grecian robes and long gold chains, Helen was the epitome of sexy in ancient times.
  4. Priscilla Presley was the King of Rock and Roll’s gorgeous bride. What could be more fun than dressing up in her stunning wedding regalia? Just make sure you have plenty of pomade.
  5. Brigitte Bardot is certainly all things 1960s and French. A sex-icon of the 60s and 70s, her style and flamboyant nature is quite fun to capture in a costume.

Halloween Stockings

At Halloween it can be easy to overlook small details, but even if you don’t like stockings, tights or pantyhose, you know they can make all the difference.

Now you can find nylons in any style, color or pattern imaginable. So why not try to incorporate them into your look?

Here are some simple ways to use pantyhose for your next costume:

  1. As fake tattoos – Many stocking companies now sell specially made nylons that look like tattoos. Whether for your arms or legs these fake tattoos look convincing and provide a great touch to any costume, for man or woman.
  2. Black and white stripes- Stripes evoke the Wicked Witch of the East from the Wizard of Oz. Nothing is more iconic than when her legs shrivel up after Dorothy has taken the Ruby slippers. If you want to be a wicked witch than this is a must for you.
  3. Using shear nylons to glue on plastic cockroaches or spiders is another great way to make it look as though you are crawling with life. Maybe you want to be a decomposing bride or a mummy, this is a simple way to add a lifelike touch without gluing anything to your skin.
  4. Gory tights make it look like your oozing with blood without having to make up your legs or arms. Sometimes when you get home from a late night party all you want to do is crawl into bed, but if you have caked on layers of makeup, this is not a good idea. These tights make it easier to get in and out of your costume without the cleanup.

Don’t forget that you can get tights in neon colors, with stripes, circles, diamonds or zig zags. With clouds, butterflies or glitter, you have so many options to choose from you might never go back to naked legs.