Once October rolls around, you might start to feel some level of pressure to come up with a unique Halloween costume. It typically goes something like this: At the beginning of the month you tell yourself this is the year you're going to go all out, and next thing you know, it’s 6 p.m. on October 30. This time around, don’t wait until the last minute — because, yes, people will start to notice if you show up for the fifth year in a row dressed as a cat. It turns out, there are plenty of vintage-inspired costumes that’ll impress your fellow party-goers.
Vintage is a pretty broad term, therefore, there’s a lot of different directions you can head in. Between the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, there are tons of fashionable ladies you can dress as — think: Farrah Fawcett, Princess Diana, and very young Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. (Technically, Y2K counts as vintage, too.) Then there are also iconic on-screen looks to consider like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face if you prefer something more retro or a moment from Friends or The O.C. for a modern take. Pro tip: If you’re at a loss, just Google celebrities on the red carpet in the early 2000s for a look that will align with the latest runway trends. It’s likely you have a lot of the items required for these looks hanging in your closet at this very moment.
Below, brush up on some chic vintage-inspired costume ideas. Be prepared to reel in the compliments (and likes on Instagram) at your Halloween bash.
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Kicking it off with perhaps the easiest outfit to recreate: Jo Stockton, played by Audrey Hepburn, in Funny Face. There’s a very good chance you have a black turtleneck, trousers, and loafers in your wardrobe already. Now, all that’s left are some groovy dance moves.
If your fashion aesthetic skews sporty, you’ll be able to put Farrah Fawcett’s well-known 1976 skateboard moment from Charlie’s Angles in a jiffy. What’s required: Nike Cortez sneakers, a red zip-up sweatshirt, and flared jeans. Bonus points if you use a skateboard as a prop.
Fact: Diana Ross was one of the most stylish celebrities in the ‘70s. Therefore, you’ll look ever-so chic dressed in any of her throwback ensembles, especially this one from 1978. To pull off the look, you’ll need a sparkly plunging black dress, a fur (or faux) jacket, and a veil. Studio 54 may no longer be around, but you’ll be ready for your own dance floor.
Princess Diana had tons of iconic fashion moments in the ‘80s, including her ensemble at the Guards Polo Club. Fortunately, the outfit is fairly simple to recreate. The essentials: A boxy blazer, graphic crewneck sweatshirt, skinny jeans, a baseball cap, and brown boots. Boom — you’re royalty for the evening.
Unleash your inner rocker chic by going as Madonna in the ‘80s this Halloween. All you need is a pair of acid wash jeans, leather bracelets, and a spiky belt. For some inspiration, take cues from her outfit here.
From the claw clip to the platform sandals, many pieces from Rachel Green’s wardrobe on Friends are coming back today. Here, actor Jennifer Aniston coupled a basic striped top and overalls. Your Halloween costume doesn’t get easier than this.
Basically, if you own a sparkly mini dress, you can channel a handful of different looks Naomi Campbell wore in the ‘90s. Here, Campbell went with a glitzy zip-up dress for the 1995 Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or, if you have a friend that wants to join in on the fun, go for the iconic moment with model friend Kate Moss where the duo wore glittery dresses (you definitely know the photo).
Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
Honestly, it makes sense that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen now own one of the industry's most popular luxury labels. Between their looks on and off the red carpet in the ‘90s, the twins were destined to take over the fashion scene. This particular moment with their matching floral outfits and square sunnies is, in one word, iconic.
The O.C.’s Summer Roberts, played by Rachel Bilson, had some truly unforgettable fashion moments on the early 2000s show. Perhaps the most talked-about look on the high schooler was on Season 1 Episode 7 where the gang went to Tijuana. For the episode, she wore a halter top, silk scarf over her hair, and white jeans.
If you didn’t toss your Juicy Couture tracksuit in the donations pile back in the day, now’s the time to bring it back out. Like many celebrities in the early 2000s, Lindsay Lohan was a dedicated fan of the velour matching set. Here, the star styled hers with a skinny scarf and flip-flops.
Hopefully, this list of vintage-inspired ideas has your creative juices flowing. Whatever you choose, don’t be surprised if you win a costume contest.