Halloween costume ideas for adults

Whether you have mini trick-or-treaters to accompany come Halloween or a party to attend or host, chances are you're going to need a costume yourself.

Woman in scary face paint holding red cocktailAs with children's Halloween costumes, it's worth considering whether going to great effort to make your own is worth it when buying one is so easy and cheap. 

That said, making your own needn't be too arduous or costly a task, and Mumsnetters are full of original ideas:

  • Last year I was a corpse bride. I wore my wedding dress, got some oddments of cream lace (to look dirty/old) and made a veil. Bought a tiara from Primark for £3. White face, black/red round eyes and talc in hair. I bought black roses for my bouquet. LordOfTheFlies
  • Bellatrix Lestrange; Little Dead Riding Hood - wearing a tattered cape and with a huge wound across the throat made from fake scar stuff; goth rag doll; Miss Havisham. RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie
  • We go to a party every year and this year I'm going as Medusa. I'm going to curl my hair and put plastic snakes in it, then wear a black velvet shift I have with a drapey piece of sheer metallic fabric wrapped around it like a toga, and a belt made from a piece of cord. I'm going to do big eye make-up. HairySpidersInYourUnderwear

Films and TV shows provide a wealth of inspiration too.

  • The Addams Family. Hairy options:
    Long and loose = Morticia
    Long and plaited = Wednesday
    Long and over your face = Cousin Itt
  • Tim Burton:
    Cut out triangular strips of card, wrap in tin foil, safety-pin to old long-sleeved shirt - Edward Scissorhands
    Long white dress - Corpse Bride
    For those good with facepaint - Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Harry Potter - any witch paraphernalia you can get your hands on, plus:
    Pile of books - Hermione Granger
    Hair in a bun - Professor McGonagall
    Big round glasses - Professor Trelawney
    Notebook and pen (quill if you can get it!) - Rita Skeeter
    Wild hair - Bellatrix Lestrange
    Frumpy pink outfit - Dolores Umbridge
  • Pyscho - wrap yourself in a shower curtain, add fake blood as necessary
  • The Returned - a potentially niche point of reference, but fans of the French zombie thriller will appreciate your patches of facepainted rotting flesh. Repeating 'je suis morte' optional

If you're time-poor or just after a more simple effect, black is your friend - get your goth on and accessorise with any of the following:

  • Pale foundation and red lipstick
  • A wig
  • Cat ears - can be bought or made from an old hairband and black sugar paper
  • Devil horns
  • A witch's hat
  • Bin-bag cape
  • A white sheet

Image: Shutterstock

Last updated: 11-Apr-2014 at 9:22 AM