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It’s that time again: the spookiest, sexiest, sugariest night of the year is almost upon us!
Halloween is THE BEST holiday. When else do we get a chance to bodily inhabit any fantasy we can dream up? AND have fun with friends and family? AND eat candy? It’s distinct from other major American holidays because (at least in the way it’s celebrated in modern times) it’s inclusive; you don’t need to be a particular religion, nationality, gender, age, or to have a family or partner to enjoy the best things about it. True, it’s origin may have been a little different, but I’ll leave that tale to an historian instead of a lingerie designer.
It’s a night of lighthearted fun – of surprise, delight, hijinks and gorging on candy. But it’s also a night to think, at least a little, about how we women own and don’t own our bodies and our sexuality in day-to-day culture and life – and how we can choose to shake up our body identities for one night. On Halloween, even if we are not consciously engaging in debates about gender politics, or necessarily making our choices based on philosophy, all of us who dress up are faced on some level with the woman-specific question: to slut or not to slut.
When did Halloween become such a flesh fest? According to a Slate article, the 1970’s.
Ever since the Victorians started gallivanting around at costume balls in the 19th Century, the holiday has been a costume event for children and adults. But it wasn’t until New York City’s gay men threw the first big, fun, drag-filled Halloween parade in 1973 that the modern risque version of the holiday was born. Now, THAT’S an origin story I love to tell.
Retailers of course soon realized the commercial opportunity, and now, forty years later, any nice suburban lady need only Google “sexy nurse costume” to have forty busty, garter-belted options to buy.
Every year on Halloween I look around the streets of New York City, and I think, “A leotard and spike heels is not a costume!…And neither are boobs! Boobs are not a costume!” I have mixed feelings about these women who choose to wear their sexuality AS their disguise for the night. I equally question our culture that seems to encourage us into the Madonna/whore dichotomy of womanhood–so that we feel pressure to be buttoned up all year and then overflow in this one-night-only explosion of cleavage and fishnets.
Actually, scratch all this. Maybe my main objection to these hypersexy interpretations of “Halloween costume” is not as a woman, but as a fashion designer. Dressing up as “Sexy” instead of as [fill in the blank] is a giant missed sartorial opportunity on Halloween night. Why not be both? Wear something that someone designed to look like SOMETHING other than sex. Look sexy and strong, or sexy and funny, or sexy and unique…or be a sexy monster (see below)!
A lot of the costume business overlaps with the lingerie world. It makes sense that lingerie companies design and manufacture costumes since they already have expertise in the construction of related silhouettes. So I thought I would troll the world of sexy costumes to come up with some recommendations that are sexy and strong. (Eds. Note: Click the photos to be taken to the costumes directly.)
Who’s hotter than Wonder Woman!? I would love the chance to inhabit a superhero’s superworld for the night. Comfy microfiber fabric, plus the slimming effects of a corseted top, PLUS the shimmer factor that I can’t get enough of….this one is one of my faves.
Continuing in the realm of fantasy, here’s a cool anime-inspired costumes from Final Fantasy XIII:
If you don’t want to go the superhero route, but covet the power of flight and a big bad stinger, there’s a swarm of costume options. I like the sequins and slim fit of this Bumblebee:
And some playful thigh-highs to match:
A Monster costume is both playful and adorable. I imagine many folks would be thrilled to find this monster under their beds.
If you really want to impress the guys this Halloween, what could warm their hearts more than a hot girl in a Stormtrooper costume?
Finally, Halloween is the perfect opportunity for all you DIYers to practice your craft! Here are some inspirational pictures and tips.
Nothing would inspire me more to strut my gorgeous self than this beautiful Peacock inspired tutu. Carrie, who owns TutuGorgeousGirl on Etsy, has both girls’ and women’s sizes. I would pair this tutu with a leotard and mask (see photo at top of article), and accent it all with some bright baubles.
This 5 piece Old West Outlaw getup is so authentic-looking and pretty. It seems to tell a whole story.
I’m a fan of this steampunk pattern. Making a boned bustier and structured bolero would be a great accomplishment this Halloween.
And if you want to remember the origins of Hallow’s Eve, try out this sexy, mini-skirted witch!
And most of all, have fun!
I would love to hear your thoughts about what “sexy” means on Halloween. Even after writing this article, I am stumped this year about what I should be. Please help with tips, suggestions, and your own Halloween stories!