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Halloween: Sexy or Scary? The Costume Debate

Image Courtesy of David Weston,

Image Courtesy of David Weston,

As the spookiest day of the year approaches, a brief glance through most stores and a peak at online retailers will have us all wondering what we’ll be dressing as this Halloween. Every fashion retailer from Asos to Topshop has been advertising how to get costume-ready for Halloween, now Britain’s biggest party night after New Year’s Eve. Falling on a Friday for the first time since2008, it’s unsurprising that more of us than usual will be embracing the parties and events taking place across the capital this year. But for most of us, the question isn’t simply what to dress as, or how much to spend on a costume, but whether we’re heading out this Halloween dressed scary or sexy.


As always, I have spent hours scrolling through various costumes and party shops sites, wondering whether to go for comedy, straight up scary, or something a little less traditionally Halloween related.  Thinking back to school days,  going out on Halloween simply came down to who had the best glow in the dark vampire teeth, and the competition of who had the most sweets in their trick-or-treat bag at the end of the evening. Flash forward five years and when mid-October hits, we find ourselves debating the scary/sexy costume, wondering which is more appropriate for the event we’re heading to.

Originally an American holiday, Halloween has become increasingly popular in the UK, and in more recent years has become increasingly sexualised. A brief look across most online retailers advertising Halloween ideas for women shows that most involve a short hemline and a low-cut top. And whilst men have a multitude of costume options ranging from Dracula to the Joker, costumes for women are somewhat limited in variety, and many seem to feature the same style. Generally speaking, this is a slim-fitting sexy silhouette with heels. Maybe not for everyone, but, if you’re heading out to a Nightclub or bar, a Regina George in Mean Girls get-up might seem more appropriate than dressing like you did for trick-or-treating aged 11.

Image Courtesy of CampusCircleMedia, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of CampusCircleMedia, flickr. com

And there a number of Retailers online and on the High Street offering up something like this for those of us seeking something a little more adult.

ASOS has a great range of jumpsuits, and spooky accessories for the more style-conscious. While more traditional costume stores such as offer something a little more stereotypically sexy.

But, for those of us brave enough to dress up in a scary costume, visiting a traditional party shop on the high street might be the better option if we’re searching for something more family party or fancy-dress appropriate.

Perhaps if more traditional costumes were available we might opt for these instead, or maybe some of us simply prefer the newer styles. What are your thoughts? How will you be heading out to celebrate Halloween this weekend?


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