Sexy or Scary?

As Mean Girls famously put it, ‘in Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total sl*t’. But what is it about this day which evokes the desire to dress seductively?

Traditionally, Halloween is a festival celebrated to ward off death and in doing so, pay respect to the saints and martyrs that it claimed. This idea has evidently undertaken some change. As children, we would dress up as ghosts, witches, zombies- typically ‘fearsome’ creatures. We would trick or treat, and play games like bobbing apples. As time has gone on and we have grown older, the costumes we might choose have changed, as well as the way we might spend our Halloween. Sticky house parties, club nights, and of course, for UEA students in particular, the LCR, have become the preferred way to pass the night. With the change of scene comes a change of attire, and the obvious costume debate for many- sexy or scary!?

The decision can be befuddling, but ultimately it comes down to nothing more than personal preference. There is fun to be had in the slightly tacky, but humorously provocative costumes, however it might be an idea to remember that you once trick or treated, as opposed to being said (eye) candy. The terrifyingly freakish costumes are equally exciting and a laugh, but it’s important to keep it in good taste. However, in both cases the greatest danger is falling victim to the most blood curdling Halloween fear of all: that is, the cliche costume. This year, why not take the creative challenge head on and try to think outside the box. Naughty sailors and black cats are popular choices, but overdone and perhaps not the most imaginative. If you do opt for ‘sexy’, it might be an idea to at least attempt some element of spookiness.

Many costumes that are available online or in shops such as Poundland are relatively provocative, there are ways to work around this. You could add your own personal stamp to a ready-made costume by using fake blood, face paint or freaky contact lenses to create something more unique. For instance, to give a scary element to something ‘sexy’ or to a simple, everyday outfit add a chilling post-apocalyptic vibe with a grey face or blood stained shirt. Alternatively, get an artistic flatmate to create a terrifying painted mask or illustrate spooky spiders and bats on your cheeks for low cost but unusual impact.

If you’re feeling particularly creative (and keeping to your student budget) create your own costume using items of clothing you already have, although in this case you would probably want to avoid splashing well-loved items with copious amounts of fake blood and green gloop. Items of black clothing can easily come together for a spooky or sexy witch, while although perhaps not unique, is at least an easy option when throwing something together for no cost at the last minute. 90’s films such as The Addams Family or The Craft can also provide inspiration using on trend pieces you might already have in your wardrobe, such as high collars, gothic chokers or velvet crop tops.

The most important thing to remember about your Halloween costumes is to have fun with it. Whether you decide to be sexy, scary or an amalgamation, don’t take it too seriously and use it as a chance to be creative and show your individuality. This is one night of the year (other than every Tuesday at the LCR…) where you have the opportunity to dress up without confines, and whatever you choose, allow it to be a reflection of your sense of humour and personality.


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