Not all girls would voluntarily choose to spend Halloween dressed as a princess or a fairy; the more adventurous girl determined to get into the spirit of the holiday might prefer something spooky. The most effective spooky Halloween costumes aren't the ones that go for outright gore --- subtle costumes that are a little on the unnerving side could be just what she's looking for.
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Is she an old woman or is she a witch? Start with a costume made from clothes that scream old woman. Vintage or thrift stores can be a good place to get cardigan sweaters, a patterned dress that goes just below the knee and some oversized glasses. Pick up a grey wig tied back in a bun, or dust her hair with powder to give her a faded look. Finish the old woman part of the costume with fluffy slippers and knee-high stockings rolled down to mid-calf.
Then add some finishing touches that will make people look twice, but don't go overboard. Add a false witch's nose and carry a stuffed black cat. Some make-up can go a long way; consider adding a greenish tinge to the skin, or put in crooked, yellow teeth. Stretch fake cobwebs across shoes or over hair.
Combine two Halloween costumes for a spooky final product. The first part of the costume should be ultra-feminine --- think of an Easter Sunday dress for a young girl, a prom dress for a teenager or a cocktail dress for an adult. Include all the accessories, from stockings to delicate flat shoes or high heels and jewellery. Consider a flowing shawl or delicate silk gloves.
Then head to the local Halloween store and check out the alien masks. The more gruesome and spooky, the better. The juxtaposition of sweet feminine innocence and creepy alien face is sure to unsettle most fellow trick-or-treaters. For a final touch, consider an Easter bonnet or floppy sun bonnet on top of the alien mask.
A black widow can be a woman who has lost husbands to mysterious circumstances, or can refer to the spider. Combine the costumes to create a spooky effect that will have people looking twice.
Begin by dressing in black clothes like those that would be worn at a funeral. Use a black dress, plain black shoes and black lace veil. Turn it into the black widow by taking black fabric, sewing it into narrow tubes and sealing one end. Stuff the tubes and sew the other end shut; you will need six of these. Using black thread or string, tie the tubes together in an even, horizontal fashion to create the spider's legs. Attach these to the girl's own arms, then sew one end of the tubes onto the fabric of the bodice of her blouse; adding a black cloak with ensure that the spider legs are only seen when she lifts her arms. Add a red hourglass onto the bodice of her dress or onto the back of the cloak.
Use a kimono and slippers for the basis of the costume, along with hair sticks to hold back a bun. If you can't find an appropriately ghostly colour kimono and slippers, cover them with a fine mist of grey spray paint or the fake snow that is typically used on Christmas trees. Use enough to give the material a faded, grey look, but not enough to obscure the detail. Add grey feathers or other decoration in the girl's hair, but be sure that everything is in a ghostly, surreal grey. Apply make-up such as a geisha would wear, but use shades of grey and black instead of red and blue. Covering her entire body with thinly stretched fake cobwebs can add to the appearance, or have her carry plastic chains and shackles.
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