The 1950s and 1960s were a time of retro glam and iconic fashion. If you’re looking for Halloween costume ideas inspired by these eras, this blog post guide has all kinds of popular options that are easy to DIY and assemble.
Remember to pay attention to the details, such as hairstyles, makeup, and accessories, as they play a significant role in achieving an authentic retro glam look. Enjoy dressing up and have a fantastic Halloween!
Thrift Store Shopping for Halloween Costumes
Thrift store shopping can be a fantastic way to find unique and affordable Halloween costumes. Remember, thrift store shopping requires patience and creativity. It may take some time to find the perfect pieces, but the hunt itself can be part of the fun. Enjoy the process and have a great time putting together your unique Halloween costume.
Tips to make the most of your thrift store Halloween shopping experience:
- Plan Ahead – Before heading to the thrift store, have an idea of the type of costume you want to create. Research different characters or styles to help guide your search.
- Browse Different Sections – Don’t limit yourself to the costume section alone. Explore various areas like dresses, suits, accessories, and even children’s sections. You might find hidden gems that can be repurposed for your costume.
- Keep an Open Mind – Thrift stores offer a wide range of items, so stay open to unexpected finds. Mix and match different pieces to create a unique costume. Don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside the box.
- Look for Vintage Items – Thrift stores are a great place to find authentic vintage clothing from the 1950s, 1960s, or other eras. These items can add an extra touch of authenticity to your costume.
- Check for Accessories – Accessories can make or break a costume. Look for hats, belts, scarves, jewelry, and bags that can complement your outfit. These small details can enhance the overall look and take your costume to the next level.
- Try Everything On – Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t look perfect on the hanger. Try everything on to see how it fits and whether it can be altered if needed. Sometimes a few alterations can transform an ordinary piece into the perfect costume element.
- Get Creative with DIY – If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, consider using thrift store finds as a base for your DIY costume. Add embellishments, paint, or modify the items to match your vision.
- Check for Sales and Discounts – Many thrift stores offer special discounts or sales on specific days of the week. Take advantage of these opportunities to save even more money on your Halloween costume.
Top 10 Retro Glam Halloween Costume Ideas
Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
Pay homage to the timeless style of Audrey Hepburn with her iconic “little black dress” look from the movie. Wear a black sheath dress, long gloves, and pearls. Complete the look with a tiara, a cigarette holder, and oversized sunglasses.
Twiggy Mod Girl
A Twiggy-inspired Mod Girl Halloween costume is a fantastic choice for capturing the iconic style of the 1960s. Create a Mod Girl look with a shift mini dress in a bold, geometric pattern or bright solid color. Opt for mod-inspired designs such as color blocking or large polka dots. Twiggy was known for her love of mini dresses, so aim for a short hemline.
Wear a pair of opaque tights in a vibrant color or bold pattern. Choose colors like black, white, bright red, or electric blue to make a statement. Finish off your outfit with a pair of knee-high go-go boots. Look for white or black boots with a chunky heel. Alternatively, you can wear Mary Jane-style flats for a more comfortable option.
Twiggy’s signature hairstyle was a short, cropped pixie cut. If you don’t have short hair, consider wearing a wig in a platinum blonde or light brown shade. Style it with straight bangs and a sleek, straight texture.
Twiggy was famous for her dramatic eye makeup. Emphasize your lashes by applying several coats of mascara to both the upper and lower lashes. Create Twiggy’s iconic doll-like look by drawing bold, exaggerated lower lashes using black eyeliner or false lashes. Keep the rest of your makeup fresh and minimal with a natural-looking foundation and nude lipstick.
And finally, accessorize with statement earrings, a mod headband and oversized sunglasses. Remember, Twiggy’s style was all about embracing a youthful, playful, and experimental approach to fashion. Have fun with your costume, embrace the mod aesthetic, and enjoy stepping back into the swinging ’60s with your Twiggy Mod Girl Halloween ensemble.
A Grace Kelly-inspired Halloween costume is a timeless and elegant choice. Grace Kelly was a renowned actress and later became the Princess of Monaco, known for her impeccable style and grace. Channel her poise and sophistication as you bring her iconic look to life.
Look for a sophisticated and glamorous evening gown with a fitted bodice and a flowing skirt. Opt for a style that features clean lines and classic silhouettes, such as a ball gown or an A-line dress. Choose a color like pastel pink, powder blue, or a rich jewel tone.
Grace Kelly was often seen wearing gloves for formal occasions. Select a pair of long satin or lace gloves that match the color of your dress. Ensure that they reach past your elbows. She was known for her love of pearls. Wear a strand of pearls around your neck, and consider adding pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet to complete the look.
Style your hair in an elegant updo or a soft, swept-back style. Grace Kelly often wore her hair in a sophisticated chignon or a voluminous bun. Consider adding a hair accessory like a tiara or a decorative hairpin for an extra touch of glamour.
Grace Kelly’s makeup was typically understated and highlighted her natural beauty. Focus on achieving flawless, luminous skin with light foundation and subtle blush. Emphasize your eyes with neutral eyeshadows, well-defined brows, and a thin line of black eyeliner. Finish with a nude or soft pink lipstick.
Carry a small clutch bag in a complementary color to your gown. Look for a sleek and structured design, preferably in a metallic or satin finish. Complete your Grace Kelly-inspired costume with a pair of classic high heels. Opt for closed-toe pumps in a neutral or metallic shade to match your gown. Kitten heels would also be appropriate for such an elegant look.
Embrace the rebellious spirit of the 1950s with a greaser costume. Wear a black leather jacket, jeans, a white T-shirt, and slick your hair back with pomade. Complete the look with a pair of sunglasses and a cigarette prop. Sandy and Danny from the movie Grease are a great couples costume idea.
Channel the glamour of the 1950s pin-up models. To model with ultra vamp 1950’s Halloween costume, wear a vintage-inspired wiggle dress or a full-skirted swing dress. Opt for bold colors, polka dots, or floral prints. Add red lipstick, cat-eye winged eyeliner, and victory rolls in your hair.
Glam Rock ‘n’ Roll and Music Pop Stars
Dress up as a famous musician from eras in the past, such as Elvis Presley or Diana Ross. Wear a well-tailored suit or a sequined jumpsuit for an Elvis-inspired look. Don’t forget the signature pompadour hairstyle and shades. For Diana Ross fans, find a stunning floor length sequin gown and tease your hair out big and powerful.
Embrace the counterculture of the late 1960s with a hippie costume. Wear bell-bottom pants, a tie-dye shirt, and a fringed vest. Accessorize with round sunglasses, a headband, peace sign jewelry, and beaded necklaces. Consider adding some flowers or a peace sign drawn on your cheek.
If you want to glam up your hippie look, add touches of sparkle with sequins, studded denim and colorful fabrics. Add some drama with bold prints and oversized silhouettes paired with mini pieces of clothing (like a halter top styled with exaggerated bell bottoms).
Capture the essence of the ultimate sex symbol of the 1950s. Wear a white halter dress, style your hair into glamorous curls, and apply bright red lipstick. Add a beauty mark and carry a prop like a feather boa or a vintage camera.
Mad Men Glam
A Mad Men-inspired Halloween costume is a great choice for embodying the sophisticated and glamorous style of the 1960s. Remember to pay attention to the details and accessories to truly capture the Mad Men aesthetic. Whether you’re channeling Don Draper or Joan Holloway, embrace the refined and polished style of the era.
When it comes to searching the thrift store for your vintage dress, look for a form-fitting sheath dress in a bold color or a timeless pattern like houndstooth or polka dots. The dress should have a modest hemline and a defined waist.
Adorn yourself with a strand of classic pearls for an extra touch of elegance, and wear a pair of elbow-length gloves in a coordinating color. Opt for closed-toe pumps with a modest heel in a color that matches or complements your dress, nude or black pumps work well. Carry a structured handbag in a matching color or a contrasting hue for a sophisticated touch.
Style your hair in a classic ’60s updo like a beehive or a sleek bun. Consider adding a hair accessory such as a headband or a decorative clip. With your makeup, emphasize your eyes with winged eyeliner and neutral eyeshadow. Choose a soft, rosy blush and a classic red or pink lipstick to complete the ’60s-inspired makeup look.
Sock Hop Halloween Costume
The term “Sock Hop” refers to a social dance event that became popular in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s, primarily among teenagers. It was a casual and lively dance party held in school gymnasiums, community centers, or other similar venues. The name “Sock Hop” originated from the practice of taking off one’s shoes to dance in socks to protect the gymnasium floors.
A Sock Hop-themed Halloween costume is a fun and nostalgic choice that celebrates the innocence of the era. The poodle skirt is an iconic item for a Sock Hop costume. Look for a knee-length skirt in a vibrant color, such as pink or blue, with a poodle appliqué. Alternatively, you can create your own poodle skirt by sewing a poodle appliqué onto a plain circle skirt. Pair your poodle skirt with a fitted blouse or a cropped cardigan. Choose a top in a contrasting color or a classic pastel shade, such as pink or mint green.
Saddle shoes were popular footwear during the Sock Hop era. Look for a pair of white shoes with a dark-colored “saddle” overlay. Alternatively, you can wear white or pastel-colored ballet flats or Mary Jane-style shoes. Don a pair of white ankle socks and fold them down to show a clean edge above your shoes.
Add some retro flair with accessories like cat-eye sunglasses, a chiffon scarf tied around your neck or in your hair, and a wide waist-cinching belt. Don’t forget to accessorize with colorful beaded necklaces, bangles, and earrings. Style your hair in a high ponytail, a ponytail with a scarf tied around it, or soft curls. Opt for classic 1950s makeup, including winged eyeliner, rosy blush, and red lipstick.
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