Glamorous, Ghoulish, or Ghostly One-Night Outfits

Updated on January 23, 2018
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed is a writer of recreation and leisure activities. Making and wearing costumes for different events is fun.

Highway Ghost

A ghostly figure walking a highway lined with flames from a blazing forest fire.
A ghostly figure walking a highway lined with flames from a blazing forest fire. | Source

October 31 Celebration

With or without additional dollars, a person can make an original glamorous, ghoulish, or ghostly costume with their own crafty hands. Halloween is one of the major celebrations for wearing costumes, but there are also many other occasions when costumes may be worn throughout the year.

Construction skills may include sewing, ironing, pinning with safety pins, adhering ironing-on bias tape, stapling, or gluing fabric. The supplies you will need will depend on your skills and purpose of the costume. Costume materials may include fabric, paper, scissors, a sewing machine, glue, a ruler, and/or a pen.

4 Costume Solutions:

  1. Purchase a ready-made costume
  2. Rent a Costume
  3. Hire a seamstress to make a custom-made costume of your choosing
  4. Design and make your own costume enhanced with makeup or masks

However, this article is for the do-it-yourself person who takes pride in their imagination borne from their personal creativity.

Sexy and Glamorous Costume

Raid your clothing closet and locate a dress which represents a quality of sexy. How can the chosen dress be altered to fit the portrayed character?
Raid your clothing closet and locate a dress which represents a quality of sexy. How can the chosen dress be altered to fit the portrayed character? | Source

Sexy Costume

Look in your closet. Find a dress which can be altered by cutting away unwanted fabric in order to reveal your sexy or feminine curves.

How to redesign a dress for a sexy appeal:

  1. Cut away the neckline to reveal cleavage. The proper push-up bra will give the added lift.
  2. Cut the neckline in a circular fashion to create an off the shoulder come-hither look.
  3. Create a one shoulder and arm dress.
  4. Make a diamond cut in the midriff area and wear an attractive naval jewel.
  5. Make a one piece dress into a top and hip skirt and wear a chain accenting the bare waistline or the hip line.
  6. Cut a slit in the skirt to introduce a leg view. The cut can be either in the side front or along the side. If the cut is made too deep, wear an attractive pair of glamor shorts. No panties should be showing.
  7. If you feel uncomfortable being "too bare" purchase a nude fabric body suit or leotard. Ice skater costumes use nude stretch fabric.
  8. Wear appropriate hair style or wig. Jewelry, gloves, and 3" high heels will compliment the sexy glamour look. Create a beautiful face with your stash of personal cosmetics. Use long eyelashes, rouge, and lipstick, or if you wish, mimic the makeup and hairdo of a famous glamorous celebrity and attend the party as her lookalike.

Hidden Characters

A green hooded costume covers the face of a human being with skull painted makeup.
A green hooded costume covers the face of a human being with skull painted makeup. | Source

Hooded Costume

  1. Use an old queen- or king-size sheet.
  2. Dye the sheets in colors of grey or black.
  3. Take one corner of the sheet to form the hood portion.
  4. Use the remaining portion of the sheet for the cape. Insert an elastic casing between the neck and shoulder.
  5. Pass a drawstring through the elastic casing and fasten in front of neck.
  6. An everyday hoodie is a very quick costume.

The unexpected surprise is to cover your face with black, green, or white facial makeup or purchase a mask to suit the character.

Or, if you prefer, cover your face with netting, or wear a stocking with eye, nose, and mouth cut outs. Both the netting and the stocking can create a mystery illusion.

Other props to enhance your character are black gloves, a handmade wooden staff. a cross and chain worn around the waistline, or a loose and ragged fabric belt.

A Simple Mask

A simple vintage mask. These are not difficult to make.
A simple vintage mask. These are not difficult to make. | Source

Masks for Halloween and Other Costumed Events

Select or make a mask which represents a character of your interest. The mask can cover the eye part of your face, 2/3 of your face, or a full mask. Masks which can be purchased at party department stores will have supplies of simple eye masks, celebrity, political, monster, and more.

Masks are made of fabric, plastic, foam, paper, and rubber. The character being represented will determine if the mask can be made or would need to be purchased.

You can make your own mask with materials you have on hand, such as, cardboard, poster board. Or use an everyday facial cover such as a sports guard helmet, a gas mask is very popular, or an underwater diving mask.

Men may consider removing or adding a mustache, beard, eyeglasses, hat or head scarf, removable teeth, a cardboard box; let your imagination take over. Wear something which is out of the ordinary for your type of personality.

Masks for historical, political, celebrities or more complex characters which cannot be diy projects will need to be purchased.

Headless Costume in Action

A headless man dressed in everyday clothing jumps about an open field.
A headless man dressed in everyday clothing jumps about an open field. | Source

Making A Headless Costume

Traditional Suited Headless Being:

Grab an old suit and shirt or blouse from the closet or take a trip to the attic and look into an old trunk.

The male can wear a necktie or an ascot. The female can wear a scarf or a female necktie.

You may be able to pull both the suit and the shirt above your head and keep it in place during the time this costume is being worn.

But if not, construct a supporting structure from a cardboard box which will sit on the shoulder of the wearer. This form needs to be able to support the weight of the shirt and suit coat.

The cardboard box cutout should be able to sit on the shoulder with ease. If the box does not balance, add straps which can be tied around the back and chest of the wearer.

The neck portion of this costume is worn above the head of the person. Make sure no hair is showing.

The necktie or scarf should be fastened narrowly to create the neck portion of the headless costume.

The individual wearing the costume should be able to see through the shirt or blouse. If not, cut holes in the shirt and create bloody-like stains with ketchup, red colored water paint, food coloring, or ink from a red marker pen. The holes will appear to be gunshot wounds.

Do not forget to wear the pants and shoes. Details are critical.

Contemporary Ideas:

  1. Wear regular everyday clothing
  2. Design a costume to fit the character
  3. Boxes instead of clothing
  4. Wear a robe or ghostly attire
  5. Firemen's, policemen, and military uniforms
  6. Dress in clothing not representing your gender
  7. Movie and television characters

Sheet Ghosts

Simple design by very effective ghost characters.
Simple design by very effective ghost characters. | Source

Making a Flowing Gown

Wear a one piece white leotard. Connect as many sheer white or gray or dull yellow curtains which will fit your body and create a long flowing gown. To create floating as you walk, wear your gown 2"or 3" beyond floor level.

The easiest way to make a flowing gown is to stitch the curtains into a perfect square. Measure the distance from your neck to the floor plus an additional 2" or 3" if you wish to appear floating.

Fold the fabric in half. Fold in half one more time. Place the tape measure on the corner of the folded corner. Mark your measurements at the edge of the gown.Cut away the bottom circle and cut about a 3" circle at the tip for the neckline.

Open up the fabric, place your head into the smaller cut which will form your neckline and let the seamless fabric cascade and flow about your body.

If uncertain about these direction make a sample on a small sheet of paper to avoid making a large mistake. Folding the fabric incorrectly will result in multiple cuts which will require seams to be sewn.

A instant substitute is a tattered wedding gown.

Paint your face with white makeup, continue to accent your eyes, eyelashes, and lips. Do not like makeup? Purchase a white mask. Wear a glamour hairdo or a wig.

Look in the mirror to confirm that you are a beautiful ghost.

Do you want a simple ghost costume:

Wear a sheet with painted facial features. Old sheets will do.

Textured Netting

Use textured netting to drape over head  or hats to add eerie effects to face.
Use textured netting to drape over head or hats to add eerie effects to face. | Source

Halloween Makeup

Are you creative and love makeup?

An inexpensive Halloween makeup kit is great to have on hand, but if you do not, use standard eyebrow pencils, eye shadow tints or powders, rouge, and lipstick.

Protect your skin by applying moisture cream to face. Use the eyebrow pencil to draw intended markings Fill large areas with eye shadow tints, rouge, or lipstick.

The Walking Dead facial makeup is very easy to do. A white base with eyebrow pencil markings, and blood is all that is needed.

Look into grandma's closet and locate a very old wedding gown. One from the late 18th century or early 19th century would be great. If the gown is not old or dingy looking; make a hot bath of tea bags. Let the gown soak overnight in tea and this will cause the fabric to turn into a sienna color.

If tea bags are not available use dry onion shells in a bath of hot water. This will colorize the gown yellow.

Second choice is to visit a second hand store until you find an ugly lace dress. Use a lace bonnet or a crocheted circle for your head cover. Add textured netting for eerie effects. Let your hair fall wild and loose about your face. A recently shampooed head with no hair conditioner gives a great flyaway hairdo.

On your legs wear a pair of white leotards which have been deliberately dirtied and have cuts or runs.

An added option is to add blood to the facial makeup or to the clothing.

Death Skull

A white death skull highlighted strategically with black coloring.
A white death skull highlighted strategically with black coloring. | Source

How To Apply A Simple Skull Makeup to Your Face

This skull makeup seems to be very popular because of its ease of application and is also easy on the budget.

Supplies Needed:

  1. A Halloween Makeup Kit or
  2. Individual tubes of white and black facial cream
  3. Black soft and liquid eye liner
  4. Full cosmetic brush and a thin brush


  1. Apply several layers of white cream makeup with fingers, use cosmetic brush to even each layer of color. Repeat applications for several layers until the desired whiteness is achieved.
  2. Use a soft pencil to outline the upper and lower eyelid. Then apply a layer or two of black cream makeup following the bony outline of the eye socket and covering the eyelid. Use a thin brush to define and refine the black eye socket circles.
  3. Coat the tip of the nose and the nostrils with black cream. Refine with thin brush.
  4. Slightly open your lips or show a shallow smile. With liquid eyeliner in hand draw vertical strokes matching your teeth on the upper lip, then do the lower lip. Complete the strokes working towards desired appearance.
  5. Lastly, outline with the black pencil the bones of the facial skull. Fill the shallow cheek areas with black cream, and be sure to emphasize the chin with lines. You may wish to add a black circle around both eyes.


  1. Wear any hairstyle which will complete the entire costume ensemble.
  2. The makeup kit has several tints. You may wish to work with different colors for a more colorful skeleton or to create a gentler appearance for children's makeup.
  3. You may not want to work with just black and white ...get creative with the different colors in the kit.
  4. Plan both the makeup and the costume for a finished product to receive praises from onlookers.

Halloween Trick or Treat

Do you like to make your own costume, purchase, or rent?

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