Classy Costume Inspiration from Vintage Halloween Pinups Circa 1915-1960

With Halloween just around the corner, ladies around the globe are in search of the perfect costume. It seems these days most women find their “ideal” costume in a plastic bag, cheaply designed in some overtly sexual theme. Just why Halloween has become the favorite holiday for juvenile men is no big one wears this little clothing for any other holiday. 

The marvelous Halloween pin-up photos that follow are met to serve as a little inspiration for ladies who don't want to show it all off but still channel a classic vintage inspired sexy...

Risqué costumes go back nearly 100 years. Features of the many contemporary indecent Halloween costumes have roots in history - shortened hem lines, for instance, date first  to the mid-1920. Yet the 'sexy' most women are channeling these years are not that of the classic yesteryear.

Take look at the short hemline, not to mention legs, on Nancy Carroll in a cute and extra sexy pin-up. A sexy witch done right! Carroll was a successful actress in "talkies” of the mid- to late 1920s.

The stunning Betty Grable reportedly insured her legs for $1,000,000 through Lloyds of London. While Grable was a sex symbol extraordinaire, her super cute boyish peter pan-esque costume with ragged hemline and sleeves is simple and cheap to replicate, minus those lovely patent leather pumps. Those may be harder to find, yet not impossible....  

I just love this little jumpsuit and fishnet Jester/Circus inspired costume on star Ruth Roman, made famous in Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 thriller "Strangers on a Train." 

"The It Girl" gone batty! One on my all time fashion favorites, Clara Bow. Bow came to personify the roaring twenties. This leading ‘20s sex symbol makes the cutest bat ever! What a simple and stunning costume. The hat may be a bit of a challenge, but I think easily accomplished with a vintage swim cap, rhinestones, crafting skills, and glue. 

Silent screen actress Bessie Love shows that it does not take much to create the perfect witch costume. A simple lace dress, paper hat, and some great buckle vintage shoes...

1930s Buckle Heel

Adele Jergens. Another simple stunner. 

This works wonderfully, that is if your budget allows...

Ava Gardner classic witch! 

Yvonne de Carlo aka Lily Munster

Another super cute 1920's Carroll pose. I just love this costume. Simply stunning! 

I believe the key to the perfect sultry Halloween costume is quality in material and construction. Most vintage clothing fit this bill, often custom-made of great fabrics and in classic cuts. 

How to spruce up your costume ideas with vintage? First choose a theme and period of vintage that best fit your body type. Then have some fun and scour your local vintage shops, thrift shops, and ask for the vintage selection of costume stores. 

Find yourself a lovely vintage piece. One will do, and fill in the gaps with pieces you already have in your wardrobe. A great 1950s full skirt number + a little green paint and red lipstick = vintage prom date zombie. 

Check out this great original late 1920s - 1930s belly dancing costume, a little spendy as it was likely a movie costume...

A superior quality silk piece with perfect Art Deco fit. Throw on a sparkling bra to make the a belly dancing costume that cannot be beat. Add fangs for the perfect 1930s vampire.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous”, thank you Coco Chanel!