Classic Dames of TV & Film Halloween Costume Ideas Part 2

This is my second post on Halloween costume ideas inspired by iconic characters of television and film and the dames who played them.  See Part 1 for additional ideas.

My next favorite character type-

The Flamboyant Vivacious and audacious, she takes the screen by storm and leaves us dazzled with her attention getting outfits that complement her larger than life personality.  These next two gutsy characters epitomize the flamboyant dame.

Sassy, brassy Mae West, in pretty much any of her movies, had a signature look that included an exaggerated, hour glass figure poured into a glitzy gown.  If you don’t already have this type of figure,  use of  waist cinchers, padded bras and derriere enhancing shapewear  will help you pull off this look.  The gown needs to hug the torso and thighs, then flair out into the floor in a sweeping hemline. Think mermaid dress. Mae West’s dresses literally looked like they were painted on. Golden curls are a must and should be topped off with some type of wide brimmed hat  loaded with feathers. Set the hat at a rakish side angle. Add a ton of rhinestone jewelry and maybe a feather boa or fluffy fur wrap. You can’t over do this costume.  The more glitz the better.  For makeup, smokey eyes and a pouty slash of red lipstick.

Mae West-Left "She Done Him Wrong" Right- "Go West Young Man"

Mae West in “She Done Him Wrong” on left, “Go West Young Man”  on right

Auntie Mame, the  delightful and indomitable eccentric with a serious flair for the dramatic in her attire. Whether you want to channel her character as played by Rosalind Russell, Constance Bennett or Sylvia Sidney, the one thing that stands out about Mame, no matter who  played her,  is her penchant for the bohemian and exotic.  Her style was tres chic with a heavy dollop of whimsy. She was the hostess with the mostest who really rocked exotic lounge wear in a big way. Asian print silk pajamas,  vintage kimonos and metallic ethnic print wraps will do the trick here. Add a pair of satin evening slippers and a long jeweled cigarette holder.

Rosalind Russell and Sylvia Sidney in Auntie Mame

Rosalind Russell and Sylvia Sidney as Auntie Mame

Images sources (left)          (right)

Scream Queens And last, but not least!  In keeping with the tradition of Halloween, my final costume category will be the Scream Queens. Horror film’s beautiful and unfortunate women who find themselves living our worst nightmares. Both choices are classic.

Tipps Hedren as Melanie Daniels

Tippi Hedren as Melanie Daniels in “The Birds”

Image source 

Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) in the film The Birds (1963.) In this legendary Hitchcock film, nature goes terribly awry when the birds in a small California town begin to converge and attack it’s citizens…with deadly consequences.  Socialite, Ms. Daniels, is caught dab smack in the middle of it all.

Our character is always smartly dressed, generally in matching skirt or dress ensembles a la 60s style.  Straight skirt and cropped boxy jacket, preferably in green.  Pointy toe pumps and blonde bouffant hair-do. However the most important accessories are the birds and blood!  So muss up that bouffant wig and glue a fake crow on top. Pin another two or three birds to your outfit, rip some holes in it and don’t forget the fake blood spattered on your face and clothing. You need to look like you were being pecked to death by the birds! Fake birds can be found at many big craft shops. floral supply stores and costume shops. For the most dramatic effect use birds that have their wings open.


Fay Wray as Ann Darrow in King Kong

Fay Wray as Ann Darrow in King Kong

Image source

Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) in the film King Kong (1933). On a remote tropical island, beautiful Ann Darrow faces peril after becoming the object of affection of a monstrous gorilla, King Kong. After being dragged through the jungle by her massive admirer, Ann’s outfit is a little worse for wear. Some of her most memorable scenes are in a shredded dress which reveals the better part of her silk slip beneath. The bodice has been reduced to a rag clinging to one shoulder and her skirt is in tatters. Any white lacey vintage slip will work. For the dress, shred up a plain day dress that buttons up the front.  Find something that is already in poor condition. You can find distressed vintage dresses on Etsy, just use the words “for study” or “repurpose” in your search. Or pick up something cheap at a thrift store that you don’t mind ruining. Like so many of the silver screen starlets of the day, her hair was bottle blonde and wavy. And if you’re really creative you could sew together a giant gorilla hand, stuff it, and wrap it around your waist!

Do you have any cool Halloween costume ideas based on tv and film characters?  Please share 🙂


By | 2014-10-13T10:05:44-04:00 October 13th, 2014|Fashion|Comments Off on Classic Dames of TV & Film Halloween Costume Ideas Part 2

About the Author:

Melody Fortier
Since the early 1990s I have been selling stylish, fine quality womens' vintage clothing and accessories at various venues, including the Sturbridge Textile Show and the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, as well as my own website Tangerine Boutique . I also love sharing my thoughts on vintage fashion on my blog A Vintage Ramble And my book The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping offers a wealth of information for people who are interested in buying, collecting and wearing vintage clothing. My background as a custom dress and hat maker led to my appreciation and love of vintage fashion. And my extensive experience as a custom clothier has given me a keen eye for spotting quality construction when sourcing my vintage inventory.