Haunt Couture: Halloween is a College Student’s Met Gala

October 23, 2023

Graphic by Lucy Leydon

Corsets, headpieces, and glitter — oh my! Every college student knows that Halloween is the most important holiday of the year, similar to the first Monday in May, which we know to be the Met Gala. Halloween 2023 is all about couture; you get one night to be anyone or anything, so you better make it count. Here are some costume ideas for your spooky lookbook...  

Let them eat cake

There is no better way to serve this holiday than dressing up as the ill-fated French queen, Marie Antoinette. If you think any differently, it is off with your head! This costume will have everyone’s jaws on the floor, whether you are attending a frat event in West Campus, bar hopping on 6th Street, or at a North Campus apartment party. The inspiration for this ensemble is Moschino’s Fall 2020 Marie Antoinette-inspired line, which included Victorian patterns, vintage silhouettes, and lots of cake.

First things first, no couture French queen costume is complete without a wig. Find a pastel-colored wig that adds at least two feet to your height, then add little clips and brooches to dazzle it up. For the glam, opt for a blanket of white powder all over your face, some pink rouge on the cheeks, a bit of mascara, and some faux beauty marks. This costume is synonymous with feathers, jewels, and gâteau. Dress yourself in a way that represents the popularity of bustles and petticoats during Antoinette’s reign. Whether this means a corset, skirt, or dress, is up to your creativity. Remain within the color scheme of pastels. Frost yourself with any and all things that sparkle. Statement earrings, chunky pearl necklaces, diamond icey bracelets — whatever floats your boat.

Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake,” and you will eat up Halloween in this costume.

Graphic by Lucy Leydon

A Whopping McDuo

Next up on the roster is a whopping McDuo: Ronald McDonald and Burger Queen. Halloween is synonymous with creativity, and if there were ever a time to make Ronald McDonald chic, this would be it. Start with some Ronald McDonald makeup, but make it sophisticated using face paint, geometric eyeliner, and tons of red lipstick. Even colored eye contacts could add to this glam. Make it as scary or as cutesy as you please, either way, it will be a McSlay. Then, comes the arts and crafts portion: put together a red corset top with the infamous yellow ‘M’ shaping the sweetheart neckline. Make sure to finish this couture look with a pair of extremely high-rise striped socks — Ronald McDonald is nothing without his stripes.

The theme of this Halloween is transforming into the highest version of yourself, your ultra-ego if you will. Whether that means a Burger Queen or a Burger King is up to you. Begin building this look with a crown, duh! Burger Queen/King screams gold, so any whopping gold cuff, choker, or accessory you can dig up will pair perfectly with this ensemble. Corsets are all the rage this season — DIY your corset with a graphic of the notorious double whopper on the front. You are royalty for the night. As the queen, Paris Hilton, once declared “mini-skirts should be the size of a belt,” so you better follow suit. Ensure your color scheme remains within Burger King’s signature brown, red, orange, and gold.

These à la mode costumes are best served with a side of fries… You Rule, and I’m Lovin’ It!

Gaga ooh la la

In the words of Lady Gaga, Hello hello baby you called I can’t hear a thing. I have got no service in the club you see, see. You can’t properly do Halloween without an ode to Miss Gaga and her spectacular 2009 hit, Telephone. There is not much left to the imagination with this costume — just search up the nine-minute and 30-second cinematic experience that Lady Gaga calls a music video, and there you have it.

The Coca-Cola cans in the hair are crucial to this look, no matter how many bobby pins it takes. The prison-chic makeup calls for smokey, dark wings for days. Repeat after me: S-T-U-D-S. Studded leather jacket, studded bra, and studded underwear. Finalize this get-up with some fishnet tights and black stiletto boots. If you want to make this costume a dope duo or even a trendy trio to include your besties, look no further than other spots in the Telephone music video for inspiration.

While you’re rocking Coca-Cola cans in your hair, your friend can do damage in Gaga’s look from earlier in the music video: cigarette glasses, a messy bun, a black studded leotard, and silver chains all over. This is a DIY ensemble. First glue some cigarettes to the chunkiest pair of black sunglasses you can find, then use that glue again to adhere some studs to a black leotard, and then wrap silver chains all over your body, and voila!

If you want to add a third, Gaga’s caution tape ensemble would be the perfect addition. This costume calls for a trip to Home Depot and the highest black platform boots you can find. Wrap the caution tape strategically, to avoid slips of any vulnerable areas, and you will be good to go. Now, like Gaga says, stop calling me, I'm kinda busy!

Halloween, yes, is a silly holiday for college students to get all dressed up and party. But it is also a night to make a statement, in the fashion or rhetorical sense. Put yourself in someone else's shoes this haunted season, and make the night your very own Met Gala! ■

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