Looking through vintage Halloween photos, the aesthetic varies wildly from nightmare-inducing terror to pin-up skimpy to lavish glamour full of chiffon and sparkles.
While they all have their place on the Halloween dance floor, the latter is where I really want to focus my attention. Draping my body head-to-toe in sheer organza silk, pulling out (and wearing) every piece of costume jewelry that I own, rocking a stunning bodysuit, throwing on a pair of pumps and teetering out the door? Yeah, sounds like the kind of holiday I could get excited about.
Many of these retro costumes are inspired by the simple beauty of nature with small winged insects or taking traditionally unpleasant creatures and making them elegant and alluring (bats and spiders, for example). Likely you could pull together many of these costumes with items you already have in your closet.
The foundation for most pieces will be a basic bodysuit. Something like Stella McCartney's Ally Indulging bodysuit is the right level of elevated elegance that would perfectly suit these types of vintage costumes. Something like the Diana Bodysuit by Mila Krasna could work too - it has interesting cut-outs along the bodice and sleeves, but it covers all the right spots so you don't have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction during the evening.
Once you have a bodysuit, all that's left is to envelop yourself in a sheer garment (bonus points if it flows along the length of your arms and becomes wings)!
Final details include an ornate headdress depending on what insect or animal you're portraying. Fishnet stockings add an interesting layer and a bit of texture to the overall look and a little lace eye mask for a bit of mystery. And there you have it! Easy peasy and oh-so-glamorous!