Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Costume Couture

The Dilemma: You're invited to a Halloween costume party. Being a little bit the fashionista, you would like to look cute and trendy, but possess zero sewing skills. Your choices currently consist of: A) squeezing into a pre-packaged outfit and hoping for the best, B) grabbing jeans and a t-shirt and going as a college kid/un-morphed Power Ranger, or C) feigning sick for the third year in a row, popping in a DVD of Young Frankenstein and eating all of the Halloween candy before the trick or treaters show up (do not judge me).

Well, now you have option D) hie thee to a Hot Topic.

Long the sartorial hangout of the emo crowd (even to the point of giving us the descriptor, "Hot Topic Kid"), Hot Topic is at the epicenter of the Goth fashion trend. So, yes, it makes perfect sense that they would stock Halloween costumes. There's even a costume guide on their website, in case you need a little inspiration. What's new (to me, anyway) is the "Halloween Couture" area of the site.

What is "Halloween Couture"? Well, it's a collection of higher-end (not super expensive, but slightly pricier and better made) individual pieces that can be worn alone or combined for an original, personalized, Halloween look. These are not your typical superhero corsets or fairy wings, either. We're talking satin dresses, floor length tulle-over-pleather skirts, and some surprisingly intricate detailing. For example: the Black Steampunk Jacket ($64) features corset styling with bronze grommets, a flattering keyhole cutaway between the bottom of the high-collar neckline/sleeve section and the top of the corset bodice, a lace-up back, and buckle detailing at the cuffs. A tulle mini skirt ($42.50) showcases lace-up detailing around the waist, with long grommet embellished straps dangling down to the knees. Paired together, you have a punky, Tim Burton-esque creation (think: Female Edward Scissorhands).

Before you balk at the price, let me add that a few dresses and several of the tops in the collection could be repurposed under blazers for office settings, so you're not necessarily just buying a Halloween costume. Shorter skirts could be accessorized with boots and tights for a fun weekend look, as well.

Now, obviously, not everything in the collection is a winner. There are a couple of stretch satin tops that don't even flatter the perfect bodies of their models. Also, there are two stretch cotton halter dresses that, while simply precious, appear ill-fitting in the photos. I'm not sure if it's poor design, or merely a matter of the stylist needing to go up a size. Still and all, it's an impressive collection that can fill both costume and regular wardrobe requirements. If pre-packaged isn't cutting it for you, give this site a go.

Photo Credits (All): Hot Topic

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