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Your little black dress is the easiest answer to a Halloween costume, especially since you have probably worn it before and already feel so comfortable in it. And while a breezy white dress connotes summertime, LBDs help us usher in fall, so there’s no better reason to construct your entire low-effort Halloween costume around a black dress.
All of the costume ideas ahead start with a black dress, even if they do require some extra layering, involved face makeup, a wig, or additional accessories. Though some beg for a specific style (think a crisp white collar à la Beth Harmon in “The Queen’s Gambit” or a full, flutter-sleeved design to achieve a bat), plenty of these creatures and characters can be pulled off with the simplest of sheaths, whether yours is formfitting or loose, long or short.
Ahead, see how Instagram users and content creators worked a lace-trimmed mini into Karen from “Mean Girls,” a fringed silhouette into a ’20s flapper with elbow-length gloves and a knotted strand of ivory pearls, a floor-sweeping maxi into a dead bride, and a velvet, off-the-shoulder skater dress into a cat.
And, if you feel like you may need to refresh the LBD section of your wardrobe, scope out some of our favorite affordable iterations on the market now from the likes of Amazon, Nordstrom, and Abercrombie & Fitch that apply specifically to the Halloween costumes we curated here, from Maleficent and Bellatrix Lestrange to simpler, more nostalgic DIY Halloween costumes, such as a Beanie Baby, which wouldn’t be complete without a makeshift Ty tag.
Shop a handful of black dresses ahead, and keep scrolling for Halloween costumes you can build around them.
— Additional reporting by Stephanie Steiner-Otoos and Samantha Sutton