When it comes to Halloween, there are those who plan their costumes months in advance, and there are those who leave their decision-making for the night before the spooky holiday. Even those who plan, however, can get caught unprepared—whether you’re invited to an additional party or your office decides to wear costumes to work—with no costume on hand. In fact, it’s likely we’ve all been there: It's two nights before Halloween, and you're invited to a last-minute party. It's too late to run to the costume store, so you're forced to make do what you have in your wardrobe. There's one item we all have hanging in our closets that is not only an everyday wardrobe staple but also conveniently lends itself to many a costume: a black dress.
Little inspiration is needed to quickly transform into some of the most iconic women and characters of our day. Whether you're hoping to look feminine and feisty à la Victoria Beckham, queen of posh, channel your inner witch per Wednesday Addams, or become a veritable fashion icon like the Olsen sisters, your black dress is a versatile Halloween superpower.
Scroll through to find 10 easy Halloween costumes with black dresses, from starlets to literary characters, singers and more—and never be caught unprepared for Halloween again.
Truthfully, I'll take any excuse to dress up as the fabulous and stylish Holly Golightly. I don't even need it to be Halloween, though that makes it extremely convenient.
Cruella De Vil is the perfect way to showcase both sides of you—good and evil. Plus, she was a style icon in her own right.
Take a swan but make it fashion. The Black Swan is equal parts dark and ghoulish—perfect for Halloween.
... or Victoria Beckham, whichever you prefer. Whatever you call her, you can't deny one thing: She has remained a fashion icon since her days in the Spice Girls.
Powerful and strong, Catwoman is an icon and a fun twist on a typical black dress costume. Halle Berry does it right.
Amy Winehouse is visually represented by three key items: her luscious black locks, her winged eyeliner, and her tight black dresses. Take these three ingredients and you have an iconic Halloween costume recipe.
The Olsen sisters dress permanently in black, which is essentially my ideal wardrobe. They also make for a fairly easy Halloween costume.
"I'm not perky," says Wednesday Addams, my icon not just on Halloween but in real life too.
I have been sucked in a Downton Abbey spiral and am quite certain I am living in the wrong century. A flapper costume on Halloween is my chance to right this wrong.
Grab a blonde wig, a swipe of red lipstick and a tight black body-con dress and you'll look like you've been hanging out with John Travolta all night.
Looking for more easy Halloween costume inspiration? Try these costumes based on your favorite literary characters.