What to wear for the Halloween Ball?

Thought about your costume for our London speakeasy Halloween Ball yet? The party set in the 1920s loved a fancy-dress bash, but they didn't seem to go for gore, bandages and open wounds. If fashion illustrations are to be believed they preferred to retain their elegance by adapting the normal evening wear of the time with motifs of cats, bats, pumpkins or witches. And a cat or pumpkin on a stick, by the looks of if. These images are from a 1920s catalogue, which suggests making a sort of decorated paper tabard that has the advantage that it can be worn over a normal business suit—so clearly they weren’t expecting the men to make much of an effort. Though I particularly like the chap who clearly feels the most hellish thing he can do is play the banjo.


Then there were traditional costume characters like Pierrot and Harlequin, plus devils and witches, and pirates by the looks of it.

The illustrations above are general fancy dress ideas, though one woman in the second image has come as “Halloween” and the third one features a witch, a moth and spider web costume. I’ve included the first one simply because I love the fact that the man top left has come as Radio (an exciting novelty at the time) and, best of all, the clownish character bottom right as come as “Jazz Music”.


And if you think that spider woman costume looks impractical here are some real ones

To show you what people have actually worn to our Halloween parties I’ll add a selection of photos from previous events below.