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Because Nobody Wants to End Up at Party City

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It happens to even the most Halloween-minded of us every year. You wait too long to start putting together the pieces of your costume, realize it's too late to order anything online, and end up spending more than five minutes (a.k.a. too much time) in one of those Halloween pop-up stores where there's a singing ghoul around every corner. If you're ordering anything, you should really do it yesterday, and this list of stores is a great place to start.

And next: Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn't, but Hillary Clinton's classic pantsuits have looked ever-so-slightly different this election season. Senior reporter Eliza Brooke dives into why, and what it means for other working women. —Stephanie Talmadge

Where to Buy a Not-Lame Halloween Costume Online
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Story by Rebecca Jennings

To all of you who will stand in front of your closets on October 31st and lament to your cat how none of the clothes you own will make for a passable Halloween costume, a PSA: The time to shop is now.

Not next weekend (when you tell yourself you are “totally, definitely going to make it to the party supply store”) or after work the following week (when you will most definitely will be too tired to do anything at all). It’s now.

And since Party City and Spirit Halloween won’t carry much more than pre-packaged, off-brand Harley Quinn costumes, here’s a handy list of online shops that cater to a much wider variety of Halloween partygoers. That includes all you beauty lovers, vintage hounds, DIY mask-makers, stage blood artists, lingerie enthusiasts, and finally, anyone who just wants to spend no more than $7 on a pair of animal ears.


What: Your first and most obvious stop. Asos has a huge corner of its website devoted to trendy Halloween costumes, accessories, beauty, and even home decor and party supplies. Best of all, many items come in extended sizes, including maternity, plus, petite, and tall.

A few really easy buys: the Mummy Print Sleep Tee ($33) and the Halloween Glow-in-the-Dark Dripping Blood Choker ($8.50).

Prices: Witchy dresses for $30 to $50; accessories for under $15; costume lipstick for $5; and headbands and ears under $25.

Shipping: Free delivery on orders over $40. Standard four-day shipping is $4; two-day shipping is $12. Delivers Monday through Friday.


What: For a Halloween costume that asks, “Am I wearing a costume or just a leopard-print dress with a headband that looks like ears? You decide!” there’s Topshop. That’s not an insult, by the way — maybe you just started a new job and you’re not sure if your coworkers will dress up. Or perhaps you’re going to a party where you don’t know a ton of people and don’t want to risk a terrifying zombie costume.

For those tricky (ha-ha) moments, the British retailer’s Halloween shop has festive tights, spooky press-on gems, and dresses that can theoretically pass as witch costumes but will still work well into November.

Prices: Dresses for $50 to $150; costume ears and lace masks for under $20; tights for $16; and shoes for $80 to $130.

Shipping: Free four-to-seven day shipping. Express shipping (up to three days) is $15.

Agent Provocateur

What: The lingerie brand’s “Halloween edit” includes things like boob-baring harnesses, pasties, and see-through robes. (Which are all, perhaps, best to wear underneath or on top of your Halloween costume, and not as, you know, the entire thing.) But there are also a few slightly more modest — though still expensive — options, like this leopard-print catsuit ($675) and curtain mask ($335).

Prices: Bodysuits for $675; pasties for $165; corsets for $500 to $1,200; masks for $335; stockings for $45 to $85; and body chains for $675.

Shipping: Two-to-three day delivery is $20, and next-day delivery is $40.


What: Take a look around Modcloth’s extensive Halloween collection, which includes everything from macabre cocktail shakers to bat-shaped balloons.

The real costume inspiration, though, comes from its regular selection of retro-inspired clothing and accessories, helpfully categorized by decade. Whether you’re going as Josephine Baker or Joan Holloway, there’s a dress for you somewhere on the site.

Prices: Vintage-inspired dresses for $60 to $150; Halloween tights for under $15.

Shipping: Four-to-nine day shipping is $6 (or free for orders over $75), while two-to-five day shipping is $8. Two-to-three day shipping is $14, and overnight shipping is $21. For full details, head here.

Spanish Moss

Online vintage boutique Spanish Moss carries high-quality pieces spanning the Victorian era to the 1990s, for the type of party where you’re probably doing more casual sitting than reckless dancing. It’s also the kind of place where you’ll find pieces that when de-Halloweened, you can wear to the office the very next day.

The costume gold mine can be found in its selection of ‘60s and ‘70s dresses, robes, and vests. Check out the floral Enchantress Dress ($248) and the fringed Temecula Dress ($248).

Prices: Vintage dresses and rompers for $60 to $300; headscarves for $30 to $80; kimonos for $150 to $200.

Shipping: Free two-to-four day shipping.


What: NYC beauty chain Ricky’s is the move for Halloween makeup. Ricky’s carries a wide selection of stage makeup that includes liquid latex, false eyelashes, temporary hair dye, lip glitter, fake blood — even things like tooth colors and a palette specifically designed to create realistic bruises. It’s the creepiest online beauty stop out there.

Prices: Temporary hair dye for under $10; lipstick for under $15; and stage makeup for under $10.

Shipping: Free same-day in-store pickup, plus free domestic ground shipping on orders that are $50 or more. Ground shipping is $6; three-day shipping is $6.71; two-day shipping is $10.06; and one-day shipping is $15.47.

See our full list here >>
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Hillary Clinton's Classic Pantsuits Got a Modern Upgrade
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Last time around, Hillary Clinton wore a lot of blazers.

Suit jackets with notched lapels, matching trousers, a crewneck shirt, and a beaded necklace formed Clinton's go-to outfit during her presidential campaign in 2008. Often, Clinton chose serious, muted colors like navy, black, and olive, though she wasn't afraid to tap into the rainbow shades she's been known to favor, especially after her run for office ended. There's a Getty photo dated August 26th, 2008 that shows a pair of men standing on the stage of the Democratic National Convention, holding up two blazers apiece — red, tangerine, pale teal, and a calm light blue — to determine which color would look best under the lights when Clinton gave a speech in support of her party's nominee, Barack Obama.

She chose orange, and that evening gave a shoutout to her supporters, her "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits."

Clinton, patron saint of the pantsuit, still wears those blazers today, but in this year's presidential campaign, her wardrobe has expanded in a different direction. You no doubt recognize the look, though it's best described as a wide set of parameters: a tailored, lapel-less jacket that falls below the hips but above the knees, that may have a collar — which may stand upright — or may not, in the vein of a classic Chanel suit. Tailored trousers and low heels are the standard.

Pantsuit 2.0, as we'll call it for the sake of clarity, isn't really a new look for Clinton. She wore styles that could be lumped into the category during her 2008 campaign and her subsequent tenure as Secretary of State. (There's only so much you can do with a structured jacket and pant, and Clinton has had a long career.) Based on frequency of use, though, Pantsuit 2.0 is very much a hallmark of Clinton's 2016.

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