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6 Retro Halloween Costumes for Baby Boomer Women Over 40 or 50

sexy halloween costumes for older women

by Christina Gregoire

It's easy to come up with your own sexy Halloween costume or to tweak a cute, ready-made retro outfit and make it your own.  Just use your imagination and let your mind travel back in time. 

read about fun retro costumes you'll love

Rockabilly Pinup, Cyn Elena Flickr CC

If you're a Baby Boomer, you've probably lived through these vintage styles the first time around or had an older cousin who did.  Here are some of my favorite retro costumes.

1. 50's Rockabilly Costume

Lots of women conjure up poodle skirts when they think of 1950's outfits. However, poodle skirts and saddle shoes look dorky to me.  If that's your thing, knock yourself out.  However, retro Rockabilly is much sexier and way more flattering.  C'mon... does anyone outside of Japan look hip in saddle shoes?

And, you can wear a retro polka-dot dress (or a similar rockabilly dress) out clubbing or on vacay, so think of this dress is an investment.  To make your own costume, look for fabric with cherries, polka dots, roses, or hearts. If you prefer leopard or sailor-tattoo prints, Rockabilly Punk is a more current incarnation.  Just add temporary tattoos and play some Stray Cats. (Rockabilly is best on hourglass figures. Pear shapes can work it, too.)

Accessories for Rockabilly Costumes

You can make or find additional accessories to give your costume more authenticity if you have the time or the money.  As with all of these costumes, you don't have to wear everything on the list... just enough so people don't have to ask what you are.

Rockabilly looks best on women with smallish waists, but if you can sew, you can pull it off.  Or, try a skirt instead of a dress.

  • Rockabilly Scarf Headband: Pull your hair back with a scarf or tie a scarf around your neck like Sandy in Grease.
  • Rockabilly ShoesThere are lots of cute shoes online. For a cheaper fix, find some old pumps and glitter-spray them to match your dress.  If you're too old to rock-n-roll in heels, get flat maryjanes or used ballet flats and tart them up with bows and kitschy doodads.
  • PetticoatIf you were born in the 50's, you'll remember wearing itchy tulle petticoats under your dresses as a child.  However, it's much sexier to let your petticoat peek out from under your skirt.
  • Rockabilly Button Earrings: Cover old earrings with fabric or buy something inexpensive at Etsy.
  • Rockabilly Wig: I like dark hair with short bangs for this look, but you can wear your own hair.

    cute costume ideas (article)

    Jackie Kennedy Costume, Jason Wu Flickr CC

  • Red Lipstick.
  • Bring Elvis.

2. 1960's Jackie Kennedy Costume

Now, this is a decade I know.

The First Lady Costume (in the link above) includes the jacket, the coat, and the hat for under $30.  Stand up straight and stay away from anything other than champagne... and, throw a lot of French phrases around.  Complete your look with accessories, so partiers will know you're not a drunken stewardess from a time warp:

3. 1960's Mod Retro Outfit

Buy or make a cheap, Carnaby-Streetish, straight or flared, shift type of dress (think Goldie Hawn on Laugh-in or Mary Quant in London)... or buy a new mod dress that you can wear later.  Your hairstyle should be stick straight (remember ironing your hair) or in a straight bob or a flip.

read about halloween costumes

Twiggy Drawing, Failuresque Flickr cc

Do not flash peace signs when wearing your mod costume... no matter what you see online. Peace signs and V-fingers did not show up until later in the decade, when the antiwar, hippie movement began.  (Mod fashion looks best on women with flat-chested or boy-shaped bodies... but you can pull this off even if you're curvy.)

Accessories for a Mod Costume:

4. 60's Hippie Girl Costume

Want to know how to dress like a flower-child hippie?  This is my specialty.

hippie costume easiest of all... but do it right (article)

Hippie Janis Joplin, Portland Center Stage Flickr cc

Pulling together a hippie costume is easy because there are so many options.  You don't need to spend much money to get a boho hippie look.  If you're skinnyish, wear the biggest bell bottoms (jeans or pants) you can find.  If you're heavier, you'll be more comfortable in a long maxi dress. This is one of my favorite costumes because many of the "costume" pieces can be worn later.

Hippie Accessories

If you have ANY boho tendencies, you should be able to find most of these accoutrements in your closet or at a thrift store.

The most important thing is the long hair, so you might need to purchase an inexpensive wig at Target or Walmart. I you're wearing your own hair, you could just frizz it out by curling it with bobby pins or by using a crimping iron.  If your hair is too thin for frizzing, you should wear a floppy hat.

  • Hippie Headband (or scarf)
  • Beads: The more the merrier... get seed beads or wooden beads. (not too many plastic beads, no debutante round pearls.)
  • Round Hippie Glasses (unisex, John Lennon, Janis Joplin)
  • Large Hoop or Chandelier Earrings
  • Flat Sandals or Moccassins: Or, just go barefoot.
  • No Makeup: You can wear foundation, but wear it on your lips as well, with no other lipstick or gloss.

Since "real" hippies often made their own clothes and they improvised, this is one of the fastest, cheapest costumes you can come up with at the last minute.  You can go as authentic or as cornball as you want.

Some version of this "costume" will look good on any body type, so consider buying real clothing rather than Halloween fancy-dress clothing.  And, the peace sign is totally groovy with this outfit.

fun retro costume article

Disco Costume, gwilmore3 Flickr cc

5. 70's Disco Queen

I'm sure you all remember this costume, but I'll refresh your memory with a few concepts that I recall from my disco days.  Only hookers wore mini dresses during this era, as minis were out of style.  Most jumpsuits had halter tops, but remember that jumpsuits are not as easy to fit as pants and a top or a disco dress.  If you need sleeves, look for something like this polyester disco outfit.  And, I don't care what you see online... no peace signs.

Disco Accessories for Women

  • * Platform Shoes: It's not disco if it doesn't have a platform.  I won't let you wear your costume out of the house if you're too old to wear platform heels
  • * Rhinestone Necklaces: All flash and no cash.  Wear goldtone jewelry when possible.  Any large earrings are fine.
  • * Disco Wig: You don't have to be blonde, but hair with "wings" is the iconic look.  An afro (in any color) is a good alternative.  And, if you don't have big hair, sew some sequins onto a beret.

6. 80's Early Madonna Costume

see how to become madonna

Madonna Costume, Wikipedia

It's not too difficult to become a Madonna Wannabe.  You'll need to have some of the right accessories or people will think you're just wearing your regular party clothes.  Here are some ideas.

Well, these are my favorite retro outfits.  The more time and imagination you have, the less money you'll need.  The less time you have, the more you'll need a wig.  However, you don't need to wear everything on each list... just wear enough to help people guess who you are.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:

Holiday Party Dresses: Christmas Red Not Only Choice

Boho Chic Hippie Clothes: Plus Size Maxi Dresses

23 Trendy Plus Size Clothing Sites for Large Women Sizes 1x - 12x

Steampunk Fashion for Women Over 40 or 50

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. Halloween Costumes for the Over 50 Crowd « Dalai-Nana

    [...] I was looking for some good costume ideas and found this great blog post by Boomerinas  site. [...]

  2. Garry Wilmore

    I approve your use of my picture for this article, as that is among the best forms of flattery. But thank you for asking anyway. :-)

  3. » Halloween Costumes for the Over 50 Crowd The Dalai-Nana

    [...] I was looking for some good costume ideas and found this great blog post by Boomerinas  site. [...]

  4. Tina

    Hi, I read your article on the subject of Halloween costumes for Baby Boomer women. You are right. I will add the Mad Men costume and, maybe, the Mother Nature costume. Thanks for your comment. I will check out your site. Those are great ideas that you mentioned..
    Tina Boomerina

  5. Delores

    I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for.

    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a great day. Bye

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