halloween

How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

From classic costumes to get-ups to get with the zeitgeist, these are the best characters to dress as this October 31st

For all the jump scares and cheap masks, Halloween can be a fun date to mark in your calendar. Cinemas and streaming services pack their schedules with horror classics, many bars offer up spooky limited edition cocktail menus and, if you’ve got a soft spot for a pumpkin risotto, you’re quids in come November 1st.

But, as an adult, it can be a hard holiday to navigate. Unlike the Americans, our offices don’t descend into dens of fancy dress, and we’re too far out of university to return to the fresher-style celebrations of on-the-cheap costumes and lots of punchy punch. Halloween these days can feel more time-consuming than spine-chilling.

So, if you’re looking to bring the fun back to this spooky, sinister day — why not go for a suitably gentlemanly outfit? Below, we’ve rounded up five possible costumes — made up from quality garments you can wear again once the full moon passes…

Channel your inner American Psycho

halloween

Turn up your Huey Lewis and the News! Is there anyone more unnervingly cool than Patrick Bateman, the anti-hero of American Psycho played to perfection by Christian Bale? Why don’t you channel your inner unhinged investment banker this Halloween, and resurrect the best costume of the early 2000s?

Look to Turnbull & Asser for a Wall Street-worthy, contrast collar shirt. Pair with braces, such as these from Favourbrook, and a pinstripe suit. Then, double-Windsor a Rubinacci tie, step your whole get-up into a forensic plastic suit and scoop up a — preferably fake — axe. Oh, and don’t forget your business cards

How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Turnbull & Asser Slim-Fit Striped Shirt

£245

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Favourbrook Pickwick Silk-Jacquard Braces

£160

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Rubinacci Printed Silk-Twill Tie

£170

Buy Now

Bring the laughs as Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

Alternatively, bring your Halloween costume bang up to date, and dive into the zeitgeist with a take on Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. The film is still taking money and breaking records at the box office, so have a crack at this one while the celluloid is hot.

Pick up a dark green shirt, such as this versatile corduroy option from Paul Smith, that’ll keep you warm during any late night Halloween antics. Throw on a yellow waistcoat — think Favourbrook — and save it for next year’s summer weddings. And finally, the red suit. Don’t go as bold as Phoenix’s; you won’t be able to wear that again. Instead, turn to Richard James, and its sophisticated burgundy option. And then, just put on a happy face…

How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Paul Smith Slim-Fit Corduroy Shirt

£150

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Richard James Seishin Suit

£995

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Sir Plus Yellow Single Breasted Waistcoat

£115

Buy Now

In Spectre, James Bond had a license to chill

james bond spectre

007’s Day of the Dead costume, worn during the incredible ‘single take’ opening sequence of 2015’s Spectre, spawned a number of Halloween costumes the following year. And, while the occasion itself is more of a celebration, there’s something undeniably spooky about dressing up like a skeleton.

As such, after you’ve bought your top hat from renowned hatter Lock & Co, and buttoned up one of Emma Willis’ finest black shirts, you should turn your attention to decorating a longcoat and tie with chalk paint. Of course, the finest part of the outfit is the mask — and, luckily, you can buy the licensed product from the 007 store.

How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Day of the Dead Skull Mask

£349

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Emma Willis Black Cotton Shirt

£290

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Lock & Co Town Shell Top Hat

£395

Buy Now

If you’ve left it too late, you can still shine as Jack Torrance

Another timely callback, The Shining’s Jack Torrance was undeniably the creepiest villain Jack Nicholson ever played — and this is a man who took a swing at playing the Joker himself. With Doctor Sleep, the long awaited sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s original film, in cinemas just in time for Halloween, Torrance is the ideal candidate for a costume.

Plus, it’s a fairly simple one. Throw on a checked Oliver Spencer shirt, and pull on a red blouson jacket, like this one from Ralph Lauren, over that. Next up, lace your winter boots, mess up your hair with some of Blind Barber’s most effective sea salt spray, and scoop up the axe you have lying around from last year’s American Psycho costume.

How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Ralph Lauren Cotton Blouson Jacket

£155

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Oliver Spencer Aston Shirt

£129

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Blind Barber 40 Proof Sea Salt Spray

£16

Buy Now

Wind up A Clockwork Orange costume

clockwork orange

Another dip into the bloodthirsty back catalogue of Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange features a whole host of characters crying out to have their costumes copied. But, best of all is surely Malcolm McDowell’s Alex — the well-dressed and unbalanced leader of the droogs.

In almost all white, his look is topped off with a bowler hat — this one from Lock & Co is the perfect stand-in. To mimic the rest of his monochromatic style, grab some Loro Piana jeans and a shirt from Emma Willis. Favourbrook do a pair of plain white braces and then all you need is a sinister cane and a glass of milk-plus.

How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Emma Willis White Slim-Fit Shirt

£240

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Loro Piana Slim-Fit White Jeans

£435

Buy Now
How to do Halloween as an adult — and a gentleman…

Lock & Co Bowler Hat

£425

Buy Now

Looking for some more scares this October? Check out the best horror films streaming now…

Further Reading