I LOVE this idea. Almost to the point of scrapping my planned weekend-before-Halloween costume and going with this instead. To really get the look, wear only black, white, and shades of gray. The more vintage or antique looking your dress is (lace, pleats, etc!) the more reminiscent of the silent film era you'll be. Gray tights are better than fishnets because they don't let your skin show through. Wear vintage-inspired shoes---look for details like t-straps. Accessorize with a vintage fascinator in your hair and elbow-length gloves. Cover any exposed skin in white makeup. Use different tones of gray eyeliner in lieu of your blush. Wear a black wig or spray your hair with temporary black color if you don't have very dark hair. Go heavy on the black eyeliner and mascara, making your eyes as dramatic as possible. And don't forget the black lipstick and pearls!
Another personal fave that I've toyed around with dressing up as over the years is a Roy Lichtenstein illustration girl. Straight out of his comic-style, colorful, emotional illustrations... the key to successfully pulling off this look is: polka dots! It's not the color-matching that matters. In fact, the more colorful... the better. Polka dotted dress, cardigan, belt, tights, shoes, purse, jewelry... and then draw polka dots all over your exposed skin. Line your lips and eyebrows with a black eye pencil for that comic-like definition. A caption attached to your face (with some legit Lichtenstein words) is a perfect finishing touch!
For those of you looking to make a political statement (or just get a laugh), I couldn't resist sharing this current, clever costume. There are many ways to dress up as a "Binder full of Women"... but I think if I were to choose, I'd wear a very business-like suit, conservative heels, and big black glasses. A swipe of understated lipstick would do just the trick. And then there'd be no other way to go than a Lisa Frank style binder. Decorate two pieces of cardboard, attach them with a third piece to create a "spine," and then go crazy with the colorful, ultra-girly, glittery doodles of dolphins, huge-eyed kittens, and unicorns. This costume is sure to get you attention.
Lastly, we have the classic but timeless Rosie the Riveter. This low-key, almost-to-easy costume really only requires a blue collared shirt, polka dotted red bandana/scarf, muscle, and can-do attitude. I imagine Rosie in a pair of high-waisted blue jeans, work boots, and never without a tube of red lipstick. ;)
What other super clever or creative costumes have you seen on previous Halloweens? And what are you going as this year?!