Halloween, as we know it in America, began gaining popularity in the early 1900's. It was during this time that dressing in costumes became a widespread tradition. However, the roots of this tradition date back 1000 years to Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain it was believed that the boundaries between the living and the dead were relaxed. In order to ward off evil spirits, many Celts would dress in masks and costumes. Now, when we think of Halloween costumes, a vampire is near the top of the list. Vampire costumes have been a standby for years and most usually resembled Bram Stoker's descriptions of Dracula. But times have changed and so has the vampire costume. |
Today, there is a wide spread obsession with vampires brought on by the "Twilight" series and TV shows like "True Blood". When people think of vampires these days, they often picture gorgeous men and beautiful women, a much sexier image than the creepy vampires of old. Today's vampires can even sparkle! You won't find male vamps in black capes, bow ties, and slicked back hair with a large widow's peak in the new generation of vampire costumes. Instead you'll find men with sexily tousled hair and golden eyes sporting blue button up shirts, gray wool jackets and jeans. For female blood suckers, no more long black dresses and scary Elvira style hair. Instead you'll find beauties dressed in everything from blue party dresses, to jeans, to black leggings topped with a print dress. In other words, normal, every day fashion. There are a lot of options for people who want to be a vampire for Halloween, but also want to look good doing it.
Of course there are people who scoff at this new breed of vampires and refuse to give in to the madness. For these people, the old vampire mainstays are still readily available. For the most traditional male vampire costume, all you need is black pants, a white button up shirt, a swirling black cape, and of course fangs. For the most traditional female vamp costume, a long black dress, preferably one with a tall upright collar, will suffice. If the traditional vampire costume is too simple for your taste, much fancier ones are available. Vampire costumes are typically mostly black with red accents and have some sort of flair to them whether it's a cape or a bit of lace and embroidery. Vampire costumes typically resemble the fashion of the late 1800's, which is of course, when Stoker's "Dracula" was written.
If you're undecided about whether to dress like the new trendily attired vampires, or the more traditional old fashioned vamps, you may want to consider a compromise. The Volturi featured in "Twilight" are sinister enough for any vampire lover. Their clothing consists of mostly black suits with a few red touches, and the ever popular black capes, complete with face shielding hoods.
Vampire costumes and accessories can easily be found at department stores, party supply stores and Halloween and Costume specialty stores. Or, if you're putting together your own vampire ensemble, check your own closet, or the local thrift store for an inexpensive alternative.
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