Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you can’t look slick. The big day is just around the corner, and if you still haven’t settled on a costume you’re in luck. All you need is a dark suit and a few props, and you’ll be breaking away from the masses of pork-pied Heisenbergs and vertical-striped Robin Thicke’s in no time.
We’ve all seen our fair share of Men in Black costumes, and the Blues Brothers are timeless, but here are seven more suit-and-tie-based costume ideas that’ll keep you looking frighteningly sharp. And maybe even a little creepier than usual.
1. The Silence (Doctor Who)
Silence will fall! Far more nightmarish than Doctor Who’s usual cast of villains, The Silence are easily among the creepiest creatures around. Their startling power comes from the fact that as soon as you look away, you forget you ever saw them. Creator Steven Moffat looked to combine elements of Men in Black with Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, and the result speaks for itself. Also, they’re very snappy dressers, for a malicious race of puppet-master aliens. Scaring children will be as simple as a fitted suit topped with a mask so cool you’ll be looking for reasons to wear it year round. Sci-fi Christmas party? Yes, please.
2. The Gentlemen (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has faced off against some pretty ugly mugs, but none more memorable than The Gentlemen. These silent, yet eerily happy heart-snatchers stole the voices of everyone in Sunnydale, in Buffy’s fan-favorite, mostly silent episode, “Hush.” Like a ghoulish cross between John Waters and Mr. Burns, they hovered around town—being very polite to each other—looking for the seven hearts they needed to stay alive. They’re so spooky, they even have their own weird lullaby sung by a little girl. So suit up and start wringing your hands in malicious anticipation because this Halloween will be five by five.
3. The Tall Man
Very few movie villains are as profoundly creepy as Phantasm’s Tall Man. He’s a mortician with a bladed sphere that zips through vaulted mausoleum halls, ultimately spouting blood from your head like a tapped keg. So, you see, the mental scars just kind of write themselves. This costume, however, will be made or defeated with your ability to make a convincing bladed orb. A gray wig and a carefully sculpted wad of tinfoil might do the trick, but if you’re serious about it—and why shouldn’t you be?—you can totally pick up a replica on eBay.
4. Hipster Wolfman (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
This one may be a little esoteric, but keeping people guessing is half the fun. The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s 2009 video for “Heads Will Roll” featured a skinny-tied werewolf cutting one hell of a rug… before he goes on a murderous rampage. The wolf mask, some sparkly red shoes and the skinniest tie you can find is all it takes. But, be forewarned, those who do recognize you will expect you to dance.
5. Tuxedo Mask (Sailor Moon)
Based on the popular manga series, this one is big in Japan. Admittedly, a tux is a bit harder to come by, but that’s why there are second hand stores. The top hat might be tricky too, because let’s face it, unless you’re some kind of flashy/eccentric/old timey lawyer, you don’t just have one laying around. Of course a nice top hat might just be a good investment for Halloweens to come—you could be Slash, a hansom cab driver or a generic Victorian-era villain. And just think of the satisfaction when you’re out on the town and you bump into a Sailor Moon. Might be worth it.
6. The Observer (Fringe)
Breaking form, we’re talking dark gray suits here. Fringe’s hairless fedora-topped watcher pops up in just about every episode of the show. This costume is so easy it kind of feels like cheating. You could pop into the costume shop for a bald cap, but that doesn’t eliminate those pesky eyebrows. Show some real commitment by fully shaving head and brow, and you certainly won’t be mistaken for Don Draper. Yes, you’ll get some sideways glances come November 1, but it’s a moral victory.
7. The Spirit (The Spirit)
Though Will Eisner’s creation from the ‘40s tended toward a dark blue suit, Frank Miller opted for an all black ensemble in his 2008 movie. All you really need is a bandit mask and a tie—it sure as hell better be red!—to embody this never-stays-dead pulp hero. Extra points if you get a fur-clad buddy to be The Octopus. Automatic win if he has egg on his face.