Six Non-Cliché Costumes for Theme Parties
Western / Cowboys & Indians
Everyone else will go the obvious route in denim, so pick a bandana-print dress instead. Then accessorize with things you can work into Isabel Marant-y outfits later on, like turquoise jewelry and a simple concho belt.
Belted skater dress in bandana print, $69.08, band of gypsies, Asos.com; silver and turquoise rings, $27.27, river island, Asos.com; concho-buckle carved belt, $250, Ralph Lauren, Bergdorfgoodman.com
'70s / Disco
Sparkly disco ball-ish dresses and psychedelic colors will be everywhere, so stand out in a black jumpsuit and an oversize pendant instead. The clingy fabric and plunging neckline are sexier than a minidress anyway.
Black surplice jumpsuit, $395, Tracyreese.com; 22-karat-gold-plated cabochon necklace, $100, Kenneth Jay Lane, Net-a-porter.com
It's got the novelty sweater thing covered, but can layer pretty discreetly underneath a winter jacket on non-ugly-sweater days.
Leopard sweater, $335, Openingceremony.us
Mad Men / '60s
Do Betty on a picnic instead of Betty at a cocktail party like everyone else. (Really, how often would you wear that tea-length tulle dress to work anyway?)
"Danny" cropped check-print pants, $248, Steven Alan, Saks.com; "Diem" tie front blouse, $184, equipment, Shopbop.com
'20s / Great Gatsby
Choose a drop-waist dress instead of a fringed flapper one plucked from a plastic bag at Party City, and you'll actually wear it again—not at theme parties.
"Sparkle hour" dress, $398, Frenchconnection.com; "Veronique" washed silk dress, $298, Rugby.com
White Party / Toga Party
It's the only toga costume you can actually go out to dinner while wearing, and it doubles for white parties too. (They have those outside of Gossip Girl, yes?)
Grecian dress, $350, l'agence, Barneys.com