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What goes with what

Four actually stylish Halloween outfits

Four actually stylish Halloween outfits

For most men, Halloween is scary for reasons other than ghosts and ghouls. Costumes tend to go one of two ways: you leave it until the last minute then ruin a sweatshirt with scissors to become an underwhelming zombie; or you go all-in and spend the party unable to bend your arms to drink, because your robot costume is too accurate.

But there is a third path – take inspiration from film characters who actually look stylish. “It’s good for your look on the night and your wallet,” says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. “Because once you lose the props, your ‘costume’ is just clothes that you can wear any day of the year.” Just try not to get fake blood on anything.

Travis Bickle

The costume: Utility jacket, check shirt, aviator sunglasses, combat boots

The prop: Mohican or revolver, depending on how committed you're feeling

Robert De Niro’s psychotic taxi driver isn’t just one of his most iconic roles, but also his most stylish. And if you leave the gun at home, his outfit is one that flatters any man.

How to wear it after Halloween: “Bickle’s is basically just great staples,” says Luke. “For after the party, a field jacket is the ultimate between-seasons outerwear – try it with jeans or chinos for a rugged, utilitarian look, then add a hoodie when it gets chilly. The combat boots will look great with casual ensembles and they’re practical in winter weather.” Yes, people are looking at you. But for the right reasons.

Dale Coooper

Dale Cooper

The costume: Black suit, white shirt, black tie, trench coat

The prop: Cup of coffee

In a black suit, you could technically be anyone from Fox Mulder to a Reservoir Dog – it is, after all, a classic. So tote the coffee cup to make clear you’re Twin Peaks’ visiting FBI agent.

How to wear it after Halloween: “Actually black suits can be a little ghoulish after Halloween, but dark navy will look black at night and be wearable any time of the year,” says Luke. “A black trench coat, however, works with any shade of tailoring, or even jeans and a sweatshirt. And as a bonus, it won’t stain if you spill your damn good coffee.”

James Bond

James Bond

The costume: Tuxedo jacket, bow tie, white shirt, buttonhole

The prop: A pen that you threaten to make explode

James Bond may be the world’s most stylish spy, but that’s only because he spends so much time in evening wear. Because every man looks good in the right dinner jacket.

How to wear it after Halloween: “Rented dinner jackets tend to be ill-fitting and dated, so a tuxedo is always a great thing to have in your wardrobe,” says Luke. “Keep it simple so that you can get a few years out of it and don’t colour too far outside the lines. Midnight blue and black are easiest to pull off but white is great if, like Bond, you fancy standing out in the right way.”

Freddie Krueger

Freddie Krueger

The costume: Red-and-black striped jumper, fedora

The prop: Knife-studded glove

The Elm Street nightmare's knitwear-and-hat combo is so iconic that you can give the make-up a miss and still look spooky. For the knives, tape disposable cutlery to a glove. Just make sure it’s removable, or you’ll spend the entire party one-handed.

How to wear it after Halloween: “A striped jumper works with anything nautical-inspired," says Luke. "It looks great under a peacoat or just with anything hardwearing, like jeans. The fedora is tougher to pull off – if you’re not a hat guy, a charity shop is your best bet. But if you do fancy it, then look for something in thick felt, so it doesn’t feel novelty. Then wear it with a blazer and confidence.”

Illustrations: Eric Chow