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Study Abroad in the UK: 5 British Halloween Costume Ideas


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Though Halloween is not as big in England as it is back home in the States, if you’re studying abroad in the UK, you’re sure to be invited to a “fancy dress” party or two! And if you find yourself stuck for a costume, there’s a whole host of fun British characters at your disposal.

So, whether you’re spending Halloween abroad or are an Anglophile stuck in America, here areĀ five British costume ideas to inspire you:

1. Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth Halloween costume
1.; 2. House of Fraser; 3. Nordstrom; 4. Claire’s; 5. Shopbop; 6.; 7. Zappos

It may seem like an obvious choice, but there’s no denying that the Queen is a major symbol of Britain. Of course, the royal family isn’t loved by everyone, but you’ll still have fun practicing your best posh accent and toting around a cute corgi friend.

Want to add more?

If you don’t think people will “get” that you’re playing Queen, swap the hat for a formal-looking crown and go for more regal attire. And hey, if you can find a real, live, cooperative corgi, that’s sure to be a hit, too!

2. Doctor Who

Doctor Who Halloween costume
1. H&M; 2. UNIQLO; 3. ASOS; 4. Hot Topic; 5. H&M; 6.

Whovians rejoice, the Doctor is in! Having found popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, the Doctor is a surefire costume hit. We’ve gone for recreating the Eleventh Doctor’s look here, but any of the previous Doctors would also be simple to do – so choose your favorite and get shopping.

Want to add more?

No Doctor is complete without a sonic screwdriver (you should be able to find one online) and an Eleven costume could be topped off with a fez as well. Extra points if you get a friend to accompany you as the TARDIS!

3. Sex Pistols

Sex pistols halloween costume
1. Forever 21; 2. H&M; 3. Hot Topic; 4. Topshop; 5. H&M; 6. Mango; 7. Zara; 8. Cheap Monday

Though their run was short, the Sex Pistols were responsible for kicking off punk in Britain. Celebrate the movement (or just stock up for this autumn’s punk trend) with ripped fishnets, a Union Jack top, and lots of leather.

Want to add more?

Punk up your costume with pins, wallet chains, and, if you’re feeling ambitious, spiked hair! Snarl and social rebellion optional.

4. English Bobby

English bobby halloween costume
1. Mango; 2. Target; 3. The Limited; 4. ASOS; 5. H&M; 6. Patagonia

On the opposite end of the anti-establishment Sex Pistols is the classic English bobby on the beat. This costume is instantly recognizable, super simple, and a nice break from the swarms of “sexy” cops you’ll see. Add a police helmet (you’ll find one in almost any costume shop) and you’re ready to go!

Want to add more?

Get yourself a plastic truncheon and your outfit will be complete.

5. Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes Halloween costume
1.; 2.; 3. Modcloth; 4. H&M; 5. Kohl’s; 6.

Benedict Cumberbatch has made Sherlock Holmes swoon-worthy again, but if you want to stick to the lines of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary classic, you’ll need a caped coat and a deerstalker hat. The fictional detective is rarely seen without a pipe and magnifying glass, so be sure to equip yourself before you take on any Halloween sleuthing!

Want to add more?

It’s elementary, my dear Watson – grab a friend and get yourself a Dr. Watson!

Your thoughts?

What do you think of these costume ideas? What are you planning to wear for Halloween? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted on on October 27, 2013 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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5 Responses to “Study Abroad in the UK: 5 British Halloween Costume Ideas”

  1. 1
    October 27th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I live in England and the only good ones are the doctor who and sex pistols. All the rest are stereotypes which many English people wouldn’t guess and make it clear you are a tourist

  2. 2
    October 27th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Well at least there wasn’t a Big Ben costume lol

  3. 3
    October 27th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    As an English girl who has also been to the States (twice), I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with your assumption that ‘Halloween is not as big in England as it is back home in the State’- we also go the whole hog, with Halloween parties, Trick or Treating and more! (Unless you’re in the English countryside, though =P)

    Also, only the Sherlock Holmes one actually stands out to me as a real costume- the rest are just preppy/ punky/ hipster with the odd few accessories thrown in- sorry! :(

  4. 4
    October 27th, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I’m from Germany and live in England right now, and I’d love all the costumes for an American Halloween, especially Dr. Who and the Queen. However, Halloween in Europe is actually spooky and scary, as are the costumes, so I guess they wouldn’t really fit that well? As long as you don’t make like a zombie version of the queen or sth.

  5. 5
    October 29th, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Halloween parties are massive in UK universities, but in my experience, they’re less popular outside of uni (unless you’re a child!) while these outfits are lovely, they’re probably a bit too much like everyday wear to be a successful Halloween outfit – you’d definitely have to add a curly grey wig for the Queen one, and (as you said) a hat and truncheon would be mandatory for a Policeman outfit – otherwise you’re just a person in blue!

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