American Apparel is known for a lot of things. Amongst them: celebrating natural beauty by displaying mannequins with pubic hair, enraging and impressing consumers in equal measure with Petra Collins's "Period Power" tee (I still vote that it was an amazing act for the destigmatization of female sexuality, by the way), not to mention their oblivious use of offensive ads (like the mini skirt one of quite a young, thin girl bent over). In the last few years, American Apparel has shocked us, awed us and left us dumbstruck. But most of the time, it's been in a pretty cool way (like when they featured 62-year-old Jacky O’Shaughnessy in a lingerie campaign to celebrate the beauty in all ages). And this October, the brand is also proving super useful when it comes to DIY Halloween costumes.
One of the best parts of Halloween is letting your imagination run wild. You can search for costumes in the least likely of places (like Forever 21, for instance). You get to raid your parents' closets to find some super cool gear from decades past. And you can explore the countless dress-up options that 2014 has to offer, from group costumes to couples costumes to solo literary costumes for the proud book nerd. This year, you can even browse the shelves (or various web pages) of American Apparel to create your own one-of-a-kind and often spandex-reliant ensemble.
Jess From New Girl
Zooey Deschanel is our favorite manic pixie dream girl, and Jess from New Girl is the greatest representation of that endearingly quirky personality trait. Her love of polka dots, of girly things (oftentimes manifested in a Peter Pan collar) and of vintage eyeglasses makes Jess an accidental fashion icon — and an easy enough one to replicate this Halloween.
Polka Dot Silky Collar Tee, $39, americanapparel.com; Natural Denim Circle Skirt, $54, americanapparel.com; Lela Eyeglasses, $50, americanapparel.com; Pool Leslie Pump Canvas Shoe, $68, americanapparel.com; Sheer Luxe Polka Dot Shapes Pantyhose, $25, americanapparel.com
Zenon Girl of the 21st Century
If you're a 90's baby, you probably remember obsessing over Kirsten Storms circa 1999 when that first Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century film came out. Maybe you wondered whether the millennium would breed the crazy amount of spandex seen in that movie. Or whether you, too, would live on a space station by 2049. It's probably a little far-fetched to believe that the events of Zenon will come to fruition come the middle of the century, but at least American Apparel can offer the spandex part.
Shiny Legging, $33, americanapparel.com; Metallic High-Waist Mini Skirt, $38, americanapparel.com; Shiny Halter Top, $28, americanapparel.com; Shiny Velvet Scrunchy, $6, americanapparel.com; Xenon Heel, $98, americanapparel.com
Coco Chanel was undoubtedly one of the most revolutionary female fashion designers the world has ever seen, and certainly one of the most influential people in the industry in the 20th century. A huge part of that was due to redefining gender roles in fashion. She popularized pants, for instance. And her iconic, casual yet high-fashion striped tops are still a trend today.
Stripe Cotton Spandex Jersey Crop Tee, $30, americanapparel.com; Calvary Twill High-Waist Pleated Pant, $75, americanapparel.com; Unisex Basic Leather Belt, $30, americanapparel.com; Bobby Leather Lace-Up Shoe, $80, americanapparel.com
Madonna Circa 1985
Any Madonna fan is probably a Madonna fan because of the music she produced in the mid-80's — namely, "Like a Virgin." Of course, the musician's ensembles that decade were far from "innocent." She perfected black-on-black, took multi-level necklaces to a new level and taught us all how to walk in 4-inch stiletto boots.
Stardust Velvet Long Sleeve Off-Shoulder Dress, $58, americanapparel.com; Rounded Diamond Fishnet, $30, americanapparel.com; Unisex Wool Blend Fingerless Gloves, $12, americanapparel.com; High Heel Desert Boot, $175, americanapparel.com; Black Circle Necklace, $25, americanapparel.com; Shiny Scrunchie, $6, americanapparel.com; Scalloped Rose Tone Mesh Collar Necklace, $46, americanapparel.com; Black Enamel Triangle Necklace, $25, americanapparel.com
Seven of Nine
Amongst the reasons that Star Trek: Voyager kicked ass for seven long seasons was Seven of Nine: the former Borg drone who tried to rekindle her humanity for most of her time on the show. Seven was the designated bombshell of the cast, whose perpetual use of metallic jumpsuits only served to highlight said fact. Did the wardrobe executives intentionally dress her in body-hugging spandex? Probably. But nonetheless, she was a brave, intellectual and sexy soul who deserves some airtime this Halloween.
Oh, Beth Ditto. How can anyone not be in love with this confident bombshell of a woman who proves time and time again that beauty comes in all sizes. She's so fierce and unapologetic. She wears bodycons and mesh and see-through everything — and she looks so damn sexy doing it. You can replicate her signature style with a mixture of black and red everything and the addition of some wicked blue shades.
Stretch Floral Lace Long Sleeve Mini Dress, $55, americanapparel.com; Lip Gloss (Legalize LA), $8, americanapparel.com; Demitria Sunglasses, $45, americanapparel.com; Small Metallic Carry-All Pouch, $38, americanapparel.com; Cleo Cut-Out Heel, $140, americanapparel.com
Is The Rocky Horror Picture Show still one of the best things ever? Halloween offers the perfect excuse to watch and re-watch the marvelous musical and drool over Susan Sarandon's epic performance. Sometimes this holiday really is all about dressing down (if you know what I mean) so why not recreate her classy but sexy lingerie ensemble?
Images: FOX; American Apparel