We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

Student Life

The 9 biggest Halloween costume faux-pas

Miley Cyrus? Dead dictators? "Sexy" foodstuffs?

Halloween: is it really the one time of the year when social anarchy reigns? When taboos disappear in a puff of red smoke to make space not only for felines and ghosts, but ruthless criminals, unsightly wounds and lethal vermillion cocktails?

Or are societal conventions and outfit etiquette supposed to be respected on this day as well?

Most of us don’t take the festivity too seriously. We recognize that it is a non-event, an idea that has no real foundation or reason in our own society, other than because it is an excuse for celebration. And money doesn’t have to be burnt for Halloween to be fun; sometimes the best outfits, the best beverages and the best decorations are created spontaneously with random ingredients found at the back of wardrobes and cupboards.

Nonetheless, history tells us that mistakes can still be made on Halloween, and indeed on any fancy dress occasion. Just eight years ago, Prince Harry was forced to apologise for turning up to a party dressed as a Nazi. Last month, Asda and Tesco were reprimanded for selling a ‘mental patient fancy dress’ Halloween costume online.

So wear what you dare this Halloween; just don’t expect everyone to find your getup or your gimmicks as great as you do.