No need to trawl the fancy dress shops for a Halloween look this year. The high street is full of devilishly dark pieces to work a convincing Gothic vibe.
Bring on the dramatics with floaty fabrics that billow in the wind like Dracula's cape, or channel Morticia Addams in alluring, body-hugging lace.
Avoid scary extremes and your take on glamorous Gothic will be all treat and no tricks. By choosing wickedly good staples, your outfit will go further than midnight on October 31. This is fashion for fright night and beyond...
Sorry, but white witches just aren't welcome at this season's gothic party. Black is the only colour to covet.
An all-black look can be unforgiving but not if you look for sheer, lace or cut-out velvet panelling to soften the intensity. If you prefer long sleeves and high necks for winter, this is the way to cover up but still expose a hint of skin. For daywear, try embracing the Halloween spirit with cobweb-effect fine knits.
Texture is all-important with black - luxe matte fabrics are more Gothic-appropriate, so seek out crushed velvets or silk crepe. Matte materials tend to be heavier, making them winter-friendly for LBDs, while also appearing to magically absorb light, making them an uber-slimming choice.
Up the glamour stakes with black lace, intricate beading or dramatic ruffles for after-dark.
Gothic looks don't have to mean top-to-toe black. Print is the accessible way to do Goth by day.
Thanks to designers like Mary Katrantzou, dark photographic woodland scenes are the modern means to inject some creepy couture into your look. Stick to monochromatic prints or deep, moody hues like purple and navy that resemble a moonlit night.
Intricate baroque-style prints also fit the Gothic brief if you stick to a cold colour palette and avoid the opulent gold and glitz reserved for Christmas dance floors.
For something more playful, bats are currently fashion's nocturnal creature of choice. Try a jumper with a statement bat motif or a repetitive bat print on a skirt or top and you'll be flying high in the style stakes.
Ear cuffs are having a moment right now - just the one, mind - and if you want to experiment, Halloween night is the perfect opportunity.
For statement neckwear, look to striking onyx black gems to set free your inner glamorous Goth, or an oversized spider charm if you plan to freak out arachnophobics on your commute.
Veer into serious fright night territory with more obvious accessories to turn your outfit up a notch for October 31. Go to town with elegant lace cat ears, ornate bat sunglasses and skeleton print leather gloves if you want to continue the devilish black vibe.
For a flash of brights against black, try a witchy green necklace or pumpkin orange mittens - check out ASOS.com for a wicked accessories edit.
The good news about the Gothic trend is that you can go as spookily subtle or dramatic as you dare. Follow these styling tips for some twilight chic:
If you're wearing all black, break up the Gothic look with a flash of flesh. Keep either legs or arms/decolletage on show - and maybe get a cab to avoid the chill.
The right underwear is essential if you want to work black lace or sheer fabrics. Unsightly strap marks and VPLs could turn the look into a horror story.
Don't be afraid to mix up different blacks. Working with different textures and tones will add interest to your look if you're going top-to-toe.
Nobody wants to look like they're part of a funeral procession. Lighten up a Gothic-heavy dark look with a contrasting bright bag or coat that you can leave on or off, depending on your mood.
Shoes will instantly transform your look. For a witchy vibe, slip your feet into pointed toes, toughen up your look with ankle boots, or if you're feeling really vampish, go with open toes and opt for a black or deep inky blue pedicure.
Get the look
Actress Sandra Bullock promoted her new film Gravity in a thigh-grazing Stella McCartney dress. Steal her long-sleeved, high-neck mini style with Oasis's lace dress, £85, available end of October (www.oasis-stores.com).
Buy it now
Add a touch of patriotic to your wardrobe with Marks & Spencer's new Best of British collection. Marking the launch of a three-year partnership between M&S and the British Fashion Council, the range combines rich heritage fabrics with modern styling. Available in selected stores and online at www.marksandspencer.com now, with prices from £45 for a pure wool checked scarf.
Starman of style