You'd have to be dead not to realize vampires are it right now. Movies, TV shows and books are dripping with them. Which vamp suits you?
'True Blood' Southern Gothic
The look: Brooding and serious, but never menacing until someone p----- you off. (Try not to spring your fangs if someone cuts you off at the keg line; such a waste of vampire power. Wait for a True Blood vampire moment, like a fight over perceived flirtations with a bartender.)
The style: Choose Bill, and you'll need to visit Ybor's LaFrance for some foppish skinny suits, puffy shirts and bolo ties. Think Lyle Lovett with trendy haircut and some killer sideburns. Choose Eric, and you can be an urban male on the prowl, with leather jacket, tight jeans and boots. Think Brad Pitt with Angelina Jolie's moodiness. Choose Godric and, well, you'll not live to see the night.
Must have phrase: Sookie! (uttered in the lowest of voices, without the utmost Southern inflection, eyes smoldering.)
Props: Of course, you'll need some bottles of True Blood, the magic substitute elixir for the real thing. How you concoct this is up to your creativity. Be sure to note blood type (B-, A+) for true bloodiness. Got a cutie on your arm? Spangle them up with silver necklaces that can conveniently render you helpless to help with cleanup or kitchen duty. Said cuties can also be forced to wear a truth ring from the Fellowship of the Sun for late-night fun and games (or arguments). And don't forget your vial of vamp, the mind-bending drug of choice for illiterate backwoods folks.
The look: Flirty, with a true mastery of seasonal double entendres. (Think It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown meets Real Sex 10.) Every detail and nuance should emphasis your undead heart's desire to hook up — at least for a warm pint or two.
The style: The ultimate trampy vamp is Elvira, because she's more than a mere mistress of the dark. She's the kind of insatiable vampiress who'd give you a randy lap dance before reaching for your jugular. Start with a black blouse that's cut down to the belly button and a tiny black skirt that's shredded to reveal fishnet stockings. A long, black wig with a streak of grey is a nice touch. Or class it up a bit with a leather jumpsuit — and go blond — by channeling Lauren Hutton in 1985's Once Bitten. But stake your costume's reputation on proper — i.e., heavy — use of dark eyeliner and a white powdery foundation to give you the look of a Mons Venus dancer who hasn't seen the sun in months.
Must have phrase: My name's Elvira but you can call me 'tonight'. (Be sure to do the proper shimmying during delivery.)
Props: How do we phrase this without sounding shallow . . . Oh heck, there's no nice way: Unless you already have an hourglass figure, you'll need a really, really big chest. A push-up bra might do the trick. If you're a guy wanting to pull off this look — more power to ya — you'll need a pair of foam boobs. Most costume stores have them.
The Hellacious HipsterThe look: Think of someone taller, more attractive and generally cooler than you in every meaningful category. The young, soulful undead are living the lives we'll never have. And women looooove them.
The style: Think "Edward" from Twilight or "Angel" and "Spike" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Dark leather jackets, ab-hugging T-shirts, fabulous hair with plenty of styling gel and a sullen, mopey attitude. Still having trouble picturing it? Imagine the Jonas Brothers . . . if the made-for-Disney rockers were a trio of testosterone-bathing bloodsuckers.
Must have phrase: Your scent, it's like a drug to me. You're like my own personal brand of heroin. (If delivered properly, be prepared to catch your female prey when she faints.)
Props: The hip vamp is more attitude than accessory. But a trip to the trendy shops of International Plaza will score you the needed threads. Grab a long, black coat or leather jacket and wear it collar up, James Dean-style (umm, ask your parents — well, maybe your grandparents — about him.) A pair of boots and a dark shirt will help establish your melancholy look. Feeling ambitious? Maybe head to the hairstylist for some frosted highlights (or in the case of "Spike" from Buffy, just buy a dozen bottles of peroxide for that bleached look).
Old School Ghoul
The look: Whether it's Bela Lugosi setting the standard, or George Hamilton spoofing it in Love at First Bite, an otherworldly debonair aura is a must. So is peering down your nose at those Twilight wannabes.
The style: The cape is the key. Something long, flowing and death's door black. Drape it over black slacks and shoes, and a starched, white shirt with the collar closed by a white bow-tie and ribboned medallion befitting undead royalty. That second-place spelling bee medal you've cherished since middle school will do just fine. From there, it's all makeup: comfortable fangs, greasepaint pallor and hair pomade. Christopher Lee always had bloodshot eyes setting off the ensemble. How you manage that is up to you.
Must have phrase: I vant to dreeenk your bluuud, if you're channeling Lugosi. Children of the night, shut up! if Hamilton is more your style. (Transylvanian accents can be fun, no matter what you're saying.)
Props: A lovely woman looking drastically anemic is terrific arm candy — both arms if she's passed out. Invite audience participation by handing out crucifixes that guests can torment you with all night. Stay away from the wooden stake routine, though. It's always fun until someone loses an eye.