Turn to the dark side...

Flocked print dress, �79.95; Lands' End (0844 423 1234/www.landsend.co.uk).
Flocked print dress, �79.95; Lands' End (0844 423 1234/www.landsend.co.uk).
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Enter the wardrobe twilight zone... Autumn is channelling its very own Halloween themes - without the costume drama.

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.

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 much further than midnight on October 31. This is fashion for fright night and beyond.

Bring on the dramatics with floaty fabrics that billow in the wind, or channel Morticia Addams in alluring, body-hugging lace.

BLACK MAGIC

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 fabrics, 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 show a hint of skin.Texture is all-important with black - so go for luxe matte fabrics such as crushed velvets or silk crepe. Matte materials tend to be heavier, making them winter-friendly and also ideal for figure-skimming LBDs as they appear to magically absorb light, making them an uber-slimming choice.

For daywear, try embracing cobweb-effect fine knits. For night, up the glamour stakes with black lace, intricate beading or dramatic ruffles.

PRINT HOCUS-POCUS

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, which 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, swoop on the most unusual new trend - bat prints. Try a jumper with a statement bat motif or a repetitive bat print on a skirt or top.

ACCESSORY ALCHEMY

Earrings ahave got bigger and boldfer - but the latest trend is the ear cuff - jewellery that adorns the edge of the ear rather than the lobe.

For statement neckwear, look to striking black gems to set free your inner glamorous Goth. Vintage jet may be out of your price range, but modern costume fakes will have admirers easily-fooled.

Veer into serious fright night territory with more obvious accessories to turn your outfit up a notch for October 31 - elegant lace cat ears, spider brooches, ornate bat sunglasses and skeleton-print leather gloves are devilishly glamorous.

STYLING SORCERY

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 legs or arms/decolletage on show (not both) - 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.

:: Shoes will instantly transform your look. For a witchy vibe, slip your feet into pointed toes, toughen up with ankle boots, or if you’re feeling really vampish, wear open-toe shoes and opt for a black or inky-blue pedicure.