Friday, September 21, 2012

A Handy Guide to Halloween Costumes and Life

(Humming...)  It's the most wonderful time of the year...

No, I don't mean Christmas, although presents are pretty damn wonderful.  I'm talking about Halloween, the one day of the year that responsible adults are still allowed to play dress-up.  By this point of the year, I usually have a detailed plan for what I'm going to dress up as and how to make that happen.  (I never buy pre-fab costumes.)  This fall, however, I'm running behind.  As I consider my options, there are several questions I keep in mind to keep myself on track.

And you should, too.

Question 1:  Could this costume be called "Naughty (Blank)" or "Sexy (Blank)?"
Because when it comes to costumes, both of these words are interchangeable with "whore."  One part of the costume can be of the come-hither variety without overdoing it.  (I flatter myself that I managed to pull off a Puss in Boots costume with red thigh-high boots.  But then, I paired them with a full cape and a modest top.  And, of course, pants.  Which leads me to Question 2...)


There is a happy medium...

Question 2:  Are there pants?
A banded top does not count.  Nor does any skirt short enough that you might get herpes from sitting on a bar stool.  Leggings might be okay with a tunic-length top, as long as they are opaque.  If they aren't, they are tights.  And tights are not pants.  Basically, keep your butt out of sight, please.

Question 3:  Will there be visible belly button?
This is not the 90s.  Start over.

Question 4:  Is this costume seasonally appropriate?
Seriously.  If you're running around in a tube top/mini skirt/high heeled sandals and it's snowing, you're not doing it right.

Question 5:  Is it lazy?
 Look, if you want to grab a pair of cat ears to wear with your everyday clothes, more power to you.  But don't blame me if people think you're more boring than watching other people watch paint dry.

Question 6:  Is it recognizable?
Don't get me wrong, I totally do obscure characters from literature all the time.  (That didn't come out quite right, but whatever.)  Even semi-sort-of-not-obscure characters, like the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland is probably going to get some questions.  But if you're going to dress up as a Jessie Drummond from Super What?, don't go crying into your beer when nobody gets it.  This is especially important with gender-bending costumes.

Question 7:  Can you sit/move in the costume?
If your costume is a pimento olive made out of chicken wire, consider this:  you may not fit into a car.  And you definitely won't fit through a bus door.  Your ass is walking.

A summary:
  • Be creative.
  • Wear clothes.
  • Use your noggin, just a little.
All points that will serve you well in life--I promise.

(True:  Less than six weeks to the big day, and I'm still undecided?!  Seriously starting to panic...  Also, I have to say I do actually really like the crazy cat lady costume above.)


  1. Halloween is my favorite, and I've always prided myself on not being slutty...but it is hard to compete. I try to stick with funny/clever. (I once dressed in all green and wrapped a garden hose around me to go to a "Pimps and Hoes" party in undergrad. =P)

    1. That is AWESOME.

      I had something else to say, and it was really clever. But then Prada climbed into my lap and stuck her tongue up my nose, and now I don't remember.

    2. Haha, gotta love it when your dog picks your nose for you. =P I thought it was awesome, but it was a bit odd when people didn't get it and asked what I was. Not nearly as fun when you have to explain "well, it is a pimps and hose party, right?"

      P.S. - I had a dream about dogs last night. I owned a dog, but then other dogs kept showing up in my apartment. And I had to say "no" and make them leave, and they all whimpered and gave me puppy eyes. It was horrible!

    3. Halloween does seem to be a study in "one of these things is not like the others" for people like us, huh?

      And that is a truly upsetting dream. Did you wake up still feeling guilty?

  2. I'm trying to get Diana to make a Spanish Inquisition costume for me. I have no skill at sewing so I have to depend on the professional. The best part is that I can save the costume and use it for Ren Faire's.

    1. That is SO COOL! There had better be Facebook pictures...

      I went to the Ren Faire this summer with a good friend, and I told her lots of people dressed up and it really was fun, but she thought I was crazy until we got there. Convert for the win!

  3. These tips should be heard of and known by those who plan on wearing costumes not just at Halloween but for any other costume party out there!