Halloween Costumes 101

I’ve worn great costumes and not so great costumes… My Halloween experiences have led me to come up with a few “RULES” to Halloween by.

One, do not wear any costume that is uncomfortable.

I learned this one the hard way — and I relearned it a few more times. This “rule” means I don’t wear masks. I can handle a cute half mask (for a little while) but I can’t wear a full mask at all. Those rubber or plastic full-face masks are very uncomfortable and that’s a great recipe for a dreadful evening. Uncomfortable shoes are also a Halloween-fun-killer!

Two, it’s best to start with your own clothes.

Not only does this save money and time, it saves you from weird once-worn purchases that linger in the closet, like ghosts, for years. I tried to convince myself that buying two pairs of cheap glittery pumps (one gold & one silver) would turn out to be an investment in future costumes — it wasn’t. One Halloween I wore one of each but… they were cheap shoes, not free. I eventually gave both pairs away.

Three, pretty is in the equation.

I’d rather feel pretty, sexy, cute or fun — including scary fun, than feel unattractive. Many years ago, for a futuristic, science fiction style Halloween party I made what was supposed to be a futuristic, science fiction fashion statement. It included a long silver jacket, a silver top and silver trousers. When a guy I liked said it made me look like old TV show “Maude” I felt horrible. I wanted to go home immediately and put on something pretty.

Four, costumes are for moving around.

When I was a kid going out trick or treating, I learned to take into account the possibility — the probability — that October nights were cold. Many of my best costumes were “ruined” by having to wear a jacket on top of them. My parents weren’t going to let me out without a coat. Now that I usually go to Halloween parties that include Tango, I have to consider the “dance-ability” of the costume.

For one Tango Halloween, I was a black widow spider. To get eight legs, I made the extra limbs out of black, silky, full length evening gloves stuffed with newspaper and attached them to my back. It almost worked. Dancing with those extra arm/legs made a Tango embrace a bit dicey. While another Tango Halloween when I wore a black & white skirt, black tights, red top and made a belt and other accessories from a deck of cards and said I WAS a deck of cards, dancing was easy. Even when I lost a few cards, I was just “a few shy of a full deck” (LOL) — and that’s fine for Halloween!



    • Candy

      If I’m going to a party (or a dance) I’ll dress up, but living in an apartment it’s not like I’m greeting little kids in my scary outfit at the door. That might be too much — even for me — and I LOVE dressing up for Halloween!

  1. -sigh- Reading about all your amazing costumes has made me nostalgic for a tradition we’ve never really had. I’ve been to a couple – literally 2 – masquerade type parties but that’s it.

    If I had my time and youth over again I’d love to dress up as Morticia from the Adams Family – Black, fun and sexy. 🙂 Walking could be a bit difficult though…

    • Candy

      My best friend (since we were 6) was Morticia one year in elementary school. Her mother was an artist, as is she, and the costume was amazing. She wiggled around in the tight dress and enjoyed every minute of it!

  2. There’s been a spate of costumes lately that are trying to make everything sexy–like sexy pizza slices and sexy Ron Burgundy costumes. I don’t mind witchy sexy, but I’d probably be the one happier in an ugly-beautiful type of costume. My sister was once a pregnant nun for Halloween…

    • Candy

      Jon Stewart did a bit about sexy costumes on the Daily Show last night. There’s a lot to make fun of with the garish, sexy nurses, witches etc. I’ve never worn a costume that was sexy beyond the way I’d usually dress for a party. There are levels here. My Ophelia post drowning wore a fitted bodice top, but it was right out of my own wardrobe…

      Your sister’s pregnant nun sounds very funny. There are people who’d be offended but… It’s Halloween. One year a couple of friends went as a priest and a nun to one party and switched costumes in the cab on the way to my party where he arrived as the nun and she the priest. Needless to say, they made an entrance!