Halloween: Let’s Talk Costumes

pumpkin catOkay, Halloween is this weekend, and I’d like to hear your thoughts on costumes.  More than that; I want us to have a discussion about costumes.

Putting a disclaimer out there:  I am not super-skilled when it comes to the world of costumes.

I’ve never done cosplay or anything other than regular clothes for a con; I’ve only dressed up for a Ren Faire once or twice. Growing up, my Halloween costumes were the typical hand-me-down or thrown-together homemade costumes.

When it comes to detail or technique, I’m not your girl.  That being said, I love dressing up, especially for Halloween.

For me, some of the joy of Halloween might be that I don’t dress up the rest of the year – it’s something out of the ordinary.  But that got me thinking about people who dress up in costume regularly, for cons or SCA or whatever else.  For those people, is Halloween an excuse to go all-out, or is it amateur night?

And then there’s the varying philosophies on Halloween costumes: do you go topical, some obscure meme or current event that you’re going to struggle to remember ten years from now?  Literary? Political?  Scary?  Gross?

Or do you follow the fantasy, the old-fashioned, “The opposite of who you are”?  Back in the fourth grade I dressed up as a cheerleader, and it was one of my favorites (even then, I think I knew I wasn’t the cheerleader “type”).  In theory, that’s why there’s so many suave vampires and scantily-clad women on October 31st… it’s the “dark side” coming out to play.

Ooh, that’s another topic, one that makes me cringe: the Halloween trend from at least the last 15 years of dressing in as little as possible.  I won’t lie; I was in college too once, and while I’ve never been one to dress in next to nothing, that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to be attractive.  I’ve been a “pretty” witch, Little Red Riding Hood in a short skirt, a “pretty” Egyptian, a “pretty” gypsy… the list goes on.  Nothing that makes me embarrassed, but I feel a little silly about always having to look good.

What do you think when you see people out for Halloween in what amounts to lingerie?  Is it all right if they’re able to rock it, or is it always trying too hard?   And what do you think of these sexy Star Wars costumes?

I also want to hear about your favorite and most memorable costumes.  Doesn’t have to be specifically from Halloween, and it doesn’t have to be the most complicated or awesome – just what stands out to you.  Bonus if you provide a link to a picture!

As for me?  I wish I had a picture of this – way back in the second grade, my school did a thing where you could dress up as a Pilgrim or an Indian for Thanksgiving.  I was a Pilgrim; I rocked the Laura Ingalls-style braids, had a long gray skirt, bonnet, shawl, the works.  Some kids had cooler props – one girl had a mini washboard – but to me, the magic came from the fact that we pulled bits of old Halloween costumes and and odds and ends from around the house, and suddenly, I was a Pilgrim (albeit not a very historically accurate one).  Hmm… maybe I should look into historical re-enactment societies in my area?

So let’s hear your thoughts on costumes!  Are you dressing up this year?  I’m feeling chatty!

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