Weekend Fluff: Costumes

I feel like Fillyjonk should be posting this, since she’s the costume master here, but I’m up early so what the hell. Tell us about your Halloween costume! And do share any tips for plus sized costuming, if you’ve got them. Unfortunately I don’t, because I’m a person who loves Halloween in theory but always forgets to prepare in time to make a good costume. Like, every year, including this one. My biggest costume triumph, which I doubt I’ll ever top, was the year Mr Machine and I went as Lolita and Humbert Humbert. I was Humbert. And then, halfway through the party, we switched costumes. Good times.

113 thoughts on “Weekend Fluff: Costumes

  1. I LOVE Hallowe’en. Recent costumes:

    Mad scientist (I work in a lab so this isn’t hard) – scrubs are available in all sizes, stethoscopes are very inexpensive in medical university bookstores and the rest you can usually find in a pharmacy – spray hair white and go!

    Evil Queen from Snow White – I made this one myself but if you have any sewing skills, it’s really not that hard.

    Vanna White – fancy dress and a big foam core board with a letter on it.

    This year – I think I’m going as Snidely Whiplash!

  2. I’m going to be a belly dancer. Turkish outfit rather than cabaret style as I’m not comfortable showing my belly and it’s cold out. I’m not yet sure if I’ll be adding a few inches to an old costume from when I used to dance or if I’ll be buying fabric to make something new. Fortunately all the accessories fit.

  3. My roommate, fiance and I are doing a saloon-themed halloween party at our house. She and I are killer saloon girls who murder all the cowboys who come to see us (in the biblical sense), and my fiance is a dead cowboy.

    I’m having trouble with my costume, actually, because I have a skirt I happened to find at Goodwill which is pretty perfect, but I wanted to top it off with a corset from, like, hips and curves. However, I didn’t have money to order earlier, and now I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I thought Lane Bryant has corsets, but they really don’t, so now my option is possibly Torrid. Gotta figure something out!

  4. The Lolita and Humbert costume is inspired! Haha.

    Fillyjonk might like this, I’m going as Snufkin, the harmonica playing, pointy hatted troubadour from the Moomins. I rarely get it together enough to make a costume, but this one should be ace.

  5. I don’t have anywhere to dress up for, but two costumes I remember vividly from childhood that could also work as an adult were: Rapunzel, with added balcony made from a big cardboard box attached to my shoulders with straps, and a bag of jelly beans (a desperate, yet surprisingly creative last-minute costume my mother came up with) made from a big clear plastic trash bag, holes cut for legs, filled with tiny balloons and a cardboard rectangle stapled across the top with “Brach’s” on it. The downside of both of those was that sitting was impossible, though.

    If I could dress up, I’d like to be Dr. Horrible. However, my dream costume (thank you, too many renfairs) is a kick-ass corseted tavern wench. I just wish corsets weren’t so expensive.

  6. I bought an orange and a black t-shirt from MIchaels (I think 2 for $5). I cut a pumpkin face in the orange one and layered them. That was last year. This year I added socks with a haunted house on them.

    This replaced my plastic bird beak that was my costume for in many previous years — when my nose got hot, I moved it up on my head and turned it into a horn. If I can find it, I might let one of my jack-o-lanterns wear it.

  7. I’m going to be answering the door as Little Red Riding hood, and my dog is going to be the Big Bad Wolf. I know the neighbor kids are going to love it.

    We have nowhere exciting to go though, so we’ll probably just watch Army of Darkness or something.

  8. My spouse and I are doing Mal and Inara from Firefly. Mainly because we have clothes in the house that could pass as theirs, and because neither of us is meticulous about detail accuracy.

    As far as costumes go, I tend to work with clothing I already have, which helps in the cost department, and also helps in the comfort department. I know that my clothes fit, and I know what makes me comfortable. I refuse to pay for something that I’m gonna hate wearing after a few hours.

  9. I’m going as my alter ego, Betty the Diner Waitress. Big bouffant wig with pink bow and pencils stuck in it, pink waitress dress (they sell great plus size selction on the cheap at uniform shops online, so you can always count on starting there) capri leggings, pink cat eye glasses with rhinestones, black apron, (also uniform sites) and LOTS of makeup and attitude. The other thinkg I like about starting at the uniform sites is that the clothes are indestructible, so you can use them over and over again, and while they’re not exactly superior in make, the cut is much better than cheap-o premade costumes.
    Next year I plan to revisit a childhood costume – a crayon. Simply stich together enough felt to make a body tube,cut out holes for arms. Make a cone hat from same felt and cutout the crayola logo in black felt. Even if you can’t sew, you can glue or staple this together – the felt will take it. Apply circles of same color makeup to cheeks and GO! ;)

  10. It’s going to rain here on Halloween (surprise, surprise, in Western Washington, rain!) so I think I will just go as a mom in a raincoat. I am looking for a clear raincoat to go over little one’s costume, and some little long gloves.

    Funny costume story: My senior year in college, 1990, we held a new year’s party with an 80s theme (it seemed so deconstructionist at the time to have an 80s party right at the end of the decade). There were flashdancers, preppies, Cure followers, but when my friend came to the door dressed as a Yuppie, those answering the door thought it was someone’s dad. (My friend had a little bit of premature balding going on).

    Probably my best costume ever (not for Halloween but for Purim) was a very, very “bad” girl, and it involved a corset, leopard print leggings and more makeup than I had ever worn in my life to that point. And very big hair.

  11. i’m not much of a hallowe’ener…but when i have dressed up, i tended to like “concept” costumes.

    like one year, i went as the universe. black pants, black t-shirt. stuck glow in the dark stars and planets etc. all over myself.

    or another year i went as a highway. same starting point of black shirt and black pants…i put a yellow line down the middle of the shirt, then glued little cars, trees, bits of “meat” (for roadkill) etc wherever i wanted….it was fun =)

    this year i’m thinking maybe Rosie the Riveter…i figure all you need is a red bandana, blue dickies shirt and the ability to flex a bicep =)

  12. @CoryBetty – That’s inspired. I will have to do that next year.

    I’m going as a pirate, because it involves a lot of clothes that I already have, and I’m sure that I can find a pirate hat and suitably silly accessories at any halloween store.

    Last year I went as Carmen Sandiego. I bought a red fedora and I had a red trenchcoat, and all I had to do was wear black underneath it.

    I think my best costume was when I was a crayola crayon (yellow). Lots of cardboard, felt, and dye to make sure the shirt, pants, and cheapo slip on shoes I wore underneath were the same yellow as the felt. It was lots of fun but took a long time to make – for my mom! I was still so little at that point that she made the costume. :)

  13. I’ll be a 1912-era suffragette, complete with “Votes for Women” sash and protest sign demanding an amendment to the US Constitution enfranchising women. I made myself a white blouse and skirt from a vintage sheet (very easy patterns, I’m not a great seamstress), and I have a big straw hat with a long white scarf attached. I’m also handing out tracts about the cause.

    Want to see a picture? This is the costume in progress…

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11418107@N02/2923139718/

    After the holiday, I’ll probably dye the blouse and skirt to more wearable colors. I’ve already ordered some dyes to play with…

  14. CoryBetty, my mom went as a purple crayon one year by wearing a purple jumpsuit and a pointy purple hat. (Jumpsuit? Yeah, it was the 70s, I don’t even know.)

    I’m not sure what my plans are at the moment. If I’m handing out candy I’ll be wearing my renfaire garb (I highly recommend verymerryseamstress.com, their standard rates cover up to a 54-inch bust, and they will do larger outfits with a muslin mock-up). Purple skirt, white chemise, faux leather bodice. However, I might be going to a performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, for which I might have to break out the combat boots and fishnets.

    My favorite costume from when I was a kid was the “shopping lady” – my grandmother’s mink coat, tons of makeup and costume jewelry, and a crapload of shopping bags. What can I say, I grew up going to New York all the time. Oh, and in high school I was a pregnant bride. That was fun. But my favorite recent costume was Kaylee from Firefly, which was part of a group costume. Good times.

  15. If I could get my shit together (which I won’t be able to) my plan is to wear a robe with pajamas and high heels. My hair will be in rollers and I’ll have several extra arms attached holding things like whisks, wooden spoons, dusters, paper and pen, kids books, and a diaper. I’m a mom to 3 kids under 6 and thought it was appropriate.
    I don’t think I’ll have time for the arms so I’ll just do the robe and add a face mask. Maybe a box of chocolate bon bons to complete the look!

  16. I’m going as Mrs Lovett (Angela Lansbury version), because it’s very easy. Dress, apron, rolling pin, done. I’m planning on making a meat pie-shaped purse out of felt, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time.

  17. I have to admit a love for the “word play” costume. Last year I went as a Ceiling Fan – I had a black tee with the word “CEILING” bleached out, eye black, and pom poms.

    This year I will be wearing a black trench coat, black driving scarf, GIANT sunglasses, and a “Hi, my name is” tag labeled “Abraham Lessing”. I will be…

    A blessing in disguise.

    /rim shot

  18. I’m not going to any parties, but I dress up at work, so I need to be comfortable and practical enough to do my tasks. Last year, I was a hippie. Real simple to do—I had a tye-dye T-shirt that I bought at K-Mart over ten years ago, paired them with some LB flared jeans, tied a purple shimmery scarf over my head and let the ends lay on my shoulder (almost gypsy-like), and wore my peace sign necklaces I won at Ocean City. I wore my black wedge flip-flops with flowers on them (sadly, they fell apart this summer). I also wore blue eye shadow and pink blush, 60ish-type makeup colors. I also wore my late grandmother’s huge black hoop earrings.

    This year, I’m going as “The Office Wizard.” (I’m an office manager as well as the front desk gal, so of course that means I know everyone’s business, have psychic links with the computers and copiers, and can control the post office with my supernatural powers. If you’ve ever done this job, you know what I’m talking about). I found at Goodwill a pair of Silhouettes black palazzo pants for $5 that they put in the Halloween bin and will wear a black shirt with the words office wizard painted on them with silver fabric paint. I already have a black wizard hat with silver stars and a wand to match, so that will be perfect. My co-worker (who is going as a Facebook page) suggested I wear a paperclip necklace, so I may just make one. Since my job has me interacting with kids and people with mental disorders, I can’t be something that would cause fright or panic.

    I used to work at a nursing home in the activities department, and we had a Halloween party every year. One year, I was the skeleton bride (I bought the costume). The next year, I was a psycho chef, with a bloody apron, bloody hat, fake bloody knife sticking out of the pocket, and fake blood smeared around my mouth. That freaked out my uptight boss, hehehe!

  19. I’ve been stressing about my costume, but I just decided that if I go to this party next week, I’m going as “Prep School Gothic”. I have a short, gothy, plaid skirt (thanks fatshionista!), and a black suit jacket. I’ll wear a black tank top (don’t have a blouse, and this looks fine), and some kind of yet-to-be-determined tie. Also need to see if I have fishnets around, and my Doc Martens, and lots of high-contrast makeup. Maybe braids? Only thing I really need to buy is the tie, it’s comfortable, and it’s cute. Plus, slightly tongue-in-cheek, since I went to prep school (though we didn’t have uniforms, and most folks don’t know that I went to prep school).

  20. Last year, I was a ‘Girl Scout’ with made up badges. Most of them had a story behind them, and alternate names if patrons asked about them. For instance, the Sarcasm badge was also the Customer Service badge. Another was the Puppeteering badge, which was actually about a practical joke that several of the staff had pulled off.

    This year, I’m planning on being Medusa. I have a black dress and snakes for my hair. I’m really excited.

  21. I’m being sort of boring and going as a zombie catholic school girl (but I only spent $13 on making the costume!).

    I have friends however who are going as the characters from “9 to 5″ which I think is awesome. They even got one of their boyfriends to agree to play the boss and be tied to a chair!

  22. Last year I was Hermione Granger. I made it on halloween day with an old witch costume and my printer. (i printed out my school tie and house logo hehe).

    This year I plan on dressing up as Wilma Flintstone. Hopefully I can come up with it in time.

    Halloween is my favorite time of the year!!

  23. I’m going to a political-themed party (thrown by grad students, go figure), where you have to go as something referencing the election. I’m thinking Bristol Palin, with wedding veil, Wassila High t-shirt (homemade), and baby doll. Since I’m already pretty well padded, I don’t think I’ll bother to stuff the stomach area :)
    It’s in a bit of bad taste, I know, but it’s the easiest thing I could think of.
    But next year I am totally stealing harvey penguin’s Mrs. Lovett idea.

  24. I have everything in my closet that I’d need to be a pirate wench, just with my normal clothes. Including an honest to gawd saber!

    Arrr!

  25. Colleen (from way upthread), I’m doing the boring Target T-shirt too! Mine’s an acid green and says “Witchy” in black, and this year I found a kickass witch hat in the same acid green with a black veil and feathers. I like Halloween in theory and I love a good witch hat, but am not particularly imaginative re: costumes. Will be wearing this with a black longsleeve undershirt, jeans, and asskicking boots.

  26. My husband, 14 month old daughter and I are going as a ghost family. We’re all blonde and pale, so I’m going to dust some baby powder on us and drape sheets creatively. And awesomely? Before I had told my sister what we were going as, she came over and said that she and my 4 year old nephew are going as ghostbusters! So we’re all going together. Good times.

  27. This year my fiance and I were going to go as an 80s rock star and a groupie, but turns out I’m going to be out of town for Halloween (and he’s going to be here) so that won’t work out. I’ll probably just get some angel wings and wear them with this dress.

  28. My best friend is Dr. Horrible, thegirlI’mmaybedating is Penny, and I’m Captain Hammer. It’s probably the easiest costume I’ve ever put together–just had to find the right gloves online. I’m SO in love with these gloves right now. I’ve been randomly putting them on and wearing them around the house, punctuating conversations with occasional outbursts of “…WAAAAAAAAAAAAY!”

    My roommate, who is teeny tiny, got a child-sized penguin costume. It’s adorable.

  29. My boyfriend and I are dressing as American Gladiators. I’m going to be Hellga: black bike shorts, black tank top, silver jumper that a friend sewed for me, blond wig with braids. It was pretty easy to put together and will be pretty comfy while we’re out at a party.

  30. I’m short and chubby and the hubs is tall and slim with long hair. We always plan on going as Jay and Silent Bob. I will need only an awesome trench coat and a beard, Hubs won’t have to do much at all. The fun part is that I’m very gregarious (and more than a little foul-mouthed) and he’s rather withdrawn. So the best part of the costumes for us will be trying to stay in character – me almost completely silent and him bawdy and outrageous.

    Don’t know if we’ll manage it this year or not – we don’t really have anywhere to go – but that’s our swell idea.

  31. I’m throwing a party this year so I tried to keep my costume on the cheap. I’ll be going as a femme-fatal devil in a pretty red dress I wore to my cousin’s wedding, with a Mardi Gras style mask, vampy red lipstick, crazy messy hair with red light-up extensions, and a sparkly red pitchfork. Not the most creative of costumes, but fun.

  32. My best one was when I dressed up as “magnetic poetry”.

    So I dressed all in back, made words on poster board (standard words and naughty words), and attached velcro to the words and the shirt.

    I spent all night having poems re-arranged across my chest. It was so much fun.

    This year, I keep threatening to get a glue on moustache and go as my evil twin.

  33. I’m going as Jo the Plumber – wearing my old maternity overalls, a work shirt borrowed from my husband, putting a wrench in my pocket and carrying a plunger. I just need to make myself a name badge.

  34. I’m going as Francine from Strangers in Paradise. To be specific I’m recreating the outfit worn on the cover of #1.

    Go go gadget cosplay dork :-)

  35. This year I’m not doing anything, but some of my best costumes were the one in fourth grade when I won a prize for being a tube of toothpaste (yes, I’m still proud! it was a fabulous costume!), and maybe when I went as a girl scout. A sexy one.

    My brother is going as Fidel Castro this year, and my whole family and I have been shocked to discover that my brother looks just like Fidel Castro.

  36. I’ve worn a sweater set, slacks, pearls, and low heels. The man of the house wore Dockers & a Lacoste polo shirt. Oh, and Republican pins… we were Young Republicans, and won “scariest costume” (we even beat Death!)

    I’ve also used a velvet catsuit from Love Your Peaches with black gloves and a cat tail, ears, and mask from a costume shop.

    I’ve also done black velvet, a long black wig, blue lipstick (becomes purple on my lips) and foundation even paler than I am. No, I’m not normally a goth :)

  37. I was
    1) Britney Spears in “Hit me Baby One More Time” … School girl skirt for a uniform i found at the goodwill, white men’s shirt tied at the middiff, high heel mary janes with long socks and pom-pom pony tail holders from Claire’s.
    2)Satine from “Moulin Rouge” red corset I got on eBay, I made a bustle skirt…
    3) Karl Lagerfeld: White wig with black bow I made with black ribbon, white shirt and a skinny tie from Mervyn’s , this black pinstripe pants from LB and a men’s black jack…oh, and black gloves, Chanel sunglasses and a white fan.

  38. I’ve always favored non-traditional costumes. I’ve been one of Santa’s elves, a shadow, a scarecrow, and a robot.

    Last year I went as a little kid and wore my flannel pastel pjs with slippers and a stuffed animal.

    This year I’m going as a gypsy a la Babes in Toyland with a big skirt, lots of jewelry and scarves, and fuschia tights. I try to always build something out of what I already own.

  39. For a few decades now, I’ve been going as a Homicidal Maniac (they look just like everyone else…), but last year I met a guy wearing a t-shirt that said “CHOCOLATE” and a pair of plush moose antlers, and was inspired. This year, I shall be a Devil With a Blue Dress On. My sister-who-sews made me a really cute blue silk dress. I still have to pick up a pair of horns.

  40. Elizabeth, on October 25th, 2008 at 9:27 pm Said:

    “I’m going as Jo the Plumber – wearing my old maternity overalls, a work shirt borrowed from my husband, putting a wrench in my pocket and carrying a plunger. I just need to make myself a name badge.”

    Please, please, please, buy a new plunger for this costume!

  41. Halloween is sort of huge for me. My friend Jenny is born on Halloween, and my Aunt Jen is born Mischief Night (Good times, right?)

    This year I was going to be Little Red Riding Hood until my friend stole my idea with the wonderful line of ‘I got it first, so just stfu and stop whining’.
    Luckily, my father is fond of kilts and bodrahns and owns a Jacobite shirt (the fancy, huge sleeved, tie-necked shirt) and I found it while closet snooping. Add one stretchy, buckled belt beneath the breasts, red-and-white striped tights, a pair of slouch boots, lots of gaudy jewelry, and a bandanna and voila–PIRATE.

  42. No costume plans this year. Bummer, because I used to love Halloween.

    My favorite was donning a white prom dress, blonde wig and about a pint of fake blood and going to a party as Carrie. Downside: I had to explain to multiple people who I was. Kids these days.

  43. Becca Boo!!! I’ve never met someone who was NOT from my part of the country that is aware of Mischief Night! Are you perhaps from… NJ?

  44. (Note that Mischief Night was one of the things that got me completely baffled looks from people like FJ and SM, when I mentioned it in passing as though everyone else’s town had such a thing. Also in this category: sirens before Christmas that indicated that Santa was riding around the neighborhood on a fire truck, throwing candy at the local kids. APPARENTLY that isn’t done everywhere, so responding to sirens in late December with, “Oh that must be Santa!!” isn’t entirely normal.)

  45. you guys rock!

    you have given me a plethora of ideas!

    and now i’ve had the opportunity to use the word plethora in the right way!

    awesome.

  46. I used to live in West Hollywood and several years (pre kid) attended the awesome street fest they have there (have? had? it’s been a while).
    There were always topical costumes (dating myself here) like the Menendez brothers. Aside from Joe the Plumber and Bristol Palin (and a whole lot of amazing drag), some I would like to see:
    People in barrels
    Older guys with shotgun wounds to the face (a la Harry Whittington — Cheney’s victim)
    Guys as Sarah Palin

    One thought I had was to just be the back end of a horse costume, with no partner. Just the back. Thought that would be funny. But self-deprecation is my specialty, I guess.

  47. Kathy, I LOVE the ‘ceiling fan’! That’s hilarious and I’ve been looking for inspiration this year, so I may have to steal it!

  48. My biggest hit costume was in 2004, when I dug my Heinz ketchup t-shirt out of the bottom drawer, put it on with a blazer, and a big cloth sack with “$$$” written on it, and went as Theresa Heinz Kerry. That and the one where I got a prison jumpsuit, blond wig, and a huge leather handbag and went as Martha Stewart in prison. In all honesty, I loved Theresa and Martha, but the funny political costumes were too good to pass up.

    Sarah Palin came onto the scene too late in the election cycle, I probably could have done something hilarious with her. But I had already found this awesome witch hat, green satin with feathers, and a spiderweb veil.

    My husband will be wearing jeans, a pinstripe jacket over a t shirt, Chuck Taylors, and carrying a cane. Yes, that’s right, he’s going as Dr. House. I seriously considered dressing as Cuddy or 13, but I’m not sure many people would get it unless I was standing right next to him.

  49. I should mention that last year, inspired by a video I saw lampooning sexy halloween costumes (was it here or Feministing?) that featured a “Sexy Mustard” costume, I actually made a little mustard bottle cap hat, and ironed the French’s logo onto a kids’ yellow t shirt so I could dress our yellow dog, Sarah up as a bottle of mustard.

    I have red hair, so I just wore the Heinz t shirt again, and went as the ketchup. I have a great pic somewhere of us posing with a man dressed as a hot dog vendor, and his little dachshunds dressed like hotdogs.

  50. volcanista: we must have grown up in the same place. We totally had Mischief Night, and Santa on a fire truck was one of my favorite things about Christmas as a child. In fact, one year, we missed him in our neighborhood (I dunno what we were out doing) and I was so crushed that my parents took me in my pjs trolling other nearby neighborhoods, trying to follow the siren. We found him :)

    After that year, we learned to ask our neighbor, who was a volunteer firefighter, when Santa was coming, so we could arrange to be home.

  51. My husband will be wearing jeans, a pinstripe jacket over a t shirt, Chuck Taylors, and carrying a cane. Yes, that’s right, he’s going as Dr. House. I seriously considered dressing as Cuddy or 13, but I’m not sure many people would get it unless I was standing right next to him.

    Emmy, I originally planned to do this too! Unfortunately, being a pretty feminine looking gal with long hair, I couldn’t think of a way to pull off the gender-switch well, but I’m hoping for next year to do a pairs costume with someone (anyone! *lol*) as House and Wilson.

    Yes, I am obsessed. :)

  52. The ‘do I am going to is a live band/open jam, with the theme, “come as a dead musician.”

    I am going as Johnny Cash.

    I am wearing a combination of things I might normally wear, basically, all in black – long black coat, black jeans, black shirt, black boots. And with a big black cowboy hat and a black “rock ‘n’ roll” wig I picked up at Value Village. And my sunglasses. Oh, and my guitar! I tried it out on a co-worker’s pre-Hallowe’en gathering earlier this evening. The wig is fairly preposterous and I removed it after a couple of hours. But I think I have the cojones to pull it off. The guitar is a little more awkward.

    I am also going to wear this garb to work on Friday. Perhaps minus the guitar.

  53. My sweetie and I are going as Freedom and Justice for Obama.

    I’m going as the statue of liberty and he’s going as justice with scales and a silk blindfold and everything.

    We’ll have Obama signs and so on.

  54. At least one neighborhood in the suburbs of Pittsburgh does the Santa/fire engine thing, and I seem to remember it happening in the place I grew up, too, so it’s not just Jersey.

    My favorite costume was last year’s, and I wish I had had the time to make it better. I went as Marie Curie, with glow-in-the-dark zombie make-up and a plastic beaker I kept filled up with Midori. I once went to a drink-themed party and was surprised to find that I was the only Red-Headed Slut. I thought I was going the easy, obvious route, but most of the people couldn’t even figure it out. And I only had to buy the wig! This year, I think I’m just going to buy the awesome make-up and wig that I always want to wear and can never figure out what to do with, and just wear it for once. I think I’m going to come out looking like a Goth drag queen, but it’ll be awesome.

  55. Karen and random, that makes me feel better! It wasn’t just me after all!

    Karen, I’m from E. Brunswick originally. If you are from there, well, it’s a big town, so I still probably don’t know you, but it would be exciting. :)

    Note that I did not LIKE Mischief Night.

  56. I live in Northern Maryland, and Santa rides around my town on a fire truck every year. I always wave when I happen to catch him.

  57. Maybe I’ll go as Santa on a fire truck for Halloween!

    Actually, I don’t really understand that tradition. I mean, I understand the tradition of Santa riding around neighborhoods waving to kids, but most of the kids are so terrified of the deafening sirens that their parents practically have to push them out the door. Until they are much older. It doesn’t seem like a very good idea!

  58. Firetruck Santas here in suburban LA, too. They put the schedule in the newspaper, so we know which night to expect the sirens–but the first year, yeah, it was a little strange to hear. My kids have never minded the sirens, but it took years before my daughter was willing to go anywhere near someone in a Santa suit–that’s the part that scared her most.

  59. A couple timeless, easy to assemble costumes for any size, shape, height, etc:

    The Jellyfish: Get a pastel-colored umbrella, something cheap from the drugstore. All around the rim, staple long 1-2inch wide strips of ribbon, silky fabric, and bubble wrap, in similar pastel and light colors. You can cover the top of the umbrella with a sheet of bubblewrap for a better effect. Then wear whatever you want, just carry the umbrella–make it sway like a jellyfish in the water. And if you can get a few friends to carry the same, you’ve got a whole bunch of jellyfish, very pretty! (This isn’t a great costume for dancing, but it’s a wonderful costume for door-to-door visiting at night–looks great in the dark.)

    Portrait of Dorian Gray: Ghoul up with makeup and hair products. An old tattered suit is a good choice for clothes. Then find a big empty picture frame–again, distressed is great. Carry around the frame, and hold it in front of yourself to become the portrait whenever someone asks what your costume is. Again, leave the frame aside for dancing purposes. I saw this one at a “literary characters” party, where I was Hester Prynne (anyone who guessed “pilgrim” lost points for not noticing my embroidered A).

  60. I have to work a closing shift this year on one of my favorite holidays (bummer!), so my “costume” will be a black tee shirt, jeans, and an uncomfortable apron that makes me look like a shapeless frump.

    …however, I’m putting on outrageous eyeshadow and putting my hair up and spraying it with sparkles. I did not discuss this with management. I do not care what they think about it. MUAH HA HA! :)

  61. Oooh…that reminds me, I should get up and dressed some time today and go to the shop down the street where I saw some lovely witch’s hats the other day. And speaking of witches hats, I’ve got a knitting pattern for one but, alas, my knitting skills do not extend beyond squares and rectangles.

  62. I made an ODB (ole dirty Bastard) mask. With a halo and a gold grill topped off with black feather hair and eyebrows. My high school students thought it was amazing when I wore it Friday to School. You have to realize that I am 55 year old.

  63. Like an above commenter, I’m going as Rosie the Riveter. I need to be able to do electrician work while in my costume, and Rosie was an obvious choice. I’ve got the shirt, I’m making the 40′s overalls and the polka dot bandanna, and the girls in wigs are going to help me with the roll that she has in the front of her bandanna. I just need to pick up red socks and a pair of brown penny loafers.

    Good thing I have the next few days off, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

    Last year I went as my boss. He’s got very distinctive hair and beard, and he always wears the same thing. It was a HUGE hit.

  64. Hey, Dan is going as Joe the Plumber too! At least, that is the idea I came up with last night… I do kind of like Silent Bob too, though, if we could find him a trenchcoat. Anyone else have good costume ideas for fat guys?

    Normally what happens is I plan my costume for ages in advance, and it’s often quite conceptual (one year I was a tree). Dan waits until October 30 and then puts together a costume out of stuff from the lab. He’s been a welder, a construction worker, and a prisoner using just stuff that the lab keeps around (welding gear, hard hats, orange jumpsuits). If he does Joe the Plumber it’ll be the same story — they’ve got a nice big aluminum wrench.

    We don’t really do couple’s costumes — Hallowe’en costumes are one of those things I just Don’t Share, like blankets and closets and my laptop. Although I have been thinking hard about doing a man-woman costume, a la the old-school freak shows where people are just split down the middle. If I did that I might do Dan up as a tattooed man/strongman (preferably with mesh tattoo sleeves so I don’t have to just paint them on).

    Bat Boy would be another good one. You can have that for free.

    One of my favorite costumes was when I went as June Cleaver — vintage dress, pink apron, blonde wig, pearls, cleaver through my head, fake blood. The tree one was good, too, and last year I had a fully planned-out costume (ship’s figurehead) but then worked up a Super Grover costume at the last minute that I was quite proud of. This year I don’t have a lot of time or money so I’m going as Hypnotoad. The conceptual costumes have gotten a bit old so I’m ready for the instant recognition that comes with pop culture references. I painted my spotted hoodie and eyeballs last night, and today I’m securing the eyeballs in the hood… after that I just need a blue dog collar. And a costume for Dan. (If I’d gotten around to needle felting a brain slug like I’ve meant to, his costume would be done, but alas I have not. Maybe I can do it in the next week.)

  65. Oh btw, if I were going to a political-themed party I would stuff a pillow down my front and go as abstinence-only education. Just sayin’.

  66. We’re doing the Gods thing this year. OH is Pan. Simple-ish costume; half face mask with little curly ram’s horns, he’s let his goattee grow long and will plait it, and a pair of longjohns covered in fake fur, attached to some high-heeled boots with the heel cut off, attatched to…

    Ah, okay I don’t know how to describe it, but we can give him pretty good-looking extra-jointed legs, with a little poofy tail at the back. We’ll be in public though, so he’ll have to be a PG-rated Pan.

    I’m going as a fertility goddess; white, plain gown in medieval chemise style, with willow branches and leaves wrapped around my torso, a wreath/crown thing with leaves in my floofy hair, and sandals with plants attached so it looks like nature growing from my footsteps. I may or may not use my gut to my advantage by sticking it out to look like I’m about to give birth to the world.

  67. I’m going to a Smashing Pumpkins show on Halloween night, which of course requires a badass costume. I was going to be yet another Sarah Palin, but with the boy as a 6’3 Bristol; alas, though, the boy and I are no more as of two days ago and I am screwed for a costume. I have the proper haircut and preexisting clothes to be Daria, but I’m afraid no one will know who I am. There’s always my Hermione-half-turned-into-a-cat costume from the last Harry Potter book release, though, or my hangover fairy costume from last year.

  68. Fillyjonk, my dad is a fat guy and loooooves Halloween, although most of his really great costumes have centered on his giant beard:
    - Fidel Castro (Dad is a stunning lookalike)
    - Christmas tree (ornaments in beard, spire on head, walkman broadcasting Christmas music)
    - Ox King from Dragon Ball Z
    - Zeus

  69. I’m a student minister and am going to be the Holy Ghost this year, with an angel headband and white sheet.

  70. LeahCate – please please please tell me you will be walking around quoting Eddie Izzard whilst dressed as the Holy Ghost.

  71. I remember one of my favourite costumes – a friend wore it when she came to my party. She was a dryer goblin. She wore all black and pinned white socks and fabric softener sheets to herself. (Where do they all disappear to? The dryer goblin knows!) I’ve wanted to do that one ever since!

  72. sbg, if those people didn’t immediate recognize Carrie, you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd. I looooove Halloween. I’m a gore-gal, and most of my costumes reflect that. Past efforts include:

    Lizzie Borden – Stuffy puffy sleeved, high collared Victorian-esque (I can sew but not that well so it wasn’t very accurate but it got the point across – just none of that sexy Victorian mess for Lizzie! She was a real frump) dress, plastic ax, about a gallon of home-made fake blood spattered on myself.

    Karen Cooper – the iconic little girl from Night of the Living Dead. Accurate as possible zombie make, long blond wig, little collared swing dress.

    Samara – the iconic little girl from The Ring. (Sensing a theme??) Dirty night gown, long ragged black wig, scary face, ominous whispering of “Seven days!!!!!”

    Dead Librarian – dress like a librarian. Dead yourself up with the make-up. Cut a pencil about three inches from the eraser end and attach it to a small circle of cardboard. Stick this to your head with spirit gum and disguise the cardboard with fake scar stuff. Add blood as necessary.

    Psycho Sorority Girl from Hell – did this in undergrad. Dress like a party happy bubbly sorority girl. Carry a fake knife. Cover yourself in fake blood.

    This year I wanted to go as the ghost of a consumptive Victorian lady (long white lace night gown, pallor, bloody lace handkerchief, a weak personal constitution), but I’m having some color matching issues with the discrete dresses I bought that I planned to use as components (one won’t bleach and the other won’t take dye) so I might have to rethink at the last minute.

  73. If I can get the money together (I are a poor grad student), I’m dressing up as Tina Turner. Well, if I can get the money together and I can find a plus sized mini skirt…

  74. This isn’t actually my idea, and I don’t know who I stole it from. If it’s you, thanks!

    Sexy Graham Cracker:
    Two pieces of cardboard, one in the front, one in the back (whatever you want underneath, leggings and a tank top would be my choice) Paint a string bikini on the cardboard.

    Tada.

  75. Okay, having given it some thought, I have decided to ditch the Consumptive Victorian costume, and wearing one of the dresses I bought for that (which looks like an 80s mother of the bride dress) plus some other appropriate accouterments, most of which I already own (I’m not sure if that’s good or bad), I will instead go as Zombie Estelle Getty.

  76. I’ve worn the same black bodysuit for like four years now. I cannot be arsed to deal with holidays, but I needed an excuse to drop $100 on the body suit (because that is more than the entire rest of my wardrobe costs), so… I bought it at Halloween and dutifully wear it each year with some stompy black boots and heavy eyeliner. It’s not exactly a costume, but it’s kind of in the spirit of things, and the bodysuit is truly gorgeous — silky, tight where it should be and loose where I need it, cleavage-y, and glamorous. Also? Easy.

    In days of yore I went as a Very Merry Widow, which involved a ripped black corset, a black tube top worn as a miniskirt, fishnets, and black stilettos. I have never been particularly costume-creative, I guess — I’m usually either working or kind of grumpy through Halloween (as most holidays). Oh well.

  77. Here’s another idea for a political themed costume and probably one that will transcend the boundaries of taste and PC-ness:

    One half ape, one half priest and go as the Evolution vs. Creationism debate.

  78. I just went to a an early Halloween party this weekend, and I dressed up as Sarah Palin. Pink blazer, political buttons, rimless eye glasses, black knee high boots, and a healthy dose of eyeliner did the trick. I stayed “in character” and did my best impression of Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin and it was a huge hit. Every time I said “snow machines” people cracked up. It was the most Halloween fun I’ve had in quite a while.

    You all have some incredible ideas… I’ll be stealing some of these for next year.. Zombie Estelle Getty might be my favorite so far!

  79. I always sew my own costumes. Learning to sew was one of the best investments of time I ever made…

    This year I’m going as a fantasy barbarian warrior, with a tunic and leggings made of faux suede, a fake fur cape, and a big plastic sword.

  80. Wow! Everyone has such great ideas for costumes!

    Unfortunately I don’t get to dress up at work. We’re an extremely conservative company, dont’cha know. None of that Halloween business for us!

    I do wonder, though, if I could get away with a ‘cube zombie’ sort of outfit. ….I should ask.

    People usually just put on a little hat or something dumb like that. Maybe if I wore my horns…hmm!

  81. My hubby (Adam) and I are going as…Adam and Eve! :D And since I’m not a fan of freezing, we have fleshy-toned pants and shirts to which I am attaching fake leaves. We’ll have ivy wreaths on our heads and I’m super excited to be sporting a bunch of apples to munch all night. The last thing we need to find is some sort of fake snake for Adam to carry around. Lots of fun!

  82. Ingredients:
    Monopoly set
    Clear balloons (surprisingly hard to find!)
    Ratty suit coat (from salvation army or similar)
    Safety pins

    Put houses and fake money in balloons, blow them up. Attach to suit coat with safety pins.

    I’m going as a housing crisis!

    Tried to talk the boy into doing a similar thing with bits of circuit board and going as a dot-com bubble. Not going for it (yet).

  83. I am not going to any parties (my campus Halloween party is on the 29th, and I have to go from there to work, which tends to rule out anything too elaborate on grounds of too much climbing around in the fiction stacks) but I am walking around all day on Halloween as Annie Cartwright from (THE REAL, UK) Life on Mars — paisley polyester cleavage dress, brown knee boots, blue eyeshadow, done. I will not, however, be attempting the accent.

  84. i went as mrs. lovett, the helena bonham carter version, and it was super easy to do. i did not have a corset so i wore one of the body shaping camisoles and layered a dress and three skirts under it. i also used safety pins to gather some of the fabric and make it look like a bustle. i bought a frozen pie, baked it and added a finger.
    last year i went as kat vond d. heavy eyeline, leopard print top, tight pants, sharpie tattoos. it was fun.
    the year before last i went as the mona lisa. i bought a huge canvas, painted it and cut out a hole for my face. it was pretty awesome.

  85. I’m going to be a Devil Bride! I got a big red prom dress for cheap at Ross, and one of those devil horns heabands, and I bought like six yards of red tulle and glued it to the headband. Voila! It’s super dramatic and fun to wear.

  86. I’m gonna be dressing up as a female version of Dr.House. I got the tic tacs in a pill bottle as my “vicodin”, a black cane (gonna be printing out a flame sticker for it), pop on some dress pants, my sneakers, and probably one of my dads blazers or a jean jacket. XD

    Previously, I wanted to go as The Joker in his nurse outfit (lol like everyone else this year), but I ran out of time for gathering up what I needed (wig, nurse outfit, make up, ect). :( Oh well. Definitely have it planned for next year, though!

    Also; many awesome ideas here. :D I just love Halloween.

  87. I want to wear my Obama shirt, proud to be a democrat hat, and tons of buttons, but I’m trying to think of a gimmick to turn it into a costume. The best thing I’ve come up with is to wear white angel wings and call myself “Winged Victory.” I’m not in love with that idea, so I’m open to suggestions. I did just get a $75 Target gift card for my b-day, so I could buy an accessory or two.

  88. I shall be Mrs. Blackbeard! Black and red striped T-shirt, calf-length black skirt, black and red stripey tights, black ankle boots. I’ll wear my black skully bandanna on my head, and some sort of skull-related necklace, as well as my skull earrings. Also, I’ll wear this piratey apron. I’m also going to cut some skull & crossbones-shaped “cookies” out of cardboard and frost them with royal icing, then tape them to a cookie sheet. Oh, and I’m also going to carry a piratey squirt gun (which I can’t find on the McPhee site, but I bought it at their store, too) in my waistband and hose down all the kids who come to my door. :D

  89. I’m going to be Velma from Scooby-Doo (my husband is going to be Shaggy). Last year we were Daphne and Fred. I am unoriginal and did last year’s costume because the American Apparel web site touted a version of it using their clothes (some of which I did indeed order and use). However, the costumes were a huge hit and made of regular clothes, so that was a plus.

    The Velma one is even easier and Shaggy the easiest of all (existing brown dress shirt and green t-shirt, bam). And my hair even looks more like Velma’s this year (was more like Daphne’s last year). Everything’s comin’ up spacedcowgirl. :)

  90. I’m going as a can of Crush soda.

    Orange crush t-shirt + a soda tab glued to a bobby pin + orange nail polish and other orange accessories.

  91. Husb and I have two Santa suits from romping in Santacons past, so that’s been pulled out for an easy Halloween.

    This year we will be that duo of make-believe, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. I’ve already got a black tutu and black leggings, I’ll add a black or white (or layer both) shirt. My best costume trick is full-sized label paper, you can find it at any office supply store. It’s a great and cheap way to add illustrations, details, or a mask (just attach to a paper plate). Using that I made a big tooth which I glittered and will stick on my shirt, and an awesome crown whose spokes are the roots of the teeth (attached to cheap plastic headband). Add a cheap pair of wings and a wand (wood dowel from hardware store + craft paint + dental floss), a bag of white tic-tacs for “teeth” and some waxy tooth black out (and fun hair and makeup, obvs) and I’m set.

    FYI, Santa is always the most popular guy at any party. Plus he gets all the slutty cops and witches to sit on his lap, lucky dog.

    I LOVE the ventriloquist idea! Like Billy Flynn and Roxie Hart from Chicago – or ANTM did a great photo shoot of the same thing a few seasons ago. Might have to poach that one for next year!

  92. Update (if anyone cares): I couldn’t find a crown and scepter that I liked for FJ’s fantastic Single Party Rule idea, so I went ahead and bought the white feather wings. However, when people ask me, “What are you supposed to be?” I’m going to tell them Better Angel, rather than Winged Victory. You know, as in “better angels of our nature.? The phrase has been used in regards to the Obama campaign, and is from a Lincoln quote (I totally find Obama to be Lincolnesque). Anyway, that’s my costume: Better Angel (Obama t-shirt, proud to be a democrat hat, tons of Obama buttons, and white feather wings). The icing is I’ll be canvassing Friday, although I’ll be thinking of it as Trick or Treating for Obama! Wouldn’t it be cool to get candy while getting out the vote?

  93. I’m in SF, and was thinking about being a Berkeley Tree Sitter (people who lived in trees that were scheduled to be cut down for over a year): big branch, dirty hippie clothes and signs. For several years, I’ve been David Bowie as the Goblin King in Labyrinth (I’m always tempted back to this costume like it’s a biker ex-boyfriend… it’s just so HAWT!).

    My other idea was to be Parker Posey as Jackie O in House of Yes: pillbox hat, sheath dress, gloves, glasses, and blood/brains all over the dress. My boyfriend said that he absolutely won’t be JFK and that it’s completely tasteless… I was hoping that the fact that I’d be quoting an (obscure, indie) movie would make it all Somehow OK.

  94. We’re getting better at Halloween over here, although we still don’t do it nearly as well as you guys over the pond…I work with Americans, so we spend this part of the year on tenterhooks waiting to see if we’ll be allowed to dress up on the job. Some years we are, some years not, and if we hear about it now it’ll be at rather short notice.

    Had we gotten the go-ahead in good time, I was half thinking about a City trader getup – striped shirt, red braces (suspenders), ghastly white makeup with big black £ signs over the eyes, carry a scythe and be ‘Death of Capitalism’. Not sure quite how that’d go down…

    The one previous year we dressed up, I was the other Death, the one from the Sandman comics…although given the top hat, some people thought I was Stevie Nicks. I liked the colleague who dressed as a milk carton (with his head through a hole in the side so his face was the photo of the missing kid), and the two guys who came as Madonna and Britney…don’t ask.

    OT, but I’m seeking out plaid pantyhose just now – not for a costume as such, just a saw-them-gotta-have-some thing – and finding that like most such things, they come in a ‘one size’ that’s about the size I was at age twelve. Anyone know of someplace that does bigger ones?

  95. I’m going as a Marilyn Monroe.

    except I’m taking empty pill bottles, a empty bottle of liquor and smearing all my make up. and wearing a toe tag. :]

  96. Last year I was a night elf during the weekend before Halloween and a zombie in a bathrobe and curlers on Halloween night (I wish I could celebrate Halloween 3 times again!). My last minute decision for this Halloween is to be a Mardi Gras masquerader. I found a green dress at a thrift store, a mask and a cloak with a glittery collar at a Halloween store, and I have beads from New Orleans that I got about a decade ago. So I’m good to go. I wanted to be a dead bride but I couldn’t find a vintage wedding dress under $100.

    Pennylrichardsca, I love the jellyfish idea. My brother was considering a giant squid, that might be fun too.

  97. Well, my birthday is the day before halloween, so I always dress up, but usually in something quickly made. I spend a lot of time planning my birthday parties that I forget all about buying a new costume.

    I’ve been a samara/carrie mix, with a white robe, a knife, my hair plastered down my white face, and tons of fake blood that never set and was sticky all night, haha.

    Pumpkin, Faerie, Football Player (My brother is one, so I just borrowed the stuff, and when I went to collect candy, I put it in his helmet instead)

    This year, I bought a Mother Earth costume. No one is going to get it, so I bought wings to match, and am now a forest nymph. I modified it to make it a little more…revealing, I guess. I’m turning 18 which makes me Legal here in MB, Canada, so it’s a bar outfit, haha.

  98. This year, I’m doing what I tried to do last year and failed. I’m going as a Wicked Witch of the West in Training. I have a black low-cut shirt with an appliqued army-styled screen print on a green background that reads “West Kansas Flight School” overlapping two crossed brooms. Over the top of the is print that reads “We’re looking for a few bad women!”

    I’ve made a skirt from a pair of camo pants, inseams ripped up the center, than sewn into a sheath skirt with slits to the knees in the front and back. A pair of combat boots, a broom and a big black hat complete the ensemble.

  99. I’m a person who loves Halloween in theory but always forgets to prepare in time to make a good costume. Like, every year, including this one.

    I am that person too. One year I wore a dress I had bought at a Renaissance Faire; another year I wore most of a hastily-cobbled-together Hogwarts uniform. This year I got nothin’, which is all fine and good because I don’t have anywhere to go either. Some friends of mine are going to be in Chicago. I’m too broke to join them.

  100. gaaack…Well this year I will be going at “Little”Red Riding hood..and my partner will be going as the huntsmen who kills the wolf. It should be cute but I have been crazy concerned this week that it is going to look ridiculout for someone of my size to be dressing up like that. I don’t know why..bad week..body issues ick…Just not feeling sexy and lovely at the moment. I will enjoy the holiday none the less. I LOVE halloween. I am a pagan too so this is our big new years night. So for all the other tree hugging Pagans of various flavors out there. Merry Samhain!!!

    Katie

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