Hands down the best thing about Halloween is dressing up in costume. This year, I have a couple planned. I work with first graders on Friday, and I’m planning on dressing up as Princess Unikitty from The Lego Movie for that and I’m so excited about it. If you haven’t seen The Lego Movie, you need to. It’s excellent, seriously, even for adults.
Then, on Halloween night, I’m dressing up as 2012 Rust Cohle from True Detective. My boyfriend was going to be 1995 Marty Hart, but he’s sick and bedridden for Halloween. I’ve got the arm tattoo, fake cigarette, hair for the ponytail, mustache, and my moleskin notebook. It’ll be a good one.
I’d say those costumes are on two very different ends of the spectrum. In the past, my costumes have been all over the place. Let’s explore my history in costumes*.
In 2012, my boyfriend, Tyler, and I dressed up like 1990s club kids a la Party Monster starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green about the infamous Michael Alig. I wore a metallic silver blazer from Forever 21, a pink and white striped tank top with a teal tank top underneath, and not pictured: some angel wings I bought at a costume store, a tutu, bright blue tights with bright purple fishnet tights over them, and my white danceline boots. I also just realized that Tyler has Devon Sawa hair in that photo.
During Homecoming Week in high school, there was always “rockstar day”, and my senior year I dressed up as Aladdin Sane era David Bowie fairly successfully. I used red hairspray for my hair and crayon face paints for the lightning bolt on my face. I wore a white t-shirt with a gold studded pocket from Forever 21, a pair of black leather shorts, also from Forever 21, metallic gold leggings from Target, and a pair of metallic silver ballet slippers that I think I also got at Target.
The absolute most fun you will ever have dressing up is at a live showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’ve gone to a local showing every year for the past two years (sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to go this year) and it’s the most fun in the world. For Rocky Horror I go with your standard fishnet tights, high heels, feather boa, fake eyelashes, heavy make-up, and I usually wear a cleavage-y leotard. It’s all in good fun.
I was Carmen Miranda for my sophomore year of high school danceline Halloween party. I bought the costume at Party City, something I normally wouldn’t do, but it was fun and funny so I figured why not. I opted against showing my belly and wore a black and white striped tank top underneath.
I was a black cat for a Halloween party my senior year of high school. Kind of boring, but very easy to throw together. I borrowed the cat ears and tail (that you can’t see, but it was awesome) from a classmate, and I wore a black leotard, black skirt, belt, black cardigan, black fishnet tights, and black boots. Black, black, black, black.
I absolutely LOVE dressing up for decades. For Decade Day my junior year of high school, juniors had to dress up for the 80s. I found this pink dress and teased my hair up and wore a pair of black pumps. Simple. Awesome. I was feelin’ real good, as you can see, like I was in the final dance scene in Footloose.
Another Decade Day, this time you could choose any decade that fit your fancy. I chose the 40s, because 40s style is classic and I figured not a lot of people would opt for that. I wore a white blouse from Gap, a black pencil skirt from Gap, wedges from Gap Kids (they killed my feet, but they worked perfectly for the costume- I suffer for fashion!), a pair of pear earrings and a pearl necklace, a black and white polka dot sash, and a big pink flower in my hair. 1940s to a T.
My senior year our decade of choice was the 1970s. I decided to go as a Z-Girl, like Peggy Oki, and wore a Zephyr Skateboard Team t-shirt, a pair of white shorts, yellow tube socks, black Converse All-Star low tops, and a red and white sweatband.
For another Halloween party my senior year of high school, I went as an indian. I wore a shirt that I made in pre-school (which is nuts! it was a dress on me in pre-school and it fit perfectly like a t-shirt my senior year of high school), brown shorts, brown leggings, and brown fringed boots. I braided my hair in pigtails, and wore some jewelry that looked like it would fit the part.
For a danceline carwash my sophomore year of high school we had a cow costume to catch people’s attention. Obviously, being the costume fiend that I am, I wore it. It was fun. It was goofy.
Another Homecoming Week costume, this was for “redneck day” (which, if you ask me is every day in a small town Alabama high school) my junior year in 2008. I took a different route than the typical camp-and-bright orange and went with a flannel shirt and a pair of shorteralls from American Eagle. I think I’m also wearing Sperry Topsiders (because who didn’t in the mid to late-2000s?)
For Halloween in 2008, I dressed up as Juno from the titular 2007 movie. I wore that orange striped tank top that no Juno costume is complete without, a green Roxy hoodie I got at TJ Maxx, black Converse All-Star low tops, and a Hollister skirt over blue jeans. Also, the obligatory jug of Sunny D. What can I say, I like props when it comes to costumes.
Homecoming Week, “When I Grow Up” day, wherein I (jokingly, of course) chose to be a reality television show star. This was right at the height of the Jon and Kate Plus Eight scandal. I was never a fan, but I thought it would be funny. I carried a bunch of multi-racial baby dolls and a People magazine. I used the same half-globe for my belly that I used in my Juno costume, and I wore rolled up jeans and orthopedic shoes along with a floral top from Gap.
My friends Rachel & Rachel had a 1980s movie character dress up shared birthday party in 2009, and for it I dressed up as Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I wore wayfarer sunglasses, a blue top from Forever 21, dress pants rolled into shorts from Gap, an authentic 1980s belt and cross-body purse I borrowed from my mom, and my white danceline boots (not pictured).
My costume to end all costumes: At my junior high school, there was a huge literary character costume contest every year for Halloween. So, in 2004, my seventh grade year, my mom and I came up with the idea for me to dress up as Chicken Little. This was the end result. For the plump chicken body, we got two pillows and taped them together with duct tape. We also made duct tape suspenders so the pillows would stay put. Then, we got an oversized t-shirt and sewed white feather boas all over it. On top of my head, I wore a white beanie with a red chicken’s comb sewed on top. The legs are just bright yellow tights, and for my chicken feet I wore white kids with your standard yellow cleaning gloves pulled over them. It was so much fun to wear. I couldn’t sit in a desk the whole day at school and I had to sit in the floor. I looked like I was going to pop some eggs out at any second! I won the costume contest that year.
I know that this is nowhere near all the costumes I have worn in my life. These are just the ones I have handy on my phone. Maybe they’ll give you some good ideas, I hope so. It’s coming up close, these are mostly last minute costumes that I threw together that turned out pretty successful.
Now I’m curious to know, what’s been your favorite Halloween costume that you’ve ever worn? What are you going to be this year? What do you WANT to be? Let me know!
* not all costumes are Halloween costumes, some are just me playing dress up for various events.