Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Witching Hour

Greetings to all! Halloween is fast approaching, with only a week or so to go until the big trick or treating extravaganza. Many of you are probably stuck on costumes, but no fear!

I've been taking some time to figure out exactly what I want to be. To me, Halloween doesn't stop once you hit college, it only gets better and more creative! Despite my lack of extra money, I decided to put the fun in funds and invest in...*drumroll*... some time and energy to create a great home and heart made costume.

There are a few steps to creating a homemade costume, the first being an internet search. If you have a specific idea in mind, but only a few bucks to spend, find websites with costumes and then make a list of ways to create the costume on your own. Accessories can be found in your closet, jewelry box, siblings/spouses/child's room, anywhere! Borrowing is acceptable so long as you're willing to return the borrowed item in a timely manner.

To the right you can observe last year's costume: Teenie bopper. I had on Converse sneakers with heart laces, pink tights, skirt, black shirt with pink writing, rings, big pink heart earrings and plastic bracelets. Whenever someone brought up the Backstreet boys or N*sync or heck, even the Jonas Brothers, I would scream and jump up and down and gush about how cute they were. It was really fun!

Below is a list of homemade costumes my family, friends and myself have come up with over the years:

1.) Flapper- When I was in 8th grade, I was obsessed with the roaring 20's. We did a unit in my history class and I was fixated on the red lipstick and knee skimming skirts. A trip to Party City dampened my spirits when I found that all the costumes looked the same...and were pretty pricey to boot! Instead, my mother suggested we try the consignment shop in our town; for two dollars I found a dress that fit perfectly AND was historically accurate. Traveling to places like Target and Michaels made finding feathers, headbands, shoes, stockings and fake long strand pearls very easy.

2.) Librarian- I'm book obsessed, so this year when it came time to find an outfit that was inexpensive, fit in a suitcase (I'm traveling to Illinois) and reflected my personality, I chose a librarian. I was super excited about this because retro is back in, therefore my pencil skirt, peter pan collared shirt, long sweater and glasses would fit right in with current librarians (I observed them at my local library). A pair of flats and some pearls complete the outfit!

3.) Jackie-O and Marilyn- My friend Jessica and her friend Tasha are going as Jackie and Marilyn (wherein I made a "Who's gonna be JFK?" comment and puzzled looks were had). Jackie is simple, with clean lines, big teased hair, pearls, large sunglasses, anything with large buttons. Marilyn, I'd say the classic white dress has been overdone. Instead, opt for something uber glamorous, but buy the super white-blonde wig and wear red lipstick. Take note of Some Like It Hot.

4.) A Mom- This seems silly, but my mom actually went as...a mother for Halloween one year. She got really creative with it, wearing a crown, leaving curlers in her hair, with smeared makeup and one of my American Girl dolls in her hand. She even got my brother Jameson to make footprints on an old bathrobe to say that people were "walking all over her". I never thought to ask if she was referencing us, but suffice to say the costume was a hit!

5.) Betty Rubble or Wilma Flinstone- My friend Stef really wants to be Betty and her friend Katie is going to be Wilma (she's a natural redhead). Since Stef is paying for grad school, her apartment and all her living expenses, she does not really have the funds to pay for a pre-made costume. A few days ago we brainstormed what she might be able to do, and my suggestion was this: Buy a large piece of blue felt from a fabric store, a thick needle and some black thread. Sew the piece so it fits your body properly, and then with Betty, all you need to do is use some black ribbon to make a halter top of sorts, then take anything round and silver and glue it to the front. There are definitely other ways to do it, but that was my suggestion!

6.) Zookeeper- I was a keeper of animals when I was in fourth grade. We were lucky enough to have large stuffed animals, including a fabulously long stuffed snake. My mother found me a plastic safari hat, and I wore all khaki, put on my hiking boots from Girl Scouts and my mom found an engraver who made me a name tag (for around $5) that said "Kaitlin, Zookeeper". She then pinned the snake around my body (it was pretty large and I wasn't even 5' tall yet) and I carried around a lion and a moose stuffed animal (the moose was a puppet).

7.) A flight attendant- My Aunt Beth is a flight attendant for United. She kindly altered an old flight outfit for me to wear, my mom teased my hair and gave me a scarf. I looked just like a flight attendant from the 60's!

When it comes to Halloween costumes, don't hesitate going vintage. The best places to look are second hand shops, consignment shops or vintage clothing stores. I won't suggest ebay because you can't really return things, but any place around you works. I've had friends dress up as Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. My brother was Beakman once for Halloween, though I doubt anyone remembers him.

The key to dressing up on Halloween is not to forget yourself: remember that even though Halloweeen means dressing up like someone you're not, it doesn't mean you should throw away diginity or morals!

Happy Halloween!!