Costume Advice from the Perseverance Expert
One of my favorite things about Halloween is the costumes! I love any chance to dress up. Don’t believe me? I’ve been twitter organizing the Life List Club members to be classic horror flick monsters. Picture it: Marcia Richards as Morticia from the Addams Family, David Walker as the Wolfman, Gary Gauthier as Dracula, Pam Hawley as The Fly, and if I get to be the Madeline Kahn version from Young Frankenstein, then I’ll play the Bride of Frankenstein. Gene Lempp, our honorary LLC member, offered to be Frankie himself. So, Sonia, Jennie B., Lyn, and Jenny H….it’s only a matter of time, choose your monster, or I’ll choose one for you! LOL
Over the years I’ve had to get pretty creative with my costumes. My parents didn’t believe in buying ready made costumes; whatever we wanted to be we had to make it ourselves. I’m pretty sure that’s why we have a family photo of me as a fairy wearing my Easter dress and a turquoise tinsel wig, my brother is a bum with a drawn-in mustache and pillowcase sack, and my sister is Charlie Chaplin.
The plus side of homemade costumes is that you have to think outside the box, be creative, inventive and resourceful. All qualities that I, your perseverance expert, feel I have. Just look at my Halloween costumes the last five years and you’ll see it!
Lion: In 2006, I was supporting myself in my first year living off campus. I had three jobs, paid my own bills, and bought my own groceries. Money was precious. So when Halloween rolled around, I went simple: Lion. I curled my hair, balled up two buns and made ears, wore the only brown clothes in my closet, and drew some whiskers. Bam! I mean, RAWR! When in doubt, or poor, go for the animal trend, it is always in style.
Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman: The next year I went as one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. You can’t read it, but in that photo, I was “hanging up my shingle.” The magic of a costume is in its details. I bought the skirt, shawl, and my “medicine bag” at a local thrift shop. While my friends that year dressed up as Unicorns, Corpse Brides, and Playboy Bunnies, I couldn’t have been happier rocking my Dr. Mike outfit. Passion, confidence, and a heart full of fun can make your night on the town all the better.
The Incredible Hulk: Ok, so this year obviously needs a backstory. I
was am still working my butt off, supporting myself. And this year, Halloween sort of crept up on me. Before I knew it, the day had arrived and I still didn’t have a costume. I worked in the morning, and then ran to the store to scope out the remaining costumes. *gasp* I know, this was the only year I bought a pre-made costume. Problem was, I’m petite and all the adult costumes left were like XXL. But Perseverance Experts know how to improvise! This is child’s Incredible Hulk costume that I stuffed my body into. I had to buy some green tights and a longsleeve green shirt to wear underneath. I also had to cut the neckline open to breath and I ripped several seams throughout the night, but I was a hit! Strangers got their picture with me! So I say, if you’re in a hurry, seek out your inner superhero.
Medusa: Now this costume is a particular fave. As a kid we learn the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Why not do this with costumes too? I borrowed this one from my sister who made it with her husband the previous year. The dress is a simple sheet material toga with some gold jewelry. Then buy a bulk bag of toy snakes that wiggle or bend and spray paint them green. Adhere snakes to a wire cap, and place over a fabric cap for comfort. Don’t look now, you just got the evil eye from Medusa! Every time I moved my snakes moved with me and people oohed and aahed all night. Dancing was a little tricky, but totally worth it!
Mrs. Peacock: Last year’s costume was a group effort because more heads are better than one. A friend and I went to the thrift store and held our own “supermodel documentary hour,” AKA fashion show with the craziest dresses we could find. Suddenly the idea hit me. The cast of the board game CLUE. I purchased the perfectly peacock colored dress with the feather sleeves. I went to the craft store and bought a pack of peacock feathers for my hair and made earrings. I borrowed the belt, glasses, and wrench from friends. This was a great ensemble idea and friends felt like part of team!
So there you have a brief history of costume advice from your perseverance expert. I’ll bet you have more clever ideas. Tell me, what have been your favorite Halloween costumes over the years? Do you make your own, recycle with friends, or elaborate on pre-made? No matter how you style up, have fun…or else! It was Mrs. Peacock with the wrench in the blogosphere!