Halloween is just around the corner and I’ve turned my focus to finding the perfect costume. There are so many considerations and time is of the essence. I don’t want to be the one person with a hastily thrown-together outfit or the one miserable from the cold (which is no picnic!)
Since Halloween is sort of my thing (who’d have guessed?), I thought I’d share some guidelines to help my lovely readers decide the right costume for parties, the weather, and their personalities.
The first thing you consider is what kind of party you’ll be attending. Oftentimes, you’ll have a theme. Arriving at a superhero party dressed up as Dorothy is a bummer (though you might be able to sell the ruby slippers as a superpower.) You can get creative with themes easily. If you’re attending a zombie party, try a zombie mermaid. If the theme is historical figures, make your Cleopatra steampunk.
Take into account who will be at the party. Skimpy outfits aren’t appropriate for work or family functions. If your friends are fans of horror, a Freddy Kruger outfit will delight them. However, if your five year old niece is present, Freddy will be less delightful than distressing. If you’re not sure who will show up, I suggest better safe than sorry. An edgy rock princess will fit in with your friends just fine and won’t scare the pants off of some poor child.
If you’re going to spend any amount of time outside, make sure you have attire for the weather. In most places, Halloween is bitter cold. Some costumes, like Trigun’s Vash, come with a coat of their own. Otherwise, you might end up with a parka over your belly dancer outfit. It might feel like it kills the illusion to put a jacket over a costume, but think about safety first. Bundle up outdoors and show off the costume inside. Alternatively, if your party is during summer or in a poorly ventilated space, don’t forget to account for heat.
Make sure you drink water and take off pieces of your ensemble if you start to overheat.
A mask can be stifling if you wear it for long periods and tight corsets and heavy props become a drag, so be aware of how long you’ll be out and where you can stash your things. Also, high-heels can look fantastic, but if you’re walking or standing for hours, they will also inevitably cause you fantastic amounts of pain. Dress for comfort.
When you dress up, you can become someone else for a night. For a lot of people, this means emulating a hero they admire from a movie or comic book. If you aspire to be like Indiana Jones, go as Indiana Jones! For some, it means a chance to step into someone else’s shoes. If you’re known as a tough cookie, surprise everyone by being something whimsical like a unicorn or fairy. If you’re soft spoken by nature, no one will see your Ruby Rhod impression coming!
Couples’ costumes are always fun. Is she the Rogue to your Gambit? Is he the cop to your robber? Siblings and groups can coordinate, too, and have fun representing their dynamic. One of the most adorable pairs ever is when a mom or dad is Robin to their little Batman. If you’re the boss at a work party, mosey around as sheriff for a few good laughs. Your role among your peers can be just as fun to play with as your personal ambitions.
Making a Costume Perfect
While some are fastidious about costume accuracy, don’t relegate yourself to what you have the gear or gender for. A girl can go as Mike Meyers and a guy can dress up as Sailor Moon. If you want a male or female version of a character (I’ve been Han Solo), go for it! Having the exact equipment isn’t a big deal, either. Whether you can’t afford or find the perfect mask for your Bane or your Spartan armor is made of cardboard, rock the part and it won’t matter.
The “perfect” costume is a nebulous concept. If you make a mistake or run out of time, don’t fret. There’s always next year! If you feel good in what you’re wearing and the part you’re playing, you’ll be a smash success. The perfect costume is the one you’ll have fun in.