Ghosts of Halloweens Past

I thought I’d post a sampler of some past Halloween costumes. Sometimes I throw an idea together out of my closet and Goodwill finds (Alice from Resident Evil, Lady Gaga, Morticia, 70’s Tennis Pro), or rent something special from Costumes, etc. (Anne Boleyn, Geisha), and sometimes I go for a decent store-bought (Catwoman, Pocahontas). My mom used to sew magnificent costumes for me when I was young…a gypsy skirt out of tiered jewel-tone swimsuit material, a bat costume complete with cape for “batty” wings, a witch costume embellished with beaded moons and stars. She never gives herself credit for being so delightfully creative, skilled and inventive. This is the woman who made up an elephant costume in 5 minutes with some dryer hose and elastic.

We both get our creative bend from Bam…she made me a Hershey Kiss costume out of silver lame when I was about 5. It had a pointy hat that you could stuff with tissue to make it stand up with a big white ribbon featuring pale blue Hershey lettering down it. I still wear it on occasion when I need a clever costume! Bam also made my brother a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger costume once (the blue one…do they have names?). It was the most difficult pattern EVER, most especially the 100-piece, fitted skull cap mask that had to have been designed by an origami master.

I previously posted Patrick’s lopster costume and added his Napoleon Dynamite costume in this post. What an easy cool costume! Jeans, moon boots (puffy snow boots from Land’s End work well), a “Vote For Pedro” t-shirt made at home with iron-on applique letters, a trimmed red afro wig and dorky glasses. Pat and I LOVE that movie, so it was perfect for him. “What are you gonna do today, Napolean?” “Whatever I feel like, gosh!”

Nowadays, as Miranda on Sex and the City once remarked, ladies choices have been mostly whittled down to “sexy witch or cat”. Admittedly, many of my costumes run towards the racy. I like to feel glamorous if I’m going to dress up. My best friend, Coco Loco, and I have gone out as Victoria’s Secret Angels (awesomely easy costume by the way…just take a sexy nighty/teddy and booty shorts, pair with matching wings, scandalous high heels and fly off to a costume contest). The best part is being able to block people out with your wings. Or smack them. Last year I went as Catwoman (the Halle Berry costume version). Lesson to self…do not expect to wear skin-tight pantsuit AND fake nails. My pants shimmied down my body whenever I sat, went up stairs or moved. I lost nails every time I tried to pull them up, so eventually, I had to appoint my beau as my official wedgie man.

One of my favorite pulled-together costumes was Alice from Resident Evil. No, I was not Lara Croft, ever. Only my fabulous, sci-fi loving Georgia Tech friends recognized who I was. I wore a $5 polyester trench coat from Goodwill (which I distressed with paint), $60 vintage lace-up riding boots on eBay, $10 scarf at Target, $10 belt at Target, $3 vest at Goodwill, $2 stockings ripped to create a garter look, $10 goggles found online, my own white shirt and my own khaki shorts (distressed with paint, like the trench coat). The finishing touch was real thigh holsters from a police officer buddy AND his training decoy pistols (not real guns, just look and feel heavy like the real thing). The only splurge in cost was the riding boots, which I wore for several years and enjoyed. Despite not being well-recognized as my character, I got SO many compliments (AND had a zombie friend to accompany me). Ladies, trust me, if you want to ring a romantic dinner bell, I have two words for you…THIGH HOLSTERS.

If I do go for store-bought, I try to make it as close to the inspiration as possible. For my Pocahontas costume, I wore my mother’s handmade Ojibwan deerskin and beaver fur moccassins that were beaded by my Gokmas (Native American grandmother). They are a family heirloom and I treasure them. Plus, they are super warm and comfortable. I’m already percolating on a new costume for next year…it goes back to my art history roots and should be amazing! I’m certain only art buffs will recognize exactly who I am, but I don’t mind that. It’s better to be an original work of art. 😉  Hope everyone has a safe, spectacular Halloween!


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