What the Heck Happened to Halloween Costumes?

I remember Halloween when I was a kid.  I remember costumes that we threw together with thrift store items or bits and pieces left over from old costumes stored in a Rubbermaid box under the stairs.  I recall one year when my grandmother made me a costume of an angel and I believe my sister was a devil.

I was in the mall last year around Halloween and some company had rented out an empty space for the month of October and set up a Halloween store so The Boyfriend and I decided to peruse and see what was up.  They had some awesome makeup, props, and accessories but the thing I couldn’t believe was how much the costumes had become all about guys getting fun and creative costumes and girls getting costumes that showed the most amount of skin and really didn’t make any sense at all regarding the supposed “theme”.

For example, I give you the two wizard (read: Harry Potter rip-off) costumes I spotted.  As you can see, the male version is quite good.  It looks like the movies did.  The female version, however, is somewhat…off:

2011-10-18 20.27.31

Now I’m not a prude and I’m all for sexy costumes if someone desire to wear one, but I don’t understand why the guy gets to wear the actual GOOD looking costume and the woman is stuck either wearing the male version if she actually wants to look like the movie character, or she had to parade around with her ass cheeks hanging out in close to freezing weather.  It’s Canada up here, people…we used to have to wear costumes that would fit over snow suits.  It’s freaking cold on Halloween.

Another example we stumbled across was an M&M costume.  Yes…the candy that apparently will not melt in your hand (I still call shenanigans on this) somehow managed to be turned into a sexy costume.

2011-10-18 20.23.36

My problem with this?  IT’S NOT A FREAKING COSTUME!!  It’s a skin tight tank dress with a picture of an M&M on it.  It’s like when you were little and you’d get the cheap costume with a picture of superman on the smock and a cardboard picture of his face with a crappy elastic around your head and you’d have to pretend to be Superman looking like a weanie in a plastic blue smock and a mask that broke in five seconds.  And you don’t look like a weanie in this one…you look like a chick wearing a bar dress with a stupid picture of an M&M on it.  NOT a costume…dress with a picture of what your costume was supposed to be.  There is a difference.

Just to emphasize my point, I give you the following comparison.  Again, the guy’s costume actually LOOKS like what the character is supposed to be, and the chick is wearing a tiny, short dress with a picture of the desired character pasted on the front of it.

2011-10-18 20.29.512011-10-18 20.29.34

I am of the opinion that if you want to wear something “slutty” for Halloween, dress like something that is supposed to look that way.  I don’t understand taking the name of whatever you want to dress like, putting the word “sexy” in front of it, and then destroying what the concept of the costume was supposed to be in the first place.  For example, in the Batman universe, Harley Quinn (on of my favourite characters) is always sexy.  I’ve seen her in the jester costume and I’ve seen her in the awesome outfits she wore in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City (Google searches for pictures here and here.  A “sexy” costume of her would make sense.  A sexy costume of Robin, The Boy Wonder?  That just doesn’t make any sense to me:

2011-10-18 20.29.112011-10-18 20.28.26

Heck, one of those even has a picture of Robin in the bottom corner and honestly, I don’t see his boobs popping out of the costume.

I don’t know…honestly I prefer to still make all of my costume with odds and ends from the thrift store.  I love picking through the racks and finding the perfect item to go with the concept and pulling it all together to take the wee tots trick or treating.  I still have a giant Rubbermaid bin of all the costumes I’ve had in the last ten years in the storage closet (much to The Boyfriend’s chagrin) just in case I need to use something from a past outfit and I love it.  I think it’s great to see people dressed up in original costumes or things they made themselves.  It seems like there’s so much more care and fun put into it.

I know it’s a month early and all but Trick or Treat everyone…hope you all have a great Halloween and get your hands on massive amounts of candy!!

Advertisements

Small Town Halloween

I have very fond memories of Trick or Treating in the little town I grew up in.  It was small (less than 1000 people when I was a kid) and for a really small child, it was great because you felt safe and it was fun and when you got to be older, it was awesome because you could hit almost every house in town and end up with two pillow cases full of candy by the end of the night.  It was great to show up at everyone’s door, have a small chat about this and that, and then head to the next house.  The parents who take their kids out go in groups and chat, dress up and have a great time while monitoring their youngsters.  Everyone is polite and compliment the kids’ costumes and I always felt overall that it was a great place to celebrate Halloween as a child.

When I moved to the city, I tried to become one of those awesome people handing out candy that made my childhood so great.  It never seemed to work out as well.  I have noticed a few things about Halloween in the city (and remember, I did not grow up here at all, and am probably biased).  For one thing, there are WAY less kids trick or treating in the city.  I think the most I have ever had come to the door was about fifteen and I was always left sad at the end of the night because no one came to my house for candy.  I asked around and this is a common occurrence.  At my mother’s house back home, she had 250 + kids come to the door last year.  This is a significant difference.

I also find that the kids are less polite here.  I don’t know why, some of them seem really great and their parents are nice but some of them come to the door in half ass costumes and don’t even say thank you.  After the first time this happened, I adopted a personal rule: If I can make the effort to dress up to hand out the candy, people aren’t getting said candy unless they’re nice and they made a decent effort in dressing up.  Show up at my house dressed as a “rapper” or a “hipster” (basically wearing street clothes) and you get no candy.  These are the rules.

Anyway, on we go to the point of this post (I know, it took a LONG damn time to get here, sorry about that, folks). I was hanging out with some

An awesome little costume, before we covered it up with a winter coat.

friends at work on break when one of them mentioned that her daughter was six years old and had never had a decent Halloween experience because trick or treating in the city kind of sucked.  Everything was far apart, you didn’t get much candy and it just didn’t feel very much like Halloween.  DING!!!  Lightbulb over the head kind of moment.  I immediately spoke up and volunteered to take her and her daughter (and another friend and her daughter, who unfortunately got sick and couldn’t come) back to my hometown and let them trick or treat there.  So Sunday rolled around and I got dressed up as a witch of sorts, all excited and eager to go home again for Halloween and I picked them up, driving the forty or so minutes to my home town.  Her little girl was dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast and she looked freaking adorable.

We arrived at my parents’ house and were pleased to find special made candy bags for her little girl and the other one who fell ill (thanks Mom, you rock) and a bowl of assorted candy on the table that said, “Help yourselves”…which we did.  We headed out into the town and I was thrilled to find that her daughter was immediately commenting on how much fun it was and that she was having a great time.  I was having a blast.  It was like flashback central.  I chatted with parents who had their kids out, got candy from my relatives’ houses and admired all the decorations and effort that some people put into making the night that much better for everyone.

Some people had entire scenes built in their front yards complete with fog, lasers, spooky music (or in the case of one house, endless remixes of Michael Jackson’s Thriller), and tonnes of different decorations.

This house had everything: lasers, fog, awesome decorations and endless remixes of Thriller

My awesome cousin, who got into the spirit and painted herself totally green with Acrylic paint.

I loved the atmosphere of everything, but it was definitely freaking cold.  I was silly and didn’t have any mittens or a coat or anything.  Darn the fact that my mother wasn’t home when we left so she could tell me I was being stupid and give me a pair of mittens and a sweater at least.  You’ll notice to the right that my cousin was smarter than me and had a coat and mittens on and still looked awesome.  This is required for Halloween in Canada.  Costumes designed to fit over snowsuits are a way of life up here.  I had forgotten that little tidbit in the 13 or so years since I had gone trick or treating for myself.

I will say that I had a great time and I loved seeing my friends daughter have such a good time and

Perfect, no sugar, no cream...just epic coffee goodness as it was intended to be. I was so warm after that and we were able to trick or treat for another forty minutes.

ask if we could return for trick or treating next year.  However, I must mention the best part of my night.  Actually, there were two.  We stopped at one older woman’s house and she was absolutely sweet as sugar and she gave “Belle” her candy and then looked at me and said, “Aren’t you going to come get your candy too?”  She thought I was a kid!!!  It made my night, I felt way younger than my 27 years of age.  I thanked her and told her that it was alright and I was old enough to buy my own.  The second favourite thing for me that night was stopping at the local volunteer fire department where my father is the chief.  They were handing out candy to the kids and I got my favourite treat of the night: coffee.  Yes, that’s right…I trick or treated for coffee and it was wonderful.

Workplace Halloween Shenanigans

Well friends, another Halloween has come and gone.  Candy is handed out, children are hyper and feeling the sugar hangover everywhere and the costumes are put away.  It’s a rather melancholy feeling when you say goodbye to such a fun holiday every year.  I love Halloween and have since I was a little kid.  I look forward to it just as much as Christmas every year.  Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up in a costume and parade around like it’s totally normal?  I fight the temptation throughout the rest of the year to dress up and wander into the workplace and just be like, “What’s up?  Yeah, that’s right.  Today, I’m Batman.”  Ah…to live the dream.

But anyway, I’ve wandered from the point.  This year was no different and I rose quite early on Friday morning to put my costume together.  I chose to be Medusa this year and let me tell you, applying little rubber/plastic snakes to long, semi-curly hair is not an easy thing to do.  The boyfriend was not impressed when I woke him up on the only morning he gets to sleep in and asked him to assist me with this task.  In fact, the boyfriend stood there and watched me in confusion while I ended up completing the task anyway, blinking in the light before I sent him back to bed.  I did feel bad about that.  I got dressed in my pretty black toga that my

This was the winner of top prize this year, a dead bride complete with skull for husband and dying rose bouquet

friend helped me put together and I put on some sandals and did my makeup before I headed out to the car.

DAMN! It was effing cold that morning.  I was basically wearing a sheet and sandals and it must have been zero degrees Celsius.  But I powered through and made it to the office, eager to see my co-workers’ costumes for the day.  Some of them I knew of ahead of time and others were a marvelous surprise.

Below are some pictures of the excellent creations of the day.  The complete list of costumes were as follows: Death (with awesome red eyes), Medusa (that was me), a dead bride (see picture on right), an army person, Linda Blair’s character from the Exorcist, a Gypsy, a Biker, a Leafs fan (Go Leafs!), a Grecian Princess, a Throw Rug (she threw a rug at you), Charlie Brown, a psycho with a cleaver, a flapper girl, a Plaintiff (we work in a law firm, a cat, and some kind of person with a dead child of some sort on their back (I never received the full explanation of this costume.  Oh, and the ultimate awesome for the day, a Irish Press person/Leprechaun/We weren’t sure exactly what except that his pants were too tight.  See photo at bottom.

Me and the ever awesome Stacey, sporting the Death and Medusa look. Inset are her red eyes and the snakes in my hair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, folks, for the grand finale.  The epic tight pants.  Awesome costume, we were all loving it.  I give you IT Mike:

How he managed to function in those pants, we will never know. A brave man going the distance for Halloween. I'm reminded of Howard from The Big Bang Theory.