Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Girls Who Wear Glasses on Halloween

Before you suggest it – in fact, before you even think it — let me stop you right there: Yes, I have already been Daria for Halloween. I’m sure any bespectacled brunette with bangs and a penchant for monotone sarcasm has been told, year after year, “You know, you should be Daria for Halloween,” as if no one else had ever been clever enough to make that connection before, including myself. Been there. Done that, in 2007. And no one knew who I was, despite a practically spot-on outfit.

And Waldo. Of course I’ve been Waldo. I kept a red-and-white-striped shirt in my wardrobe years after it ceased to exist in my regular clothing rotation for the singular fact that maybe, one day, I would need to use it for a Waldo costume. And yes, people found me.

With a pair of thick-rimmed glasses often being my preferred method of vision, every year, as fall approaches, I turn into one of those weirdos who starts planning for Halloween the closer the calendar gets to the “R” months. Thankfully, I’m able to internalize this thought-process until October like a normal person, but it’s always at work in my brain, every couple of nights when I’m trying to fall asleep on Wednesday, or something, and think, “Gee, instead of sleeping, I should take this quiet spell to think up a Halloween costume.” 

And having no skill at devising the kind of clever topical getups that brainier people are so on top of — like a binder full of women, for example — I often stick to disguises of the pop-culture variety. Someone everyone knows and is very glad to see at their neighborhood Halloween party.

But I’m running out of options.

Often, the riddle becomes even more difficult when taking into account a specific hair color and length (and an aversion to wigs that developed due to a particularly itchy and tangled witch’s mane that was part of a fourth-grade getup). No matter how many attempts I may make with a box, my locks will never be red enough to pass as a proper Pepper Ann. That year I was Daria? It’s possible no one got it because my hair was chin length and not past my shoulders like it should have been, to be truly authentic. I had a brief Tina Fey-style window in 2010, but now my hair is much too long to pass for everyone’s favorite NBC star, even though it is the absolute easiest costume of all time. I already own plenty of blazers.

Plus Ghost World’s Enid is out, because of the whole wig thing.

I’m out of ideas. The last couple of years, I’ve Googled “best costume glasses girl,” and the last couple of years the same Yahoo Answers page turns up. For 2012, it being so late in the game, I think I’ll be Rushmore’s Max Fischer, as long as I can find some khakis. Still, I’m open to suggestions.

Susan Cohen is a staff writer for a Charleston, S.C.-based alt-weekly. 

129 Comments / Post A Comment


If you hang out with excessively nerdy types, grab some pink posterboard and go as Fake Geek Girl?


@anachronistique Difficult to pull off, as one has to make it obvious that one is making fun of the misogynistic fear of fake geek girls, as opposed to actual "fake geek girls." Awkward Halloween cocktail party discussions ensue! Unless one is looking for some good arguin'!


that was cool thanks for posting it@k

maybe partying will help

Baroness? Or Anita from 101 Dalmations! That gives you an excuse to read all night while wearing a cloche and a sardonic expression.


@maybe partying will help As if you need an excuse!


Can you just "nerd" or "smartify" any other costume the same way people "sexy" any other costume? Nerdy cat, nerdy butterfly, nerdy zombie, etc.

I don't think you're a nerd, I wear glasses too! But it could work.

Lily Rowan

@KatnotCat OMG, I love that as an idea!

Me, I just wear glasses. "What do you mean? I'm a vampire who wears glasses!"


@KatnotCat This is a great idea! OR, combine the two - Sexy Nerd!


@KatnotCat Depending on how thick and black the glass frames are, I think "Hipster-ifying" things is the new sexy-ifying and zombie-ifying costumes.


@TheBourneApproximation True! She now has Hipster Disney princesses to choose from. And because the costumes are so recognizable, you don't have to worry about your hair looking not-quite-right. Even if you have short brown hair, as long as you're wearing a yellow ballgown you're pretty recognizable as Hipster Belle.


@KatnotCat Yes, you can! I dressed as a superhero for a Halloween show Saturday night, and my glasses made the costume look EVEN BETTER.

Sexy Smart Superhero

Rachel Hadaway@twitter

Blonde wig + black frames = Kelly, betch!


"Dorothy Parker Aphorism".


@Decca Egads, this made me howl with laughter.


yayoi kusama!


I'm going as Daria this year because people always tell me that I remind them of Daria. Something about my sarcasm and flat affect? Anyway I recently cut my hair way too short to be Daria like but I decided that Daria wouldn't care enough to buy a wig so neither would I.

Anyway I've never really considered my glasses as an element or detractor of my costume. Ghost with glasses? Skeleton with glasses? Large pair of glasses also wearing glasses?


I always just ignore the glasses and do what I want, or do something to which glasses are irrelevant, like lazy person zombie makeup. No one has really complained.

This year I got told I should be Daria, Liz Lemon, and The New Girl all in the same night. Who knew having growing-out brown hair was considered such a distinctive trait.


Are you okay with that drugstore color hairspray stuff? If so, I'd say Hipster Ariel all the way...


@suiterkin Man, I love that drugstore spray-on hair color. I've used it so many times. Admittedly, it is super gross. But effective!

evil melis

Pepper Ann thought she was too cool for seventh grade. Pepper Ann thought she was too cool for helmets.

Pepper Ann isn't too cool for anything now.

polka dots vs stripes

I am also anti-wig (well, really, I'm anti-spending money on something I'm going to wear once and then will keep around forever "just in case") aaaand I have red hair, so even if I wanted to be Tina Fey, I would just look like "girl who came home from work and didn't put a costume on"

I solve this problem by being rabidly anti-Halloween. Although I am getting into decor this year!

like a rabid squirrel

I was Daria this year and almost nobody got it until they asked, and I DO have Daria length and color hair. I think it's just that the costume (which was pretty spot-on) was all stuff I already owned and would wear anyway. Also I second the Hipster Ariel recommendation above.

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@like a rabid squirrel This always happens to me! I dress up as something with glasses that is vaguely nerdy and people ask why I didn't dress up :| My attire is always "Nerd" costume. Except the one time I dressed up as Mary Poppins (with umbrella, hat, coat, scarf, high waist skirt, white blouse, carpet bag, gibson girl hair, flippin whole kit and caboodle) and people kept saying it was a great nun costume. ??? I was not wearing a habit, where was this coming from??


Harriet Potter?

Judith Slutler

@Lucienne Yes! This sounds awesome! What if you got together with 2 friends and did a gender flipped Hermione (Herman?) and Ron (Ronya maybe) as well.


@Emmanuelle Cunt Cute! But maybe "Rhonda"?

RK Fire

@Lucienne: This is a fantastic idea! You guys are awesome and someone should do this.


Velma from Scooby Doo works if you have short hair.


@Brunhilde I also immediately thought of Velma.


@Brunhilde YES! And Velma is a great excuse to bring your dog. Double points if it does NOT resemble a great dane.


@Brunhilde I was Velma 2 years ago and Daria last year, and I've determined that people only figure these out if you do it as a group (someone else as Shaggy, etc.). Otherwise they're all, "What's with the red and orange?"

fondue with cheddar

@Brunhilde I'm Velma this year! I've got short brown hair with bangs and dark-framed glasses so it was a no-brainer.

I'm disappointed that she didn't make the list.


I saw at least 5 where's waldos out on Saturday. I think because I am a Rude Fucking Drunk I actually may have asked a few of them if they were all a group together because I saw so many of them? Except, they weren't standing in a group together so, one iota of brain processing probably could have given me the answer to that question.


@redheaded&crazie A friend of mine made a bunch of waldos all stand together at the bar with a dude dressed in an awesome teen wolf outfit on saturday so she could get a photo. Im pretty sure none of the waldos were together.



evil melis

"Im afraid ur TOO COOL for seventh grade," the principal said. "yeah well im not afraid of ANYTHING" pepper ann stubbed a cigarette out on his neck & skateboarded away

evil melis

ps pepper ann had LESBIAN MOMS none of this "aunt" nonsense


@JessicaLovejoy I went as Pepper Ann a couple years back (natural redhead- woot!) And NO ONE got it. I even made the skirt!


@evil melis Don't forget Moose, the baby dyke in training!


@shart_attack How long did it take everyone to figure out Moose was a girl? I still have to think about it really hard.


@JessicaLovejoy Pepper Ann she's like one in a mill-ION!


I always sing the song from one of the teasers when I do my laundry: La La La Laundry Day, La La La The Pearson Way!


I keep forgetting that Halloween isn't over yet.


@Slutface Do you think people will be going out in costume this upcoming Saturday? Surely not ... SURELY NOT?!!?! God I can't take much more of this.

evil melis

@redheaded&crazie Saturday? Do you mean...tomorrow?


@evil melis nooo ... tomorrow I can handle!

A cab driver on Saturday said to me "business is slow tonight ... probably because halloween is in the middle of the week some people are out this saturday and some will go out next saturday" but ... no. right? no.


@redheaded&crazie Don't ask me. I haven't been out on a Saturday night in months. I don't know what people do!


I'm going out tonight, and I may wear my costume!


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll seems reasonable! I think my halloween grinchyness in the comment above comes from not having enough time to come up with multiple different costumes to wear across multiple halloween celebrations, so everybody should just ignore me and wear costumes as many nights as they like.


Yeah, I think the thing to do is just come up with one costume and then wear it every time you are going out for the entire week around Halloween. I mean, that's cool, right (I'm cool, right)?


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll That's what I did but I am kinda concerned about trying to wear my costume again. I was a zombie, so there's spray paint ("dirt"), red corn syrup, and greasy makeup all over everything I wore. I think washing the clothes would be a very bad idea. But I've already worn them twice, and the first time involved a 14 mile bike ride. I don't think I can get away with wearing them again... zombies smell like rotting flesh, not B.O.


Yeah, I'm just a baseball player, so that's kind of easier.

Except that the baseball player pants we got are just small enough that they hold up when I'm standing up, but when I sit down the snaps come undone? I did not figure this out until I was already out at dinner on Saturday. Argh! Maybe I'll just stand all night.


I'm a girl with thick black roundish glasses, and I'm going as girl!Harry (Potter, duh). The only expense so far is a $10 Gryffindor scarf from the local costume shop. I'm painting a scar on my forehead with eyeliner and wearing a button down with a sweater over it.

glow bug

@Lyesmith !!!


Log Lady! Be the Log Lady from Twin Peaks!


@jodiefosterhome I WAS THE LOG LADY THIS YEAR!!! And two people at the party I went to actually knew who I was (yay grad students!).


@jodiefosterhome Bless this post.


@jodiefosterhome @owlegg I ALSO WENT AS THE LOG LADY THIS YEAR! No one knew who I was, but I did get several compliments on my log (it was a log pillow...it had things to tell people).

Becky Russo@facebook

@jodiefosterhome i also am going as the log lady this year!!

log lady

@jodiefosterhome Despite my username and avatar, I have to admit that I have never actually gone as the Log Lady! I feel like such a fraud after having revealed this to all of you. Alas, I live in Philly and none of my friends here give a shit about Twin Peaks, and logs are just so heavy to carry around all night for a costume nobody will "get".


Dr. Jacoby would be fun. Or post-hair-whitening Leland. Most of the characters would be great. An off-Halloween Twin Peaks only costume party would be great. My friend was thinking about being Bob but I told him that he is too terrifying to even pull off. When I think of the creepiest dude possible, Bob pops in my mind.


@whizz_dumb Bob! So, so horrifying. I just needed to get that out. I actually shuddered when I read your post.


@log lady I was hoping you would show up here! <3


Go straight to comic books. Some amazing glasses options like Fem!Clark Kent with a Superman shirt under a button down, Oracle (former Batgirl), Carrie Kelly (one of the Robins), Fem!Spider Jerusalem (gonzo journalist from the future), Kitty Pryde...or just say screw it and wear glasses even when they don't fit the costume.

Judith Slutler

@crosberg Femme Clark Kent sounds like fun.


@crosberg Fem Clark Kent sounds awesome.


@Emmanuelle Cunt I did that one year and it was super fun. Having short, curly dark hair didn't hurt since I had the spit curl without any effort.


@iceberg Thanks, it definitely is!

Reginal T. Squirge

Isn't Femme Clark Kent just Rachel Maddow?



@crosberg Or Thessaly from the Sandman books! Although unless your friends are huge Sandman nerds, you might end up having to explain yourself.


@Reginal T. Squirge a) you are correct b) you deserve a cookie for being correct c) my nerd crush on her would go straight to nerd boner if she had a spit curl all the time.


@snowmentality That's the main reason I didn't delve into more esoteric stuff. Spider Jerusalem is pretty out there, but he's relatively iconic and he's in EVERY issue of Transmet, unlike Thessaly.


@crosberg My friend backed out of being She-Hulk at the last minute and we were all more than a little disappointed.

Leah Belanger@facebook

Mary Ann from the babysitters club?


I have used my glasses as a "platform" for costumes many a time... just tape/sew stuff to the frames. Flowers (petals coming out of glasses, green outfit)... "donut girl" (that's a thing right?) with glittery cut-out paper donuts all over me, including the glasses frames... a bird with wings coming out of my old cat-eye glasses... I have also used a paper bag over my head and drawn stuff on it before (the Empire State Bldg w/ night sky behind) but that doesn't last long because it's no fun to have a bag over your head. My boyfriend has a similar look (brown hair, tortoise glasses, he has longer hair in front and I have bangs, we are the same height) and I have tried to get him to dress up as me and v-v, but no luck so far.


I was the Bee Girl from Blind Melon's "No Rain" video 2 years in a row. (I'd moved across the country & the costume took FOREVER to make so I justified it.) A lot of people I interacted with had NO IDEA who I was (both college towns) and just asked if I was a bee. And it was perfect! I even dyed the leotard myself. Sigh.

paper bag princess

@macaroni I was coming down here to suggest that! I did it a couple of years ago. I was thrilled if people guessed "The Bee Girl", but got very upset if they guessed "bumblebee." I loved that costume.


@macaroni A friend's baby daughter was the Bee Girl, and it made me weep for joy.


@par_parenthese HOLY CRAP. If/when I have a daughter, she will totes be the Bee Girl. That sounds criminally adorable.


I was Garth and boyfriend was Wayne this year!

maybe partying will help


I was Wayne once! Easy and fun. I made flash cards with stuff like "This man blows goats" like from the movie, and held them up in all the photographs from the night. :)


@cosmia I was JUST THINKING that Wayne and Garth would be an adorable couple-costume! Show us a photo pls :)


@planforamiracle I can't embed photos onto The Hairpin but here's a link! http://i46.tinypic.com/28qu8ft.jpg


@cosmia that is adorable AND awesome!


My sister and her BF went the kids from Moonrise Kingdom but gender bended. He wore a wig and one of her dresses with knee high socks and a pair of binoculars around his neck, and she wore her big ole glasses with a thrifted boyscout shirt and thrifted racoon cap, plus shorts, socks and shoes out of her usual wardrobe. You could also go as lone Sam without a Suzie if you can't find someone to pair up with you. Of course, your Suzie could be not gender bended!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

You could be Squints from The Sandlot, and then keep pretending to drown so you can make out with everyone who tries to perform CPR on you.


I seriously just created an account just to say that the whole glasses and costume thing is totally annoying. If you can wear sunglasses (I have prescription), then Carmen Sandiego is a fun one and pretty easy to do, just a red coat and a red hat. Also I think it was said above too, but Femme Clark Kent and Velma are quality glasses costumes!


I'm going as Velma this year. Hipster Velma to be exact. You can get away with glasses by adding "Hipster" onto any costume. Other prefixes work too, have you seen Zombie Slayer Daria?! It's excellent.


You could do a more full-on version of my plan for work tomorrow, if you're good at drawing - do a bunch of fake prison tattoos (i have a few really real looking fake tatts, but you could easily hand-draw, like, a teardrop next to your eye or something), and if anyone asks you what you're supposed to be, just look blankly at them.


@iceberg or Sexy This Guy: http://cincinnati.com/freetime/movies/other/img/masterofdisguise.jpg


I'm being Arthur (the aardvark, the cartoon) for Halloween this year since one day when wearing a yellow pullover sweater I realized that the brown, round frames of my glasses are just like his! Just had to make sure I had a pair of red sneakers and a shirt with a white collar too. I may put my hair in two buns and make paper ears. So that was simple, but I don't know what I'll do any other year for the rest the Halloweens in my life.


@boxofcams This is the greatest thing I have ever heard of.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@boxofcams For all these years I thought he was an anteater...


Hey now, my Daria costume has seen me faithfully through several Halloweens. I'm actually kind of mystified to see all the other Darias here, since I never ran into another one. Further proof that you are all my spirit animals. ("GIRLS! Have you seen your father's spirit animal?")


@TheLetterL "He was just talking to it about his childhood when it scampered off into the bush."

Veronica K. Sepe@twitter

A never nude, specifically Tobias if you want to incorporate the glasses. Skin colored leotard, cut off denim shorts, a stick on mustache if you really feel like it, and some blue paint smeared randomly on face/arms/legs for good measure. I didn't do anything special w my hair and everyone still got it.


Log Lady from Twin Peaks. I've done it twice, and basically all you need is a log and a ski sweater cardigan type thing.


Wait, but Max Fischer is incredible. Run with that.


@itiresias And find ANYONE in hospital scrubs. And have some form of this:

"Hey, what's your costume?"
"Slutty nurse! Haha!"
"But what is that you're wearing?"
"..A costume.."
"Would you say they count as scrubs?"
"What? I guess.."
"Could you say that they are? Maybe for the O.R.?"
"No, could you say it to me? Like, say what they are to me, right now?"
"These are..scrubs.."
"For where though??"
"These are O.R. scrubs..."


@itiresias hahahah I love that part. I think of it whenever I see "O RLY"-type memes..


While this doesn't really help for this year, the best thing is Zenni Optical! Cheap prescription glasses (starting at $8 including lenses) so if you want to do a glasses costume of someone who wears distinctive glasses of a style that you do not have, you can usually find something that works on there. At that price you don't really have to feel all that bad about only wearing them once, and it can help make glasses costumes easier to recognize when the frames are spot on.


Also, I was just a zombie with glasses (or maybe hipster zombie) this year. I actually got non-prescription whiteout contacts to make my eyes look creepy, and just wore a pair of cheap glasses that I didn't make getting gross makeup all over.


Zooey Deschanel? (If Zooey Deschanel has enough recognition to be a costume. I say yes.)

Elizabeth Grey

I can say from experience that pretty much no one will get this, but: Darren Nichols from Slings and Arrows! Bonus points if you can convince a friend to dress like Geoffrey Tennant and stage a duel in the middle of your Halloween party. Plus, you get to make a crazy awesome un-matching outfit! And speak condescendingly of the Common Man!


@Elizabeth Grey I love you so much.


I just went to a party as the Tenth Doctor this weekend! I'd already given myself the haircut while watching Doctor Who drunk a month earlier (FYI, that David Tennant hair looks GREAT on women) and have rectangular frames. The rest was just tailoring a pinstriped suit and channeling my manic pixie side all night.


The secretary from Ghostbusters (http://thethoughtexperiment.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/gb121.jpg)!! I can't find a good screenshot that shows her outfit but she is amazing. Plus if you have a friend with glasses they could be Rick Moranis!

barefoot gardener

What about Dawn Weiner from Welcome to the Dollhouse? Or the girl from Little Miss Sunshine? Aslo love the Zooey Deschanel idea!


Can we have one of these posts for Girls Who Have Curly Hair on Halloween?

(No, I won't straighten it.)


@teenagewerewolf Weird Al, Cher in Mermaids, JESSIE SPANO


@teenagewerewolf I saw a bunch of curly redheaded Meridas this weekend!

Chareth Cutestory

@teenagewerewolf I have dark curly hair and I'm going as Bertha Mason from Jane Eyre. It's the easiest costume I've ever done. I put on a giant Victorian style Gunne Sax dress I snagged for $2, tease my hair for a few seconds, and VOILA! You've got yourself a madwoman in the attic!

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@Chareth Cutestory That is the best!

Valley Girl

I was Wednesday Addams with astigmatism this weekend, and near-sighted Amy Winehouse the year before, but I always count on cheap wigs to carry the look off. Pretending to have long luxurious locks is the best part of playing dress-up.

fondue with cheddar

@Valley Girl I always end up ditching the glasses and being half-blind on Halloween.


A 4 year old girl gave me the best suggestion this year: John, the older brother from Peter Pan. Top hat, umbrella, white night shirt. I have a pixie cut, but if you have long hair you could easily tuck it under the hat.




Pretty obscure unless in a crowd of gamers/anime fans, but the entire cast of Persona 4 wears glasses. http://www.imgbase.info/images/safe-wallpapers/video_games/persona_4/8479_persona_4.jpg



Itchy wigs have but one solution: A good wig-cap.

For serious. I have an amazing one made out of soft nylon, and it covers the tops of my ears, so I don't also get itchies there.


Tina from Bob's Burgers. As long as you hook up with a zombie.


(And yes I've been Daria for Halloween...but everybody thought I went as myself.)


Meg Griffin from family guy! Did that one year- pink hat+ tee shirt, glasses, short brown hair, attitude. DONE.

Lush Life

* White button-down, brown undershirt, brown belt, khakis, verbal display of neuroses = Fem Alvy Singer

* Black button-down, black leather sportcoat, bone necklace, ironic commentary = Fem Dr. Ian Malcolm



Costume for a the real-life stereotypical nerd girl (not the porn version):

Don't shower for three days (two if you're naturally more greasy than average), while eating at least half a box of twinkies or other such packaged desert cakes. You should not look gross, but you should not look especially clean, either.

Find a large, ill-fitting (preferably men's) shirt that has a logo on it referencing any of the following:
Any Nintendo anything
Comedy/Parody Band
A math joke based on a PHONETIC pun(visual puns and word+word=lolword jokes do not count)
A convention that happened at least three years ago
Metal Band

PANTS, preferably pajama bottoms. Jeans will do.

Running shoes, canvas sneakers, or clunky boots. The comfier the better.

Fancy and delicate earrings/neclace. Real sh*t, not costume.

Put your hair in a messy low pony tail, throw on a hoodie from the bottom of your hamper, overfill its pockets, and GO.


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