Friday, October 26, 2012


How to Make a Halloween Costume

Tiger Costume. Be five or six years old. Be adorable. Have your mother pull your hair back into a ponytail and put you into footed PJs the supposed color of a cat from the wild — orangish-brownish. There should be a head part to this suit, which she has created, topped rakishly by triangular ears with felt pink insides. There should be a hole for your face so your own face can do the work for you. If your mother is very devoted to the craft, she will also sew black stripes using felt or some other fabric upon the arms and back of the suit. Using black eyeliner or possibly mascara, she will paint whiskers onto your face, and add a wee black nose. You won’t remember much about this Halloween, but knowing your parents as you do, you’re sure they didn’t let you eat all of your candy loot at once. By the time, months later, that you got to the bottom of the plastic pumpkin it was stored in, it had been infested by ants and had to be thrown away.

Octopus Costume. Arrange for your parents to have a large appliance delivered a few weeks before Halloween. A stove, maybe, or a refrigerator — both, if you have a sibling. Have a dad, a dad who is maybe an engineer or an architect but at the very least is “handy.” Have him come up with the idea to make your brother a robot costume, and have the brilliant idea yourself that you want to be an octopus. No one is ever an octopus.

Take up the clarinet, but decide you hate it and quickly shift to piano. When your parents let you select your own piano, pick a deep brown upright model made of the silkiest wood, with bronze foot pedals. Love it deeply. Have it delivered on Halloween, so that your thoughts go like this: CANDY! Piano? Candy? Piano. PIANO! Candy! as you traverse the streets knocking on doors and shouting trick-or-treat wearing your painted purple refrigerator box with eight trailing cardboard legs and a Sharpie-drawn octopus smile. Run back home throughout the afternoon, peering through the cut-out eye holes in the box to keep from tripping, to see if the piano has arrived yet. When it hasn’t, resume trick-or-treating. When people ask what you are, respond in a warbly imagined octopus voice, as if you’re underwater and not simply under cardboard. Go home and check again on the piano. You’ll never practice, but no one knows that, yet. 

Witch Costume. From the depths of your mother’s closet comes the witch costume. It’s a black gown she’s had for years, paired with a black pointy hat that needs to sit for a few days on a broom handle so as to shake free its many wrinkles from the year in storage. The gown is too long, but that only makes it witchier, as does its grandma’s-house aroma. Wear sensible shoes and have your mother paint your entire face green, the same virulent green as your brother’s face because he’s going as the Incredible Hulk, or as he says, the “Credible Inhulk.” Rule the streets, green children.

Hooker Costume. Be in fifth grade and be awkward, with the awkward inkling that Halloween is a time in which you should be primarily alluring to boys. Have a red shirt that your mother has loaned you that hangs off one shoulder and a messy side ponytail to accent the other. Borrow orange-red lipstick to create a mouth like a slash across your face. Have a short stonewashed denim skirt that you wear to school, sometimes, but which when paired with this red shirt is somehow a bit of a lady-of-the-night look, which is exactly what you’re going for, or so you think. Have your dad come in and see you and your friend dressed as such and have him cough very loudly and try not to say anything. Have your mom make you wear a windbreaker and wipe off the lipstick before going out to trick-or-treat.

Nun Costume. Several years later, reprise the black dress, shorter now that you’re taller, from the witch costume. Add a habit made from some black-and-white cloth you find in your mother’s sewing closet. Add a cross necklace and a pious expression. Go to a party held by a classmate at a school where you are relatively new, having moved from a northern state to a southern one only recently, and somewhat shy, having yet to master the local dialect or middle-school dynamics. When you get to the party overhear some popular girls whispering, “Of course she’d be a nun!” Be unsure what they mean, exactly, but understand it’s not a compliment. Go home early and eat popcorn with your family while watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and feel not happy, but not sad, either.

Bathrobe Costume. Realize it’s Halloween and you’re in college and what the hell are you supposed to wear in Halloween in college except what’s hanging around in your dorm room? Scan the room. Let your eyes land upon that beige robe that your mom bought you for Christmas the year before, the one you still haven’t worn. Everyone’s dressing up to go see a screening of The Exorcist, so throw it on over your clothes and head out the door and when everyone asks you what you’re supposed to be, say, I’m wearing a bathrobe while shaking your head in disdain. Fortunately, after the fear and Jell-O shots, nobody cares much about costumes anyway.

Skiier Costume. It’s Halloween, and you’re still in college. This time, you're more prepared. You have the ski gear that you’ve toted to your university in its northeast-adjacent environment on the off chance you might actually go skiing, which, of course, you never do. No matter! You gather a delightful ensemble, pants and goggles and snow boots and a patchwork Crayola-hued down jacket and you wear them all, your lift ticket still dangling on its wire attached to the coat, a real gesture at authenticity or simple laziness, but it works! At a party in the dorms you strip down eventually to your long underwear because it turns out that wearing ski clothes inside is kind of hot, and not in the way you were going for.

Cat Costume. Remember when you were a tiger? You rock this look, so do, over and over again. Wear opaque black tights, or maybe shiny or matte leggings. Don a black turtleneck, or a black long-sleeved shirt, or even a black tank top. Buy some cat ears stuck to a headband, and a tail. Reuse them again and again. Attach the tail with a safety pin, and every time it hits the back of your legs, no matter how often it does, over the night or even the years, turn in visceral paranoia that a stranger is touching your butt. Apply makeup liberally: black eyeliner to define cat eyes, whiskers, and a nose; bronzer for a cat complexion; red lips because you’re, obviously, a sexy cat — is there any other kind? At some point you’ll own a cheap, ugly leopard-print coat that you adore, and you’ll throw it on before you go outside in this costume and, hours and hours later, wake up with it still on, even though you’re at home in your own bed, maybe alone, maybe not.

Audrey Hepburn Costume. Write the following note to yourself in your diary to be found (mortifyingly) years later:

In preparation for Halloween, I am assembling the logistical and accessorizable elements of my chosen costume. Mentally and emotionally, I have been preparing for the past year. I will BE Holly Golightly!

Must acquire/purchase/borrow or steal the following:
2 long, arm-length black gloves
1 long and dramatic cigarette holder and 1 cigarette
1 dramatic-type black evening dress
1 pair of extremely large, round sunglasses
1 diamond (looking) tiara
many streaks throughout my brown hair (and the ability to put it up, Audrey-style)
2 large, diamond-looking (or similarly eye-catching) earrings
3 long, strandy pearl necklaces (or 1 that looks like three)

At the party to which you’ll wear this costume, drink worm punch (not real worms) and meet a boy who's wearing a white trash bag with Peeps stapled to it who professes to be a “chick magnet.” Date him through the holidays, purchasing him Crate and Barrel highball glasses for Christmas that you never give to him because you both go home for the holidays and then he dumps you in January to get back together with his college girlfriend, leaving the glasses to sit in your hall closet for more than a year until you finally move and re-appropriate them for yourself.

Bat Costume. Reprise the cat costume except, this time, borrow a tiny Batman cape from a coworker at the place where you’re freelancing — it’s her kid’s, but he’s going as Malcolm Gladwell. Attempt to look batlike (alert, with a razor-sharp sense of hearing) rather than catlike (sleepy, languid, feline). Hang out with Martha-Stewart-in-Jail and a skinny K. Fed in a dark New York City bar with a lot of velvet curtains, sipping strange, sweet drinks. It will take you months to return that cape. In fact, maybe you still have it.

“Starlet” Costume. You really didn’t have time to get it together for this one, so you look through your closet and decide: black slip. You go to the wig store and buy a cheap blonde wig, and throw it on over your brown hair that you’ve bobby-pinned up into oblivion, and add red lipstick, done and done. You have a party to go to and you want to look your best! Unfortunately, you only look cold and borderline undressed, and no one has the faintest idea who or what you’re supposed to be. When you finally get home there are 47 million bobby pins to be removed from your head before you can sleep. Two days later, you’re still finding them.

Edie Sedgwick Costume. Thank goodness you bought that wig last Halloween! Cut it short, like Edie-short (you’ve been reading an Edie Sedgwick biography and you are fascinated — oh the beauty, oh the tragedy), and wear a long- or short-sleeved striped shirt with some opaque black tights and try to convince a friend to dress as Andy Warhol. No one will do it; your friends all want to go as cats. Oh well. Give yourself really dark eyebrows with eyeliner or mascara and add some black streaks to your Edie-hair and put on a pair of big, glitzy earrings. Head to a party, where your friend who believes Halloween costumes should be scary is a vampire with highly realistic fake blood dripping down her face. Participate in a “Thriller” dance-off (you do not win) before leaving to go to another party. There meet a man dressed as a tennis player who asks for your number. Later he will call and ask you on a date, and you will tell your friends the tennis player asked you out; later still, they will ask how your date with “Dennis Blair” was. Everyone will be very confused for a moment but then you will have a good laugh, because he’s not named Dennis Blair any more than he’s an actual tennis player, and isn’t this just how rumors get started? On your date you’ll drink too much and tell Dennis Blair/the tennis player all of this, and he will look at you funny. Don’t worry: You’ll be Facebook friends forever.

Bedbug Costume. Reprise your leggings or opaque black tights from the Edie/Cat/Bat costume. Find an old pink sheet that already has holes in it and cut some more, so you can fit your arms into it and wrap it around you like you’re a terrible, infesting insect hiding in someone’s mattress. You’re all about newsy costumes, and bedbugs are hot right now. Create some sort of antennae out of foil and an old coat hanger, and attach it to your head like it’s a halo. Go to a party, and then to another one, and at the end of the night go home and find that your elderly super has had a heart attack and is being taken to the hospital. Cry hysterically and call the boy with whom you’ve been texting all night; when he offers to come over, take him up on it. When he asks you if you need anything, say Cheetos, but when he brings you the small bag, feel it’s a sign. This will never work. Days later, find out your super has died, feel impossibly sad, and cry some more. When your lease ends, move.

You Costume. You have no real plans, just a few different parties you may or may not go to, and you look out the window and it’s snowing outside, snowing on October 31, what the fuck!? But it’s sort of nice, all that snow falling down gently, white stuff from the sky that’s not garbage or candy wrappers or ash from far-flung forest fires but instead quiet, natural frozen precipitation. You’re not going to think about climate change, you’re just going to enjoy it, so you do. Instead of going out and tromping around as a sexy or unsexy anything, you curl up under a blanket in sweatpants and your favorite T-shirt with some red wine within reach and you watch the snow fall and you think, I don’t have to be anything, I can just be me.

Jen Doll is a senior writer for The Atlantic Wire.

Image via Flickr

123 Comments / Post A Comment


Your octopus reminds me of the time I crafted an amazing giant nail polish bottle costume. I spent the whole night hearing "are you supposed to be a washing machine?"


@jacqueline OMG now I want to go as nail polish next year. I can see the possibilities already!


@AmandathePanda Just for reference, I was Wet 'n' Wild, in an olive green shade.



evil melis

This was amazing. Also that terrible winter boyfriend was an appropriate punishment for your Holly Golightly costume. Go and sin no more.

evil melis

And that kid who went as Malcolm Gladwell for Halloween has chosen a strange and lonely path.


@evil melis That was actually Malcolm Gladwell. The rest of your comment still stands.


"When people ask what you are, respond in a warbly imagined octopus voice, as if you’re underwater and not simply under cardboard."



The bathrobe costume is more traditionally known as The Dude from Big Lebowski. Sunglasses, a generally disheveled demeanor, and a white russian complete the look. It will be cool exactly once in college and from then on will just be lazy.



lavender gooms

I need to make flight suit patches for my Maverick from Top Gun costume (like the American flags and nametag etc.) Any ideas on how to do this without actually buying patches and sewing them on to a dress that I still use for every day work wear?

Also, I think you have inspired me to be some sort of sea creature for Halloween next year. Octopus? Kraken?


@lavender gooms Buy a cheap white t-shirt and use fabric markers/paint. Cut the "patches" out, and adhere to your dress with double-sided tape.

lavender gooms

@SarahDances Mind=blown. Thanks!


@lavender gooms Maybe buy a pack of stick on name tags, cut off the "hello my name is" on top and cut/color in with markers as needed?

Judith Slutler

@lavender gooms If you have access to a printer, buy blank stickers and print the patches on those!

lavender gooms

@Emmanuelle Cunt Ha, printing was my original plan, but sadly we are out of colored ink and sadly I don't think it's in the ol' budget.


@lavender gooms Felt and fabric paint, cut 'em out and double-sided tape them on.


I painstakingly (ok, kind of, it turned out to be a lot easier than expected) made a fire costume this year to compliment my boyfriend's firefighter costume (that is not supposed to be too much of a statement about our relationship) and I was super pleased with it and my makeup plans to go with it. But then he got violently ill and we spent the night of the party in the hospital.

tea tray in the sky.

But did he put out?


No, he didn't, because of the violent illness. Sorry.


I went to a Halloween party last night dressed as Texts from Hillary Clinton. All you need is a suit, sunglasses, a brooch, a phone, and an unimpressed facial expression.


Too bad we were at different parties! I went to one last night dressed as the President of Liberia! (The lady president who won a Nobel Peace Prize a couple years ago).


@harebell Did people get it? Everyone got mine, but that's because it was for my grad program, which is by definition full of international relations geeks.

Also, a couple I did not know showed up dressed as Bill and Monica. It was a little awkward.


@SarahDances That is amazing. Bill and Monica showing up! (I love that people are still doing this as a costume!)

dj pomegranate

When I was a week thing (8 maybe?) I went to a costume party as the queen of Sheba. I took every piece of "fancy" fabric in my dress-up box and layered them, toga-style, topped it with a tiara, a bunch of my mom's costume jewelry, and sparkly pink shoes. It was basically the best costume ever: princessy with literary(/religious) allusions, and lots of sparkles.


Genie: Carefully avoid putting away your bathing suit from the summer, and find a pair of sweatpants that have elastic at the ankles, so they look "just like genie pants." Put your hair in a really, really high ponytail.

Live in Massachusetts, where it is below freezing that Halloween night, and your mother makes you wear a winter coat. Put the bathing suit top on OVER the coat, because you are NOT sacrificing style because of the weather.


@Ophelia i did the Massachusetts Genie costume too! it's... bulky.

lavender gooms

@Ophelia This Rhode Islander also had a genie costume ruined by the addition of a winter coat.


@lavender gooms Can someone wear that as an actual costume this year, please? The Massachusetts Genie!


@Ophelia I had so many costumes ruined by the winter coat.


@all Seriously. My most successful costumes were things like the time my best friend and I both went as ghosts, which meant we could wear our sheets over knee-length, fleece-lined raincoats (since it was 38 and raining that year). It was kind of a shock to get to high school/college and see people actually doing "sexy" costumes.


@Ophelia last year, when it was snowing and freezing, i wandered the streets of boston in an evening gown slit up to my waist on the bottom and my red sox jacket on top. CLASSY.


@wearitcounts Mine was a The Little Mermaid one. It was only an Oregon layering-required look, though, so a pink long-sleeve shirt was allowed (made only somewhat bizarre by the tiny floral pattern).


@ThatWench As long as you're not in HD, that seems totally fine.


@ThatWench I have always wanted to have a Halloween where rain/cold was not a costume impediment, but the "growing up in Oregon" thing always put a damper on that.

I did rock an awesome Belle costume one year, so high-five for the Disney princess/Oregon connection!


I loved this.

Also Witch Costume: Be dressed as a witch with your sister dressed as an alien, and go trick-or-treating with the neighbourhood girls. Somehow try to comfort your sister after an old man who answers the door assumes she is a boy and comments "Aren't YOU a lucky guy, trick or treating with all these ladies!!".


Speaking of the oft-repeated Sexy Cat costume, I had an idea for this year, but I'm not so confident in it.

Frumpy Cat. Black sweatpants and a sweatshirt (stained), floppy tail, ears, bad makeup, fanny pack with reeses puffs inside (cat treats!) high side ponytail with a huge black scrunchy, and black slippers. I have a feeling my attempt at being humorous will fail miserably and everyone will think I'm just SUPER bad at dressing like a cat. I can't decide if I should abandon the idea or attempt to frump it up more.

maybe partying will help


If your jaw can handle it, frown the whole night and be Grumpy Cat!


Um, that sounds terrific.

RK Fire

@breccia: More frumping! More frumping!

Judith Slutler

@breccia This sounds so great. Maybe you just need someone who will be like "look, she's a frumpy cat!"

I'm trying to come up with frumpier ideas to add to the costume...


@breccia I love this idea! Growing up, my best friend had a cat named Crapfur because she was so, well, crappy in the fur owing to gross clumps of matted fur. In honor of Crapfur, I suggest teased out clumps of your own hair. Mind you, this will not get you laid.

RK Fire

@DoMark: Oh god, you know, breccia could pretend to have hairballs as well and throw them at everyone. I'm not sure what would be a reasonable hairball substitute though.

Judith Slutler

@RK Fire Ooh, what about an eyepatch? Though that might be heading more toward "alleycat".


@RK Fire
costume bonus: if i drink too much all i have to do is remember to make really gross retching sounds before i barf on someone and i'll be totally in character.

RK Fire

@Emmanuelle Cunt: Alley cat could be a good variation on the theme. Like a cat with brass knuckles or a baseball or something.

I think I may be confusing alley cats with cat thieves though. :(

RK Fire

@breccia: YES!!!

Lush Life

@Emmanuelle Cunt Alley cat will need to carry a bowling ball.


@breccia I love it. I've always wanted to be a Frumpy Nurse (orthepedic white shoes, support hose, perhaps a fake hairy mole or two) but just remembered that as I read your comment, so, maybe next year.
Or, Frumpy Catholic Schoolgirl.

sarah girl

The last one is me, every year since middle school. Mainly because I never get invited to Halloween parties. Oh well.

maybe partying will help

@Sarah H.

You are totally invited to mine. Everyone here is.

baked bean

@Sarah H. You can come to mine too. It's tomorrow.

Judith Slutler

Bond Girl: Buy a sea green shiny sequined dress from H&M for 5€ with an elaborate plan to dress up as a mermaid. Get lazy and borrow high heels from a friend, and put on a ton of makeup. Carefully wash out the Super Soaker that has been hanging around your apartment for years, and fill it with vodka. Nobody will ask you what a vodka water gun has to do with Bond Girls, or even what you are dressed up as, because they are too busy standing in front of you with their mouths open. Try not to get vodka up too many peoples' noses.

Years later, lend the dress to your roommate's boyfriend so that he can go to a "sparkle party". It fits him like a basketball jersey. Amazing! Let him keep it.


@Emmanuelle Cunt so you were one of those party heroes with booze as part of their costume. My friends saw a guy who was I guess Pancho Villa, but with a bandolier of shot glasses and two holsters with tequila bottles.

Judith Slutler

@Probs That is one impressive tequila desparado costume.


@Probs My friend had a dropper with mezcal with her costume and I kinda got drunk with it (the costume was a reference to a song in Spanish with a stupid line that says something about "saying yes like a dropper")

Brad Paisley




I like people's half-assed dorm costumes. I used to wear a wildebeest skull on my head, but it was super poke-y so I had to put it on top of my only hand towel, which was gross, covered in gouache, and highly visible beneath the skull. And in retrospect, I'm surprised I never drunkenly poked someone's eye out with the horns.


@Probs "I used to wear a wildebeest skull on my head" is probably the very best thing I have read today! In about two seconds, my nearby coworker is going to tell me to "stop cackling over there!"


@Hellcat at some point one has to grow up and leave behind the wildebeest-skull wearing days of their youth. Classic bildungsroman motif.


4th grade: the year I was a ghost. Not a dumb sheet-over-the-head ghost-- a REAL ghost. With baby powder combed into in my hair, white grease paint all over my hands and face (except the eyes, painted gray-black to look sunken), and a sheer white lingerie robe-thing that was, upon reflection, probably part of my mother's bridal trousseau. White jeans and turtleneck on underneath, of course. And a grave, grave demeanor.


@cuminafterall yesss, super serious elementary school ghost


@cuminafterall I totally used my grandmother's veil as part of a ghost costume in school.


@meetapossum I did the same with my mom's wedding dress in high school. It was the best costume. I added a gruesome slit throat, too.


I totally used my grandmother's veil as part of a ghost costume in school....JWP Law Group


I dressed as an octopus once too for a Beach Party themed party. I was 21 at the time though so mine involved a silky purple playsuit thingy (so flattering but otherwise entirely unwearable), loads of purple body paint, and purple legs tied around my waist. It was amazing until I got poked in the eye by a bit of straw on a passer-by's straw hat and spent the rest of the night in the first aid tent.

This halloween I think I will go as River Song. If I get round to it I will build a TARDIS costume, otherwise I will just carry around my TARDIS washbag and snark "It's bigger on the inside" if anyone quibbles. And I am definitely stealing the vodka water gun idea from Emmanuelle Cunt above :D.

Judith Slutler

@katiethegreat Yay! It's really the best way to add something awesome to a lazy costume.


@katiethegreat I was going to dress as Tom Baker but knitting the scarf is taking far too long.
I work at the Doctor Who Experience though, so I'm tempted just to borrow a slitheen costume for the night and hope no-one notices the booze stains.


@katiethegreat I was very confused for a minute because I read "River Song" as "River Tam" and thus the TARDIS reference made NO sense.
I'm better now.


@Susanna@twitter Do it! Also that is an amazing place to work.

@Blushingflwr Could also do River Tam within a Serenity costume?


I'm going as Dany Targaryen this year and I WILL TAKE WHAT IS MINE WITH FIRE AND BLOOD.

But actually my plans for tomorrow fell through, so it might just be me chilling at home in a wig with a stuffed dragon.


@Inconceivable! just one stuffed dragon?

it's probably for the best the plans fell through.


@Inconceivable! You should leave the dragon in random parts of the room and yell, "WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS???!!!"


Haha well, I could only justify purchasing one as I didn't feel I could spend more on dragons than on the whole rest of the costume. So the plan when anyone pointed out that two were missing was indeed to yell "WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!?!?"


can you get someone to be Jorah, so he can just stand around on the other side of the room going "KHALEESIIII!" all night while you yell about dragons? also, can i hang out with you?


@Inconceivable! If you admit it, you are braver than me: last weekend I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival dressed as Cersei Lannister, but I was Cersei only in my own mind. To everyone else I was just another Ren Fair queen.


@Inconceivable! I'm going to be slutty Jon Snow, but I couldn't find a stuffed white wolf anywhere, so I'm worried that no one will understand my costume. Oh, well. Just thinking about it makes me laugh, and that's what's really important.

AJ Sparkles

@flanhoodles AMAZING. It's so wrong, it's so right. Maybe you can find a redheaded wildling companion? "Yew know nothin, Jon Snow."


For the last 2 years running, I've assembled half-decent last-minute costumes. Last year: Ramona Flowers, which, I had the right haircut and crazy dye coincidentally so it made my job a lot easier. I just had to wear some indie-looking clothes, and made goggles and a big hammer out of cardboard, tape and silver paint. I put a cardboard star on my messenger bag, and voila! Ramona Flowers.
This year's last minute costume is Lumpy Space Princess, from Adventure Time. I literally JUST came back from a trip to the thrift store to find purple clothes, and I have never in my life found clothes at a thrift store this easily. Now I either need to find a purple wig, or dye my hair purple. I could go either way.


@Maladydee LSP, oh my glob

evil melis

brad i'm ready for u

brad i'm so ready


My best half-assed dorm costume was "Llama herder". My roommate had recently returned from Peru with a wool hat and poncho with llamas embroidered/knitted on them, which "inspired" me. I borrowed those, layered them over a tshirt/pants/boots combo, and carried a stuffed llama (where did I get a stuffed llama?). Warm, totally odd, but delightful costume.

baked bean

@HeckYes Warm costumes are good sometimes. This year it will be cold here, so I will be a lumberjack. Flannel shirt, hell yeah!

maybe partying will help

While considering my costume options a few months ago, I realized that I had all the necessary articles to dress as Desire from The Sandman. Looking forward to busting that out tomorrow night. If it works well, I might use it for cosplay at some point too!


@maybe partying will help

Ahh, Desire! I always half-wanted to do a Delirium costume but never got it together somehow.

maybe partying will help


Obvs if we are ever at the same con, we must do this. :D

I feel like Delirium might be a relatively easy last-minute costume, too, depending on how lively your closet is!

Summer Somewhere

@frigwiggin I dressed up as Delerium one year and my friend was Desire. But! We went to a poetry slam where there were no comic book nerds, and no one got the reference. :(


I literally am going as Audrey Hepburn, and must be the same age as the Audrey entry.
I'll look out for the guy in the white trash bag.


Also, is there going to be a Pinner Halloween gallery, like with the first pictures post?




@unicornfighter: That is a spoiler for me, but I assume that every character dies so I guess it's OK. Sort of.


@unicornfighter Noooooo. Ugh. I mean, that is a great idea, I just have ALL THE FEELINGS about the RW and how it's totally going to happen next season.


Awesome. I am half-assedly putting together a fairy costume. I have always wanted to be a fairy, but all I could find (due to the last minuteness) were angel wings. I hope they still work.


@packedsuitcase I had that problem a couple years ago when I was going to be a fairy godmother and everyone thought I was just a glammy angel. Why don't they sell fairy wings any more??


DOVE COSTUME: Decide that you're going as a dove. Tell your mother, who sighs and then with a great game face on rips up a feather boa and painstakingly sews bits of it onto a white sweatshirt. Paint your nose orange and run around squawking all night. Forget to thank your mother for her hard work until you remember it years later.

BRUISE COSTUME: Be in college, forget about doing a Halloween costume until the last minute, and dress up in a weird combination of black and blue, including a blue wig and a black top hat. Go to classes, where maybe four other people will be dressed up, and try to pretend that this was what you were going for.

LIT MATCH COSTUME: Coincidentally have your short hair dyed four colors (dark pink gradiating to hot pink, orange, and yellow). Spike your hair with half a bottle of gel and wear all tan. Nobody at your friend's college anime club party will get it but you will feel so hilarious anyway.


Nobody at your friend's college anime club party will get it but you will feel so hilarious anyway....Flat Fee Realtor


I think my best costume ever was for a costume party/gala thing in college. I wore my junior prom dress and a tiara and carried a frog puppet as my "date". (The theme was fairy tales)


Devil costume: Pre-school Halloween party. your mom buys you a "Devil set" that includes horns, a tail, and a pitchfork. Pair it with a red leotard, red tights, and red sneakers. Mom remembers that you go to a pre-school hosted by a Baptist church. Go as a bunny in a costume bought from K-mart the night before. Pout and declare that you want to be the Devil the whole trip to school. Wear Devil costume at least once a week to play in until the neighbors start to complain.

This year I'm going as Charlie Brown. So easy, it's ridiculous: yellow polo shirt + black electrical tape for the zigzags + black pants + tiny Snoopy doll safety pinned to my shoulder because my boyfriend is a party pooper who didn't want to dress up as Snoopy.


I was actually going to do a tiger costume this year (mostly tiger facepaint and whatever orange and black clothing I felt like wearing--I figured it would be good since, boringly, that's our mascot) but then work decided to do a group costume so now I'm going to be a gnome. Still doing the face paint for giving out candy, though.


@frigwiggin I wish I worked at my alma mater because then I could be figuring out how to go as a banana slug instead.

Maybe I'll do it anyway next year.

baked bean

@frigwiggin What kind of group costume involves a gnome? A garden group? Yard ornaments group?


@baked bean

Gnomes and mushrooms? And also one apparently-special coworker gets to be a fairy? I have no idea who came up with it, but I was asked whether I wanted to be a mushroom or a gnome and I chose the one with the beard.

Lush Life

Stage Hand: Unearth black leggings and black sweatshirt. Scrape hair back in ponytail. Wear no makeup. Spend entire party alternating between standing silently in a corner and swiftly moving furniture around. Giggle uncontrollably when hostess yells at you for the third time.


Ugh I really want to go as Cannibal Cop (ie the NYPD cop who was just arrested for being an attempted cannibal.) I think I could get a cop hat, a bloody apron and a ladle!


Goddess: be obsessed with Greek goddesses as a 6th grader. Wear your mom's flowy nightgown and sandals and ribbons in your hair. Love that costume for the rest of your life.


I really need to hear more about this kid dressed as Malcolm Gladwell.


I swear to Sweet Baby Jesus that I wore that exact hooker costume in 5th grade. Only I added a long, curly 80's wig? I don't know. Also, red fishnets. Oh! This was in Utah. So..Mormons.


Puppet from Saw costume: totally forget you're supposed to be dressing up, then, panicked, remember you own one of those fake tuxedo t-shirts. Someone left white facepaint at your house once (don't ask) and red lipstick will totally work for the red parts, and you can use eyeliner to draw on the eyes and mouth joints...

Find out you're allergic to whatever the white facepaint is made of. Take a few photos then wash it all off and give up.


Oh god I just remembered when I was in like 3rd grade or something I dressed up as a boy. I got saggy pants from walmart and just wore a t shirt and a hat because I was already a tomboy but when I went trick or treating with my dad, some nice old people were handing out quarters but they ran out so I was waiting for one of them to get more, the lady asked what I was and I said "a gangbanger!" and then they laughed at me and I was embarrassed. My dad told me maybe I should say I'm a boy. I was a strange child.


The best costume I had was in college when we got two groups together to be gangs from The Warriors - we were the Warriors and the other group was the baseball player gang. Because the whole campus was one Halloween party, we spent all night chasing each other around.


Hold the phone. How has NO ONE quoted Love Actually?

Eight is a lot of legs, David.

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Hooker! Still one of my favorite costumes. A ballet leotard, hand-me-down early 90s lycra skirt, frizzed out hair sprayed orange and pink, black tights, so much makeup, and my sweet sweet Sam & Libby's.

Then when my brother and I were trick-or-treating, this nice old lady asked us what we were, and I said, "We're hookers!" Because I thought we'd get people hooked on bad things, drugs maybe? I was in the fifth grade and definitely didn't know what real hookers were. My mom covered for it, though. "They're punk rockers."

I don't remember what my little brother wore. Ripped up jeans with a t-shirt and sprayed hair?


Once I went as ALL of the Village People. I had a hard hat, and fringed leather vest, and cowboy boots and CHiPs sunglasses and an anchor tattoo on my arm, and red stripes on my cheeks. And short shorts, because it was college. It was my best yet.


There was a REALLY beautiful girl with shiny black hair, pale blue eyes, and peaches-and-cream skin (ugh!) who worked at the car rental place at the Dublin airport, carpet cleaning twickenham


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