29 10 2007

Halloween costumes are a much simpler affair than people make them out to be. Though people never seem to know what to go as, they invariably draw from the same buckets again and again:

1) Traditional
2) Traditional, “with a twist”
3) Topical

Traditional Halloween ware consists of whatever you can pull off of a rack. You’ve got your plays on the occult, you’ve got fantasy characters, and what not. They are boring, but serve the obvious advantage of not having to be explained. This is where the majority of “with a twist” costumes fail. These include ridiculous hybrids and the rampant attempts to be sexy. Hybrids usually consist of one traditional element that has been perverted in a failed attempt at comic relief. For example, “I’m going as a Gregorian monk, but I have to wear this hearing aid because all of the high decibel chanting has blunted my audible range. Get it?” Being a “sexy” variation on a costume serves the advantage of requiring less explanation and self-esteem. Again, these are typically plays on anything that we once found pure and asexual as children, causing the wearer to taint the very memories they desperately wish to cling to. Topical costumes are any pop culture reference whose shelf-life is on the verge of expiring as you zip it up to your chin. Obviously the danger here is donning the perfect “Where’s The Beef?” lady regalia only to be met with blank stares.

What people don’t seem to realize is that there is still a lot of wiggle room in these categories that goes unexplored year after year. For example, the sexy contingent always lean on things that are already have the potential to be very sexy – librarians, schoolgirls, big-titted squirrels, pirate wenches, etc. – and then cut away fabric from the costume until it borders on scandalous. What about trying to sexify some things that require a little more exploration and forethought? I’ve been trying to get Anita to go as a Sexy Day Laborer for years, but we always end up fighting about it. Consequently, she invariably ends up going as Sexy Battered Housewife, but she pulls it off with aplomb. And why not push the borders even further?

How about a little sexy rainbow trout?

What’s wrong with showing the sexy side of melanoma?

Topical costumes are harder to give an enduring guide to, but basically it shouldn’t stray from topics that are too far departed from the present October. Obviously this means you will need to put your costume together quickly, but with a little imagination anything is possible. That’s why this year I am going as Albus Dumbledore as publically reimagined by J.K. Rowling herself:




4 responses

30 10 2007

You’re a dork and the melanoma made laugh/want to vomit.

30 10 2007

Only 3? I knew you were gonna half-ass it this bad, I would have contributed.

30 10 2007

Speaking of topical, I’m dressing up in a fire costume and going as California.

30 10 2007


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