Trick or Treat

Well, we all know by now that it’s Decorative Gourd Season.  And with that, Halloween. Halloween for the Fashionista presents both a challenge and an opportunity.  Other than ones own wedding, when else is it socially acceptable to wear something grand, over the top, and completely impractical?  (Ok, in my book most weekends, but still) However, unlike ones wedding, the goal at Halloween is to presumably look like someone else.  (Although many brides may not have gotten this memo–one would hope fiance’s would at least recognize their brides.)  As always on Halloween, my trendslation is about finding a creative way to exhibit your sense of style.  Think about it.  A Halloween Costume says a LOT about who you are, what you are interested in, and mostly, how you choose to present yourself to the world when all of the limitations of  “normal” clothing are gone. Weeeee!  Or not.

Presumably, this is why many women choose to go the ever growing “sexy” route.  You know, slutty nurse, slutty Cinderella, slutty corn on the cob……because what woman doesn’t want to take every opportunity she can to reveal her inner slut?  I guess I can kind of understand where this thinking may come into play.  Perhaps you have a real button up job, where hosiery is required, and not the thigh high kind.  Halloween is a chance to let the people in your life see your sexy, feminine side. Maybe Bill in Accounting will finally notice me if I’m dressed as a whore-ish Killer Whale!

For me, the “sexy” look only works when it’s intrinsic to the character you’ve chosen.  As an example, I love the idea of dressing as Rihanna at the CFDA Awards Gala this year.  Sexy, yes.  You could find a way to cover the bits she didn’t cover, but I love a current Pop Culture reference.  Same goes for many Lady Gaga looks, Beyonce, even the dreaded Miley.  Foam Finger, anyone? This is different from applying slut to an innocent Sesame Street character.

In the 10th grade, my best friend and I surely knew nothing of what was “sexy”, but we did know we had outgrown looking silly or cute for Halloween, so when presented with a Halloween Dance to attend at school, we decided we would just go as, “Sparkly”.  We wore shimmery shirts and jewelry and makeup and essentially dressed like a Janet Jackson video.  (It was the 80s).  Perhaps we were of the same mind as the girls who go wild on Halloween, wanting to look attractive, not goofy.  I wore my ballet clothes and pointe shoes one year, having come straight from dance class, which was kind of a way to let people know what I did after school most days.  I am proud to say, there was nary a kitten (sexy or otherwise) in my repertoire.

Prior to that, in my early youth, true to the stereotypical idea of what moms of the 1970’s were like, my mother did make many a costume for myself and my siblings.  Very generic “princesses” and pumpkins.  No Pinterested ideas or licensed Disney characters. Costumes saved and handed down from year to year.  And yes, a store-bought plastic mask now and again.  Fast forward to my college years, having gone to the University of Vermont, it was required that students own at LEAST one of the following items at all times:  a Baja shirt, Birkenstocks, or Tie Dye anything.  Each of these were worn in some combination every Halloween and voila!  Dead Head!

I am fairly certain I took a few years off from Halloween when I was in my late twenties….getting married, having kids, ain’t nobody got time for that.  In addition, no one I knew was having a party, which is really what childless adults would need in order to justify face paint wearing…..  But alas, when you become a parent, you are thrust back into the Halloween game.  My first Halloween as a Mom, my newborn was too young to have a costume, but we were invited to a party and gosh darn it we were GOING!  (A huge feat just 4 weeks post partum).  Barely functioning on 90 minutes of sleep, I thought the oversized overalls, freckles, braids and hay in my hair was downright Haute Couture for the new mommy set.  The overalls hid my post baby physique quite nicely, while allowing me to breastfeed quite easily! My husband suggesting the industrial Medela Breast pump could have been explained as some sort of cow milking machine did not go over well.

As the kids grew, they felt strongly that Mommy and Daddy participate in the (!) fun of dressing for Halloween.  Mommy was a witch (black dress, hat from CVS) to my daughters’ Dorothy and sons’ Toto.  Then there were the years a dear friend of mine had lavish catered Halloween parties.  She and her Husband were enthusiastic Costume Wearers, the sillier the better.  One year she had TWO costumes for the same night.  I love a girl with a Wardrobe Change.  Fabulous.  For me, silly didn’t feel right.  Enter irony and wit.  They are the saviors of the adult Halloween Costume.  My husband and I dressed as Don and Betty Draper from Mad Men one year, and Nancy Botwin and her cohort Doug Wilson from Weeds the next (Who’s got a cable subscription?  We do!)  These were fabulous, if itchy wigs costumes that I still felt very “me” in.

This year, we do not have a ‘Costumes Required’ party to attend, so I will likely break out the black dress and keep the CVS hat in the wings on the Big Day.  But if you ARE attending a party, the Internet is chock-a-block with fantastic ideas.  I’ve seen Gone Girl, Ice Bucket challenge, the aforementioned Rihanna, Kim Kardashian & Baby North, Frida Kahlo–all fantastic ideas to play with your fashion and represent your style.   Just please.  no Sexy Ebola Worker in a Haz-Mat suit.  Not on my watch.

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