Thoughtful Thursday: Costume

October 25, 2012

Thoughtful ThursdayNow that I have young children, I spend a lot of time thinking about, and occasionally making, costumes. They have various dress-up costumes, but Halloween is the biggie. Normally Burrito and Tamale’s clothes are totally independent, but for Halloween I like to take advantage of them being twins and give them a fun pair costume. Actually, some years it’s costumes: I develop a backup costume in case they won’t wear the regular costume.

For the first time, their 4th Halloween, my pair idea may be thwarted because one of them wants to wear something else. Oh well, I had 3 good twin Halloweens. Maybe I have a few more years until they insist on vampires or zombies or whatever the next big scary thing is (werewolves? mummies? hunchbacks?).

For myself, costumes have not occupied much thought since I was 17. My freshman year of college was the last time I remember dressing up for Halloween — actually dressing up, not just wearing an orange shirt or something. Oh wait that’s not true, when I was 22 we went to a Halloween party for my husband’s work and wore a group costume: not just him and me, but a visiting friend from out of town too. That is my all-time favorite costume I ever wore, and as far as I know we are the only people who have ever worn that costume. Every other year of my adulthood I have either done nothing or seriously half-assed it, like football jerseys out of DH’s closet or giant bows in my hair. Mostly it’s fine that I don’t wear costumes since most adults don’t, but one year I was in NYC for Halloween and everyone at the party was totally decked out, except for us. It was embarrassing to be at a cooler-than-thou club in the meat packing district and get asked over and over, “Why aren’t you wearing a costume?” or worse, “Is that outfit supposed to be your costume?” We and our friends concocted ideas for the next year — the full Justice League was the frontrunner — but we never had another NYC Halloween.

There is one other group costume I’ve had in mind for several years, but I don’t think it will ever happen. I wanted us to dress as the Kennedy family. Last year I actually bought a Chanel-style blazer for Tamale, but between DH’s reluctance to wear any costumes and the logistic difficulty and, now, Burrito and Tamale having no interest in the Kennedys when they could dress as trains or dinosaurs or something, I think that costume will exist only in my imagination. Too bad; Burrito already has John-John’s haircut, and Tamale would have been a stunning Jackie.

Do you ever wear costumes? What types of costumes do you like for yourself? For children?


11 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Costume”

  1. Mina Says:

    Where I come from, we have no traditional popular feast demanding costumes. For Halloween, well, our version of it, we actually celebrate a saint and keep evil spirits at bay with garlic (there’s your clue, where I come from).
    We live now in Germany, where Halloween is like any other American import. We’re not carving pumpkins this year, we have enough sleep problems as it is, we don’t need any more door bells adding up to that.
    But in Germany there is another costume-wearing celebration, called Fasching, it marks the beginning of Easter lent, like the carnivals in Rio and Venice. Children are dressed up and there are loads of sweets dished out. Everyone has a day off work and people usually eat jam filled doughnuts with a zillion glazes (eggnog, nugat, chocolate, vanilla, etc). Quite entertaining.
    I have only once dressed up, we were a group of co-nationals and went up as Count Akulla’s posse. We had, along with count Akulla, Igor the huntchback, Rosie the fiancée, and I was the French maid. There were some more. We were spectacular, if I do say so myself. 🙂

  2. Aryanhwy Says:

    We didn’t do Halloween growing up, so my first opportunity for dressing up was in college, and Halloween on State St. in Madison is not to be missed. I have three favorite costumes from my years there, two involving me and my husband, and the other just him. One year we dressed up in greens, yellows, and browns with fake duck beaks, and little signs saying “property of B.R.” Even our philosophy friends didn’t guess that we were Russell’s “pair o’ ducks”. Another year I dressed all in purple and he made a frame out of dowels in the shape of a triangle, and at random times he’d come over and start chatting me up, or doing a dip-and-kiss move. We were “triangularity seducing the color purple”, a classic example of a category mistake.

    But my favorite was the first year we were going out, when he was still in the process of growing his hair out and it had just about reached his shoulders. I wrapped him in a white sheet, cut a disc with a hole out of cardboard and covered it with gold foil, and tied it to the back of his head. Everyone we walked past pointed, “It’s Jesus!”

    The Netherlands doesn’t really do American Halloween, so I probably won’t dress Gwen up. Though I do have an adorable little leopard hat which might need to make an appearance.

  3. St. Elsewhere Says:

    Oh well, I love to play dress-up, when the opportunity presents itself. I usually like to dress up for ‘theme days’ and my focus is to gel with the theme, and have fun. Have I ever dressed up as a dragon? No. But I dressed up like a yesteryear’s Bollywood star, when I was about 6 months pregnant with CBub. It was fun.

    I haven’t really thought of much for Figlia. I will get to it when the time comes.


  4. No Halloween tradition in Holland or France, so it’s been a long time since I wore a costume. In Holland I guess it was in elementary school, when our school would have some sort of Carnival Parade on the official Queen’s birthday. The last time I wore a costume was at an Alliance Française party in the US…
    I gladly do without any kind of costume though. Our eldest son only dressed up once as a cowboy for a carnival party at a friend’s house, but that’s it. We don’t even own costumes! But I need to get something before mid-November when he’s invited to a classmates birthday party and they have to come in costume…

  5. a Says:

    I think the last time I dressed up for Halloween was when I was 13. I don’t really get into that sort of thing, and the process of picking a Halloween costume for my daughter has been arduous. She was a pumpkin for 3 years – The first two years, it was what we had. The 3rd year, she chose it herself…after I got her the cutest monkey costume…and had to return it so she could be a pumpkin again.

    The next year was difficult, because she wanted to be “a spooky house.” Not a haunted house, but a spooky house. Too much Scooby Doo, I think. So, I got some felt and stickers and made her a house costume. The headwear didn’t work at all, but she enjoyed the rest.

    Last year was easy – she picked a chicken costume from Old Navy, which she then didn’t want to wear on Halloween. I think it was too hot for her when she wore it to school, but it ended up being OK for Trick or Treating, because it was cold. This year, she chose a sort of cat costume, which is a poofy dress with a kitten on the front and a headband with cat ears. We’ll see what next year brings…

  6. Mel Says:

    Our twins have done both — the matching costumes (Jif peanut butter and Hershey chocolate bar one year) and individual costumes (the fairy and the police man). This year we’re Harry Pottering it again. I went last year as Bellatrix. I still have to decide my costume this year.

    I have a rule that I will only make one costume a year — Halloween or Purim. They usually opt for a cooler costume for Purim. The ChickieNob has designed some insane dresses. Her last one had a six foot train that bustled for when she walked in the parade.

  7. strongblonde Says:

    oh man. i really don’t like halloween. i spend a long time stressing out about all of it. this year, like your kids, my kids don’t want a couple costume. i really wanted them to be garden gnomes….but they were having nothing of it. especially M who only wants to be a ballerina or a princess. the craziest part? we don’t do a lot of gender specific girl things at our house….so i can only assume that this whole princess phase has come from school. and i’m totally fine with T wanting to be a princess, too, but worry about kids teasing him at school for being a “girl”. alas….they picked their own costumes and they are totally boring. especially since my sister got them so sah-weet pirate costumes for their birthday (for dress up). 🙂

    adults? i’m mostly not a fan since i’m not smart enough to come up with a great idea…. and would prefer not to dress like a slut. one, it’s too cold for that and two, it is usually not comfortable 🙂

    we’re going to a halloween party tomorrow that they want the adults to dress up for….and i have no costume. 🙂

  8. ana Says:

    Its been a few years since I’ve dressed up. Well into adulthood I loved the challenging of rigging together creative & cheap costumes. For the kids, I’ve phoned it in with Old Navy costumes for B every year (monkey year 1, robot year 2, dragon this year—if I can talk him into wearing it. I forgot that he is old enough to choose and I went ahead and ordered the one I liked, oops!), and now L is wearing the monkey. They are cheap, very warm and comfortable, and easy. I really can’t be bothered to get creative and have no desire to dress up myself. Though I can appreciate (if not participate in) the creative/dress-up/pumpkin carving aspects of Halloween, now that I have kids, I realize how out-of-control the candy aspect is. Who needs THAT much candy at once???

  9. Elana Kahn Says:

    I wear my renaissance garb as my costume any time I need to dress up. I also have an Arwen costume (Lord of the Rings) that I like to bring out as well. I’m really bad about dressing up the kids, because they grow so fast and I constantly have to buy new ones. They really only get dressed up for Purim, so it feels like a huge waste. Maybe I need to learn how to sew…

  10. We did the Flintstones one year, when Reed was 3 and Tessa was 5. Reed was PERFECT as BamBam, right down to the bambams. Tessa was pretty perfect as Pebbles, too.

    Since then we’ve all gone our own way. At a party last night I was Wednesday Addams (too bad no one at the party was old enough to get the reference), and Husband was a certain de-throned cyclist named Armstrong, head of the DOPESTRONG charity.

    I’m lazy and cheap. Don’t like to spend much time or $$ on something I’ll wear only once. What’s the Halloween equivalent of bah humbug?

    Would love to see you 4 as the Kennedys.

  11. Cat Says:

    Friends had a costume Halloween party a few years ago and I went as “Partly cloudy with a chance of showers” wearing blue with cloud-shaped cotton pinned on and carrying a squirt bottle of water. DH went as Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This year is the first that my kids have decided what they wanted to be. Last year was a very limited trick or treat to the few houses that were on our block, so I just dug some stuff out of the dress up bin. This year we have Super Why!, a black cat, and a blue princess.

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