I love Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays.
Costumes were always an integral part of my Halloween experience. I think everyone who has dressed up for Halloween started as a pumpkin; I did, anyway. And my costumes were usually homemade, or had some element of it. I think, in part, it was because my parents thought Halloween costumes were too expensive for something meant to be worn once a year, but then… they’re both just crafty people. My dad made a Jack O’Lantern out of plywood with a saw and a chisel one year.
Anyway. Looking back on my old costumes, I didn’t really notice many trends, with one exception. When I was seven, I dressed up as the Bride of Frankenstein. My mother made me a long white shift and a white outer layer that was essentially a sheet with a head hole. For the next four years, I found some way to reuse that outfit until I finally outgrew it. The next year, I used it to be Isis, the Egyptian goddess. Then one of Dracula’s wives. Then an evil spirit. And so on.
For three of those years, my little brother dressed up as different dinosaurs, also reusing the same cardboard body, but with a different mask each year. Then it fell apart, and he wore his Spiderman pajamas as a costume. He finished his trick-or-treat years by going as the Beatles: Ringo, George (in a Sgt. Pepper-inspired outfit), John, and finally Paul, echoing his look from the 2004-05 tour.
I don’t have pictures of these costumes any more (they were all on my dad’s old film camera, rest its mechanical soul), but I do remember how much fun it was to put them all together. It was a real process… the planning, putting together the materials, the actual process, and then actually getting to wear them on Halloween night.
Where the recycling element came in… I’m not sure. Maybe it was just an extra challenge. Or maybe we figured it would save a step the following year. It definitely made things more interesting.
What are your favorite costumes? Did any of you use some variation of the same costume year after year?