Sep 20, 2011

Creative Halloween Costuming 2011

When it comes to Halloween, I hate doing the typical skank-tastic look that most women are rocking. The unfortunate part of this glorious holiday is that you have females sliding themselves into pleather pants, toting chains and whips in barely-there ensembles that would be better left for the bedroom -- and even then it might be a bad idea.

I like fun and creative ideas. Trust me, I've had my fair share of crappy costumes. One year I was Barbie, another I was a boxer (totally did the midriff revealing costume). Ugh. So tragic. My favorite costumes are always the creative ones.

Last year I was a USO Girl. This isn't necessarily the most creative idea ever, but it was cute and I made everything out of vintage finds and a pair of American Apparel hot pants. It cost me less than $20 but it was still fun and sexy, and I didn't risk any exposed nipples!

Two years ago I was Lady Gaga. This was a far cry beyond the Lady Gaga madness that ensued last year. In fact, so many people were not dressed as Gaga, that a) people had no idea who I was and b) some people thought I was a legimiate street walker. I have to frown at these people because if you knew Gaga at that point, you knew she had the hairbow, the leotard and the platinum blonde hair down -- stat. By the end of the night the lightning bolt I had drawn on my face looked more like a black eye; my hair a disheveled mess and my hairbow completely torn to shreds. I will spare you a photo, however, if you're my Facebook friend, you can easily find some.

As a kid, my mom would dress me up as bugs. I don't get why, but they were probably the cutest outfits ever. Check me out as a caterpillar:



I was also a ladybug once. Insects for life!

Speaking of nostalgia and my childhood, I went home for Labor Day and had to go through all my childhood belongings since my parents are selling the house and becoming full-time gypsies. Seriously, ask them what they're doing. They have no idea. "Maybe we'll move _______." I suggested Fort Worth (for obvious TCU reasons) but they mentioned buying a Mercedes RV and traveling the country. I did not know Mercedes RVs even existed. In fact, I don't think they do. At least not legit RVs. Back to the point -- we had to go through all of my old crap. I'm talking approximately 5,000 *NSYNC photos and magazines, baby photos and albums, old Halloween costumes. It became strikingly apparent that I did not need Halloween to dress up. Exhibits A-E:

Permed hair. Minnie Mouse. A festive occasion.

Apparently it was "Do your own hair & makeup" day.
Don't my feet look gigantic?

Minnie love affair continues.

Let me take a second to point something out. Not only am I creating this beautiful work of art for my mother, I'm writing "Mommy Happy Birthday" on it. It might not be the most grammatically correct (perhaps there is a comma in there somewhere), but that's love, friends. I also would write my mom things to show my affections and one even got posted in the Georgetown newspaper for Mother's Day. It started off, "To my preshis (sic) mom."
I just can't. Why I was using the term "precious" in first grade is beyond me, but let's face it, I was destined to write. And kiss ass. One or the other.

so dramatic


This was my "pretty girl" face

Another note -- my mom's younger sister, Bonnie, had the pleasure of taking care of me while my mom was at work. She obviously put this time to good use and decided to have me partake in dramatic and somewhat concerning photo shoots. I don't even know where I got that face with the cape. Where does that even come from?

Well, that walk down memory lane was fantastic. Since Halloween is my favorite and all, I got to thinking about some super costume ideas, and here are some I came up with:

Rock 'n Roll
I did this for a theme party my senior year and it was my favorite costume ever, mostly because it took 30 minutes and I got to wear leggings and a long sleeve t-shirt underneath.
You can make the entire thing if you have craft skills (I did not but did it anyway). If you use felt, it's sturdy and holds up all night; then you can simply trash it if you don't want it anymore.
Lindsey got an obscene amount of grey felt, cut a hole for her head (v-neck, natch) and tied the damn thing with a ribbon. Looks like felt couture. I, on the otherhand went the overalls route and stapled myself into this contraption. It was a pretty aggressive costume to say the least. Probably stronger than a chastity belt.


Bennie and the Jets
I don't know how you'll get a squadron of football players, but I assume a boyfriend and his friends could be put to good use. Make them all wear Jets jerseys. As Bennie de jour, you'll need:
    • Something with mohair (if you want to stick to the song lyrics) -- you can go uber cheap or find a signature piece to last your wardrobe a lifetime
    • A few good men to dress up as Mark Sanchez
    • "Electric" blue boot(ie)s -- any kind you fancy
    • Signature round sunglasses with colored lenses
Bennie and the Jets -- Halloween Inspiration




When I envision Bennie, she's cool, collected and kind of whack. She has a weird sense of style, might be on drugs, but she's pretty. That's what I kept in mind while picking out items for the costume.

The best part is that, if you wish, you can really find some great pieces for your closet. The 80s mohair jumper is a nice vintage piece; the American Apparel nylon leggings will go with anything this fall and winter, and the booties are a bright addition to any outfit. Or, take a fringe dress or vintage Elton John concert tee, place it under a mohair vest and call it a day. I also feel like Bennie might have been a chain smoker so grab a fake ciggie and get ready to treat the world to a fun and unique costume. (By clicking on the collection, you can find where to buy these items.)


Heisman Trophy
Men and women alike will get a kick out of this! All the accessories for this costume are under $20.00, including the face and body paint, which will be essential to the entire look. The "vintage" football helmet might be flimsy but I doubt anyone wants to buy a legit helmet and ruin it.

Heisman Trophy



  • Purchase a pair of gold, bronze or copper leggings. I'd go with something that has a sheen and veers to the darker side, so perhaps bronze or copper would work better. American Apparel is your best bet, unless you shop online.
  • You'll need a long-sleeve tee. It doesn't matter if it's cotton or whatever, but make sure it's white. I prefer Nike Dry Fit and Under Armour shirts because they're super comfy. Also, you can purchase the vintage Football helmet for $7.99 online and find a football at your local sporting goods store, Wal Mart or Target.
  • All of the aforementioned items need to be gold/copper/bronze -- or whatever best matches your leggings. If you're a male, feel free to use actual football pants. Regardless of who you are, you'll be spray painting these items with spray paint, so be sure it's nothing you cherish.
  • I don't need to say this but I will -- spray paint everything a few days before, then wash and dry your clothing items, and  reapply some paint if needed. This will make them more comfortable to wear.
  • The most important aspect of this costume will be your face and body paint. Any piece of skin leftover that's showing will need to be painted, and the metallic paint featured is only $12.99.
  • Knee socks! If you look up vintage football uniforms, you'll get a better feel for how they looked during that time.
  • As far as shoes, anything goes. You don't need to buy kleats, especially since they need to be gold. So unless you have a pair of those laying around, go to the nearest discount store and buy a pair of white tennis shoes that you don't mind spraypainting, throw on a pair of metallic gold TOMs or a pair of boots (in gold, brown, whatever) and call it a day.
  • Spend the entire night doing "The Heisman" in photos and hope you run into Reggie Bush at a USC Halloween mixer.


More ideas to come! If you have any comments, leave one, or email me suggestions at kirbiej@gmail.com.


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