As I try desperately to decide between two Halloween costume options (this is the closest to the holiday I’ve ever been without knowing what I was going to be!) I thought I would glean inspiration from the past and post a retrospective of costumes. (This will be especially relevant to Addi’s podcast listeners!)
2011 – The White Witch (The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe)
The Chronicles of Narnia were a hugely formative part of my childhood and The White Witch is one of the coolest villains of all time. Lexi agreed to play along (and really, make my costume make sense) as Aslan (sexy Aslan. Obviously.)
How it’s made: Both my dress and mask were purchased on Etsy. The dress was a custom request from a seller who generally caters to the Goth set in blacks and reds, but she happily bought new fabric for my request. The mask was, in some ways, the inspiration for the costume. I’d had the idea for years, but was never sure how I would want to execute the idea. When I stumbled upon this shop, I knew the mask would serve as the anchor to the costume. Hair feathers and snowflake earrings (not particularly visible, but they’re there) are from Claire’s. Lexi is wearing a Spirit Hood and the base dress comes from a Cowardly Lion costume available at all major costume retailers.
2010 – Who-lloween Group Costume (Dalek)
I’m a nerd. My friends are nerds. So it can’t surprise you much that one year, we had a group costume of Doctor Who (and spin off) characters
How it’s made: I took the dress from a Tin Woman costume found at any major costume dealer. For the iconic Dalek shape, I bought a silver belt from Macy’s, vertical blinds and spray paint from Lowe’s, and styrofoam balls from Michael’s. I cut the balls in half and sprayed them blue, cut the blinds in thirds and sprayed them silver. I then glued the half-spheres to the blinds and stapled the blinds to the fabric belt. I used two Bump-its to bouffant my hair, making the shape of the Dalek head, and sprayed my hair with silver hair spray, then stuck a blue ring in the bouffant to simulate the Dalek’s eye.
2009 – Alice in Wonderland Group Costume (Queen of Hearts)
The Wonderland group costume is definitely the most beautifully documented of the group costumes. Which is why I’m probably over-documenting it in this post.
How it’s made: I bought a floor length gown and cut it off at the knee. I bought a gross of playing cards and stapled hearts cards to the hem. I piled my hair into an unruly up-do attached to a heart-shaped tiara (Claire’s) and pinned more cards in.
2008 – Peanuts Group Costume (Lucy van Pelt)
Lucy van Pelt doesn’t really make a lot of sense out of context, but when Abby said “wouldn’t it be hilarious if I were sexy Snoopy with you?” a group costume was born. This might be the most arm twisting we’ve had to do to get other people in on the game, but it came out beautifully.
How it’s made: Bought a cop outfit from a costume website and used a stitch ripper to remove all of the cop related details. I found heeled saddle shoes, and used velco hair rollers to create a faux puffy fringe,
2007 – Rockford Peach
I’d ruminated about going as a player from A League of Their Own for a few years and I finally figured out what base costume to use.
How it’s made: I bought a white nurse’s uniform (a real one, not a sexy costume) from a uniform website, hemmed it, then dyed it pink. Using iron transfer paper, I added Rockford Peach logos and a Girl’s Professional Baseball League logo.
2006 – Jem
Jem was a childhood favorite of mine, so I tried to make a truly, truly, truly outrageous version of her costume.
How it’s made: I bought a hot pink blazer from Goodwill, cropped it, and trimmed it in purple sequins. You can’t see in this photo (I can’t seem to track down any better ones) but I also fabric painted the Jem logo onto the back. Pink star earrings
2004 – Catwoman
How it’s made: I wanted an old school Catwoman look, but I could never find the right purple dress. So I ended up with a sort of mixed-era look. The purple pleather dress is, let’s be real, an S&M dress. The green cape and belt are just fabric from JoAnn’s.
2002 – Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas
How it’s made: I bought a plain black dress from Goodwill and picked up a load of scraps from a fabric store. I used fabric glue to seal the patches to the dress and then secured them with thread. I used yarn to add decorative stitches. I used sharpie to draw stitches on my limbs, and eyeliner on my face.
1998 – Sailor Mars
Once upon a time, in the early stages of my geekery, my friends and I were obsessed with Sailor Moon. I was, specifically, obsessed with Sailor Mars. This was my very first group costume. I’m both embarrassed and proud.
How it’s made: We bought skirts from Goodwill and hemmed them as needed. White t-shirts, to which we added felt collars. We made crepe paper bows with plastic gems, and the tiaras were gold ribbon with plastic gems, all from Michael’s.
1985 (or 6?) – Glinda the Good Witch
My mother labeled this photo “fairy princess” but I know in my heart that I was Glinda. I was obsessed with The Wizard of Oz as a kid (and terrified of the Wicked Witch, who I would go on to play twice in the play).
How it’s made: That looks very much like a pillow case and a doily, and the crown is definitely made of aluminum foil.