Halloween is here, and for the organized and vigilant celebratory set, contest-winning costumes have been planned for months.
I fantasize about being so prepared I’ve known exactly how I would dress up on Oct. 31, with time to spare. But here I am, tripping into Halloween not sure what I’ll don for one of my favorite observations of the year.
The fun behind Halloween is why I look forward to Oct. 31 each fall. Many years spent living in Carbondale, where cosplay is as common as bicycle parades, trained me for a love of dressing up to party. That town has trick-or-treating, both for adults and kids, down pat. Main Street will no doubt be a hub for celebration. Especially after dark, as I hear the return of last year’s killer zombie pub crawl will again be in full force.
The zombie is a great last-minute Halloween fix.
With my lack of planning this year, there’s a promising chance I may transform myself into the walking dead. A few years ago, I went as a zombie Lil’ Miss Bonedale child pageant contestant. The big hair and sequins were horrifying.
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Even before the zombie make-up.
Something tells me I’m not the only one without a solid plan for today, so maybe re-hashing my past Halloween pursuits might provide some inspiration. There was the year I went as Michael Jackson toting his baby Blanket around in, well, a blanket. Or that time I was the male half of Sonny and Cher. I wore a blue leisure suit and fake hair that eerily matched my own reddish tint glued to my face for a mustache and side burns.
Chest hair peeking out of the top of my polyester shirt was an extra-special touch.
One year I went as Sarah Palin, mostly because I had the hair, glasses, and short pink leather coat for it. John McCain — or at least his likeness thanks to a mask and blue suit from the thrift store — was by my side. Joe the Plumber just happened to stop by the party, too.
That year, my couple friends Kendra and Dane went as Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. There was a lot of jumping on my couch on Dane’s part.
Over the years, I’ve also been everything from a nurse to Elly May Clampett from “The Beverly Hillbillies.” The first costume mostly required a white coat and a stethoscope, so that was easy. I needed a blonde wig, plaid shirt and denim overall shorts for the latter, which weren’t too hard to find around Halloween.
Second-hand stores are especially helpful this time of year.
Like Kendra and Dane, many of my couple friends have provided inspiration for Halloween costumes over the years. Two of my friends, who celebrated 19 years of marital bliss this week, have had some really fun costumes as a couple. Bending gender roles, they were once Hooters Girls together.
It can be challenging finding silky orange short-shorts these days.
They were also Funkenstein and his wife, the Bride of Funkenstein. Platform shoes, a leisure suit and a polyester dress from the ’70s weren’t too hard to come across at the thrift shop. Add some green Frankenstein face paint and a few glue-on screws to the neck, and a funny, funky and scary Halloween costume is complete.
Make sure to learn a few disco moves, too.
If time or funds aren’t on your side, and it’s not too cold, Adam and Eve is always an option. Or grab a white sheet, cut a few holes for the eyes and mouth, throw it over the head, and go as a ghost.
That’s as easy, and kind of creepy when done right, as it gets.
For a group costume, find a few colored sheets and someone to dress in a yellow bag filled with old crumpled up newspapers for a round effect to go as the Pac-Man Atari game from the ’80s. Add a red bow for Miss Pac-Man. Maybe a few friends could be the bonus fruit. Who needs a year to plan that one out?
Not this girl.
April E. Clark is brainstorming costume ideas that will be warm this year. Maybe something from “Frozen.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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