Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday. It makes dressing up totally acceptable for kids and adults alike! It's the one day a year you don't have to be yourself and you can CHOOSE to be someone else - without people questioning your self-esteem.
I accidentally have a super-long anecdotal intro, so if you just want the tips you can skip ahead. :)
I have dressed up for every single Halloween - that's 27 Halloweens! And I've also won 2 costume contests; a total of $600 worth of winnings. But I should probably give full disclosure on those, though because it's a little misleading.
In 2009, My costume was Lady Gaga. I had painstakingly found all my pieces at the thrift store, or in mine or my mom's closet. My friends and I went to a bar where they were having a costume contest.
There were three categories: sexiest, couples costumes, and most original. The staff chose the top 3 people they liked and then the crowded cheered for they wanted to win. When they got to the last category, I almost lost it. They were all guys and one of the costumes was this:
This isn't original at all! It took all of 2 brain cells to walk into the Party City, grab this and go. No added effort in it whatsoever! So I marched up to the DJ and said, "That costume isn't original! He just bought it! None of these costumes are original." He looked at me and said, "Sorry, sweetheart. The girl's costume contest is already over." The sexism was so blatant I almost couldn't believe it. You mean to tell me that girls costumes are only meant to be sexy and not original? I fussed at him some more about how I felt about it and he said, "Well, then jump on up here!" So clambered up on the bar. He hyped me up on the mic and then the crowded started yelling things like, "Turn around and shake your butt!" Well, sadly to say, this is when all the feminist fairies started to slowly die. Because yes, I did in fact give my pleather-clab bum a wiggle to the crowd. I ended up winning a $100. In my pathetic defense, I would have been really embarrassed if I lost to Gumby, the runner-up.
But we did! We ran into an accessory shop near his house that had hair extensions and plastic weapons (what are the odds of that?! Ya gotta love random Korean stores.) Then we ripped up an old bed sheet, an old, gross leather jacket, and some linen shorts that already has a hole in it. It was a hectic afternoon getting him AND me ready but somehow we did it. And he ended up winning $500 that night! We still debate about who actually won that contest. When a model wears a designer's acclaimed look, does the model deserve any recognition...? But to be fair, he actually had a lot of good ideas once we finally got the ball rolling (better late than never, I guess) and he split his winnings with me. We ended up getting scuba-diving certified in Thailand with the money!
In all honesty, while these two costumes are cool, but they're not the best or most original ever. The night that Stephen won the costume contest, we saw some really incredible costumes that I would have never thought about and that were handmade beautifully! Sometimes I think a little luck helps out, too. And of course, the bf and I are also really loud people - it helps when hyping up a crowd.
Tips for a Costume That Makes You Stand Out of a Crowd:1. Be Iconic - Choose a costume that is recognizable. It doesn't have to be recognized by everyone but if you have to spend all night explain what/what you are, it's going to cut down on your bobbing-for-apples time. My boyfriend has been tossing around the idea of being Man of Steel Superman this year. The problem is getting or making that blue bodysuit costume. So he showed me this picture:
While I like thinking outside the box and the idea of my boyfriend looking as buff as Henry Cavill, this would just confuse people. It's not an easily recognizable look. The best costumes don't need a lot of guessing.
2. Be Detail-oriented - Another way to help your friends take the guesswork out is to be as true to the character as you can. This means DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS. I think one of the funniest costumes this year would be to be Miley Cyrus from the Wrecking Ball music video. It's easy to do but iconic enough that if you are a youtube skank like me, you'd get it. At first glance, it just looks like a white tank top, whitey tighties, and some boots. But here's where the details come into place: she has big, long eyelashes, and red lips. She also has white nail polish on. You could give yourself copy-cat sharpie tattoos like Miley's. And of course, a prop always ties the look together. Carrying around a sledge hammer or a toy ball and chain would seal the deal. Doing some research and looking at a lot of pictures can help you to get an idea of what exactly you will need for your costume.
3. Be Who You Wanna Be - People ask me how I choose my costumes every year or they ask me to help them choose a costume. Honestly, I'm really bad with helping other people with ideas. I choose my costumes because I feel they somehow reflect my personality. These costumes are the persona I want to exhibit for one day. I choose Jessica Rabbit and Posion Ivy because they are sexy redheads that have a lot of spunk and sass. The year I went as a geisha, I had been reading every single thing I could get my hands on about the subject which inspired me. This year I got a pair of red high-heel boots at a thrift store. When I put them on, I automatically though Ohhhh, these will be perfect for a Halloween costume! I know who I'm going to be! I get inspired by one little thing and it sends my brain whizzing around to flesh-out the details.
4. Be Original - I'm not the first person who went as Jessica Rabbit or Poison Ivy for Halloween. I'm not saying you have to have the most creative costume that no one in the entire world has ever worn. I'm saying, if you want a costume that stands out, do the leg work yourself. Don't have Party City do it all for you. If you buy a costume hanging on a rack, that's okay. No harm in that. But just don't be surprised when there are two other Queen of Hearts wearing the same exact thing as you. Be the Queen of Hearts. She's iconic, badass and running around saying "Off with his head!" all night would be so much fun. Just make the costume yourself as much as you can. It doesn't need to be expensive, just creative. There's are tutorials out there for making the costume out of a trash bag, for heaven's sake!
If you want more ideas, check out Janet's (of Journalist on the Run) ideas for costumes this year! Being that I live in Korea, I might be a little biased, but I think her ideas are pretty funny! What are you going to be for Halloween? I'm dying to know! And dying to see! If you post any pictures this weekend, hashtag it #thebeltedpearhalloween. Happy Halloween!
Three of my Favorite Costumes:
Jessica Rabbit, Geisha, and Poison Ivy
Fake eye-lashes, red lipstick, a friend's old prom dress, gloves from online, and red shoes from my closet
My Victoria Secret bathrobe, obi sash made by my mom, accessories bought at a Japanese anime store in the mall, umbrella from thrift store
Green dress bought for $10 on gmarket.com, leaves sewn on by me, glued leaves on eyebrows, green tights, green accessories and boots already had.