Friday, October 28, 2011

A Very Clutterella Halloween

Chelsea Market, New York City

I post very few "tips" on this blog, mainly because I'm not that crafty or creative, but I am making an exception for one of my favorite days of the year: Halloween!

This post is about using things you already have (with a few small purchases) to make a great Halloween costume. No matter how much I swear I'll begin planning early, I always find myself two days away from a Halloween party with no idea what I'm going to wear. I love dressing up, I love easy costumes, and I dread the world's worst Halloween question: "What are you supposed to be?" Here are some of my recent costumes:

That's right: It's ILLEGAL to look this good!

This year I'm dressing as a Greek goddess. I cheated a little bit, because I went to a party a few years ago where I wore a toga, and I recycled the fabric. Last time I wore a full length toga, but it was really hot and hard to walk in (nice to have some toga life lessons under my belt). This year I cut the fabric down and went with a short toga. Since I already had the fabric, all I needed to buy was some wide gold ribbon for a belt, and some narrow, braided ribbon to make my headband. I also bought some dark purple eye shadow for a smoky eye and a little body glitter (not at all authentic but fun for Halloween). I wore all of the "gold" costume jewelry I own and my Sofft gladiator sandals. I realize that gladiators were Roman and I'm claiming to be Greek, but I don't think anyone will call me out on it. I spent about $15 total.

For me, Halloween is an excuse to wear things I would never dare to wear otherwise- miniskirts, cinched up boobs, and orange tan, anyone?

Last year I dressed as Snooki from Jersey Shore. This costume required buying a few more things, and I probably spent as much as I would have for a packaged costume, but no one else at the parties had on the same outfit. I already had the white mini skirt and push up bra. I bought the top and earrings at WalMart, the shoes at Target, a bump-it, and a big bottle of Sally Hansen Airbrush legs in dark. I was afraid to use actual self tanner, because I didn't want to be orange for a week, so the Airbrush legs spray was a great solution- I got the perfect dark orange tan, and it washed right off. The shoes are really cute and I still wear them sometimes, if I'm not planning to do much walking. I think you often sacrifice comfort when you buy a discount shoe.

Two years ago I spent around $65 on a 1960's style Star Trek dress, which I planned to wear with my tall black boots, black liquid eyeliner, and a sleek ponytail. Unfortunately, the dress looked terrible and I refused to wear it. Nor could I return it- that will be the last time I purchase a packaged costume. They cost a lot and look really cheap.

I needed a last minute costume, so I searched through my closet and came up with this Geisha outfit. I had the short, kimono-style robe and patent strappy sandals already. I added a wide red sash as an OBI.  I applied lipstick to the center of my mouth, lined my eyes in black, pulled my hair into a tight bun and added one of those little curly hairpieces. I did not put chopsticks in my hair. The look was much sexier than that unflattering polyester dress.

I later found out that the fold of my robe is backwards and indicates that I am dead. Oops.

On an interesting side note, my Geisha costume is not okay with the We're a Culture Not a Costume folks. I completely agree that it is not okay to dress as an Arabian person with a bomb strapped to you (I also object to pregnant nun, but that's a story for another day). I just really wonder where the line it. Is dressing in lederhosen okay? If so, how is that different than dressing as a Geisha? I intended no judgement with my costume, I just thought it was a fun and sexy look that I wanted to imitate. Was I representing Italian American culture in a negative way by dressing as Snooki last year? Or is that okay because she is already representing her culture in a certain way? I truly don't want to offend anyone, but I just wonder where the line really is. Discuss?

Random Halloween Memory: I attended a party where Riff Raff and Dr. Frankfurter made daiquiris with 151. This is the last photo I managed to take before losing the ability to operate my camera,

So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid), and if you are in a last minute Halloween panic, check your closet for some great costume components. Just no bomb-carrying Arabs or pregnant nuns, OK?


  1. Snookie is actually Colombian or something like that. So don't worry about offending Italian-Americans -- I think she does that on her own.


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