Annie Vihtelic

No costume? No problem

By - Oct 30th, 2010 04:00 am

DIY costumes are the most fun! Photo by L. Marie via Flickr

People who dress up for Halloween usually fit into one of two categories – those who dress up as ‘things’ and those who dress up as other people.

Growing up, my brother was always a thing – something semi-complicated  like a television set or a stick of butter.

I on the other hand was always a person who could be deciphered by a few key pieces — my costume was always dictated by a piece of clothing or accessory I envied.

Once, I was Cinderella because I wanted her glass slippers. I had a pink dress and a tiara but no glass shoes. I really wanted some clear shoes but instead my mom took some aluminum wrap and foiled my Velcro sneakers. Presto, there were my glass slippers and I was ready for a night on the town.

When I was in fifth grade and lived in West Michigan, I dressed up as our local news anchor, Susanne Geeha. I wanted to be her because of the little microphone she carried. I wore a conservative skirt and button down blouse with a name tag, but still no one knew who I was and I had to explain myself every time I rang a doorbell.

Not much has changed for me in regards to Halloween since then — I still like to dress up as people because I think it is cool how one outfit or just one element can totally identify a certain person.

Yesterday I started to stress because I still didn’t have anything to wear. I didn’t want to be that lame person who shows up to the party not in costume — no one wants to be that person — so I stopped at a Halloween Express on my way home from work out of desperation and curiousity.

I walked the aisles and found everything from Playboy Bunnies to Pilgrims. I could have easily spent a hundred bucks, but instead I left empty handed. Something just didn’t feel right. Frustrated, I got back to my car and flipped on the radio as I drove away.

A song by Garth Brooks came on, and just like that, I had my costume. He’d be easy. Garth wears all black, he has a soul patch and he carries a guitar. Simple.

I drove to a discount store and bought a cheap button down black shirt. From there it was on to a St. Vincent Depaul thrift store where I found a pair of men’s Wranglers – black of course. After that I went to Marshall’s where I found an expensive pair of cute cowboy boots that I will no doubt wear again with skirts and dresses. I’ll stick adhesive black Velcro on my chin to make it look like facial hair and I’m putting the finishing touches on my cardboard guitar as I write this.

In last week’s Threads, Emily suggested dressing as identifiable celebrities like Lady Gaga, Michelle Obama, or Snooki. If you go this route, get a little creative and put your own outfit together and maybe you can invest in a piece that you will be able to wear after the party. Chances are you should be able to find at least one item to weave into your  everyday ensembles.

Yes, you are running out of time to put together an extravagant, high maintenance costume. But that still doesn’t give you any reason to blow a decent amount of money on something dopey, plastic and unoriginal.

Take a walk, watch a movie,listen to the radio. And turn to fashion for inspiration as well. Look up some of the late Alexander McQueen’s runway shows — there’s something so eerie and decadent about his work that even if you don’t come up with the perfect costume idea, the images will at least leave you inspired.

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