Saturday, August 20, 2011

Halloween, Part 1

For those of you who know me, Halloween is a very big deal. For those of you who don't know me, I am the crazed Halloween-er who vies for the winning title in the costume contest every year. Yeah, I'm that person.

      I love Halloween. I wish Halloween was a whole weeklong celebration. And unlike some people, I don't love this often macabre holiday because of the candy or late night rendezvous with a group of friends; instead, I've always been fascinated by the prospect of dressing up, for taking on an alternate persona for one day and not having anyone judge you about it (or at least I hope they won't judge).  I remember being in second grade and trying to explain this to my classmates. Wasn't I an intellectual? I was. And they'd always give me this blank stare as if their 8-year old self couldn't possibly understand me.


      When I was younger, I was always either a witch or a princess on Halloween. I'd try to alternate each year, but sometimes I'd shamelessly wear a costume two or three years in a row if I especially liked it (I'm talking to you, golden renaissance princess gown...). In sixth grade, I decided to switch it up and be one of those 50's poodle skirt girls, but because my parents never spent too much money on costumes, and other people did, my outfit was shamefully overpowered by another girl's expensive costume store poodle skirt outfit. In seventh grade, when everyone began trying to get away with wearing revealing pajamas to school by dressing up as "babies", I actually dressed up in an oversized beige fleece children's pajama my grandma had bought for me (it was supposed to be for really little kids...it even had a teddy bear image on the front and came with matching slippers), put my hair in wee braids and carried around a very fluffy grey teddy bear. I looked more baby than any of the other, erm, "babies" did, I must say. In eight grade I was hit with a craze for color and infiltrated my wardrobe with clothes in a rainbow of colors. That year, I put together a vintage flower-print skirt, and blue top that had little embroidered flowers around the hem, a sparkly, colorful pair of wings, some dangly belts, and a hand-assembled arrangement of silk flowers in a (you guessed it!) colorful basket. I even hung a little pink pouch full of glitter from one of the belts to serve as my "fairy dust", since I was, after all, a FLOWER FAIRY. Clever, huh? Yeah? Oh wait you're not laughing with me, you're laughing at me....

The infamous baby pajamas.  This is so embarrassing .-.
Did I mention that my costume included flower-shaped hair clips and brooches as well? And have you SEEN that neck accessory??!?!
      Then I was in high school, and I realized that "sexy" costumes were all the rage. I decided to team up with a classmate; she'd be the "bad" schoolgirl and I'd be the "good" one. Really I just looked like a slutty Alice in Wonderland with my mini blue and white gingham skirt and ruffled white blouse. I was ridiculous. Thankfully I couldn't find a picture of this.

      But unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture of my very authentic gypsy costume when I was a sophomore! I really did a lot of research on this one, and it combined A LOT of elements. First, I wore a bunch of colorful peasant-style skirts, a throwback from my junior-high years; a whole lot of necklaces and bracelets, some real gold and others merely costume jewelry; and an assortment of scarves in my hair and around my wrists and ankles. I took the rest of my gypsy getup from elements of a traditional Portuguese folk costume that I own (I used to belong to the local Portuguese Club): the vest and the headscarf (which I used as a sash at my waist).

The back of the elaborately embroidered vest

A scarf similar to mine, via Pinterest

I also wore the folk costume shoes, since they were my best option without having to go barefoot or in sparkly pink platform flip-flops. I did lots of research on this costume, and although I know that gypsies and Romani don't wear red because of its symbols in their culture, the touches of red from the scarf and the vest were the best I could do without going topless. Now, just imagine how long it took me to change for gym that day!

      Last year I took on my first major sewing endevour/ attempt at sewing suicide and made an Alice in Wonderland costume based off of Tim Burton's film...but that's another blog post ;)

      So, blog readers, any embarrassing Halloween costumes that you've worn that you'd like to share?

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