A Brief History of Costumes

I have costume block.

Halloween is two weeks from now, and I don’t know what I’m going to be. Devin and I are invited to childhood-faves theme party, so I have a lot of ideas, but they all seem really hard to make. For example, we could dress up as characters from our respective Sesame Streets. Devin could be Big Bird from the U.S. version of Sesame Street, and I could be Abelardo from Plaza Sésamo, Mexico’s version of Sesame Street. I’m into the idea, but it totally breaks my costume rules. When it comes to costumes, my goal is for them to be 1) easy to make, 2) inexpensive, and 3) sweatshop-free. The last part is the hardest because there are so many cool costumes you can buy in stores, but they are all made in horrible conditions (do you ever think that the womp womp sound effect is the perfect soundtrack to life under capitalism?). When I can’t find another alternative, sometimes I buy very small things, like pipe cleaners or felt, that are made in sweatshops. Anyway, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to make our costumes out of feathers, but maybe I will find a way.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking at pictures of costumes online, and I stumbled upon a lot of my own costumes from previous years, which I am sharing with you in hopes of earning costume-inspiration karma in time for Halloween. ; )


city-mouse-country-mouseCity Mouse, Country Mouse

Our fastest costume: Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky. We were going to a party and hadn’t thought of a costume until 15 minutes before it started.

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Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million

American Gothic in sepia

Possibly my worst costume of all time. I layered purple clothes and called myself The Color Purple.

My scariest costume of all time: notorious anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

George and Jane Jetson at a very rainy parade. (You can’t tell, but Devin is wearing blue polyester pants.)

French Toast

During the recession, I was a bear market. I don’t know why the “sexy Halloween” industry hasn’t capitalized on this. Think about it: “sexy bear market” or “bare market,” and of course, the men’s version would be “strong bull market.” (Honestly, I really dislike scary costumes and sexy, hyper-gendered costumes, but somehow I still love Halloween.)

And finally, my favorite costumes of all time…

pizza rat.jpg
Pizza Rat


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the subway.

A Brief History of Costumes

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