costumes

The Weekend Five: The Evolution of Halloween Costumes

As I glance at the dry-erase calendar on my wall, I simply can’t believe that Halloween is approaching so quickly! Disregarding the fact that the holiday is smack dab in the middle of the week and takes place during our university’s Homecoming festivities, I’m excited to start planning this year’s costume(s). I love looking back at my costumes throughout the years and the Halloweens I shared with family and friends along the way. Of course, for those of us who celebrate this ghoulish day, our costumes have likely changed a lot throughout the years. Today’s Weekend Five will explore and celebrate these changes in the name of Halloween!

The Weekend Five: The Evolution of Halloween Costumes

1. “Isn’t that precious?”
This category of costumes belongs to babies and young children, typically those young enough to have their costumes chosen for them. Whether your parents dressed you as a woodland creature or a Sesame Street character, their goal was typically to evoke the “Awww” response in all who came into contact with you. Several years later, when you turn twelve, you’ll groan in embarrassment as they show your 4-year-old Halloween pictures to guests. Ten years after that, you’ll scan one of those pictures onto Facebook and make it your default.

*

2. The Princesses and Superheroes Phase.
Once you’re old enough to decide what you want to be for Halloween, chances are you’ll select your favorite superhero or your favorite Disney character. In my case, I wore two different Belle costumes – one when I was five and one when I was six – because she was clearly the coolest princess and I had a knack for walking around while reading, much like our heroine. When I was eight, I attempted an original princess costume as well, pairing a purple dress with a ridiculous platinum blonde wig that I thought made me look more royal. This stage of costuming typically takes place during your elementary school years, and may become a little more complex as you get older. Still, you want to make sure your costume is representing the coolest thing out there.

*

3. Too Cool For a Costume.
Otherwise known as The Dark Ages, this time period typically takes place during the middle school to early high school years, in which you decide that Halloween is for babies and that dressing up is lame. This is probably a defense mechanism because you’re not-so-secretly bummed that your school doesn’t let you wear costumes, so during this time period you forgo trick-or-treating in favor of grumpily handing out candy.

*

4. The Inappropriate Costume.
You’re sixteen years old and invited to a high school Halloween party, so of course you can’t wear any old embarrassing thing. In fact, according to societal rules for girls, you have to wear the most revealing costume you can while still attempting to fit into a theme. What was  advertised on Facebook as a “Halloween party” could really be more accurately described as a lingerie party. Meanwhile, if you’re a guy, you just have to wear a mask, an ironic T-Shirt or a random accessory, and you’re good.

*

5. The Twenty-Something Who Doesn’t Care About Cool.
Once you hit college, you decide that you probably don’t want to bare all on Halloween anymore. You also realize that Halloween is a weird holiday in itself, so dressing in a costume that wasn’t considered “cool” when you were a tween is completely acceptable. This is why the costumes at college Halloween parties are the most entertaining — they are funny, creative, and usually not purchased in a package at a costume store. Sometimes, these costumes are reboots of your costume from fourth grade. Other times, your costume might be the clever brainchild of your trips to thrift shops and hole-in-the-wall stores. Perhaps you decide to go all out on a costume because it allows you to decompress from the stress of classes, work and internships, but Halloween in college beats Halloween in high school any day of the week.

*

What was one of your favorite Halloween costumes? Did you hit any or all of these stages growing up?

What’s Hot/What’s Not: October 2010

Whenever someone mentions October, images of ghosts, witches and haunted houses immediately come to mind. Halloween plays a big role not only in the ways we shop and decorate, but the ways in which we conceptualize an entire month. However, while we may be excited about our upcoming excuse to eat tons of candy and dress however we please, let’s keep our eyes out for other fads and current events in this month’s edition of What’s Hot/What’s Not.

*

What’s HOT
Keeping up with the latest trends in Halloween couture.

What’s NOT
Wearing any of these vintage Halloween costumes.

*

What’s HOT
Celebrating your college’s Homecoming Week and being surrounded by school spirit!

What’s NOT
The idea that many people are still unable to fully participate.

*

What’s HOT
The new seasons of our favorite shows are just starting to get good!

What’s NOT
Just as My Generation was starting to get good, it was canceled! (It was good enough for me to blog about, right?)

*

What’s HOT
The lovebugs that were taking over Central Florida seem to be gone!

What’s NOT
Bedbugs are still on the rise. Yuck!

*

What’s HOT
Mel Gibson’s removal from The Hangover 2.

What’s NOT
The fact that they even considered casting him!

*

What’s HOT
Some stylish ways to stay toasty as the weather cools down.

What’s NOT
Using any of these shoes to keep your feet warm… at any time of the year.

*

What’s HOT
Having a new way to rationalize some of our guiltiest pleasures.

What’s NOT
Feeling the need to rationalize them in the first place!

*

What’s HOT
Voting in the upcoming elections and having a say in our country’s future.

What’s NOT
Blindly following the masses. :)

*

What’s HOT
Finding inspirational quotes that get you through the day.

What’s NOT
Being remembered by some of the worst quotes possible.

*

What’s HOT
The discovery of water on the Moon.

What’s NOT
The cancellation of our future Moon missions!