There are distinct transitions throughout a lifetime of Halloweens. If your parents were into it, they may have dressed your baby self up for Halloween and took oodles of pictures and forwarded them to all the friends and relatives.
As a young’n, you may have seen them going out to costume parties. Perhaps you were eager to come of age and join the flock of trick-or-treaters who thronged the streets and came to your door one wacky night a year. Or maybe you wanted to grow up and be like your parents and disappear into the night looking glamorous in a cat suit or as a handsome superhero.
Unless your religion prohibited you, as a child you no doubt dressed in costume at school on Halloween and later went trick-or-treating, no matter how cold and dark it was. Chicagoans grow up knowing what it’s like to have to cover a great costume beneath outerwear; somehow, you must tie the coat and outdoor accessories in with your costume, if possible. This is where it’s good to have a wardrobe of many different styles of coats and jackets, scarves, gloves and hats, and many Chicagoans do.
Along come the teenage years, and maybe you still look forward to donning a costume for Halloween, depending on whether you’re reticent to leave childhood behind or the other extreme: if you are now “too cool” to “play dress up.” It could be awkward if these two polar opposite groups ever cross paths, but they usually don’t.
A ploy for teens who still want to dress in costume and legitimize it, if deemed necessary: take your young siblings out trick-or-treating and dress in costume too. Or answer the door to trick-or-treaters in costume. Obviously this can be done at any age!
College is party-time for many, and luckily, this generally reintroduces Halloween to everyone. Those who have continued to do costumes annually have likely developed some good costuming techniques over the years and may even be able to recycle past costumes into something really fancy or cool. What a fun opportunity to show off your creativity!
Others still won’t want to wear costumes, and there are those inscrutable few who won’t, ever, throughout their whole lives. That may be you, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that; to each his or her own. There is peer pressure, however, to costume up for such events, and quite possibly, you’ve experienced this.
An easy costume for those who truly aren’t into it is to get a mask, which will come off about 15 minutes into the party anyway, even if it did cost upwards of $100. Usually guys end up buying masks while their girlfriends are shopping for their girlier costumes. It’s easy, macho, and there are some really awesome masks. To find out why masks don’t usually have much stamina at a party, try eating or drinking while wearing one. And if the mask is rubber, it’s like having your head in its own private steam room and can get mighty hot and uncomfortable.
Another trick: On your way to a party, stop by a CVS, Walgreens, Target, or some store of like genre: there are bound to be last-minute costume props, albeit picked over. Use your imagination, and you can find something interesting for the party. If not a prop, then perhaps a toy, like a squirt gun. Or put on some sparkly makeup.
Halloween is full of fascination, fun and laughs, whether people-watching or attempting to dance the robot in an actual robot suit. Or kissing that mysterious masked someone—who are they really? Halloween is a magical time.
Stay tuned for part 2. And check my other Halloween articles for costume shops and ideas and fun places to go for Halloween.