I take Halloween very seriously. If a costume requires a custom sweater not sold in stores, I’ll sew it (by hand, because I don’t know how to use a sewing machine). If a character is blonde, you bet I’ll be in a wig even though I have an abnormally large head and even simple headbands give me headaches. And, if I’m Walter White, of course I’m going to walk around with dime bags filled with blue rock candy that I had to buy in bulk somewhere in Commerce. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that takes this beautiful, should-be-national-holiday more seriously than I do. Unless that person is, like, a literal ghost or something.
I haven’t always been like this. In fact, I used to despise Halloween. In Kindergarten, I was Sailor Moon and dressed up in this fabulous outfit that my grandma sewed for me. I liked the clothes, but refused to wear the wig (26-year-old-me is disappointed rn). It got worse from there. As I got older, I began to think that dressing up was lame and only did it so I could go trick-or-treating. Thus, began a long string of forgettable, store-bought costumes that I chose based on how “normal” they looked. (Though, I was Helena from the My Chemical Romance music video once. Kinda proud of that one.) I prided myself on being mature and serious, and Halloween just didn’t fit that aesthetic.
Then, something changed. In college, I started watching this super low-key, cult-fave show called “Adventure Time.” I was obsessed. It was so weird and unique and just… silly. Watching it made me feel like it was okay to have fun—that it was good to not take oneself to seriously all the time. It’s fitting that my first real attempt at making a costume was when I grabbed a blue shirt, green felt, and puffy paint (also, a hand-sewn white hat from Etsy) and made this:
I let go of whatever was holding me back. I didn’t care about what others thought. I had fun. I felt free. And I didn’t look back. The next few Halloweens consisted of me dressing up as Walter White from Breaking Bad (yes, with blue rock candy), Mabel and Wendy from Gravity Falls (I also sewed a giant mistakenly two-legged Waddles), Sadie from Steven Universe, and most recently, Webby from Ducktales. I looked for any occasion to be in costume whether it was at Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland or Comic-Con or just… life in general.
I adore the silliness of Halloween and am grateful to have a day dedicated to being creative and leaving all the stress in your everyday jean pockets back at home. I enjoy planning months in advance for what I’m going to make and what wig I’m going to buy and what shoes I can make use of. I find satisfaction in standing in the middle of a thirft store, looking at a still from an animated cartoon and trying to figure out how I can recreate that in real life. I love going out and seeing what others have managed to do with their costumes and how much fun they’re having. Halloween is truly a time of inspiration for me, and I’m so glad I was able to stop worrying about being cool and started worrying more about if my skirt is the same exact shade of purple as it is on a 13-year-old animated character.
What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes? And what are you doing this year? Let me know!