Dressing up is one of the best things about Halloween. You can choose to be anyone or anything you want to be, limited only by your imagination. When I was little, my costumes were primarily plastic and not very creative. But in the 1980s, it was the height of chic to have a store-bought costume with a creepy plastic mask you could barely breathe in.
When I got a little older, I tried to be more imaginative. In 5th or 6th grade, I decided to go as a soda can. I painstakingly taped a piece of silver poster board together in a cylindrical shape and somehow attached it to my body. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was a massive fail. Meanwhile, my neighbor, Mary, stole my idea to be a soda can; she, however, executed it perfectly with the use of a sturdy cardboard cylinder and cut-outs for her head and arms. The following year, understanding my limitations, I went back to the store and bought my costume: a plastic shower, with a plastic shower curtain and a plastic tub that went around my waist. You’ll notice I have no pictures to post of myself in these costumes. (Mom, if you’re reading this, that is NOT a request for you to go photo diving and post any on Facebook!)
When I had a child, I was determined to make her super creative costumes. But then I had another child. And another. And yet another…you get the picture. Time isn’t on your side once you start having multiple children. I also realized that not knowing how to sew properly is kind of a hindrance. So my homemade costume attempts are few (a princess dress, a few capes, a warlock cloak, and my proudest achievement–Major Tom). Also, my kids like trendy themes. It was easier and cheaper to just buy a $10 Spiderman costume for the 4-year-old, the same one who was happy to go as a homemade cowboy ghost last year. C’est la vie.
Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying your Halloween costumes. And they have dramatically improved since the days of plastic Strawberry Shortcake–mostly. However, if you choose to buy your costumes, you will undoubtedly run into the “sleaze” problem. Jill over at Scary Mommy highlighted some of the “sexy” costumes to be found in the kids/tween section of some costume stores. Sexy costumes for kids, indeed! But by far the worst costume for a child I think I have ever seen is sold by Spirit Halloween: Phat Pimp Child Costume.
I thought my cheap soda can attempt was bad. This one takes the prize for Worst Halloween Costume Ever, though some of these costumes for tweens come pretty close. If this is the future of store-bought costumes, give me back the old plastic ones–even with the suffocation hazard!