The DO’s and DONT’s of Halloween Costumes

Today while I was at work, I saw college students milling about outside dressed in all manner of costumes (including various people from the Old Testament), and I realized two things:

  1. I had forgotten it was Halloween.
  2. For the first time since I was 13, I didn’t feel pressured to dress up as a scantily-clad incarnation of a nurse/maid/firefighter/superhero/fairy/athlete/etc.

Clearly I have lost my youthful exuberance for all forms of public exhibition matured.   Like the elderly person I have obviously become, I have to wonder why people don’t choose to wear costumes that are more creative and less…nearly-naked.

I know there are all sorts of discussions that people can get into about why people (mostly girls) feel pressured to dress as the “slutty” version of anything (and why you get a free pass for that on Halloween), as well as whether or not society should care or even be allowed any kind of opinion on what women wear on Halloween.  But I’m old and persnickety and I don’t really care about any of that right now.  All I want to do is give you some costuming suggestions, sort of like the “DO’s and DONT’s” column in Glamour magazine or What Not To Wear on TLC.

Green Light Halloween Costumes

dd costume

This alone is reason enough to spawn.

“It’s a straight shot from here to the top of Santa’s ‘Good’ list.”

  • Almost any kind of inanimate object.  Think: milk carton, mail box, food items (hotdogs are iffy), vehicles, etc.
  • Any costume with significant padding and large components made of felt.  Think: Barney, Big Bird, etc.  (Also, anything with a full-coverage head piece.)
  • Anything from any series that nerds like.  Think: Any Lord of the Rings character, any Star Wars character, any Star Trek character (but please, if it involves a bodysuit…dress according to your body type.  There will be children about, and these little people are already eye-level with your midsection.  They don’t need to see it in all its spandex-wrapped glory.).
  • Anyone from Duck Dynasty.  Bonus points for an authentic beard and/or convincing stomach padding (if you’re dressing up as Willie)/chest padding (if you’re dressing up as Miss Kay).

Yellow Light Halloween Costumes

bieber costume

This poor, poor child.

“If you arm yourself with some double-sided tape, stay sober, and don’t let your pastor see your Instagrams from the evening, you should be alright.”

  • Superheroes and comic book characters.  These have a high potential, but watch out for costumes that include copious amounts of shiny spandex and/or thigh-high boots.  (Men, this goes for you, too.).  Think: Batman, Wonder Woman, Wolverine (be still, my heart)
  • Anything involving animal print, particularly if the costume includes pieces such as a loin cloth and/or bustier. Think: Tarzan/Jane, cavewoman/caveman, etc.
  • Celebrities and politicians.  These are either fabulous or terrible, depending on A) how clever the costume concept is, and B) if you pull it off.  Think: Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Will & Kate, Hilary Clinton, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Ellen Degeneres.
  • Athletes.  Just don’t go with a speedo.  Nobody needs that kind of authenticity.  (Also, it gets chilly at night.  Do you really want to risk your future fertility like that?)  Think: Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Apollo Ohno (is he even still relevant?), Michelle Kwan (dear Lord, I’m aging myself), Gabby Douglas.

Red Light Halloween Costumes

miley costume

Look at that attention to detail – he even got the pigtails.

(Somewhere between “Hold your horses, cowgirl, we’ve got a nip-slip ready to happen!” and “Sir, I’m going to have to put you under arrest for indecent exposure.”)

  • Anything relating to Playboy (unless you’re dressing up as the Hef, in which case- well, you’re weird, but whatever, just don’t flash anyone).
  • Anything that includes a tutu, bra top, knee high socks, and heels.
  • Anything that resembles Miley Cyrus’ VMA outfit.
  • Anything that puts you at risk for getting gonorrhea without actually engaging in “high-risk behaviors.”
tarzan couple costume

This should never, ever happen. Ever.


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