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The Best Halloween Costumes

The Best Halloween Costumes

The other day I posted an amusing link on my facebook page to 70 Vintage Halloween Costumes That Were Really Creepy, and my mom joked that she’d have to upload a picture of the cow costume she made for my brother in 1989. I remember that Halloween. My brother was three and a half, and I was seven, and my mom asked us what we wanted to be for Halloween. Deven immediately said “cow,” and I said I wanted to be a goblin. Our costumes ended up looking somewhat similar – both brown sacks. Deven’s had white spots on it, and I had black fabric wings. I don’t think anyone knew what we were supposed to be.

But those costumes were was way better than my Halloween costume when I was three.  My mom dressed me up like a clown, neglecting to realize that I was deathly afraid of clowns.  I took one look in the mirror and started screaming bloody murder.  My mom dragged me out of the house and attempted to make me trick-or-treat, but I was crying so hard, she eventually took me home.

I’ve had some great Halloweens, some terrifying ones, and others that were just so-so.  Probably the best ones occurred when I lived in New Orleans.  New Orleanians LIVE for dressing up, and it’s the place where I both saw and wore some of the best costumes.

THE BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUMES:  

Group Costumes – If you can pull it off and get everyone on board, this can be really impressive. I’ve even done choreographed dances with the other people in my group costume group.

Ghetto Disney Princesses -- Belle, Ariel, Pocahontas, Cinderella, Mulan, and Snow White -- with tattoos and grills.

Ghetto Disney Princesses — Belle, Ariel, Pocahontas, Cinderella, Mulan, and Snow White — with knuckle tattoos and grills.

This was actually a Mardi Gras costume, but still, it was good.  The anarchy cheerleaders from Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video.  We did TWO choreographed dances.

This was actually a Mardi Gras costume, but still, it was good. The anarchy cheerleaders from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video. We did TWO choreographed dances.

Pop Culture – The key to this type of costume is being current. The year the TV show The Girls Next Door was popular, some friends of mine went as Hugh Hefner and his three girlfriends. That costume wouldn’t really work this year, whereas maybe the furry leotard Miley Cyrus wore at the VMA’s would.

Hugh Hefner and the "girls next door."

Hugh Hefner and the “girls next door.”

Creative – My friend Jamie always wins the award for most creative. See her below dressed as a pineapple.

A pineapple with Marilyn Monroe and Frida.

A pineapple with Marilyn Monroe and Frida.

Creepy/Scary – I’m not talking Jason masks here, but I do like it when people go with what Halloween is supposed to be all about:  death. I like the idea of the Day of the Dead skeletons, as seen below.

Mardi Gras 1 063

My friend Chana (far right) and friends.

Classic – My mom is wearing a chicken suit this Halloween. She bought it at a yard sale.  I think it’s the best thing ever.

Photo: Yard sale deal:  Who knew, when I got up Saturday morning, that I would be purchasing a complete chicken costume at a yard sale? My weekend was not a waste!

Puns – But only if they’re good. I once saw a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a necklace made of Prozac bottles. He was a “tropical depression,” and I thought that was pretty clever. But pun costumes can teeter on lame, so be careful. My favorite puns are song titles. One year my friend Gina dressed up as the Prince song “Purple Rain.” I stole this idea, and, a few years later, I dressed up as “99 Red Balloons,” which still takes the cake as my favorite costume I’ve ever worn.

99 Red Balloons (floating in the summer sky...)

99 Red Balloons (floating in the summer sky…)

And if, after Halloween, you’re still looking for reasons to dress up, join me at Burlesque Press’s Literary Festival and Masquerade Ball on New Years  Eve in New Orleans!

RELATED READING

Vampires and Voodoo:  Halloween in New Orleans

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About evalangston

Eva Langston is a writer, among other things.

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