Here’s how Halloween goes: Starting November 1, I think of all of the clever costumes that I could dress up as come the following October. Then I forget them. October rolls around and the pressure mounts, and the more I feel the need to be clever, the less clever I am. Stress, frustration, and exasperation at the costume choices available for women at costume stores culminates into me, staring blankly at my closet, at 6pm on October 31st.
Every single year.
This means that one year I dressed in all black, taped a question mark to my shirt, and called myself “Identity Theft.” One year, I wore black pants and a white shirt and on the way to the party, stopped into a Walgreens and bought a toy gun. I added my sunglasses and bam. Secret agent. One year I just curled my hair beauty-queen style and wore a black cocktail dress and said I was Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. I wore a name tag to prove it. Generally, Halloween costumes shouldn’t require a name tag.
Needless to say, my Halloween costume game has not always been on point. And to tell you the truth, it probably will never be. I’ll always want to spend money on clothes that I’ll actually wear, rather than a polyester thing that comes shrink-wrapped.
That’s why this year, I’m consciously relying on things I know I have in my closet. Namely, striped shirts. I’ve got striped shirts for days.
Here are three costumes that anyone, including myself, can put together with items that you probably already own and a couple of bucks spent at a costume store on your way to the party.
The Key Piece: a red striped shirt.
Pair with: light wash skinny jeans, sneakers, and glasses.
Seal the deal: a cute, hand-made beanie from Etsy (support small business people AND have a cohesive costume. I believe that’s called win-win!)
Why you’ll love this: You’ll be comfortable knowing you’re wearing your favorite jeans and a t-shirt you feel great in. Bonus: wearing sneakers on a night out. Think of all of the activities you can do!
Key Piece: Black and white striped short sleeved t-shirt
Pair with: Black jeans, a black beanie, and sneakers
Seal the deal: Wear a black mask and a canvas bag. Paint a dollar sign on the bag=instant money bags!
Why you’ll love this: Aside from the fact that you can never go wrong with a black and white striped shirt, that “money bag” can double as your purse. Props that are useful are the best kind of props.
Key Piece: Black and white, wide striped, boat neck shirt
Pair with: Black pants, black ankle boots, and a red silk scarf.
Seal the deal: A straw gondolier-style hat will take this ensemble from mildly-french looking to solidly in the costume camp.
Why you’ll love this: This is basically what I wear every day, which is exactly what I want out of a Halloween costume. Plus, I can sing in Italian, to the joy of all those around me.
So what do you think? Do you want to call me the scrooge of Halloween? Or are you with me, and wish that costumes could be cute but also useful? What are you going to be for Halloween? I’m thinking bank robber. I like the idea of the mask, and I can say, Everyone be cool, this is a robbery! Name that movie.