Ask the Expert: Halloween Costumes

12 Oct

Ask the Expert is a series where I interview friends and others who are experts in a particular party concept.

For this entry, I’ve interviewed one of my oldest and best friends, Cady Miller, who, with her husband Chad, never fails to produce an awesome Halloween costume. See below for her thoughts on offensive costumes, staying warm, and honoring celebrities we lost this year.

Everybody’s Invited!: Scary, sexy or funny. How does one decide?

Cady Miller: Personally I think funny or ‘accurate’ Halloween costumes are the way to go. I think sexy has it’s place but only if it’s a part of a specific character that’s known for that trait. For example, if you want to be sexy on Halloween, go as Jessica Rabbit or Barbarella rather than a ‘sexy’ version of Raggedy Ann or Alice and Wonderland (these are better if you do them accurately in my opinion). Halloween should not *just* be a time for repressed people to let it all out – that’s what Mardi Gras and Spring Break are for.

EI!: Oh no! It’s October 30th and I don’t have a costume! What should I do?

Pippy Longstocking

Thrift store Pippi (with gaucho friend)

CM: Of course it’s best to prepare ahead of time, but a successful Halloween costume can be done the weekend or day of. A quick trip to your local thrift store and drug store can usually save the day. A couple years ago I put together a pretty accurate Pippi Longstocking costume the day of for around $15 (I purchased a dress, scarf that I turned into a legging, chunky shoes and a pillowcase at the thrift store. I picked up temporary red hairspray at the drug store). For last minute costumes, think of characters that are iconic and easily identified with distinct traits (e.g. Pippi’s red braids sticking up and her patchwork dress; Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Zorro with his mask/hat/cape and all black)

EI!: Dressing as a hobo – offensive or nostalgic?

CM: Every year I see people dressed as hobos… and though some are better than others I think the more accurate you get the more offensive you are as well. I also feel like that’s a bit of a cop out – there are thousands of other costumes out there that can be just as easy to make but take only a little more creative thinking.

EI!: Lots of women like to dress sexy on Halloween and this often involves wearing really short skirts. Should we move Halloween to a warmer month?

If only Audrey and Che had been a couple in real life!

If only Audrey and Che had been a couple in real life!

CM: If you’ve chosen to dress sexy, sheer/flesh colored tights are a girls best friend on Halloween. Ones specifically made for dancers are usually more durable and warmer. Also, they’ll make your legs and bum look better in person AND in pictures.

EI!: Sarah Palin and the Joker were popular costumes in 2008. What’s your prediction for the most popular costume of 2009?

CM: I think the Watchmen costumes will be popular (a good choice if you want to be sexy AND be an actual character known for that). Unfortunately, I also think Michael Jackson/Farrah Fawcett/Patrick Swayze will also be popular this year.

EI!: If you find yourself wearing the same costume as someone else at a party, how can you possibly salvage your reputation?

Chad probably ran into a few other Captain Jack Sparrows that year, but only he can do a spot on Johnny Depp impression

Chad probably ran into a few other Captain Jack Sparrows that year, but only he can do a spot on Johnny Depp impression.

CM: If you’ve made your own costume, chances are yours will be better than someone who just purchased it from the rack – where’s the creativity in that?! Or, if you have purchased it from the rack – make sure to add on some specific details: get the makeup and hair just right, make sure to get your shoes or feet covering spot on, and add a detail that didn’t come with the canned costume. Finally, if you see the same costume (or even a close similarity) just laugh it off and make sure your friends take a picture of you both together so everyone knows your’re not stewing in the corner over it.

EI!: If you were going to MacGyver a costume out of objects and materials that you can see from wherever you are right now, what would you make?

CM: I’m at our home computer right now so there aren’t that many items around besides paper and our bar behind me… but there are a couple ideas I can spot. I see my yoga mat, so I could go as a yoga instructor/fitness instructor and lug that around with me everywhere (a funnier version would be to go as a Bikram instructor and have my hair and outfit wet with my makeup running down my face). Or, there is a pack of Post-it notes here too and someone could get extra creative and completely cover themselves in them like the Office Space movie poster – you’d have to rig a good adhesive method with that though.

Extra points for creativity. Dr. Strange and Sailor Moon!

Extra points for creativity. Dr. Strange and Sailor Moon!


One Response to “Ask the Expert: Halloween Costumes”


  1. Top ten ways to celebrate Autumn (not just looking at the foliage) « Everybody’s Invited! - September 15, 2010

    […] Start planning your Halloween costume. […]

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