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A plea for creative Halloween costumes

By in Opinions

“Slutty” Halloween costumes are a perennial cause for complaint despite the fact that, at least in some social groups, they are relatively rare.

Like the multitudes, I find them frustrating. Unlike the multitudes, however, this is not because I want to slut-shame anyone; it is because “sexy” costumes are usually so unimaginative.

Sexy Halloween costumes are simply a slightly more exciting version of an epidemic that affects vast swaths of the population, and that is the real problem with Halloween attire: cliche costumes.

Take, for example, “Sexy SWAT hottie,” an option from an apparently popular website called Yandy. It is a black bodysuit, fishnets and boots for the entirely reasonable price of $49.95. Yandy? More like yucky. (I know, I know. I hate myself as much as you do right now.)

As boring and yawn-dy (okay, I’m done) as that is, the sexiness is not the actual failure. The whole police costume genre is so played out I’m rolling my eyes as I write this. You want to go as fictitious super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes, great. You’re dressing as a police officer arresting John Dillinger and your boyfriend is going as Dillinger? Sounds fantastic.

Generic “police/SWAT/army officer” costumes, though, need to be done away with.

What is the point in dressing up if you’re going to wear a costume countless people have already worn, and are wearing on the same night? The point is moot whatever it was, because you look like a loser who couldn’t come up with anything more creative than a job a five-year-old wants. “I’m actor for Halloween!” Ridiculous.

Adult people wearing hackneyed costumes like “firefighter” are just like people who show up at a black-tie event wearing the exact same outfit, except it is completely foreseeable and avoidable. You wouldn’t accept this if you were going to the Met Ball in New York, so why do you settle for it at your cousin’s “Halloween Kegocolypse”? Why dress up at all if you’re going to look like you belong in the background of a photo on a college dorm wall?

I always want to see more historical figures on Halloween. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to take the time to construct a historically accurate Abe Lincoln costume, so if you really want to stand out why don’t you do that? It will also be seasonally appropriate, which is nice. Extra points if you memorize the Gettysburg Address and recite it all evening.

One great costume idea I came across while perusing the Internet was “grapes of wrath.” Dress up as a grape but add a helmet and sword. This idea seems impractical and from my experience people often get upset when they see pun-based costumes, but it’s a start.

How many people at the Halloween house party you go to are going to be dressed as grapes of wrath?

None, that’s how many. Unless you go to a party attended by other readers of my work, in which case you’re all probably equally mad about being goaded by your friends into wearing costumes. Then you can steal off to drink gin in a closet and glower together. Sounds like a fun time. Shoot me a text if that happens; I might stop in for some closet gins myself.

If you are the kind of person who gets excited for Halloween, but then doesn’t move beyond the costume brainstorming stage of thinking of a noun — vampire! ballerina! person, place or thing! — you are doing it wrong. You are doing it wrong and you are ruining it for all of us.

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