Friday, 12 September 2014

What shall I be? ♪





Thinking of Halloween costumes

Have you ever watched Garfield's Halloween Adventure? It's an 80's cartoon special that is replayed on television every Halloween. Even though I'm not that crazy about it, for some reason I can't help but watch it. It must be pure nostalgia. Whenever Halloween rolls around I get the "What Shall I Be?" song stuck in my head. The song I'm referring to is sung by Garfield while he looks for costumes in his attic. He tries on a handful of costumes and then decides he wants to be a pirate. For some people choosing a costume is easy but for other people (like me) it's a pretty flustering process. There have been many Halloweens where I have felt like Garfield, stuck in an attic full of limitless costume possibilities.


Why do we wear costumes?

Have you ever wondered why we dress up in costumes? I don't think people give it much thought. I was reading some research papers on the subject, and I found that many sociologists believe our need to wear costumes is more than just for the sake of tradition. They believe that costumes are a way for us to seek social acceptance. They provide us with a creative outlet and they allow us to experiment with self expression. When you think about it, costumes truly are the perfect vehicle for self exploration. For example, if you ever wanted to be more girly, selecting a Halloween costume that fulfills that desire is a perfect way to experiment with that personality type. Costumes provide you with a degree of anonymity, so you can choose to hide "behind the mask" while you role play (this can be especially helpful if you are afraid of receiving ridicule from your peers).

Some sociologists feel that the Halloween costume is an extension of an individual's personality. Perhaps this is why some people place such great importance on their costume decision. If you were to wear an expensive or elaborate costume, people may interpret that to mean you're wealthy or of high status. If you were to wear a funny costume it could give the impression that you're quick witted and humorous, whereas wearing a scary costume might make you appear strong and domineering. It's all about how we want to be perceived by our peers and what we want to experience. Do you want to be praised for being cool or ironic? Or do you want to feel like you're in control?




Those are some pretty interesting questions to ask yourself. It may be hard to answer them, especially if you're someone like me who is rather anti-social and not terribly interested in what others think about her. Maybe that's why Halloween costumes have been a life long struggle for me! Thinking back, many of my Halloween costumes were just worn because I had no time to do anything better or because I couldn't think of what I wanted to go as. The only ones I do recall choosing were a superhero, a geisha, Little Bo Peep, and a seriously failed mummy. I went as a witch every other time because it was my emergency costume (I had worn it since I was little). Considering these deep questions... I wonder if my need to dress alternative is similar to that witch costume in the sense that I don't know what I am, so I settle for being goth. Heavy.


A Tough Decision

I'm still struggling with what I would like to wear for this Halloween. I have no idea what I'm going to be. I also haven't made any plans yet (because it's too early) and that will have an impact on my final decision. If I'm not going out it probably isn't worth investing my time into sewing a new costume. If I do go out, I would love to sew another costume. I sewed my last costume and really enjoyed the final product. It felt different than a ready to wear costume; it looked very pretty and I had bragging rights that I made it. Last year I went out as the nursery rhyme character, Little Bo Peep. I wanted to try a cute costume because I had never done that before. I don't really want to do that a second time in a row, I'd prefer to try something new. There are a few different kinds of costume that you can choose from: funny, scary, sexy, cute and iconic. Sometimes there are hybrids of those categories.

I think iconic costumes are the most popular ones out there. This year there will probably be a few thousand little girls dressed in Frozen costumes and another few thousand kids in Ninja Turtles costumes. Licensed costumes are a hot number. Second only to whore costumes, and for adult women, that's all costume shops will sell. You either want to go out as Elsa or you want to go as a whore    insert career here  .  It's no wonder I have to resort to making my own costumes...

I currently have a handful of costume patterns in my stash. I could make most anything with them but this year I'm stumped. I have a creative block. I just keep seeing what's on the envelope instead of the potential these designs have. Push comes to shove, I may go as a pirate because I have three different pirate patterns, but I'm not enthused about that. I'd love to go as a vampire but I can't until my braces are finished. I don't feel like doing a witch costume for the hundredth time. I thought about going as a viking, until I realized they actually dress in really simple clothing. I just want something interesting... Something new, with a folkloric, supernatural or fairy tale aspect to it... It's going to take a lot of brainstorming before I get anywhere...


What steps do you take when selecting a costume for yourself? Do other peoples' tastes and opinions influence your decision making? Do you know what you're gong as this year?


Kind regards,



6 comments:

  1. Deciding on a costume usually doesn't take that much deliberation for me. But then, I have only ever made two costumes from scratch, Red Ridinghood and a victorian saloon/burlesque thing.

    I would love to see whatever you make!

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    1. I so wish it was easy for me. I used to piss my mom off really bad because I was such a fickle kid. I'd be like "I want to be a vampire" and then the week of Halloween I would change my mind. I can't explain it, I can never choose just one costume. Halloween should be two weeks longer and then perhaps I'd satisfy my need to go as everything lol. Hopefully I can get it together soon and have something interesting to wear.

      It's funny that you mention Red Riding Hood and Burlesque dancers, I have a pattern that has both of those costumes in it lol. They're pretty popular costumes.

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  2. I have been a full blown witch every year since I was 12 and decided that's who I was going to be all year round :P In all seriousness though it's the one time of year I can pull on my striped stocking, my corseted dress, lace up boots and witches hat and not get stares for being too eccentric. I wish I could dress like that all year so Halloween is my one night to let loose!!! I love that Garfield Halloween special, in fact, I love all Halloween specials. Especially the older ones, so nostalgic!

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    1. I wouldn't judge you for dressing that way all year lol. I've worn plenty of corset dresses and stripey stockings. It's sad that if we wear spiderweb stockings *any* other time of year we get looked at funny, yet during the surrealist movement women wore spiderweb dresses without criticism. It was an accepted motif no different than butterflies or roses. I'm not sure when those things transitioned into being "weird" or "goth" but it sure would be nice if people were more accepting of those motifs today!

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  3. Why don't you go as a Witch/Pirate? Could be fun ;o)
    It's never too early to think about Halloween ;o)
    Can't wait to see what you go as ;o)

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    Replies
    1. Lol I heard on a sewing board that someone's daughter wanted to be a vampirate. I guess you could combine almost anything with a pirate! :)

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