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What is the Perfect Halloween Costume?

I just wanted to ask: What are you going to be for Halloween?

I am most proud of my Generation X for wrestling Halloween away from the kiddies and making it fully adult. Halloween spending is expected to reach $4.96 billion this year, the largest spending increase on the holiday since the Civil War, according to the National Retail Foundation. The spending represents an increase of 34% from the year before, fueled by an increase in the number of people planning to celebrate.

This is all interesting. But I have a deeper discussion to lead: What is the perfect Halloween costume? I will offer two standards by which to judge:

1. Creativity:

a. Original concept.
b. Well executed.

2. All-weather:

a. Costume is light enough to wear inside during the party.
b. Costume is warm enough to wear outside during your journey to the party.
c. Costume can endure dancing, spills.
d. Costume is easy to take off for sex.

For years I have toyed with the perfect costume. Most of you are perfectly capable of nailing the “Creativity” standard, so let’s focus on the difficult “All-weather” category.

I felt my “Astro-Not” costume cracked the code two years ago. I had a motorcycle helmet that said “AWESOME” on it (warm), and a duct-tape space suit (warmer). Outside it worked like a champ. Inside, it repelled beer well, but I ended up sweating like a coal miner. The next year I kept the helmet and wore a lighter sweater depicting a Halloween scene. I also carried a stuffed bunny. This time I sweated like a Sunday preacher instead.

And this year? I am thinking of a few concepts: Back to School in North Korea. Civil War Generals like Nikes better than Adidas. Mudpacker: The monster who haunts the day Spa.

I ask: do you have any answers for 2006?

A million candies to you.

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ARCHIVE ID 2798 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Oct.20.2006 BY Jimm Lasser
Sam Potts’s comment is:

For Halloween during my first quarter at Portfolio Center, I went as 100Thumbnails By Tuesday. Black t-shirt, black pants, 100 Zuni deer thumbnail sketches taped all over. Everyone who took Sylvia's class got it.

On Oct.20.2006 at 12:22 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

My 16-year-old goddaughter, Kayla, is going as "The Devil Wears Prada."

On Oct.20.2006 at 12:36 PM
John B’s comment is:

A few years ago, tired of my coworkers ribbing me for being a (partially) colorblind designer, I created a costume based on that theme. A smock, black beret, a giant homemade paintbrush and a giant homemade palette with white, black and a few grays in between.

Probably my best and simplest costume was Little Red Riding Wolf. I bought a cartoony wolf mask and had a red hooded cloak made up since I don't sew. A borrowed wicker basket with some candy in it finished the ensemble.

Oh, oh, I forgot - White Trash Samurai. A Samurai get up made from trashbags, tin foil and duct tape.

On Oct.20.2006 at 12:39 PM
DC1974’s comment is:

During my first year in college, a group of us went as the vowels. I and a friend were letter "i" (lower and upper case), we taped words that began with "i" all over ourselves and handed out things like "instant outmeal."

Several years later right after the death of Princess Diana, we went as a zombied version of Princess Diana and a paparazzo. We had shards of glass on our clothes and blood dripping of ourselves. We had more than one person tell us we were going to hell.

Two years ago, I went as a kids version of a super hero: I wore what looked like pajamas and safety-pinned a towel as my cape. I think I may have worn a helmet.

I can't give away my idea for this year, though, of course. These are highly classified secrets.

On Oct.20.2006 at 12:41 PM
szkat’s comment is:

last year a friend of mine wore everyday clothes, a mullet wig, and two blacked out teeth.

his costume: a hockey player during the lockout. it was perfect. did well in all of Jimm's categories :)

On Oct.20.2006 at 01:08 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

I can't stand dressing up for Halloween. I've never liked it, so I'll probably just wear all black. Anyway, the holiday is not for me, it's for my little 7-month old boy, who is going to be a darned cute lion.

On Oct.20.2006 at 01:11 PM
Michael Armstrong’s comment is:

Let me just say that DC1974 is my hero. A Princess Diana Zombie is absolutely brilliant!

I've always been partial to the childhood superhero getup myself.

On Oct.20.2006 at 01:21 PM
marian bantjes’s comment is:

Lately I've had a preference for gruesomeness in Halloween costumes.

One year, my boyfriend and I went as mummies. It was piles of fun wrapping lengths of ripped bandages around our limbs and head, painting our faces to look dead and decayed, and pulling whisps of hair through the tops of the bandages (this can be done with stockings, too, and always looks suitably awful). we were very mobile, and the more the costume disintegrated over the evening the better it looked.

Another year, said boyfriend pasted 3 boxes of bandaids all over his face. The effect was startling and I laughed so hard I nearly cracked my makeup. That same year I went as a corpse, with slit throat, and lots of bloody dribbles. I bought the blood, but it was incredibly sticky and got on everything—a definite setback.

Another year I made an elaborate costume of a kind of black devil-fiend thing. I made a paper-mache head ornament with a huge beak and horns, and dressed in black tights and more tights for arms and body, stuffed with lumpy shapes, plus a pair of wings made from bent wire (coathangers), stretched inside of more black tights. (Tights are extremely versatile and I highly recommend them for costumes.) It was great for moving around and dancing, but a little awkward for sitting in cars.

A successful costume from before-the-gruesome-days was when I went as a Mondrian painting. The design extended from clothing into makeup.

A few years ago at Design Camp I went as a lower-case Cooper Black i. The costume was made from a large back sheet, cut to shape, and held in shape by cardboard. The stem of the i was like a dress that just slipped over my head, and the dot was like a big hat-thing. Fairly successful, and i could even dance in it. Sex would have been more problematic.

My bio on this site has a photo of me at age 3, when I went as the queen of hearts. My mother made that costume and I remember the card being very hard to walk in and the wig being itchy and hot.

Another memorable childhood costume was one my brother made for me: a fly. More black tights, stuffing around the middle, a pair of wings and a golf-ball cut in half and painted black for eyes.

Some day I want to organize a party where everyone comes as spiders. Wouldn't that be fun?

On Oct.20.2006 at 01:37 PM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

For all the comic book geeks out there...Growing up I loved the X-Men, and one year I wanted to be Cable...my mother (who had no idea what I was talking about) graciously sewed me shoulder and leg pads, built me a utility belt, powdered my hair white and painted a big yellow star around my eye...an example
Not sure how that fairs on the sex end, as I was probably too young to know what that meant.
I have also always been a big fan of classic movie monsters. I feel its easy for a 6'3" 250lb+ guy to dress as Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, or my favorite, Dracula (which has been my costume for probably better than a quarter of my 23+ years on earth). Maybe not so creative, but a lot of variation can be done (I prefer wearing a top hat for Dracula as oppossed to dying my hair black from a spray can and slicking it back).

On Oct.20.2006 at 02:19 PM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

debbie millman’s comment is:
My 16-year-old goddaughter, Kayla, is going as "The Devil Wears Prada."

Now find the kid brave enough to go as "Ugly Betty"

On Oct.20.2006 at 02:47 PM
Ryan’s comment is:

Last year, I had an old school boombox, strictly am/fm radio w/single cassette deck, volume & tuner knobs, antenne, etc. that I outfitted with a black & gray flannel top hat, black Von Zipper shades, sports jacket w/generic T, white jeans, stud belt w/hip buckle and Nike hi-tops that I kicked last year. I was basically an early 80's breaker which some confussed as one of the Beastie Boys.

Anyways, I rarely removed the boombox from my left hand/shoulder, where I sported it with the attitude necessary to pull it off. I had no real music though b/c it didn't actually function anymore. But it worked out b/c there was a guy dressed as Napolean Dynamite, authentic too w/Real Hair to boot.

The first time I saw him, I cleared out a little space on the floor, set my boombox down in the middle, stopped him in his tracks and gestured for him to take the spot light. Immediately he knew what to do and wasted no time breaking out into the classic Napolean D. dance scene...straight from the movie! Move for move too! It was classic!

Luckily this guy was good and played along. It was a crowd pleaser for sure and it worked out for the best! We ended up doing the same thing once more before the night ended.

Probably the best, cheapest, comfortable and rewarding costume I've ever thrown together. I got a lot of attention from the ladies too as I ended up taking random photos with probably a dozen or so zoombie cheerleaders and playboy bunnies.

The best part was that it only took an hour or so to create, using household jazz and no out of pocket expense!!! WooHooo!

On Oct.20.2006 at 03:45 PM
carlin’s comment is:

A few years ago, after being told by my wife that I could NOT go as JFK Jr. (wrinkled suite, airplane propeller, seaweed & a water logged copy of George), a friend & I dressed as "Candy Rappers".

Basically, looked like the guys from RunDMC without the black jumpsuits. Instead I scanner two candy bar wrappers, printed them out on a large format printer and attached to them to black garbage bags. Cut a few hole in the bags and wore them like shirts, even got fake mikes and addidas shoes. A little warm in the bags, but not too bad with enough liquid coolant

On Oct.20.2006 at 04:13 PM
ed’s comment is:

I am going as Armin's last thread on Speak up... The Rant.

that shit was scary

On Oct.20.2006 at 08:04 PM
Josh’s comment is:

This year some friends and I are going as Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Seven guys wearing homemade shark masks with cut outs for the face and wearing all gray.

Beat that. You can't even.

On Oct.20.2006 at 08:10 PM
candy’s comment is:

garth algar

nothing too fancy... but totally classic.

On Oct.20.2006 at 09:05 PM
vibranium’s comment is:

My son just turned 8...he walked up to me and said "Dad, I know what I want to be for halloween." I said "What?" He said "A slug."

Call the seamstress hon, the boy wants to be a slug!

A slug. Classic.

On Oct.20.2006 at 09:44 PM
Andrew Twigg’s comment is:

This year I'm going as either Pinky, Inky, Blinky or Clyde post-Pac-chomp. I haven't decided which one, but I don't think it matters. All black outfit with two white eyes, I'm debating over whether to put the eyes on the shirt or if I should paint my face black and just leave my eyes unchanged.

Marian, when you have the spider party, I'm in. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't even need to be Halloween.

On Oct.21.2006 at 10:52 AM
Mary Campbell’s comment is:

I am going to rent a squirrel costume...like the kind a sports mascot wears...and chase dogs in the park.

On Oct.21.2006 at 02:30 PM
Amanda Woodward’s comment is:

Thinking about popeye and olive oil. Except my husband would be olive oil because he is tall and skinny. I'll have to make some muscles from nylons for my arms.

I'm sure we'll run out of time and end up going as the White Stripes.

On Oct.21.2006 at 06:16 PM
Amanda Woodward’s comment is:

I remember one year my mom dressed me up as a hula girl. I had a grass skirt with pink snowpants on underneath, and a bikini top with a thick 'skin colour' (white) sweater underneath.

Reallllly difficult to bare skin and go trick-or-treating in Alberta, with the snow and cold.

On Oct.21.2006 at 06:19 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:

I'm going as a marketing executive.

Oooooh! Boo!


On Oct.21.2006 at 09:24 PM
James Moening’s comment is:

I'd be this guy: http://www.boblog111.com/video-clap-your-tits.html

Or I'd be the living dead. It's hackneyed, I know; I prefer think of it as social commentary rather than horrific fetishism.

On Oct.22.2006 at 10:38 AM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

Mary Campbell’s comment is:
I am going to rent a squirrel costume...like the kind a sports mascot wears...and chase dogs in the park.


On Oct.22.2006 at 11:40 PM
Randy J. Hunt’s comment is:

Matthew Barney's pink-kilted puzzle solver in the 3rd Cremaster

On Oct.23.2006 at 02:16 AM
jim’s comment is:

My girlfriend and I are going to a 3rd annual Dead Celebrity Party. Costumes over the years: Christopher Reeves, Bob Ross, Moses, Natalie Hollaway, etc. We went as Sid and Nancy the first year, we're struggling for a concept this year.

On Oct.23.2006 at 10:11 AM
Rob’s comment is:

Our four-year old son is going out as Batman — it's good to know the classics never seem to die — and our eight-year old daughter is going to be a witch. And me, well, I'll be in my design lecturer costume as I have to teach Halloween night.

On Oct.23.2006 at 12:12 PM
Noah Brier’s comment is:

Last year I went as a misused semicolon -- I was separating incomplete claws-es (they were missing a few fingers).

Picture here.

I think part of the judging criteria needs to be how curious it makes other people. Part of the fun of a costume is getting to tell people what you are.

On Oct.23.2006 at 12:33 PM
Choir Boy’s comment is:

I'm going as an American.

On Oct.23.2006 at 03:57 PM
jenny’s comment is:

I wanted to go as Liz Taylor's prostitute in BUtterfield 8... vintage slip, fur coat, stilettos, red lipstick for writing on mirrors. We'll forget for the moment that I'm 6 feet tall and blonde, and that it happens to be about 90 degrees in LA right now. ;o)

On Oct.23.2006 at 05:43 PM
Bradley’s comment is:

I'm gonna get a couple of syringes, "adhere" them to my chest, put on a lot of leather, grab a big black rocker wig, and wear some make-up and go as Nikki Sixx.

That's right. Kickstart my heart.

On Oct.23.2006 at 06:24 PM
Anonymous Inc.’s comment is:

You guys have some great (and not so great, but funny!) ideas going. I personally need to find a new costume... my Monica Lewinsky one doesn't get as many laughs as it used to.

On Oct.23.2006 at 09:28 PM
BGboy’s comment is:

I'm dressing up as a sting ray and my buddy's going to be
Steve Erwin. (with all do respect-loved the guy) we shoot for offensive

On Oct.23.2006 at 11:47 PM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

jenny’s comment is:
I wanted to go as Liz Taylor's prostitute in BUtterfield 8... vintage slip, fur coat, stilettos, red lipstick for writing on mirrors. We'll forget for the moment that I'm 6 feet tall and blonde...

That sounds like it may even be better than the original

On Oct.24.2006 at 10:29 AM
sheepstealer’s comment is:

Our whole design team went to the party at design camp dressed as “typography.” We acted out kerning, faux italic, and even brought flashlights to hold above our heads for “dropshadow.”

This year I’m looking at tie-dye, beads, headband, and zombie makeup — undeadhead.

On Oct.24.2006 at 05:16 PM
Joyce’s comment is:

Laura from Project Runway (pre-pregnancy, thank you). Or Anglela, but that would require too many flourchons.

On Oct.24.2006 at 10:12 PM
diane witman’s comment is:

Has anyone ever considered being a Rubik's cube???

On Oct.25.2006 at 01:06 PM
denise’s comment is:

It's a three-race at this moment and it will be decided upon how much work I feel like doing. The top runners are:

1. A sucker. {White pants, white shirt, round red apparatus }

2. A broken record. {This may lead to problems moving, so it may be out}

3. Velma from Scooby Doo. {because I'm pretty sure i already own a turtleneck and a skirt}

On Oct.25.2006 at 01:25 PM
JS’s comment is:

I've never had any really hillarious costumes but I know of a couple:

The year the movie came out, my friend wore a rubber dinosaur hat, a South American blanket, and called himself the Blair Witch. You never do see her; no on e knows what she looks like.

Another friend dressed as a birthday cake with candles on her head, so everyone had to repeatedly sing happy birthday all night.

As for me, I think this year I am going to be green.

On Oct.25.2006 at 04:57 PM
Joe Moran’s comment is:


It's not easy being green!


On Oct.26.2006 at 08:15 PM
synnove’s comment is:

A bacterium

The scariest thing today.

On Oct.27.2006 at 06:58 AM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

I didn't manage to duck out of a party invite so I have to do a costume after all. Rosemary managed to get by with buying a black pointed hat to wear with her lab coat and stethoscope (she'll be a witch doctor) but I had to hit the dollar store for a plastic rifle, a breast plate, and horns. I'm making stone tablets to go with the latter and wearing sandals. If any of you are wandering through Greenville, North Carolina tonight and think you see Charlton Heston, it's me.

On Oct.28.2006 at 02:53 PM
kaname’s comment is:

the best thing to do in halloween is:
1. you make the party at home (so you don't have to go anywhere and get a cold).

2. you invite only the people you want, so you don't have to hear the depressive stories of any old drunk "friend".

3. when everything finishes you only have to go upstairs and have sex with your cuple without worrying about your high-heels and where you have left your car.

the custome doesn't matter, unless you have to use a lot of make up...

On Nov.07.2006 at 04:18 PM