Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why You Should BUY Your Kid's Halloween Costume

My mother made my fantastic '80s asymmetrical prom dress and several Halloween costumes.  And she didn’t do the unskilled crafter thing that I can do, as in going to Michael’s and trying to make something out of aluminum pans and glue.

She sewed.  On a MACHINE! 

The costumes she made were gorgeous. I couldn’t have been prouder in my mom’s creations, especially when the alternative was a glorified plastic tablecloth and a horror mask printed with some cartoon character. You forty somethings remember those? No thank you.

When I was about nine, my friend Barbara and I had a joint Halloween birthday party. Both of our birthdays were at the end of August, which meant everyone was out of town.  Our parents decided to postpone our birthday celebrations until Halloween so we wouldn’t feel like total losers.

Heyell no was I going as a bulbous koala or a raccoon.  I HAD to be a roller disco girl, rocking purple satin pants, a pink satin jacket with “Boogie” or something scrawled on the back with glitter paint, and white Capezio jazz shoes.  My mother sewed the entire thing. It was everything I’d hoped for and I felt HOT!

Positive I had the coolest costume in the room, I showed off a bit by doing a big Russian split – squatting down and then jumping up into a straddle split in the air. 

Higher and higher I rose until I got to the top of the jump, and snapped my legs wide open. I looked cool, and I had SKILLS, people!

Unfortunately, the satin was far too delicate to survive the force of a muscular girl launching herself into the air.  The seat of my pants burst open like a frankfurter in the microwave. 

My roller girl satin jeans were ruined.  My panties were on full display.  Barely ten minutes in.  The kids howled with laughter.  Not only did I want to go home, I wanted to die.  At my own party?  Really?

I spent the rest of the party with someone’s shirt wrapped around my waist, foreshadowing the days of wearing a butt shirt because I’d bled through my clothes like a stuck pig. 

Lesson:  Homemade sometimes means made to stay at home.  As in on a hanger.

Thirty-two years later that lesson was forgotten.   

You may recall how I resolved to be some combination of Martha Stewart/a martyr/an idiot by making my almost five-year-old son’s knight costume. 

Well, it turned out amazing!  Look:

My knight in shining armor.
You are blinded by my talent, I know...

Except my poor son could barely walk down the stairs, and couldn’t see for shit.  When we got to the party where the costume would debut I definitely got to feel like a rockstar with all the ooohs and aahs. (What do you MEAN you didn’t have me pegged for a crafter?!  I have many talents, don’t you know!!) 

But when my kid knelt down to eat his pizza down I winced, stifling my desire to yank him to his feet and feed him like an upright armored baby.  All I could think about was getting more wine to calm my nerves over my soon-to-be ruined handiwork.

Eventually, Mr. R took off the leg armor and walked around with just the breastplate, which had an awful lot of the white underside of the foil candy cups showing.  He looked a knight who had lost a battle with some poopy birds. 

It was ironic that Mr. R and I had wanted this outfit to be museum-worthy. A mom friend quipped, “Looks like you made him a suit of armor -- not necessarily a costume.”

For his school party on Thursday, and for actual trick-or-treating a friend took pity on us and offered to lend us a costume from her son’s dress-up arsenal.  We might wear a few elements of the costume I slaved over, like the helmet, but the rest of the getup was bound for its life in the closet.  

Note to Martha, kids like to DO things on Halloween.  Like MOVE.

Doing battle against Martha for her
 beautiful, yet unwearable, costume.

As for me, I’ve learned my lesson.  Halloween costumes should be bought and not made. 

At that's what I think this year.  


  1. I thought for sure you were crafty. In fact I did a call for costumes b/4 Halloween & when I got none I sent out a tweet to some peeps who gave me nothing. I thought, "I know who probably makes her own costume," & meant to tweet u but forgot. This would have been great. I love how even his shoes look like they are covered in tin foil. The helmet is great though even if he can't see.

  2. I needed a good support as my new dress was thin, I ordered a bodysuit made for low-cut/backless dresses and it is great. It runs long for me; I'm 5'5 even with 3 or so inch heels, it was still long.


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