Getting a fantastic costume together for Halloween can be the hardest thing in the world. Come 31 October, you do not want to be stuck at your local Coles or Woolly's trying to decide between the last two masks in the 'desperate' aisle. Most eager beavers start their Halloween costume shopping (or assembling) two months in advance, but if you HAVE left it to the last minute, fear not, this is a foolproof guide to save you from the ghosts of social suicide.
Deciding on the right costume:
The 'Keep It Short and Simple' golden rule is a must when trying to decide who or what you want to go as. It is great that you know every single Pokemon but face it, finding a costume that resembles Togepi's star-shaped head and egg-shaped body is going to be a challenge without being too heavy on the pocket.
The simplistic approach to this is by picking a character that appears on television or even in your favorite comic book, and adding your own twist to it. Last Halloween, my friend came dressed as Genie from the classic television program 'I dream of Genie', that allowed her to throw together an exotic traditional Arabic bellydancer's outfit complete with an equally elegant fez.
Trends bounce around every year with new blockbusters being constantly released. This year's bigwigs that could elicit great costume ideas are Nightmare on Elm Street, Robin Hood, Despicable Me, and Prince of Persia. If you keep up with the times, chances are you will get plenty of 'oohs' and 'aahs' while you are out strutting your stuff.
Of course, if you are not much of a movie watcher, you can even go as your favorite Youtube character! Finally, you can resort to conventional wisdom and go for the classic wicked witch, spooky ghost, sexy nurse or if you are feeling extra naughty - Gretchen the bar-maid.
Finding the costume:
I have seen a great many excellent costume ideas fall to pieces (literally!) because of poor planning and low quality purchases. Because Halloween is a popular festival, great costumes get snapped up early, so sometimes it is up to your creativity to assemble one.
If you are looking for a head to toe costume with no additional labor on your part, Christina's Costumes is not a good place to start. She stocks everything from costumes for adults and children to accessories like wigs and petticoats. Christina's is for those of you with a moderate budget. Similarly, Costume Box has a good variety and are offering free shipping with orders over $65. If you want to go all out, they even have a Batman collector's edition costume. Definitely worth it!
If you are assembling the costume based on what is in your wardrobe or something you plan to borrow, here are a few ideas. Analyze the situation in a sensible and forthright manner. Do not automatically assume that you can re-create Yoda or Princess Fiona from a wardrobe raid. Two years ago, faced with a similar crisis, I threw on a black lace corset mini-dress, sheer stockings and a string of pearls. I stopped by the accessories store on the way to my Halloween party and picked up a pair of giant bunny ears that cost me less than $30. Voila! I was a Playboy Bunny – sexy, easy and inexpensive.
So even if you just throw on a shirt with no pants and go as Tom Cruise from Top Gun, or some bitty lingerie and walk around George Street going "um, like, yeah" like Paris Hilton, there is always room for last minute creativity.
Finally, remember to get your make up or face paint spot on. If you are going for a 'clownish' look with lots of face paint, make sure you use the waterproof stuff, otherwise you might unintentionally end up like the Joker from Batman. If you are keen to razzle and dazzle, use plenty of glittery shades and strong lipstick colors. My personal favorite Youtuber Michelle Phan has a series of tutorials on her channel for excellent Halloween make up.
Lastly and most importantly, remember to stand confident in your chosen outfit. A sexy bellydancer that is slumped over with bad posture can look sad and dejected whom nobody wants to ask for a dance. Batman in all his glory can cast a dubious shadow over the residents of Gotham city if all he does is stand by the wall and not mingle all night. Be sure to interact with party guests and try to guess what their costumes are. The cobwebs of Halloween have been dusted away with the glitz and sparkle of the 21st century left, so make the most of your night! Good luck!