When I was a kid, Halloween was all about trying to get the best candy and dressing up as your favorite superhero. As an adult, Halloween has evolved into a night out with your friends that may or may not include an occasional dance floor excursion. Among all of the things you will see on Halloween, nothing will be more obvious than the sheer number of costumes! Costume contests, costume sales, costumes everywhere.
If costumes are going to continue to be a thing (as they have been for forever) then it is critical that you put the proper thought into your choice.
Halloweens are ruined every single year for individuals because of poor costume choice; do you want to be that person? Of course not, but that is where I come in to point out some of the more common blunders when it comes to dressing up.
There are several factors that you need to consider. Is your outfit going to be warm? Is it going to be way too common? Can you coat check Thor’s hammer? All valid questions, but whether you are thinking of going with a classic, or trying to create a unique spin, Halloween can be a great night for creativity.
For a costume to be a success, it needs to be both comfortable to wear and able to withstand whatever the night will throw your way. But have no fear dear reader, because here I have outlined some common mistakes that you can now avoid! Rock out on Halloween and do so in a stress-free environment, knowing that you already have the basics locked down when it comes to your costume. Still looking for a costume? Great, here are also some examples of things you may think are practical and easy, but there is more to a great Halloween costume than meets the eye!
10. No Capes!
I know your first instinct is that so many cool superheroes wear capes, and while that would be true, it is not practical! Trust me, I know first hand how fun it can be to be swishing a cape back and forth. You get to feel like a superhero and do some bicep flexes! The 5-year-old version of you would be so proud. What is not a good time? Tripping all over it on the dance floor. Not to mention the nightmare of trying to go to the washroom or get a seat. Pick a superhero without a cape and you’ll be better off.
9. No Accessorizing!
Nothing that is too “accessory based,” your costume needs to be able to stand on its own. For example, let’s say you’re Indiana Jones for Halloween. That’s really cool! Except, to be Indiana Jones, you need to make sure you are wearing that hat all night long. Good luck defending that from people as alcohol begins to influence more of the night. A true test of Indy indeed! Not too mention trying to get a whip inside of a nightclub might just be asking for trouble. Accessory costumes in general may cause too much upkeep to handle throughout a night. Want to be a cheerleader? Make sure your outfit works when your pom-poms turn to jager bombs.
8. Nothing That Obstructs Your View!
My friend had a fantastic outfit one year as a Lego man. He showed up, people fist-bumped him and it seemed like a great costume. Until he realized that seeing through the ‘helmet’ was a super big pain. His costume seemed a lot less cool when he was unable to wear the head for 90% of the evening. Make sure your costume does not dull any major senses and is able to be worn throughout the night. Similarly, you want to be a pirate? Great, but make sure you are a pirate that was fortunate enough to not need an eye-patch.
7. Santa Clause/Fake Beards!
Yes, I know Christmas is a super magical time and full of some excellent home-made treats. Don’t even get me started on the music that never gets old (slight sarcasm). That being said, this is HALLOWEEN. You may think dressing up like Santa is clever, but I also ask you to consider how heavy that robe will be after a few beers. Not to mention the nightmare of having to deal with a fake beard all night! It is going to get itchy and you will regret that decision within about an hour of your night. Have no fear though, because an hour is about how long it will last before falling off your face. Nothing says party on like “sorry guys, need to adjust my fake beard.”
6. No Bodysuits!
Body suits are working there way into more Halloween costumes, but they shouldn’t be! Fans of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” should know instantly what I am talking about when I refer to the body suits. They’re hot, they cover your face and beyond looking unique at first, don’t really offer much as a costume. Good luck trying to take shots or enjoy dancing when you are struggling to see and breath consistently. Not too mention there is no smooth way to say to someone “hold on baby, I just need to let my face breath”
5. Nurses, Schoolgirls or Anything Else Generic!
Most women I know have gone as either of these two choices at one point for Halloween. For those who are last minute shoppers, you’re going to find countless variations of the outfit at any Halloween store. On Halloween, be prepared to be surrounded by people that look just as unoriginal as you do. Do you really want to be going to a Halloween party where there are going to be people that are literally wearing the same outfit as you? If you do want to go with a more common choice, try and step outside of the box and add a variation to the outfit. Adding a zombie spin to the classic look can give you the opportunity to show off some make-up skills, and keep the holiday fun and not just sexy.
4. You Are Only One Half of Your Outfit
Now do not get me wrong, I love a good couples outfit. Just make sure you pick an outfit that gives both partners something to talk about! Your partner is a gift box and you’re the bow? C’mon man, you can do better then that! The best partner costumes are ones that work as individual, but are even funnier when you see the 2nd half. This gets extra sad if your partner/friends who create the ensemble need to leave early. Everyone loves Harry, Ron and Hermoine, but would anyone really get excited to just see Ron? Do your research, and hopefully two (or more) heads will be better than one when coming up with an idea!
3. Nobody Knows Who You Are
Your outfit requires several minutes to explain. Sometimes you may think you have the most clever outfit, but unfortunately, not everyone is as clever as you. Every single person is going to ask you what you are for Halloween, ESPECIALLY if you are something super obscure. You may think off the bat that it’s no big deal, but trust me it can get really annoying. This annoyance can amplify if people do not remember your answer, and ask repeatedly. The right person might get super cool points if they recognize your Dr.Who cosplay, but have fun explaining who Rose is to 50 drunk gentleman callers throughout the night.
2. Your Costume Takes Two (or more) People To Put On
Outfits that require a swat team of people to help get zipped and harnessed up may be asking for trouble. Full body zip-up are notorious for being impossible to take-off once applied, so keep your eye out where the zipper is when trying things on. I learned this mistake the hard way when I went as Batman one Halloween. What could go wrong? After all, if there was any trouble…I was Batman! Well the trouble starts real quickly when you realize going to the washroom requires a two person team to unzip you. Hardly an ideal situation when out at a bar!
1. Choose Mobility Over Your Costume
When you are coming up with your final costume suggestion, make sure you can, y’know, get around in it. Some costumes can be really stiff or unpractical to move around in and that can really put a cramp in your night. You want to go as Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump? Awesome…except now you can’t stand all night. Want to go out to a bar or anywhere in public? Have fun finding somewhere to store your wheelchair. Want to get your dance on with your girlfriends? Here’s hoping your shoes promote both your costume, and proper blood circulation!