1988-1992: Sock Hop Girl(?), Dorothy & Others I Don’t Remember
Halloween and I did not get off to a great start. The first costume I remember wearing is Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and the unbelievable itchiness of the dress almost traumatized me for life. I hated it so much I had to be taken home from preschool early that day. And it doesn’t look like I enjoyed the above Sock Hop Girl(?) costume either, does it?
1993: Pink Fairy Princess
My elementary school held a Halloween parade every year, so this was my first time experiencing just how fabulous prancing around in a costume could be. This particular outfit involved a white long-sleeved leotard, shiny pink skirt, wand, pink veil, tons of sequins and ribbons, and a princess-like attitude, as shown above. My mom and I actually made this costume, and by “made” I mean glued sequins on the leotard and skirt.
1994: Arabian Nights Girl (To Clarify: NOT Jasmine from Aladdin)
Far too sophisticated to be the fourth girl in my class that year to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast, I chose to put my own spin on a Disney princess costume. My mom and I also “made” this one: black leotard under a turquoise-and-black top, matching pants and, again, lots o’ sequins. When my first grade teacher asked me why I chose this costume I politely informed her that it was because “me and my mom liked to jazz it up”. Duh, teach.
1995: Hula Girl (no picture)
New Jersey is not the warmest place in the world at the end of October, so my hula outfit consisting of a grass skirt and bathing suit top (inappropriate?) was completely ruined by my having to wear a bright pink long-sleeve leotard underneath. It was so cold (and possibly rainy) that year that our parade was held indoors (SO LAME), and I still had to wear the damn leotard. Ugh, parents.
1996: Scarlett O’Hara (No Picture)
I don’t think they made Scarlett O’Hara costumes for little kids at the time, so I got a red Southern Belle dress and called myself Scarlett. It was another traumatic Halloween, this time because of a cheaply made trick-or-treat bag — unbeknownst to me, all the candy I’d been collecting all night was falling right out through a hole at the bottom of the bag. I was a wreck when I got home and realized what had happened, so my dad re-escorted me to all the houses I had already gone to and explained what happened. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
1997: French Maid
I know, it sounds kind of inappropriate for a fourth grader, but it was completely tasteful! And I think it was due to my obsession with the movie Clue or actually playing Clue? Note: Glasses had been permanently added to my face, and Halloween costumes, as of 1995.
1998: Hippie (No Picture)
One of my best costumes, and probably one of my most comfortable, and I’m so mad I can’t find a picture. Because my mom and sister were/still sort of are real-life hippies, I had tons of costume options to choose from. I went with bell bottoms, a multi-colored patchwork shirt (which Willow TOTALLY wore on an episode of Buffy and I’m so mad I can’t find a picture of THAT, either) and a flowery wreath on my head. Peace and blessins.
1999: Holly Golightly (No Picture)
The beginning of a trend in my Halloween life: No one being able to recognize what I was dressed up as. I went for the Breakfast at Tiffany’s opening scene look, but instead of a couture gown and pearls I wore a sleeveless black (and I think velvet?) leotard with a long black skirt, a white shawl and tiara. Only my 70-year-old social studies teacher knew who I was, dashing all hopes I had of winning my middle school’s very competitive costume contest.
2000: Barbie (No Picture)
I have very dark brown hair and very dark brown eyebrows, which were even thicker when I was 13, so the long platinum-blond wig I wore for this costume looked ABSOLUTELY ABSURD on me. The rest of the Barbie outfit consisted of a pink pleather go-go-looking dress and a denim jacket, and my fellow Barbie wore basically the same thing but with a shorter blonde wig and beret. I am almost positive we got this idea from Never Been Kissed — “I’m Disco Barbie!”
2001: Sexy Princess (no picture)
I remember my friend deciding to be “slutty Snow White“, or “Ho White”, and that’s where I got this idea, but I wasn’t any specific princess. Why two eighth grade girls were dressing up as sexy or slutty anything, I do not know, but mine hardly lived up to the name — I wore a bright pink dress (a relic from my old dress-up collection) with a white shrug (remember those?), fishnets, boots and, once again, a tiara. Not my proudest moment, but neither was all of middle school.
2002: Halloween Baby (No Picture)
This was the year everyone started to think we were too old for Halloween, and also the year I realized I never wanted to be too old for Halloween. Gone was the elementary school parade and middle school costume contest, and we weren’t allowed to dress up in my high school (gangs), so after school my two friends and I dressed up as holiday-themed babies. Baby costumes were HUGE in my town because it was an excuse for girls to wear cute, comfy pajamas.
2003: Cheerleader (No Picture)
The one and only year you could accuse me of not dressing up. In my defense, I WAS an actual cheerleader and I DID have to cheer for a game on Halloween, so between school (where we were not allowed to dress up) and the game, my fellow cheerleader and I took her little sister trick-or-treating and claimed we were “dressed up” as cheerleaders. I mean, technically, we were! Go Big Blue!
2004: Sexy School Girl (No Picture)
My sister still yells at me about the inappropriateness of this costume, and rightfully so. I don’t know how my parents let me out of the house in a costume that showed my entire torso and just barely covered my @$s — it was so short that I had to wear my cheerleading bloomers underneath! I think I was inspired by Kathryn from Cruel Intentions, but she was a heck of a lot more covered up than I was!
2005: Daisy Dukes
This was the year the new Dukes of Hazzard with Jessica Simpson came out, and despite never having any desire to actually SEE the movie my group of friends decided to wear super-short denim shorts, plaid shirts (borrowed from our guy friends, of course) and cowboy boots, and called ourselves “Daisy Dukes”. We looked cohesive and cute, and only slightly slutty. (Note: I still have those cowboy boots.)
2006: G.I. Ho
For reasons I cannot explain, I planned on doing the G.I. Ho costume before I jumped out a second-floor window and broke my foot in five places, so the cast and crutches just added to its authenticity. (Now that I think about it, this could be offensive to military people? And all costumes probably offend someone?) My first outfit — yes, I had two outfits for the same costume — consisted of camo capri pants with a black sleeveless hoodie, a camo hat and dog tags. My second outfit, thanks to a girl in my dorm who decided not to wear it last-minute, was a very sparkly camo jumpsuit with matching little hat. I proudly rocked both costumes with my crutches and orange-and-black striped cast (which I specifically asked for from my foot doctor) and I shamelessly used my injury to get into bars. Worked like a charm.
2007: Posh Spice, Queen Gorgo
I have yet to see any group of girls do as good a job with a Spice Girls costume as my roommates and I did in 2007; it’s probably my favorite to date. I even cut SEVERAL inches off my hair SPECIFICALLY for this costume, I kid you not! This year was the beginning of my need for multiple costumes, so the next night I was Queen Gorgo from 300 (whom you may know now as Cersei in Game of Thrones), fulfilling my life-long dream of dressing up as something from the ancient world.
2008: Mrs. White
I was extremely proud of my idea to do a Clue group costume, but I really wanted to be Miss Scarlet because she’s “the sexy one”. My roommates punished me for that by making me be frumpy old Mrs. White, despite my protests that I was already a French maid in fourth grade (see above) thus could not repeat a costume. I lost that battle, but I must say we looked AWESOME when we put it all together. I went to a pre-study abroad meeting half-dressed in this costume and CHUGGED rum and coke the whole time, so the rest of that night is a bit blurry…
2009: Halloween, Wednesday Addams, Esmeralda
This year I only planned two costumes, but on the Thursday before Halloween my friends were dressing up as the holidays and asked me if I wanted to join. Before I could even finish asking “But which holiday could I be on such short notice?” I had a full-on “Halloween” costume: black-and-orange striped witch hat, black sweater, orange shirt, black leggings, orange socks, black heels and pumpkin earrings. The next night I dressed up as Wednesday Addams because people ALWAYS tell me that I look like Christina Ricci, and the night after that I was Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame with just a slightly shorter dress.
2010: Mickey Mouse
During my post-college-graduation, anti-social phase, I decided the only thing I wanted to do for Halloween was take my niece trick-or-treating for the first time. I wanted to wear a toddler-approved costume, and she was obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at the time, so I went with a good old Disney classic. It was honestly one of my favorite Halloweens.
I call this year The Great Halloween Tragedy, Part 1. I had 2 brilliant costume ideas that year: 1) Something super-traditional, which I’d never done before, and 2) Sammi and Ronnie from Jersey Shore with my boyfriend. The witch outfit was super-cute and comfortable (and I still wear that black dress, like, not on Halloween), but the Jersey Shore outfits were going to be even better: Ed Hardy t-shirts, hair extensions, fake tans and tattoos, but we never got to wear them because of a BLIZZARD that struck the Northeast the weekend before Halloween. AN ACTUAL BLIZZARD ON HALLOWEEN. I was beyond devastated.
2012: Real Housewife, Angela Chase
I call this year The Great Halloween Tragedy, Part 2. The weekend before Halloween I was able to wear two of the three costumes I had planned: Friday night I was a “Real Housewife” — I guess I ended up looking most like Teresa from the NJ cast — and Saturday night, because I finally convinced another human being to become as obsessed with My So-Called Life as I am, my roommate and I dressed up as Angela Chase and Rayanne Graff, but pretty much no one knew who we were. Tragedy struck the next day in the form of Hurricane Sandy, so my boyfriend and I never got to dress up as Honey Boo Boo and Sugar Bear. This storms-ruining-Halloween thing has GOT. TO. GO.
2013: Dexter’s Laboratory, Eli Manning
Fortunately, there were no tragedies during the 2013 Halloween season. Despite my best efforts to convince my boyfriend to dress up as Prince William so I could wear Kate Middleton’s gorgeous blue dress, we went with his idea to be Dee Dee and Dexter from the old Cartoon Network show Dexter’s Laboratory. We FINALLY got to celebrate my favorite holiday together, and what a great celebration it was. At work I dressed up as Eli Manning, mostly because it was easy, comfortable and cute. Right?!
2014: Star Lord & Gamora
Keeping up with the new tradition of couples costumes, my fiance (note how he was “boyfriend” in 2011 and is now fiance) and I chose costumes from our latest movie obsession: Guardians of the Galaxy. While the outfits themselves were easy enough (red leather jacket and otherwise normal clothing for him, tight black clothing for me), painting my face, arms and neck green was QUITE a task. I do, however, really like my hair with purple ends…
2015: Just Married
It was been a busy year, so my HUSBAND and I went with something quick, easy, and a little corny. 🙂
2016: No Costume
I’m having as much trouble believing it as you are, but I think I have a good enough reason: We came back from vacation in Italy the night of the 29th, which would have been the last possible night for costume parties, so it was a lost cause. I’ll make up for it next year!