I fucking love costumes.
Cosplay? Sign me up. Halloween? I’m all over that. Costumes for the sake of costumes? Just tell me when and where.
Dressing up is unbelievably fun to me. My favourite parts of conventions are all the costumes. Halloween is one of my favourite holidays. Aesthetics was one of the factors that drove me to join the Steampunk movement in my city. A good costume makes me feel as good as going clothes shopping and finding a dress I look so damn good in that I have no choice but to buy it. It’s a nice feeling.
So, it’s kind of sad how difficult it can be to find a good Halloween costume. I’ve more or less stopped paying full price for stuff from Halloween stores (50% off on November 1st is a whole other story).
Part of it is the lack of variety for women. Yes, I’m sure you all know this one. Fact is, about 80% of women’s costumes—and that might be giving them too much credit—are always the ‘sexy’ ones: variants of the male costumes which are made up of tiny skirts, mini dresses, mid-drift bearing tops, stockings, lots of cleavage, and insane heels. As you can imagine, most of these costumes look nothing like what they’re supposed to be.
And don’t even get me started on how creepy some of these are. Sexy. Bert and Ernie. From Sesame Street. Ladies, if a guy approaches you and says that you look ‘hot’ in something like that, you should back away slowly. Or maybe don’t wear something like that and go as the sexy butterfly instead.
And before you all get on my ass about slut-shaming, I’m not saying the costumes are inherently bad. If you can rock the slutty clown costume, go for it. Hell, some of those costumes can actually be pretty cute. I would be lying if I said I’d never wear them, even if I had the figure. I probably would.
The problem for me comes when it severely limits my options. I am not a small girl and I do not have the kind of confidence to wear those types of costumes, even the ones I think are nice. But I also don’t want to dress up as a witch/hippy/nun/wear-a-men’s-costume-because-I-only-have-those-three-options-for-my-body-type every year.
I may be exaggerating a little.
Really, I wrote a whole essay on this for school, about how there should be equal variety in costumes. But the overwhelming amount of sexy isn’t the only reason I stopped buying costumes at the stores. I mean, have you guys seen the quality of that stuff?
My friend recently called me up to tell me he went to a Halloween store and saw a bunch of Steampunk stuff that he thought I’d be interested in. Nice thought, but I had to laugh. Knowing many artisans and seamstresses, I guess I’ve become a bit spoilt in my costume tastes. I really prefer buying quality, even if it costs a bit more. I don’t think I’m really alone here. I know many costume lovers would agree with me.
Granted, no one is expecting you to wear a Halloween costume more than once, maybe twice a year. And I know not all costumes are cheap junk, but some are. They’re also expensive. I’ve seen some costumes go for over well over a hundred dollars and not looking like they’re worth that much. I don’t expect everyone to be as passionate about costumes as I am.
So, with limited options for my body type and tastes that want more for what I’m paying, Halloween can be a little difficult. Lucky for me, I know where to look to continue expanding my costume collection.