It's the spookiest time of the year. Days are shorter, pumpkin season is at its peak, and one of our favorite holidays is just around the corner.
Halloween is that day of the year when we like to dress up as someone else, and many people go as far as adopting the personality of their costume.
Sexy kittens flirt, spooky witches start an evil laugh, and rock stars develop an alter ego that gets everyone's attention.
But the idea of Halloween hasn't always been about adopting someone else's personality.
Hundreds of years ago, people dressed up with animal skins or any available material to "protect themselves" from the ghosts and supernatural energies that, according to them, were around during this time of the year.
Time passed, the second decade of the 21st century arrived, and we still wear costumes and masks. Maybe in an unconscious manner, still as a way to protect ourselves from people's criticism and judgments. Turns out, it's better to scare people away than to let them see our vulnerable selves.
So in many ways, Halloween becomes an exaggerated version of the way many people live their lives. Covering who we are behind makeup, masks, and layers of fabric.
So if Halloween is a day to let ourselves adopt someone else's identity, it's also a great opportunity to leave aside the expectations that people around us have on us, based on our gender, based on our identity. Women don't need to be sexy kittens or nurses. Men can let go of hypermasculine and dominant characters.
So let's let ourselves step outside the binary boxes and explore a wide variety of costumes and identities we can adopt for this fascinating time of the year. Here are some exciting ideas to consider as you choose your Halloween costume for this year.
It's fascinating to see how animals are, in many ways, more developed than humans. Animals don't judge each other based on who they partner with. They simply have a survival instinct, and they do their best to protect themselves and their loved ones from predators. It is very common for many animal species to have sexual interactions with the same and the opposite sex without the concern of being judged as a sinner or a sick individual. So it makes sense that many people who want to step outside of the binary spectrum rely on one of the many fascinating creatures in nature that are free from prejudices and are simply doing their best to survive out in the wild.
The great thing is that most animals would be easy to recognize as a costume, and you can choose a specific animal you haven't seen frequently at Halloween costume parties. How cool would it be to dress up like an exotic animal from the sea or a beautiful and elegant bird? The limit is the sky.
As we see more celebrities dressing up for Halloween as other celebrities, it is inevitable to be inspired by this significant trend, not necessarily because celebrities are spooky or scary, although some of them are at times.
Dressing up as a celebrity for Halloween might also be a good idea for those folks who don't want to buy a full costume for this one specific day of the year. In the end, some celebrity styles can be easily replicated with a hairstyle, makeup, and a few styling decisions that don't require a huge investment. White socks and black shoes represent Michael Jackson; a blonde bob hair wig and sunglasses remind people of Anna Wintour. Think of some celebrities that you admire and what makes these people recognizable. You'll start to see how many of them have developed an authentic style that is part of who they are. More often than not, these styles can be easily replicated.
Many people hesitate to dress up as a celebrity as they are scared of their friends not recognizing their costumes. To avoid this situation, make sure you choose a celebrity outfit that received major attention and is well known. Most of us have seen Marilyn Monroe's white dress from The Seven Year Itch, so it's no surprise that this is a widely popular option on Amazon.
It also depends on the party or event you are attending during this spooky season. Suppose you know that your social circle is very familiar with Lady Gaga's outfits. In that case, you can get more specific and replicate an outfit that may not be the most popular outfit from this celebrity. But if you know the people around you are not as big of a fan as you are, then you should plan to replicate one of the Mother Monster's outfits that have received the most attention in the media.
It seems like Halloween costumes don't need to be scary anymore. This is insulting and frustrating for many people, as they claim that horror, blood, and spookiness are essential aspects of Halloween. (If this is you, keep scrolling).
However, many others claim that it is all about having fun and finding a sense of humor by dressing up as "something."
This idea aligns perfectly with people's desire to stay away from binary costumes. After so many October 31sts, it gets exhausting to keep seeing sexy kittens, hot cowboys, and generally sexist costumes that imply outdated gendered roles that many of us don't want to follow anymore.
This is why it's exciting to see more people dressing up as objects and things outside of the binary world. When it comes to objects, there is a huge spectrum of options to look for, from kitchen appliances and utensils to food, beverages, or personal care products. Many of these objects can be easily replicated with fabric and a few other materials from your local office supply store.
You will notice that most people find this kind of costume hilarious because it is a Halloween costume trend that hasn't been fully explored, and there are still many, many objects waiting to be replicated in a Halloween costume. Look at your makeup bag, your pantry, and your local grocery store. If you were an object, what object would you like to be?
If you are the kind of person who believes that Halloween is all about horror and spookiness, that is totally fine! One of the reasons why there are so many conflicts in the world is because we want the people around us to adopt our thoughts and ideas, which ultimately ends up causing chaos and tension. It would also be boring if there was only one interpretation of Halloween because we wouldn't have the diversity of costumes at the parades, parties, and events we attend during this time of the year.
But even with spooky Halloween costumes, there are new trends and options to do things differently year after year. Here are a few things to consider:
If you or someone around you has artistic makeup skills, this is the time to be as extravagant as you want to be. From dramatic eyeshadows to makeup that extends beyond the face and covers the neck and shoulders, let your imagination flow by creating a Halloween look that makes you proud. If you feel nervous because you are trying a new product or because you are doing something you haven't done before, make sure to plan a "rehearsal day." A rehearsal day is a great opportunity to get to know your makeup products better, execute the idea that you are ambitioning, and make any necessary changes. Maybe you'll need a specific brush to execute a certain idea. Maybe the color combinations you were planning are not blending as well as you thought they would. There are a dozen of possible scenarios that may happen when executing your idea, and it is better to find out about these potential challenges before the day of your event. Plan accordingly and have a lot of fun.
The truth is that Halloween costumes can be successfully executed at any price point as long as there is enough time and a strong desire to execute them. Props can be made out of the most affordable materials like paper, fabrics, and cardboard. Since, more often than not, these props will only be used once, it makes perfect sense to choose materials that are not expensive.
It is true that Halloween is one of those days that cause lots of pollution from the candy packaging, the decorations, the invites, the disposable utensils and cups, and of course, the costumes. If sustainable fashion is something that you want to apply to your Halloween costume, go through your old clothes and see what clothes you are ready to say goodbye to. Maybe it is that free t-shirt that you got at an event, and you've been using it to sleep for a couple of years now. Maybe it is a pair of jeans that don't fit well anymore, but you keep wearing them because you are used to them, and they are still in acceptable condition. These clothes can be the starting point of your costume, and you can rip them, dye them, decorate them, or make them look like whatever you are ambitioning them to be. If you were planning to get rid of these clothes in the short term, you might as well re-shape them a little bit before giving them a definite goodbye.
On Halloween, as on many other dates and occasions in life, there are expectations from people that, maybe in an unconscious manner, we are trying to fulfill. For many people, Halloween is about being and feeling sexy to get someone's attention. For many others, it is about doing a really good job in the execution of their costume because they've always been praised for doing a good job, so it has become more of a responsibility than a hobby to do so. But here, in Political Fashion, we like to believe that Halloween is an opportunity to take a break from all of those social expectations. You can use this date as an excuse to be silly, dramatic, sexy, glamorous, feminine, masculine, or whatever you don't feel comfortable being on a regular basis. People will talk either way.