Keeping in the Halloween spirit this week, I’m still thinking back to great costumes I have known and loved.  

My favorite costumes are those that telegraph the character in a few brilliant props.  I most admire home-made costumes, because come on, anyone with money can go rent or buy something.   As for me, I give highest points for creativity and cleverness. 

The winners, from various chapters of my life:

COLLEGE:  A guy friend threw on a tennis dress, some screw-on earrings he borrowed from me, and carried a Wilson racket.  Voila, Rene Richards.

POST COLLEGE:  Chris and his friend David attended a party as Goofus and Gallant from Highlights.  Chris was unfailing polite and thoughtful, and David was a boor.  They wore nametags reading “Hello, My Name is Gallant, How Are You?” and “F*** You, I’m Goofus.”  To this day, 25 years later, they still get the occasional comment from those who recall their tandem costume.

LITTLE KIDS:  Chris once crafted the world’s greatest cardboard-box-based costume for Ian, who was 3 at the time.  Ian was Thomas the Tank Engine, and the costume was cut, painted, and crafted to perfection.  Sadly, I think we got to 3 front porches before Ian tired of the heavy, cumbersome box, and ditched it.   The same was true of his friend Freddy, who was the green engine.  But the photos live on!  (Come back on Friday, I’ll post the train photos then!)

OLDER KIDS:  Once again, Ian had my favorite elementary school costume.   The neighborhood party was about to begin, and panic was setting in.  We needed something easy, fast!  I suggested Howard Hughes, in his crazy years.  Ian actually knew the reference from Simpsons episodes (everything he knows about history, he learned from Matt Groening), and we whipped around the house finding a robe, rubber gloves, and two Kleenex boxes.  Once the boxes were emptied of tissues, Ian wore them on his feet, just like Howard.  None of the kids at the party got it, but I remember one adult being wowed by his get-up. 

COSTUME I HEARD ABOUT BUT DIDN”T SEE:  My friend Anne answered the doorbell one Halloween night to find two high school girls in dressy attire, holding plastic martini glasses and acting ditzy.  “And who are you?” she asked.  “We’re the Bush twins!”  they responded.  Genius.

And now it’s your turn – please share any costumes you have worn and loved, or seen and admired.

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