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Halloween costumes sans context

Forget the debates over costumes in schools: I adore Halloween costumes and I spent hours last night sewing -- and probably will sneak in a little today and tomorrow among my work. This is my big leagues, my fashion week, my favorite time of the year to be a parent. I love to make costumes!

Last year, the boys were, in order of age, a fighting prince (a prince inspired by "Prince Caspian" from the Narnia book illustrations), a ninja, and a knight. The ninja costume was mostly something we'd picked up at the Goodwill Bins; the mask had been shredded, so I made a new one out of some old black silk lining leftover from a longago project. But the knight and prince were my crowning costuming achievements in eight years of Halloweens. I spent $40 or $50 for organic cotton canvas at Cool Cottons. I finally used that fabric paint I'd bought in 2009. I made bias trim. It was overkill, but I loved every last-minute rushed bit of it.

The boys use their costumes -- at least parts of them -- for years afterward, so I get to enjoy the fruits of my intense labors all year. And this year, Monroe is re-using the best of my costumery from last year again -- he'll be a knight fighting under a dragon regalia. Truman loves to be a "mage," so I stayed up until all hours crafting a dramatic and textural mage cape. Everett wants to be a zombie survivor, and I contemplated for days before coming up with a way to (hopefully) evoke this: he'll be dressed as a runner, with torn spots on his sweat pants and t-shirt, maybe a "bloody" handprint on his pants, an old-fashioned sweat band, ripped tube socks. I didn't spend a penny this year, using all old fabric (bought for other projects or on a whim in my intemperate 20s) and old clothes, which makes the endeavor all the more satisfying.

For once, I'm mostly done with the costumes now and can just set about enjoying the weekend with my boys and their imaginations and hopefully not toxic amounts of sugar -- we are planning to go to a few farmer's market celebrations in addition to the school harvest party and the ordinary Halloween night trick-or-treating. What are your children dressing up as this year? How about you? Any siblings or parent-child costume complements?


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Awesome! I love Halloween and making costumes, too. This year, my son is Luke Skywalker. We had fun making the costume from bits we'd found at Goodwill or around the house. So much fun!

My 6 year old girl is going to ironically be an angel with a white dress, a furry halo and a wand (?). She is going to make up her face with pink, black and silver eyeshadow and purple eyeliner. She has already practiced her makeup. She looks more like a zombie survivor angel than anything else!

That photo is a beauty!

I wish I were that crafty and had the TIME. I just buy outfits for my kids. My kids love their blankies too, how could I work that into an outfit for next year??

Love these ideas! FYI, there's a little Halloween costume contest on Wee Sing's facebook page (www.facebook.com/weesing). If your photo wins you get a free iTunes download!

I took my kids trick or treating last night, and have noticed that there are far more people now in England participating in this event. it is good to see.

Really adorable idea! :)

All the best!


Goodwill's first-ever costume contest begins Monday, October 21! Best Adult and Best Kids categories. First Place—$150 Goodwill gift card, Second Place—$100 Goodwill gift card, Third Place—$50 Goodwill gift card. https://www.facebook.com/meetgoodwill

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