In honor of Halloween, I thought it might be fun to cast my mind back on some of my costume highlights. I don’t always dress up, but when I do I try to have fun with it. The thing about growing up in the middle of nowhere is that there’s not a lot of impetus to dress up, since it’s not like you’re going anywhere.

Alas, I couldn’t find any pictures, which would have been entertaining for us all, I’m sure.

Elizabeth I

I went as the Virgin Queen in high school. I managed to rustle up an amazing Elizabethan gown which was insanely heavy, and also whaleboned so that I got the classic tapered look one associates with that oh so excellent era in history. I improvised an incredibly stiff ruff, painted my skin bone white, and found a sweet contrasting underskirt to wear so that I could flash it while dancing. Alas, my hair was dyed black during that phase in my life, but it was still a fairly excellent costume, especially with all the gaudy costume jewelry I found. It’s pretty amazing to look at vintage jewelry from the Elizabethan era; it really was awfully garish.

Alas, being a nerd, everyone made fun of me. Especially in second period geometry up on the hill. And I’m afraid I lied about the pictures in this case; I do have photographic evidence, but you can’t see it.

Vampire’s Victim

Everyone goes as a vampire. I thought it might be more fun to go as a vampire’s victim, because it would be so much more awesome. I found a vintage dress which belonged to my great aunt at one point, used white face power to make myself pale, and made a rather excellent set of puncture wounds with makeup. Not being very talented with makeup, I’m always amazed when it works out. A set of ballet slippers and some wild hair completed the outfit; alas, no one got it and everyone thought that my fake bite marks were a hickey.

Catholic Schoolgirl

Speaking of dressing up like a slut. I consulted some actual Catholic schoolgirls, and got a loaner skirt and a Peter Pan blouse. In true Catholic Schoolgirl style, I rolled the waistband of my skirt up to make it shorter, the better to contrast with my patent leather flats and bright white tights. A set of demure pigtails completed the outfit. Alas, after that night, the tights were never seen again. I suspect foul play.

Indian Princess

I have a sari. Have I mentioned that? Saris are insanely hard to drape and wear gracefully unless you are an authentic Indian princess, but I gave it a go anyway, with help from a Pakistani friend who is good with draping. And such. At any rate, that costume was rather fun, what with abundant bangles and jingly stuff and huge earrings. Sufficiently exotic that people more or less got it, and not so weird that people would make fun of me. (Don’t think I’m paranoid. Just practical. And, much like a cat, I hate being made fun of.)

Saris are also handy for other things, in addition to wearing. Three meters of fabric is a lot of fabric. My sari is pretty awesome.


Oooh, this one was fun. I borrowed a hideous tie-dyed dress, a bunch of love beads, and some patchouli. I also discovered that I am allergic to patchouli, so I settled for a big empty perfume bottle labeled “patchouli.” I blew bubbles and handed out flowers all night. Good times were had by all.

I hope that you have excellent Halloweens all, my gentle readers, wherever they may lead you.