- Sexy is cliche. Yes, I know many a girl uses Halloween/costume parties as an opportunity to dress like a $10 hooker and parade around in their most lingerie-looking attire. I don't ever like going this route because its too easy. It's cliche. And frankly, I've found that by going in the opposite direction you actually stand out more! (ie, if you are dressed in a silly/funny/cool costume amid a sea of slutty nurses, skanky cats, and sexy devils you actually stand out!)
- Say no to stores. You will probably never see me in a costume bought from a store. I may get bits and pieces, but for the most part everything I do is original/handmade. Buying from a store is the easy route. Plus you do limit yourself to what is in stock.
- Be unique. Ideally, I never want to show up at a party, costume event wearing the same type costume as someone else. I try not to go for the expected or the costume of the day. By not shopping in a store, you tend to avoid it anyway. Like for example, I probably wouldn't show up to a comic book convention dressed as Wonder Woman - you will be sure to see a ton of Wonder Women all around. I'd pick a lesser known comic character - and maybe not even a female one (to avoid the skank factor).
- Less is more! No, I don't mean clothing/coverage wise - that would break rule number one. I mean that I like to spend as little as possible on a costume! I get fabric from clearance racks, use scraps of things, etc. For example, this past Halloween I was Pam from the Office, complete with my own receptionist desk attached to me. I used clothing that I already owned (button down, black skirt, sensible shoes). I made an Office Olympics medal out of paper clips (that I already had) and a yogurt lid (I just opted to by Dannon that week instead of store brand). I made the desk and all of its accessories out of some leftover foam board that we were going to throw out at work. I salvaged it and made the desk as well as the pieces. I try not to spend a lot of money on the outfits simply because I will wear them once. Not to mention that my $10 home made costumes have ended up being a much bigger hit than $40-$50 store bought ones! And I guess in a way I'm doing my part by recycling items.
That being said, I'm working on two costumes now for the convention. It took me a long time to come to a decision over my first outfit. I thought about all types of comic characters, etc. I debated over She-Ra and a GI Joe character (to match Mac) but eventually settled on a costume that I just loved and wanted to make anyway - which is the "By the Sea" montage red stripe dress that Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) wore in Sweeney Todd, pictured at right. I'm very excited about this costume. I bought the fabric for it already ($2 per yard at Walmart) and a couple of the other supplies and have begun cutting the pattern. So far this outfit has cost me about $24, which isn't too shabby considering I saw a ready made version on Ebay for well over $100 - and I may in fact auction it off after I wear it since this one will be put together very nicely (sometimes my costumes are only good enough for one wear).
The second costume idea came from my husband. He joked around that I should dress up at Nibbler from Futurama (left) and all of a sudden my mind started churning. I'm really excited about this - especially since I looked around on the internet and saw no other Nibbler costumes. We saw lots of Fry, Bender, and Leela - but no Nibbler. So I have definitely gotten to work on this project as well. I made the body suit (essentially a basic jumpsuit) out of felt, which will be hot. I made the tummy part of the outfit and have begun planning the head. I'm going to try to construct an actual wearable head (using paper mache and other items).
I'm going to take some pictures tonight to sort of diagram/journal the process in the event that it turns out as awesome as I think it will.