As a recognizeable creature of the night, I feel that there are certain expectations of me around Halloween. I love Halloween, of course… I just resent having to edit my spooks and scares to accommodate PG-rated events. Like my office costume contest, for example. I would love to show up to work as a rotting, undead corpse with full makeup and white contacts. I would love to sit at my desk, working-class zombie that I already am, dressed up that way but I’m sure my office would not appreciate it. Generally, my coworkers opt for cutesy themed-costumes: last year I got roped into being part of a “Jon & Kate +8” group costume. I was actually really miserable about it and I learned that if I have to observe Halloween in a kitchy, mainstream manner, I’d rather not observe it at all.
This year, I had to work on the Saturday before Halloween, so I had to make a compromise. Costumes were mandatory, and I needed to find something that would a) not obstruct my ability to see/squat/serve drinks in an efficient manner, and b) satisfy my need to be at least medium-scary. I was bartending with my friend and former derby-wife Trish who told me that she was planning to dress up as the Corpse Bride, so I decided to compliment her costume by dressing up as Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas.
If you’re unfamiliar, this is what Sally looks like:
As Halloween approached, I decided that the simplest way to replicate her outfit was to buy a plain white v-neck t-shirt and draw all the patches on. I worked hard on it all week but it looked very ghetto and I hated it. It looked something like this crappy commercial one. Blech!
As I mentioned, I would sooner not dress up than go out in a shitty costume, so I made the risky decision to change my strategy first thing Saturday morning. Instead of trying to replicate her outfit exactly, I modified it to suit my taste. I found an old slip in my closet and covered the top with patches. I added a patchwork bodice that tied up like a corset in back, and made exaggerated black stitches along the lace.
I felt better about my outfit immediately, and was able to move on to the best part: the makeup! I love costumes that require intense makeup; it’s easily my favorite part. I bought tubes of blue and white foundation and borrowed a bunch of blue eyeshadow from a friend (blue is probably the only color that is absent from my extensive makeup collection). I had trouble accomplishing a nice, even application of the bluish-white foundation until I stumbled upon a YouTube video in which a girl recommends mixing the color makeup with a very light shade of regular foundation. I took this advice and mixed a nice batch of bluish-tint that I applied all over my face, neck, shoulders and arms.
I drew the stitches on with liquid eyeliner, and I’m pleased to report that they did not budge or smudge all night! My makeup was as perfect when I got home as it was when I left! Around my neck, I’m wearing Peter Von Erickson’s excellent vinyl stitches choker, available for sale at his etsy shop. I also love his dripping blood and slit throat choker! Great stuff for Halloween or any spooky occasion!
Even though I altered Sally’s outfit to suit my personal taste, everyone recognized me and I successfully made the compromise between ability to bartend and sufficient spook factor. Maybe next year I will take the night off work and haunt the streets of Toronto proper!
Happy Halloween, everyone!