Dressing Up and Calming Down

There’s about a month left until Halloween, which means there’s about a month left for people to complain and flip their shit about sexy Halloween costumes and how women use the holiday to look like sluts.


I might or might not have this costume somewhere at my house.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that one of my magazines works with costume companies about five months out of the year. Some are sexy adult costumes done in a classy way, some generally questionable and others are cute costumes for children or pets.

Because of this involvement, I actually deal with costumes for the next few months that won’t be released until 2012. In other words, I see a lot of licensed characters and stilettos, and although it can get old fast, I like it more than I don’t.

Insider tip: Whereas fairy tales were trending last year, look for superhero costumes to dominate in 2012.

Anyway, let’s get something straight first—this is not about children’s costumes, as I’m not opening up that can of worms. While there might be some questionable youth costumes in stores, a more modest and “traditional” costume is much easier to find. Any parent that allows their little princess to walk around dressed like a smelly pirate a hooker for Halloween has a screw loose.


But of course, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to dress like hookers on a TV show broadcast to millions each week, right? 

I’m much more offended by “Toddlers & Tiaras”  than I am any costume I see in a store for an adult. And while I do think Halloween is much more for the kids to dress up and eat Candy Corn (first ingredient—wax) for breakfast,  I don’t understand why so many women bring out the claws towards other women who use this one night a year to dress up like something they’re not.

You see that outfit in my blog header?

I originally wore it to a Halloween party in Chicago given by the largest party/costume company in the world. I believe it was called, “Disco Diva,” and if I had the opportunity, I would walk the runway—not the neighborhood sidewalks, mind you— at the trade shows I attend in any of the adult costumes out there.


The shoes are my favorite. Specifically, this “Mardi Gras” model from Ellie Shoes.

These costumes aren’t meant to be worn to the PTA meeting or trick-or-treating with the kids, and with the exception of Halloween night, I doubt you would see a woman wearing one in the grocery store.

Adults who wear these costumes to adult parties are simply playing a part. It’s Halloween. It’s pretend. It’s expected. That’s why I roll my eyes and cringe a little when the stories and blog posts start rolling in about how Halloween is just a time for women to dress like sluts and corrupt the minds of our youth.

6030 Lil' Gobbler

Seriously. I’m not a kid person, but how cute is this?

And while I’ll agree that some women might use Oct. 31 to go for the slut suit, I’m pretty sure those women aren’t pillars of morality for children the other 364 days a year.

So I don’t roll my eyes and cringe when I walk into stores this time of year and see “sexy” adult costumes on a shelf. Just like half the “stylish” clothes you find at the mall that are tasteless and questionable, I don’t have to wear them if I don’t want to and neither do you.

But if an adult finds something that they like and it fits the occasion, I see nothing wrong with continuing the trend of pretend for one night of the year. After all, we all need an escape, if only for a few hours. zebradog

Especially this little guy.

I do prefer the more clever and creative costume images I have sent to me, and there are a bunch out there.

What’s been your most creative and clever costume idea? Are you going to dress up this year?

42 responses to “Dressing Up and Calming Down

  1. That turkey baby was by Mullins Square. We used to sell them on our baby site (irony, I know). They had a lot of cute things. They made an order from China that went bad though, and ruined them. They’d been in business for like 20+ or something ridiculous too. Made me sad.


  2. THANK YOU! I’m so tired of the ‘women dressing slutty on halloween is what’s wrong with the world’ rants! Frankly I think late October is simply too cold for those sorts of getups and sure, I roll my eyes at the ridiculousness of what can be made “sexy”, but we all like to be a little provocative sometimes, some of us are just not so good with subtlety. Also, last year I dressed as “Bad News” – news print shirt and devil horns.

  3. TOTALLY dressing up. Have every year since I can remember. Husb is on his way to the States AS I type … and I’ve got about 4 days to decide on what I want for him to bring it back for me!!!

    What do you suggest?

    Last year I was the evil stepmother from Snow White and scared the CRAP out of the preschool and kindergarten kids when I picked up my children ON halloween at school. I hadn’t thought twice about it scaring them. My bad!

    • Ooh! I love evil costumes! I’m not sure what the cultural protocall is for where you are in regard to costumes. If you get an idea, feel free to ask me if I know of any company that might have it. I can always send suggestions 🙂

      • Halloween is not recognized here … but is humorous for all locals (so far, anyway). We do neighborhood trick or treating – which is a hoot … and then a big “fiesta” at the school … and I always dress up for the whole day ON halloween (but I do have to be careful not to show too much skin — so the whole sexy whore bit would not be a good option) 🙂

        I’ll get my thinking cap on and get an email to you 🙂

  4. more later, off to grab lunch – but I must say, the Dorothy photo looks as if there are glowing rays emanating from her no-no place. And that chunky turkey baby is freaking adorable, and though I’m not a kid person really to begin with, I also actually *don’t* find chunky, rolly polly babies cuter than normal-to-skinny ones (gasp, I know, I’m a terrible human being). But he’s adorable.

    • That would be because it has actual lights in it. I’m not even kidding. You wouldn’t believe some of the innovations out there.

      • Oh, oh my. Well sparkle on, little pinafore. sparkle on.

        My mom made me a sweatshirt one year with a Christmas tree on it, and bought these little battery-operated lights (made expressly for such purposes, sold in the fabric store) that poked through teeny holes she sewed and lit up. Now that I’m describing it, it sounds horrifically tacky, but it was freaking awesome.

        She also sewed me a costume – like, a badass, full-out, hardcore costume – every year until I was like, 13 or something. We’d go to the fabric store about this time of year, pick out what I wanted to be, all the colors and notions and stuff, and she’d work on it when I was in school and/or after I went to bed for the next month. The final fitting was usually pretty down to the wire, within a day or two of Halloween, but they were spectacular. I was Sleeping Beauty, Miss America, Dorothy (without the blinking crotch), all sorts of really intricate stuff – but my favorite was/is this Colonial-era “American Girl” one year – it looked EXACTLY like the cover of the book. So considering I had custom, handmade, practically couture costumes for the first half of my life, very little I find in stores measures up.

        I like the funny/quirky costumes best, but I say if you want to be a slutty pumpkin, be a slutty pumpkin. I only have issues with “kids” who are trick-or-treating dressed like streetwalkers. EITHER you are young enough to trick-or-treat, OR you are old enough to tart it up and soak up mantention on Halloween – not both. So either go the hell home (or to a party) and buy your own candy tomorrow at 75% off, or WHY IN THE NAME OF ELEVEN ‘O CLOCK NEWS ARE YOU ALLOWED TO BE OUT DRESSED LIKE THIS?

        I went with the easy-and-mildly-slutty cat thing for the last several years, usually because I was just handing out candy and trying to crank out an 11th hour paper, so with some headband ears and copious eyeliner doodles, I could “dress up” in sweats – but this year I’m sewing my own costume inspired by THIS: http://www.amazon.com/Flower-Garden-Gnome-Size-2T/dp/B0029194IC (most likely with liberal amounts of mom-help). I saw it last year and haven’t been able to forget about it. How freaking awesome?!

        • If you know my gnome issues, you know I love that costume idea. And second, every comment you leave makes me want to stalk you even more and force you to come be my friend in real life. I’m not kidding.

  5. First of all… where did you find that picture of me in the Dorothy costume/!?

    haaaaaaaaa… I do own that one though. I decided after my grand finale of slutty costumes 3 years ago, I’m gonna go with humerous from now on. What was my finale you ask? Oh just Beth, wife of Dog the Bounty Hunter (and Brandon was Dog). I have never seen my boobs look so large or so glorious. Sigh.

  6. I hate dressing up. Yes, I know, no fun. I’d like to take my little guy trick-or-treating in normal type clothes, come home, and have a little wine!

  7. Halloween has never really been my favorite holiday, but I like it more now with kids, because they’re cute to dress up.

    The slutty adult costumes don’t bother me. When I worked in middle school and some of the girls came in the slutty adult costumes, though? I wanted to throat punch their moms. Putting your seventh grader in a tight costume and white fishnets with a garter belt and calling her a nurse deserves a throat punch, right?

    Sorry I got sidetracked. My good friends are really into Halloween and one year her uncle dressed up like Edward Scissorhands. It was an amazing costume.

  8. The Mardi Gras shoes are so amazing they made me weep.

  9. I find the psychology behind women dressing trashy far less interesting than why so many men like to dress as women. Seriously, what’s up with that?
    I did all my costuming in college, and yes, I was a French maid one year. Now I try not to eat the candy before the kids show up.

    Why no costume photos of Uncle June?

  10. —I hear the college girls love Halloween so they can all dress up like slutty playboy bunnies.
    –love the Mardi Gra Shoes!

  11. ooops, would you change that name from siammuse to My Inner Chick? Sorry! I’m a dork.

  12. I love Halloween! However, I do agree that there are some lame/creepy/sad costumes out there. I like to go all out. I think my favorite was the year my date and I went as Sally and Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas because we spent a lot of time on our costumes. I don’t think I’ve ever done the sexy thing – too scared!

  13. I love Halloween. And, since the candy is already out there on the shelves, I suppose your early post on costumes in actually right on-time.

    I like to wear sassy costumes on Halloween because I can. A few months after Monkey was born, hubby convinced me to be a heifer. He thought it would be funny. Me, the big, lactating momma cow with my little calf. And he was, of course, the farmer.

    Uber-unsexy. After working my butt off to return to my pre-prego weight, I can tell you I’ll never do that again. *two snaps*

    Oh, and I always wear a wig.

    • You HAVE to let me know what you are this year, and if it even involves any lactating farm animals, you will be banned from future Halloween post comment sections. 😉 But ooh! I want a wig! Good call. You have to make sure you post pictures.

  14. Amen! I love Halloween, and I love it when people dress up. I’ll admit that I like to gawk at the sexy costumes and marvel and wish I could look that good in them. I see it as pretty harmless frankly. Although I do prefer clever costumes to sexy ones. I just wish I could come up with an idea for one. I seriously don’t think I can be a black cat for the 28th year in a row this year. It’s getting a little old, you know?

  15. I saw that Toddlers and Tiaras episode, seriously what is wrong with people??? But because I like watching train wrecks I tune into that show more often than I care to admit…

    One of my favorite Halloweens was being Britney and KFed. I got to act like a complete idiot and so did my husband, which made it all the more fun. I even had this group of drunk girls thinking I really was Britney which I milked for everything it was worth.

    • I’m proud to say I’ve never seen an episode, but have seen all I’ve need to see from “The Soup.” Having Joel McHale present that atrocity to me makes it much easier to handle 😉

  16. Ahhh I love your posts that make me reminisce! We never got to buy costumes really. The closest I got was a plastic -with-elastic-band She-Ra mask that I wore with my snowsuit, circa age 5. My mom was a dental assistant for years, so of course I was a scary dentist once…lab coat, bloody toothbrush, etc. Ghost was always acceptable if there was a throw-away sheet to be had. A farmer consisted of overalls and one of dad’s old hats and kerchiefs. We got facepaint for clowns one year, the year it snowed 80 feet on Halloween. Good thing our snowsuits looked like clown suits anyways. College consisted of something I deemed to be sexy but likely wasn’t and some long scary black glue on fingernails to make it Haloween-ish. A few years ago I put up pigtails and wore pink dog collar and made a pretty cute puppy.

  17. I guess I’m a cranky old lady, but I’ve never been a fan of dressing up for Halloween. I haven’t dressed up in 19 years, when I was a nun. Not a sexy nun, not a pregnant nun, just a nun. Most definitely not hot.

    My Halloween activities now involve sitting on the porch and handing out candy to neighborhood children (and an annoyingly increasing number of teenagers). There’s a trend of mask-only costumes, which seems kind of lame to me. If you’re going to do it, go all in.

    If I could be a red panda, maybe I’d dress up. I’m kind of mesmerized by the light up Dorothy costume.

  18. First and most importantly — Toddlers and Tiaras is so effing disturbing I cannot watch it even as train wreck tv.

    And while I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years, yes, okay I do dress up my dog and post the photos on my blog. Last year was a cowboy outfit that my brother quickly deemed “Brokeback Alfred’. He thinks he is so clever….

  19. where did my other comment go? Am I being censored by the Abs?

    anyway, Bobina and I have been invited to a Halloween party. we have exactly a month to pick out costumes. we’ve already stared the arguing about what to go as….you’ve see pictures of us. I need some suggestions. some can be sarcastic, but I need a couple legit ones.


  20. One year I didn’t dress up. I was pregnant, my baby was due in a few weeks, just not feeling Halloween that year.

    I heard the doorbell ring, grabbed my candy bowl, opened the door only to be asked by a smartass middle schooler “Are you supposed to be Roseanne?”

  21. I LOVE Halloween. and have been known to dress … scantily. 😉 those were the years I was in New York City and I seem to always feel “anything goes” there.

    I have always been in the To Each Their Own camp – you want to dress that way, you want to strip for a living, so be it, you are NOT bothering me (unless you’re standing in front of the stripper I came to see). I suppose that goes for the other side too – if you want to spend your life getting your panties in a twist about what others are doing, you’re not bothering me there, either. It’s just too bad,

    pageant mothers who subject their kids to inappropriate outfits and too much makeup? there’s a special place for them.

    my most creative idea – I think we’re doing again this year, so I’ll take photos… and if not, I’ll tell you! 😉

  22. I opened that can of worms last year. Yes, I did it. I wrote a whole post about slutty costumes for kids. And, you know what? It’s the places like Target that are selling them. It’s crazy. I don’t want to see a 35 year old in sailor’s outfit showing too much cleavage and leg. I sure don’t want to see a 12 year old in one. This is why I turn off all the lights and muzzle the dogs on Halloween. It’s better to pretend no one’s home.

  23. Though the candy can be totally kick ass, I absolutely hate Halloween. I always try and find somewhere else to be. I volunteer for work. I go away. I just can’t stand it. Never liked it as a kid and still don’t as an adult. That being said, I never get offended seeing skimpy adult costumes. People enjoy the holiday and they should have fun no matter what the age.

  24. I adore Halloween. I dress up every year (married friends throw an awesome party) and usually I gather a few girl friends and do themes. One year we were dressed up as insects (I was a black widow and the other girls were a butterfly, lady bug and bumble bee). Another year we dressed up as the Ninja Turtles. This year I am revisiting my insect phase and going as a praying mantis. I make all of our costumes. I’ve noticed its way more fun creating an outfit from fabric than buying one. I do have the “sexy sailor pin up” costume but … it wasn’t the same. I enjoy the creativity behind the costumes. 🙂

  25. I haven’t had a real reason to dress up in years but we’re going to a Halloween wedding this year, so I need to figure something out. I have a beautiful but stained vintage 1940s bias cut gown – I’m thinking bride of Frankenstein, or forties movie star gone bad/alcoholic/something.

    I have no problem with adults indulging their costume fantasies – it’s fun to step outside ourselves for a night! I like being a vampire – wicked and a bit sexy…

  26. I seriously love the outfit you are in on this blog…it tells me SO MUCH about you and it’s so COOL!!!!!

    I hate halloween, I have posts all lined up that tell you why. 😉 But since I was little I just never liked the holiday…and for the boys, I seriously think and think and think about their costumes. First they must be EASY..I am a LAZY parent, they must not have masks etc…they must be able to worn again. (When they were 9 momths old we bought 2nd hand costumes, I hated them but my mom wanted them dressed…when they were 1, THING I and THING 2…last year, Doctors, (scrubs that said “Lil McDreamy” “Lil McSteamy” …this year….yeah like I’m going to tell you…;)

    I don’t care that adults “pretend’ on Halloween, don’t we all want to be someone else once in a while, might as well indulge it once a year. 🙂

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