Post by T.M.
Last December I was in a busy Euro Shop stocking up on God knows what when I overheard a panicked woman in actual tears fretting over how on earth she was going to kit her child out in a shepherd’s outfit for his school’s nativity play. All of the nativity costumes had sold out and clearly if Padraig’s Discount Store, The Euro Store, Aldi, Lidl or Tesco didn’t have any more, well, the child would simply have to go to school in rags! Which would have been, of course, the logical solution. When I was in school and I played a shepherd what did I wear but pyjamas and a towel on my head. When CM played an angel what did she wear but a night gown, wings made from a wire hanger and a silver-tinsil halo.
I was reminded of this when thinking about what I would wear for Halloween this year – an annual decision making process that I take very seriously. Since I have been old enough to make my own sartorial decisions I have never worn the same costume twice and I have always made it myself. I have been a hunchback (pillow on my back under one of my mother’s old jumpers), a spider (four pairs of black tights stuffed with toilet roll cardboard that took me months to collect) Medusa, Wilma Flintstone, a crow, a Viking, the list goes on and on.
The thing is, as I have grown up, so has Halloween in this country and these days unless you put in huge amounts of effort, home-made costumes can end up looking pretty shit compared to those bought in specialty shops or online. (So I can understand why the woman at Christmastime was in such a state.)
Halloween has never been bigger – in Ireland at least – and chances are that this year you are going to a fancy dress party. No matter what they say, nobody wants to be that person who turned up in their normal clothes and sadly excused that they had gone as a civil servant or something because nobody thinks it’s clever and no one is impressed by a lack of imagination. But choosing a costume is hard, especially when you are strapped for time.
My mother had a great solution to the problem. She would dress in black pants and a black polo neck every year and amend her outfit – slightly. One year she accessorised with a skull cap and spade – she was a grave-digger. Another year she wore a small black eye mask and painted her nose black – she was a cat. Genius!
I loved the costume Ashley Madekwe (the English actress who plays Ashley in Revenge) wore this year. Sometimes couple costumes can be pretty damn pathetic but Ashley and her husband Iddo Goldberg were simply inspired!
If you had luxe white clothes, a flattering wig and cat ears and a handsome husband willing to dress up as a frankly frightening clothes designer this ensemble would be so easy!
This year I’m going to wear the costume I put together last year but never wore. It just so happens to be the exact same costume that CM put together this year, making 2013 the first time since the 80s that we will be wearing the same one. It’s a doozy – Rosie the Riveter, denim and a red bandanna is all you need. But don’t wear it this year, it’s been taken – twice!