It’s starting to come up to that time in October where everyone collectively starts to think, “Shit, what am I going to dress as this Halloween?”. But don’t lost your brains over it, after all, it should be a fun process and not a chore.
When you’re making your choice, you’ll probably be taking a lot into consideration. Such as maybe wanting to take on a character from your favourite movie of 2015, making up an original design, or already in the process of putting together a show-winner. I tend to see for a lot of people that they either leave the details until too late, or worse, can’t decide at all until the last minute. You don’t want to end up walking in to the party with just a cheap plastic moulded mask, do you? So, let’s cover a few pointers to help you along.
1: Don’t fear the classics
We all have that costume design that works really well for us. You’ve done it before and you know exactly what it needs. For me being an Albino, going as a Vampire is one that suits me great and I enjoy putting the costume together. So, if it has been a while since you’ve done it, maybe it’s worth going back. Don’t be afraid of using old accessories either, mix them into new pieces to make it feel like a unique design. Recycling ideas doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and sometimes it is the perfect road to go down.
2: Identify What/Who you Want to Be
Trust me on this, deciding upon this sooner rather than later will help you massively. There’s no point coming to your decision a few days before Halloween, and then realizing you can’t find any good costumes left. I’ve been there before, and it sucks when you have to resort to the rushed Plan B. So, make a list of the characters and designs you think might work, and then narrow it down by ruling out choices that will be over-complicated, or that will be too difficult to put together in the time given. You’ll probably end up with one to three costume ideas that realistically you can achieve doing. Picking out the right one from these will then be a matter of personal choice, and since you’ve done the research, neither of them will be a bad choice.
3: Avoid the Costume Shop!
… well, let me clarify on that. Avoid the Costume Shop’s generic costumes! You know the ones I’m on about. The cheesy sets made of what looks like tissue paper, or the sexy-whatever outfits that have absolutely no effort put into them. Instead, use the shop for accessories, paints, prosthetics, and so on to help fine tune you own choice. It should be said too that this doesn’t mean you need to shell out on an expensive costume. Remember, you might only get one use out of it, so it worth that money? Probably not.
Items such as Fake Blood of Face Paint are re-usable each year, so if you have these around the house and they are in good condition, you can make use of them again. And if there are certain colours or whatever else that you can’t find? Ask a friend to help you out.
4: Start with the Costume…
Most likely you will have to get several individual pieces from separate outlets, so start tracking them down. For example, if you want to go as Indiana Jones, you’ll need to find a Fedora either in second hand clothes stores, or online. Similarly if you are going as Harley Quinn, you may consider constructing some of the outfit yourself. In that case you will need to source the fabrics as well as know how to piece them together. Use YouTube videos to help you with this, since many people put up instructions on how they made their own costumes.
Specific accessories like prop weapons and jewellery can again, either be sourced online or made yourself. Remember, it doesn’t have to be picture-perfect. Hell, everyone loves seeing a home-made costume. So if you can’t find the exact item, don’t worry about it. Use your creativity to save your wallet from un-needed beatings.
5: … And then the Makeup
Yes, that includes you gentlemen as well as ladies. Makeup is essential if you want to complete the visual look of the character you are / may be based upon. From shadowing, blood, fake wounds, face colour, contacts, bruises, symbols, and dyes, you will need at least some work on the day. There’s no easy way to pull this off, you will very likely have to do it yourself, or with the help of a friend. But this is definitely one of the most creative and fun parts of the costume construction, and you can start to get into your character. Once again, use instructional videos and guides to help you along with the basics as well as the routine on how to remove it all at the end of the night. You don’t want your pillow in the morning to look like a gremlin got squished underneath your face.
Once you know exactly what you require, do some practise before the big night to both familiarize yourself with the method, as well as ensure your skin doesn’t react badly to the paints. Keep character photos saved on your computer as a reference tool, and remember not to apply too much. Techniques such as tissue paper ans resin to build up wounds are an excellent way to add life to your overall look.
6: Have a Ghastly Time!
Remember that most of all, this is for a fun night out, be it in town at the nite club or a friend’s house party. You don’t need to take it too seriously since nobody’s going to judge you for not being “accurate”. And if they do, you honestly don’t have to care. But once you have done the preparation before-hand you will have no problems at all. Halloween is an awesome time of the year to just do something fun and cool, so make the most of it.
Thanks for Reading!