Best costume ever?

I love Halloween because I love being spooked. I love jack-o-lanterns and zombies and trick-or-treaters. I love ghost stories and goosebumps, and I think bats are fantastical, skittering miracles of nature.

What I don’t like is dressing up.

I know that’s weird; dressing up is what the holiday’s all about. I’m not sure why it makes me uncomfortable but it always has, even as a kid. I loved seeing what everyone else wore, but I hated the pressure of coming up with a costume myself. Recently, a friend on Facebook told me she wanted to have a “Dress As Your Soul” party for Halloween. I can’t even express how much I love that idea… and yet I know it would completely stress me out to come up with a costume representative of my soul.

But on Halloween, 1993, I dressed up for a party at our neighbor’s house, and I totally nailed the whole costume thing. It was the first (and, I’m guessing, last) time I’ve ever won a costume contest.

Curious? Okay, I’ll share, even though my hair – which was not part of the costume – is more than a little embarrassing. Here you go.

halloween 1993 jcw

Awesome right? The red leggings, green shirt and Frankenstein mask are all stuffed. My legs are in the jeans.

So now I’m curious and in the mood for some Halloween fun. What is the best (or worst) costume you’ve ever worn?


Oh, and here’s a Halloween picture, which I drew just for you.



  1. Leah Griffith on October 31, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Very cute and clever! Are you dressing this year?

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 5:39 am

      I’m not, but I am going to read some scary stories and watch a scary movie, and maybe listen to my Rocky Horror soundtrack CD. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Are you?

      • Leah Griffith on October 31, 2013 at 7:51 am

        No. I haven’t dressed up in so many years. I’d kinda like to but now it’s too late. Perhaps next year. I’m going to eat a peanut butter cup;)

  2. Clare Flourish on October 31, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Not a costume, but I had this taken with a friend:

  3. Lance on October 31, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Great picture

    I’ve been to a few costumes parties with my wife and other significant others before her. I’m not a dressing up kind of person. If I didn’t have kids, the Ween O’Hallow would pass me buy without notice.

    But for some reason I love looking at pictures like this.

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 7:07 am

      Me too! Well, I guess Halloween wouldn’t pass me by since I like so many things about it, but for one who doesn’t like to dress up myself, I sure love seeing other people rocking the costume thing.

      I like Ween O’Hallow.

      • Lance on October 31, 2013 at 7:54 am

        Happy Ween O’Hallow to you and your men

        • j on October 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm

          And to you and your girls!

  4. mousebert on October 31, 2013 at 10:26 am

    OK, what is wrong with your hair???

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      I can’t tell if you mean, “what’s wrong with your hair?” or “what do you THINK is wrong with your hair, because I think it looks fine.” I’m going to assume the second thing and just say, “Thank you!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Chloe Cook on October 31, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I LOVE your hair. It’s beautiful!

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you, Chloe. xo

  6. Annie Neugebauer on October 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Wow, your Halloween picture puts mine to shame! Love it! And oh my gosh, that costume is simply brilliant. Did you come up with that idea yourself?! I could never top that. I think my favorite costume was Peter Pan. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      I love your Halloween doodle. As to the costume, I got the idea a couple of years before on Halloween, from someone dressed up and walking the streets of San Francisco. In his version, a headless body was carrying him inside a wooden cage. It was more elaborate than my version – he had makeup to look sort of beat up and gaunt, like a man in a cage might look, but I realized that you could do it with any monster (or giant, or bear) carrying any person. Feel free to resteal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Karin on October 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    The last time I really dressed up was as a gypsy (there’s photos on facebook). My husband Morgan, of course, dressed as Captain Morgan.
    And since I didn’t know anyone cool enough to have a costume party, my friends and I went bowling in our costumes. It was lots of fun!

    This year, I probably won’t do much other than watch scary movies and see if I get any trick or treaters.
    I’m excited because this is the first year I’ve owned my own home and I’m anticipating giving out candy (if the rain tonight doesn’t interfere).
    I always love holiday decorations, especially for Halloween. It’s too bad Halloween doesn’t last as long as Christmas or other holidays.

    I love your costume and your picture! That’s so clever. And there’s nothing wrong with your hair–you look like one of my aunts actually. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Bowling in costume is an excellent idea!

      Today, walking Lexi, I passed a house with a graveyard on it’s front lawn, a skeleton on a bicycle and another climbing their drain pipe. On their driveway they had a portable awning, under which another skeleton sat at a player piano and a woman in a wedding dress, her face totally hidden under crazy scary black long hair stood at a microphone. Best Halloween decorations ever!

      I remind you of your cool aunt, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Alarna Rose Gray on October 31, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I’m just like you. Costumes stress me out…in fact, I’m not sure I can think of a time I wore one. The closest was dressing in 1920’s fashion for an engagement party. That, at least, was doable. Very clever costume – and your hair is fabulous! Happy Halloween!

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      I LOVE 20s fashion!

      You guys are so sweet about my hair! I’ve been fighting it most of my life. It’s naturally frizzy (versus curly) so everything I do with it is an attempt to get it to do something other than what it wants to do. A hairdresser once asked me if my hair was permed or dyed. I said, “No, it’s just naturally this damaged.”

  9. fictional100 on October 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I genuinely like your non-costume (i.e., lovely, real) hair in the photo! I am writing this wearing a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker–over my own very un-Sherlockian hair! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • j on October 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Thank you, Lucy! I would love to see you as Sherlock Holmes! If we lived closer, I’d volunteer to be Watson. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Pam on October 31, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I love costumes. My stand-by costume is a pirate, because I have a doublet I bought at the Renaissance Faire years ago. Add a puffy shirt, shiny pants tucked into boots & a scarf on the head & go. For a couple of years I went as a vampire (look done mostly with makeup due to shortage of funds) and I’ve worn a cat nose, ears & tail (wearing cat ears will make your cat hiss at you, BTW), been a black & white jester, etc. etc.

    Now that we’re talking about this, I realize I forgot to wear the Hallowe’en sunglasses I bought. Next year!

    I love your costume & your hair looks great.

    • j on November 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

      I wonder if wearing cat ears would make Lexi chase me…

      Also, a black and white jester would be fun. Do you have to happen jester clothes too?

      And thank you. I’m hoping my grey hair grows in tamer than the hair I’ve had all my life.

      • Pam on November 1, 2013 at 9:30 am

        The year of the black & white jester costume I was having a Hallowe’en party. I bought a hat and collar set, did makeup and wore black & white clothes I had in the closet. Best costume at that party was a fabulous home-made Wonder Woman outfit. We all played a very shouty, hilarious game of Pictionary. (It was a long time ago.)

  11. Pam on October 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I almost forgot–one year in college I went as Linda Ronstadt (in my old Girl Scout uniform.)

    • j on November 1, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Ha! Now that I’d love to see a picture of!

  12. Michele Hush (@MicheleHush) on November 1, 2013 at 3:49 am

    I was a witch every single year when I was a kid. My beloved Aunt Ella made me a fab costume, including a pointy hat and flowing robes, and it fit from age 5 to whatever age I stopped trick or treating. In those days hardly anyone bought costumes in stores.

    • j on November 1, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Hardly anyone bought costumes in my day either (maybe we were in the same day). And maybe if someone crafty had made me an excellent costume that fit for years, the stress of thinking of something new every year wouldn’t have been a factor, and I wouldn’t have such an aversion to costumes.

  13. Estrella Azul on November 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Halloween isn’t really celebrated here (or at least, now there are parties at clubs and such, but only recently has that become a thing).
    We do, however, have Farsang, a Hungarian carnival in January which precedes Ash Wednesday. I’m really impressed that these traditional festivities have been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the UNESCO.

    Oh, right, back to the point: one of my best costumes was chimney sweeper. I had clothes with stains on them, so I didn’t have to be careful not to mess them up (big deal, for a nine or ten year old), I had an actual chimney sweep brush and my cheeks were coal-like from some black eyeliner ๐Ÿ™‚

    The costume I’m more proud of, is what I managed to throw together in only a few days notice, when a New Years party turned into a costume party at the last minute. I had a fuchsia shirt, so decided to wear that, a black mini skirt and turned a former ID badge thingy of mine into a flight attendant’s for WizzAir (copying the logo and coloring it), the company here in Europe which has fuchsia as their predominant of colors. Wih I had time to also make a flight attendant’s hat, but oh well.

  14. j on November 3, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Good, quick thinking on the flight attendant costume, and I bet you were an adorable chimney sweep! I just looked up Frasang. I want to come! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Chris Edgar on November 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Looks great, J — I imagine it took a lot of work to balance out the Frankenstein portion of the costume properly so that it would not cause you to fall over backwards or flop forward onto your head. Seems like precision work.

    • j on November 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Thank you! It wasn’t too heavy, but it was awkward. I spent most of the party standing; sitting was just ridiculous.

  16. Nina Badzin on November 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Seriously that IS awesome and your hair might be the best part though.

    • j on November 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Ha! Sweet talker. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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