Costume Memories Back to Blog

First of all, thanks to Cynthia for having me today. I’m still half-asleep, but the coffee is hot and slowly doing its job. There will be more though, I’m afraid. It’s a multiple coffee day. But, that isn’t my little blog topic today (however, on days like this when I don’t get the coffee soon enough, I make the Exorcist look like a fun little flick).


When I was a kid, of course I went trick or treating. I dressed up, but it wasn’t in the costumes you could buy at the time. I look at costumes now and they’re upwards of $75+ for kids. For cheap materials that are ill-fitting and less creative than we think.

My mom was an excellent seamstress as was my grandmother. I had awesome costumes. There are three I remember vividly and I must say, I know there are pictures somewhere, but not in my possession. Thank. God. (Yes. Even as a kid I was camera shy and hated having my picture taken.)

One year in elementary school, I was a witch. All black. Floor length dress. Pointy hat. Very basic.

A few years later, I was Wonder Woman. This was the costume to beat all costumes. Red and blue satin. I mean the whole damn thing from top to…bottom looked exactly like Linda Carter’s outfit in the television show. I had boots and I even had a cape with two big W’s on the back. My mom spent hours and days and weeks making that for me.

I remember we had Fall Festival at school going on and it was back when you could still wear your costumes to school for one day. There were ooh’s and ahh’s and compliments and ‘wow, I wish my mom had made mine’ comments. I was on top of the world. Loved that outfit. I think I still have it too, packed away in a box somewhere. It was special.

Not long after that, my sister came along and for her second or third Halloween, we were clowns. Again, my mom made the costumes. Mine was light purple baggy clown pants with the ruffle at the bottom and a dark purple big shirt with white pom-poms down the front. My sister’s was in orange and yellow. We both had hats that matched and I did our face make-up.

I was around 10-11 years old during that Halloween and it’s the last one I remember where my mom made my costume. She still made my sister’s costumes for a while, but I can still see my sister as a toddler in that little clown outfit with her face all painted.

We didn’t trick or treat as teenagers. We were ‘too old’ and I was fine with that.

I have two kids now and they don’t put thought into costumes. Not like we did. Of course, I don’t sew like my mom, but I am crafty so… My daughter hasn’t ever been big on Halloween. She has preferred to stay in, watch Ghosthunters, decorate her face in black eyeliner and be done with it. My son waits until the last minute. And I mean, LAST MINUTE. He has no idea and he’s not into a lot of things boys his age are… he doesn’t dress up as Iron Man or characters from Star Wars or any of the characters on the Nickelodeon shows he watches. But, since he waits until usually the afternoon of, and just a few hours before trick or treating, we’ve had to come up with things spur of the moment. He’s been a baseball player, a football player, a miniature Jimmie Johnson, an all-around sports fan, and… one year, he went as himself (I think that was the year he came back with a truck-load of candy).

Halloween isn’t very big in our house. DH doesn’t care for anything to do with the holiday. My kids and I do little things, but I admit, I’m a scrooge too.

We’ve made our own bags to gather candy and one year we made T-shirts to match. We got fabric paints and large Halloween rubber stamps, plain T-shirts and plain tote bags, turned on Harry Potter, and spent the afternoon decorating the shirts and bags. That was the last Halloween we spent in Florida and had gone to Sea World for trick or treating. That was amazing fun.

This year, my son still has not told me what he wants to be. I’ve asked. I’ve tossed out suggestions, and all he says is ‘I’m still thinking about it.’ My 16 year old daughter is dressing up as Prancing Cera. (If you haven’t seen the pictures of actor Michael Cera in a red beanie cap, carrying a book, and prancing all over the Internet, well count yourself lucky. There was even a Prancing Cera twitter account at one point, might still be…) She was going to go trick or treating, but has decided instead to go to a concert with friends. But, they will all be in costume.

And what is it with teenagers trick or treating? I’m talking 16, 17, even 18 year olds. I’m sorry, I’m not giving you candy if you’re that age. I might not even be opening the door for you.

What is your favorite costume memory from childhood? Do you still dress up now? What are you going to be for Halloween this year? Me, well, maybe I’ll be crazy writer lady… wacked out hair with a pencil lost in the midst, in pajamas and slippers, carrying a coffee mug. Oh right, that wouldn’t be too far from the truth of who I am… Scary.

Thanks again to Cynthia for having me. Have a Happy and Safe Halloween, y’all.


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7 responses to “Costume Memories”

  1. Cynthia Eden says:

    Hi, Lissa! Thanks for blogging with me. I’ve always been an addict when it comes to Halloween. When I was a kid, the witch costume was my favorite. Still is! I will be dressing up this year, but I haven’t *quite* made up my mind on my costume yet!

  2. Desiree says:

    I don’t dress up any more and haven’t since I was 15. I love seeing some of the costumes though. My kids ask why I dont but I tell them when i take them trick or treating I want them to be able to recognize me at all times. I have one that wants to be a gladiatior (trying to discourage because of weather), iron man and a ninja.

  3. Viki says:

    Hi Lissa –
    I don’t dress up but I do wear a Halloween theme shirt. I live in the country so no one comes to the door here :(.
    My grandmother made all of my costumes while I was growing up too. My favorite was when she made me into a Faery. It was a beautiful outfit. The one I liked the best that I did myself was when I was 14 and dressed up as Paul Stanley from KISS.
    I hear you on older teens going out. My boys were still doing it at 17. For them, it was the candy draw. They have since stopped and go to college parties.

  4. Valerie says:

    I’m from England and now live in Germany. Unfortunately, the Europeans don’t celebrate Halloween like they do in the US. It’s starting to catch on a bit now though.

    I do have friends here who are American and I look forward to their big Halloween party. I usually dress up as a witch, with black clothes, a hat, frizz up hair…wild make-up, stick on extra-long nails. I love it and it’s fun walking down the road to our friends, all dressed up and hearing the comments from the people on the street…hehe!!!!

    in Germany

  5. Diane Sadler says:

    I didn’t dress up myself, but my kids did: a witch, princess, tomato, Ninja Turtle, He-Man,skeleton etc. They loved it. But when they were teenagers it was strictly for fun at a friend’s house.
    I wouldn’t open the door for older kids either.

  6. Edie Ramer says:

    Hi Lissa, I would’ve loved to have been dressed like Wonder Woman, but my mother wasn’t much of a sewer. That does sound like the best outfit ever!

    We don’t get a lot of older kids. When we do, they’re usually with the little kids.

  7. Katie Reus says:

    My favorite costume was a crayon outfit made by my mom. Super cute even though it limited my mobility :)