“I love costumes. I love getting dressed up because it really helps my imagination make the leap to believe that I am who I say I am.” – Alessandro Nivola
That time of the year where the leaves fade to burnt orange, the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air, and people start wrapping themselves in thick wool just to keep warm. For some, the season simply serves as a precursor to the Christmas holidays. For others, however, it is a holiday on its own–universally known as Halloween. It is that time of the year where children get to have a free-pass in eating too much sugar and candy while adults can play their own grown-up version of dressing up. While kids visit various houses for a round of trick or treating in the neighborhood, adults attend Halloween balls or throw Halloween soirees of their own. In these events, it is no question that a costume is not only encouraged, but rather—a prerequisite for entry. After all, as Mason Cooley once said, “Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.”. So, if there is one day you can indulge your penchant for unorthodox dressing up in, why not take advantage of it?
Unfortunately, while this holiday means dressing up as someone other than yourself, some individuals have construed this to mean they can dress in costumes that are either controversial or look like borderline lingerie. Sure, wearing a costume that puts the spotlight on you is great if you want the attention, but in no case should it offend anyone’s morals, reek of racism or scandalize other kids. It matters not whether you have assembled your costume from various wholesale clothing or bought it if you have any scruples left then inappropriate costumes should never be worn.
Have a Halloween soiree coming up? Here are some of the costumes you should avoid wearing:
1.) No Costume
Sure, you can be that person who is oh-so-edgy that you cannot be bothered to wear a costume for the event—even one that is quickly and haphazardly done. Yes, you can be too cool for Halloween, but why attend a Halloween costume party and refuse to wear a costume anyway? You are only going to be dampening everyone else’s fun. You can moan all you want about how Halloween is just a corporate scan to entice people to buy more candy and chocolates. But remember, everyone else is trying to have fun—at least loosen up. If you cannot be bothered to wear a costume at all, it is best to leave you and your attitude at home.
2.) Borderline Lingerie Costumes
You can dress as sexily as you wish, but you need to draw the line somewhere. Do not make Halloween as your excuse to wear something that should only be seen in the bedroom outside on the streets. It might be that one year you can finally showcase some skin and those toned abs you have been working all year for—but remember, if your mother would be scandalized to see you going out in public in such an outfit, then it probably should not leave the confines of your home.
3.) Offensive Costumes
Blackface, whiteface, religious symbols, American Indian garb, dead celebrities—these are just a slew of what makes up the list of offensive costumes. If you do not wish to be featured on a social media post or called out for being a racist, then leave these costumes alone. Take a leaf out of a famous celebrity’s book, every time they don on a similar or offensive costume they would almost always be immediately involved in a cultural appropriation issue. Regardless of whether you are famous or not, someone is inevitably going to call you out on your ignorance and insensitivity. If you are trying to be clever or funny, you are not either. Do not wear costumes that would offend in a misguided attempt at being witty—not unless stirring controversy and ruffling feathers are your thing, then, by all means, do so.
4.) Costumes that take up too much space
Personally creating your Halloween costumes is an excellent avenue for you to showcase your creativity. Indeed, if DIY costumes are your thing, then Halloween is definitely an event for you to shine. However, there is a difference between beautifully crafted costumes and costumes that look like a school project. The former would be well-received in Halloween balls and parties and might even be commended. The latter, however, would make peeing more of a challenge than a simple act. If your costumes consist of too many cardboards and boxes, consequently restricting any movement you make, you might want to reconsider wearing it. Apart from making you uncomfortable the entire night, you might also be encroaching the space of other party guests, and they might not take it too kindly if you happen to spill their drinks the second time around with your humongous left wing.
5.) Dressing up as someone you know
While Halloween is that one holiday in the year to dress up as someone other than yourself, that does not mean you should dress as someone else that you DO know and KNOWS YOU as well. Unless it is a part of a synchronized gag, you should never dress as someone else you know—even if it is your arch-enemy. Chances are, they would not take it too kindly, and they may see it as a direct mockery of who they are. You might think of it as a harmless gag, but they would likely take it as an insult. If you are wearing a costume as a joke at another person’s expense, you might want to reconsider not only your get-up but your life choices as well.
So, while Halloween is an excellent time to put on clothes so different from the ensembles we garb ourselves in the rest of the year, there are some guidelines you need to take note of. Apart from that, there are some costumes you should never wear to ensure that everyone is having an equally good time without anyone getting offended. Remember, your costumes say a lot about the kind of person you are. You might be a different character for a night, but your attitude and inner persona should stay the same.