Hipstercrite Life, Pop Culture

Halloween Costumes Were Better When Moms Made Them

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year because growing up my mother made it so damn special. My Mom is a really creative and imaginative woman and in the confines of her small town life, Halloween was the one time of year she could really let loose. Our house was always decorated with DIY spiders, witches, ghosts, paper-mache dead trees, orange twinkle lights wrapped in cobwebs and carved-out jack o’lanterns. The best part of Halloween was my mother’s amazing gift at constructing costumes. Everything was always made from scratch. She went balls to the wall when it came to my Halloween costume. She made sure that I beat every child’s tiny ass when it came to costume contests. Every Halloween I looked forward to what my mother would dream up for me and walk through the halls of my elementary school feeling like one sassy bitch.

Then I turned 13 and was on my way to junior high. Mom told me I was too old to have her make me Halloween costumes and I became depressed. I wasn’t mentally ripe yet to make sound Halloween costume decisions for myself. My costumes ended up being some weird conglomeration of things going on in my prepubescent head that now looking back I’m like, “Dear Lord I was a weird-ass child.” Ever since then I’ve usually gone in drag (see my post ‘Halloween Costume Ideas for Girls with Penis Envy) My Mom let my freak flag fly and it’s never stopped waving, but I truly miss those early days of Halloween.

Here are some of my favorite and least favorite costumes:

Did your Mom or Dad make kick-ass Halloween costumes for you as a kid?

Age 3- Look how f’ing excited I am for Halloween here. I look like I’m on E. Sadly, I will never be this excited again. Life is downhill from this moment.

Age 4- Gosh, look at those chubby cheeks. I just want to eat myself up. Wait. That’s gross. What is it called when you eat yourself? Is there a word for that?

Age 5- I even sang “The Good Ship Lollipop” in front of my entire elementary school. Now I know why some people hate me.

 Age 7- This was before my nose embraced it’s Jewishness.

Age 8- This was one of my all-time favorite costumes. I fell in love with Catwoman the year that Batman Returns came out and I wanted to be her so badly. My Mom made this costume from scratch with no pattern. This will be the last time I want to dress as someone sexy for Halloween. Luckily at 8 years old I got ‘sexy’ out of my system.

Age 9- The next year I fell equally in love with the Phantom of the Opera. I had just started playing the piano and totally nerded out to the sheet music of the musical version. I didn’t particurlarly like the musical and opted to fashion myself after the Claude Rains Phantom. Fuck, Lloyd Webber.

Age 12- This costume belonged to my grandfather who had passed away many years prior. It lived in our closet and when I became large enough to fit into it, I was a pirate for Halloween. We stapled my stuffed parrot to my shoulder. When I was a little girl I loved playing with pirate Legos. Now pirates are cool. Fuck, pirates.

Age 13- Ok. This is the first year my mother said she wouldn’t make my costume. Look how miserable I am. What was I for Halloween? If I recall correctly I was J. Edgar Hoover in drag. Why? I have no f’ing idea. I believe I had just started watching X-files and wanted to go as Scully but didn’t have a red wig.

Age 15- What am I here? Who the hell knows. Thanks, Mom, for abandoning me.

Age 16- This costume is not so bad. I had and always will love Harpo Marx. I actually used to go to high school dressed like this sometimes. But look how miserable I am still! I longed for the days of my youth!

Age 18- Still have no idea what the hell I am but I managed to stick a tie in there to keep the drag thing going.

Age 20- Still no idea. Think I was supposed to be a flapper? I wanted to shave my eyebrows off but my lovely roommates talked me out of it.

Age 23- I believe I was supposed to be Marlene Dietrich here solely so I could dress in drag and then rip it all of and be all sexy-like. I look more like Harpo Marx though.

Age 26- Charlie McCarthy? Another excuse to wear suspenders and bowtie.

Age 27- The only costume I’ve liked since my mom stopped making costumes for me- Freddie Mercury. Believe it or not, dudes dig the chest hair.

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  • Reply Tara October 27, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I make my daughter’s costumes. She saves them all & wears them as dress up during the year.

    • Reply hipstercrite October 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      So cute! I love creative children!

  • Reply cj Schlottman October 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm


    How lucky you are to have all these wonderful photos to go along with your memories. Great post – as usual.


    • Reply hipstercrite October 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks, CJ! Have a happy Halloween!

  • Reply Well-Versed Mom November 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Love all your pics – kudos to your mom and you for going the homemade route.

    My mom made all the Halloween costumes for my sis and me, and now I’m carrying on the tradition for my daughters. It’s especially fun because my youngest, like me, is a Tim Burton FREAK.


    Plus, if you’re a girl and you want a store-bought costume and don’t want to go as a princess, Sexy Elmo (the costume DOES exist) or Sexy [INSERT DISNEY CHARACTER HERE], you’re SOL.

    Store-bought costumes suck. Period.


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