When the first chill of the year hits the air, the daylight hours get shorter, and for sure when October 1st hits, we officially enter the spooky season with a gusto. Halloween has gotten huge on social media as creatives post amazing costumes, baked treats, and home decor around the theme of black and orange and a little scary.
I’ve never been big on the “a little scary” part. (I also kind of hate orange on myself, but that’s neither here nor there.) When I was little, I accidentally watched slasher film classic Scream because someone had put the wrong tape in the box for Men in Black. (I was really suspicious when we hadn’t seen a single alien… or Will Smith…) I haven’t really come around to horror or gore since.
BUT I still love the festive feeling around Halloween. I have a long history of loving to dress up but then forgetting that many people go scary in lieu of sexy. (Once, I attended a Halloween event at the National Zoo and had the absolute bejeebus scared out of me by an admittedly impressive duo costume where one man was a menacing puppetmaster and the other was a terrifying zombie puppet attached to him by long rods. I screamed but the craftmanship was 👌)
So here is an updated list of some of my favorite movies to watch to get into the spoopy season, and where it’s available to stream if you are interested in that. (If anyone wants to do a watch party, please let me know!) Since I have such a low tolerance for being scared, this list is a lot of children’s movies, since most children have a higher tolerance for being scared than I do… (Hence why I started my old list 6 years ago with several vintage Disney shorts.)
Note: If you would like to stream these, you can check Justwatch.com to see what platforms have it available. Not an ad, just a handy site I check when I get the hankering to watch something!
Happy Friday everybody! Can you believe this warm weather we’re having? Yesterday morning, I walked to the metro seeing my breath in the cold air, and I walked home in spring. I wish we could have crisp autumnal days but I’ll just take what I can get, I guess! Don’t forget Daylight Saving ends Sunday so get ready to fall back and get that hour back!
I hope you all had a fun Halloween! Halloween in the middle of the week always throws off the week a bit. At work, we all dressed up in costumes, and it was a fun and silly atmosphere in the office, but it was a Tuesday and there was work to be done. It felt weird to go back to work the next day… and the next day… and the next day…
Last year, my team at work did a group effort by showing up in adult onesies. This year, we split into 3 sub-teams, so we set out with the ambitious goal of having a large team-wide group costume with more specific sub-team costumes. (My original suggestion was we do a team-wide Harry Potter theme, with each sub-team choosing a different Hogwarts house or all being Death Eaters or Hogwarts professors, etc.)
Here’s the result:
And for each sub-team, we split by trilogy! I claimed the sequel trilogy for my team, despite only one movie from that trilogy having been released. (Also, yes, one of my teammates trolled us by dressing as Spock from Star Trek. Classic troll.) (And on the far right is an Angry Birds Vader. The troll force is strong with this team.)
I originally had different plans for Halloween, and compared to my crazy lofty 3-costume goals from last year, I was very derailed and very off-schedule this year. My Rey costume, while seemingly easy enough to make, was just a costume-in-a-bag option that was pretty inexpensive but turned out, in my opinion, better than I thought! (Minus the belt+bag thing that was just… drawn on? In the future, I’ll be replacing that first.)
It was a bit of a relief to just get a cheap big store costume from a bag, and people still thought I put a lot of time and effort into putting together my look! (Which I still did as my arms were so sore from attempting to get my hair to stay in Rey’s dumb triple hair loops with my hair being about twice as long as hers…)
Fun story: We went to dinner in costume on Tuesday night and found out the restaurant was actually hosting a costume contest about half an hour after we arrived. The manager stopped by to ask if we’d like to participate as one of the few parties in costume, but when the time came, we were – I believe – the only people who agreed to participate. So we won by default! I didn’t even have to get up and be judged by a restaurant full of strangers or stop watching the world series.
Did you dress up for Halloween? If so, what did you wear? What were your favorite costumes you saw this year? I think I’m a sucker for a good meme costume, despite how poorly they age, because they just transport me back, you know? I also love crossover pun costumes. (E.g. “Dumbledora the Explorer” or “Edgar Allen Poe Dameron”, those are my FAVORITES)
Also, do you get trick-or-treaters? I’ve seen the number of kids at my house take a sharp decline to zero over the past few years. I heard that parents now take kids to shopping malls and centers for trick-or-treating now, but when did that become a thing? And why do stores still sell candy to us civilians then?
Ahhh Halloween, one of my favorite holidays of the year. It is the coming of my favorite seasons and the best way to get everyone to participate in one of my favorite all-time activities:
Themed outfits. And yes, a costume is very much a themed outfit!
I saw some really awesome costumes this year, including the ones that terrified me. (And I had forgotten that Halloween is sometimes a scary holiday… silly me…) As a millennial, I definitely appreciate all the pop culture costumes that pop up, even if it means seeing a lot of Harley Quinns and Ken Bones.
For me, I came at Halloween wearing not one, not two, but three costumes over the course of three days. I usually spend all year preparing one costume to wear for everything, but this year, circumstances were different and I wound up having 3 different costumes to wear.
ON FRIDAY and Saturday, I went out in the costume I purchased back in June, so excited I was to be in possession of it. I actually purchased this last year as well, but the post office returned it to the sender instead of giving it to me… and then I never got it. June seems very early to be thinking about Halloween, but the seller actually stopped selling costumes a short while later so I’m really happy I acted as early as I did because I was finally able to realize my dreams of becoming…
YES, after nearly two decades of desperately wanting to be Sailor Mars, the Pretty Guardian of Flame and Passion, I was finally able to achieve this dream.
Putting this cosplay together was an ordeal. The costume itself was custom-fitted (because my measurements fall across a lot of different sizes), came from a seller on Etsy, and included the dress, the choker, the headpiece (and an alternative material headpiece), and the gloves. Honestly, the seller was great and I was just happy to have received it at all this year! The shoes were one of the hardest things for me to find, actually, because I have been searching high and low for plain red pumps but all I have been seeing over the past 2 years were super pointy red shoes or sky-high stilettos with a thick-thick platform or red shoes with random patterns or designs on them. I knew this was the year my dream would finally come together when I found these at a Payless – classic shape, patent leather finish, the right shade of red, a reasonable heel height. I even got the earrings and earring adapters for my unpierced ears. I also bought a wig for this costume, as I was expecting my hair to be a much brighter shade of red, but I ditched the wig at the last minute because I couldn’t get it on right when I was rushing. This year, I also forced myself to learn to apply false lashes for that cartoonish, wide-eyed look.
A lot of folks called it a “Sailor Moon” costume, but I could tell the costume excited other people. I honestly can’t wait to take this costume out for other occasions because there is no way I retire it after Halloween, not a chance!
ON SUNDAY, I attended a local Instagram meetup in partnership with IGDC and Visit Washington DC where we were asked to come in costume. Thinking about good photo opportunities for the amazing Instagrammers, I brought out my outfit that I originally purchased with RennFest in mind.
For her dramatic red cloak – another item I have been coveting for years now – I went with Little Red Riding Hood. This has been such a great purchase for a costume-in-a-bag I got on Amazon, especially given that the last time I bought a costume-in-a-bag was… in the 4th grade? (It was a ninja!) Instead of keeping my hood up, I went with this beautiful red butterfly hairpiece from an Etsy artisan in the Ukraine, and I got the basket separately to go with the basket hanky that came with my costume. (It came in handy for holding little things like my phone and glasses, but I did still need a larger bag for other things like my wallet and an umbrella, since it was going to rain.) It was actually over 80°F on Sunday, so I thought the flow-y cloak would help keep me cool but I think the long skirt and the long cloak wound up still keeping me glistening on that hot day. If you check out the photos I’m tagged in on Instagram, you can see some of the really lovely shots that the talented photographers captured of Red in action.
ON MONDAY, I went to work with a plan set in motion by my team several weeks in advance. We all came to work wearing…
Adult onesies! This was so much fun to plan, and our excitement to wear them got the rest of the teams in our office wearing costumes in a big costume contest! (The managerial team won for a great Wizard of Oz group costume.)
I stuck out with my Espeon kigurumi onesie, since it was bright purple and not an animal like the rest of my coworkers. But I have been wanting to own an Espeon onesie for, again, years and years, and I finally had a legitimate reason to purchase and own one! When I first tried it on, I could hardly contain how giddy I was. (Ben said he has never seen me more delighted!) It was a lot of fun to wear to work, although I was scared that I got the date wrong when I walked onto the metro wearing this and… no one else was wearing a costume? Not a pumpkin shirt or tie in sight! You cannot imagine how scared I was arriving at my office wondering if it wasn’t actually Halloween… But walking out to lunch with my coworkers in their onesies made it all worthwhile. (I also managed to make it all day without using the bathroom, knowing how difficult that would be…) Also, as it went back to being cold, it was nice to have such a warm and cozy costume for once!
This Halloween, I not only got to be 3 different characters, but I fulfilled 3 different goals that I’ve had for such a long time:
Be Sailor Mars
Own a long, hooded, red cloak
Get an Espeon onesie
These are fairly specific goals, and I did not imagine that I’d be checking them all off in one Halloweekend.
What did you do for Halloween?
Did you see any good costumes? One of the most creative costumes I saw was actually terrifying, but it was a pairs costume, with one man on stilts “controlling” a zombie man below him. The zombie on the strings would lean with gravity towards people, and both men had really scary/disturbing makeup and facial expressions. Super creative and really creepy! I seriously LOVE how creative costumes get. I bought all of mine but it is cool to see the costumes that people make.
I hope you all had a happy Halloween. Can you believe it’s November now? Two months of 2016 left!
P.S. Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo? I don’t know if I am…
P.P.S. Ghosts of Halloweens past: 2014 and 2013
Last year, Halloween fell on a Saturday, so we observed it during the workweek on Friday. I wanted the week leading up to Halloween to feel a little more special, so I dressed in business-casual outfits with color palettes inspired by each of the Hogwarts houses on each day: Gryffindor on Monday, Hufflepuff on Tuesday, Slytherin on Wednesday, and Ravenclaw on Thursday.
I had so much fun doing this little thing last year (and wearing very different colors every day) that I decided to do it again this year! With Halloween coming up on Monday, and only 4 houses, well… I had to get a little creative with Friday.
Happy Hogwarts Spirit Week 2016!
I always like to kick off the week with Gryffindor because I tend to enjoy doing Hogwarts Spirit Week in ROYGBIV order. (Such is how I usually organize the colors in my life!) Red is also one of my favorite colors to wear, so it’s more a matter of where not to wear red, as I could very easily cover my entire body in scarlet and crimson hues.
I never understood why Hufflepuff got so much flack as the leftovers house, or the weird house, or the lame house. It is one of the most admirable houses to me, because its students are literally known for kindness and being hardworking. Helga Hufflepuff accepted the students who were rejected by the other 3 Hogwarts founders and taught them everything she could. I only wish I could be as kind and hardworking to consider myself a Hufflepuff!
I’ll be honest, when Pottermore’s Sorting Hat sorted me into Slytherin several years ago, I was a little indignant about it. Me? Bookish me, an evil Slytherin and not a nerdy Ravenclaw? But as I read more about my designated house, I realized how true it was, that I placed the pursuit of power above the pursuit of knowledge, aka I have always been very ambitious. Since finding myself in the emerald-loving house (I only wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and Slytherin Spirit day though…), I remain upset with JK Rowling’s depiction of Slytherins in the canon. It would have made for a richer story to have students whose ambition did not lead them down the dark path opposite the heroes of her story and to have them use their cunning and determination for a different cause over, say, loyalty to their friends and family whose ambition led them down a different path.
The house that I identified so much with but did not ultimately get placed in: Ravenclaw. I realized that I may not be a prototypical Ravenclaw upon realizing that they are the Einstein types who don’t do their homework because they were busy studying extra material. (I’m a little too rules-loving to dedicate myself to knowledge this much!) That being said, it is my sister house. Ravenclaw and Slytherin are the pair that go together, and those who believe in hybrid houses may accept that this is the second house of which I am a blend of traits.
So there are only 4 houses at Hogwarts, but with Friday still being fair game this year…
Ended Hogwarts Spirit Week with a Death Eater look, because after all the color I wore this week , it was time to return to an all-black before Halloween. My decision to end the week as a Death Eater launched some interested conversations, including whether or not Dementors are evil. (Do they choose to suck the joy and happiness out of people? Or is that literally the only thing they are capable of doing outside of floating around? Are they even sentient? How much of a “choice” did they have in joining Voldemort and guarding Azkaban? Is something that is borne of evil inherently evil itself?)
I had a lot of fun with Hogwarts Spirit Week this year, and even got one of my coworkers to join me. (No one else in the office noticed until Slytherin day:
“Oh, Sara is wearing green today, too! You two match!”
“Welp. It’s not a coincidence!”
I’ve got a busy busy busy Halloween weekend planned and will be going to work in a group costume with my coworkers. I have already gotten a chance to work a Yelp Halloween event as…
A DOUGHNUT! Oh man, doughnuts are one of my favorite foods of all time, so this was kind of a dream come true. I’ll also be at more Northern Virginia events if you are an active NoVa Yelper, as I moved from Maryland over a year ago and it doesn’t actually make sense for me to try to fight traffic to work Maryland events all the time!
What are your Halloween weekend plans?
Are you wearing a costume?
Are you going to wear a costume to work/class on Monday? I’m kind of super pumped about our team costume for work. It’s going to be very embarrassing to wear on the metro (our subway), so I think that’s a sign that it’s a good one! Hint: It was very easy for me to put together and it is not a costume I will get cold in easily, which is a JOY as a girl who likes to cosplay for Halloween!
As I’ve mentioned before, most of why I love Halloween as a holiday so much — despite how much I hate being scared — is that I love dressing up! I think that might even be why I have always been so drawn to acting and, in a past life, modeling. Getting into character is a lot of fun.
For those of you who don’t know, I work with Yelp, and one of my favorite things to do for my job is to dress up for themed events.
At DC’s recent Jet Set Fete, I was a flight attendant / stewardess / air hostess / what have you:
It was an easy look to put together once I had the dress and my manager provided the hat. The neckerchief is from my cousin, who works for Princess Cruises, and I thought that the travel-themed silk scarf was perfect.
Last weekend, we had our regional Halloween party. My actual Halloween outfit wasn’t quite ready yet, so I took some inspiration from Britney Spears and was a ringmaster:
I saw a ringmaster costume on my roommate’s Pinterest as she was looking for costumes of her own. I knew that I had a red blazer and that all I needed was a hat. I found the perfect one at Party City and it stays on my head via the headband it’s attached to. Perfect.
Now it took me some time to arrive on my Halloween costume. As I told you all before, I had to give up on some costume ideas that I was really set on this year. Since I have been doing Disney outfits the past 2 years, I thought it only right to do another one. After all, who doesn’t love a good Disneybound? This time around, I decided to go for a villain rather than a princess:
I went with this Ursula look and I’m so pleased with how it came out, especially given how I felt like I did this all at the last minute! (I like to start planning in July, so relatively speaking, it was very rushed.) Excuse the hair chalk that got on my dress; it is really unwieldy and mostly just makes me look old. XD
Anyhow, that’s how I will be showing my face in public today! The makeup scares me quite a lot so I’m just avoiding mirrors for a bit. ^^;