I am interrupting my normal programming to bring you a public service announcement about the time of the year when people judge what you are wearing: Halloween.
In the simple days of elementary school, we would spend a whole week making a robot costume out of cardboard so that we would have the best costume on the block. In college, unless you’re attending only one party, Halloween requires multiple costumes for the big day.
My unfortunate mistake last year was putting all my efforts into making the ultimate costume: Black Swan. From sewing feathers onto a leotard to sweeping black eye shadow all over my eyes, I worked to make sure that I had all the glamor of Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
It paid off. I did look like the Black Swan... for one party. But I had two more events to get costumes for, and my Black Swan costume was a little too intense, so I hung up my leotard and threw together a couple of subpar costumes. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the results, which weren’t even Mila Kunis-level to my previous Natalie Portman success.
By the end of the week, I learned that you couldn’t put all your candy corn in one basket. This year, I have vowed not to repeat my mistake.
The first error that I made was thinking that my one costume was going to last all week. Before even thinking about my costumes this year, I started thinking about the parties that I would be attending.
The next step was thinking about the venues for the parties and what would be appropriate for them. For example, if you were a first-year bestowed with your first invite to the less-exclusive-than-usual St. A’s Halloween party, choose a subtle costume that involves wearing something semiformal.
The other mistake that I made last year was dumping too much money into my costume. There is no reason to break the bank on a $26 American Apparel leotard that you will never see again come November 1. When brainstorming costume ideas this year, I started in my closet.
Immediately, I spotted an “I LOVE NY” shirt that my mom bought for me years before I came to New York and learned how uncool it was to wear it in public. However, as I thought about the shirt, I began to realize that there was one group of people that wore these shirts all over New York with no shame: tourists. With that, my first costume idea was born.
To complete the look, I will borrow a fanny pack, a Statue of Liberty foam crown, and a camera to wear around my neck. While less elaborate than Black Swan, this costume will be perfect for a low-key party where the goal is a few laughs.
As for my other costumes, I’m afraid I’ll have to keep those under wraps dear reader. I don’t want anyone stealing my witty, worship-worthy ideas.
Sarah Batchu is a Barnard College sophomore and an associate page design editor for Spectator. Fashion Realist runs alternate Fridays.