Happy Halloween, kids!
What you’re looking at here is an old-school jack o’ lantern: a tradition which began in Ireland and Scotland a few hundred years ago, and were originally carved out of turnips and nightmares. After moving to the colonies, Irish and English newcomers realized that 1) the indigenous pumpkins were far easier to carve, and 2) were also 400% less terrifying. I don’t say this often, but: USA! USA! USA!
Trick or treating as we know it only became popular in 1930’s (then experienced a little setback during WWII, when sugar rationing seriously harshed everyone’s candy buzz.) But although dressing up in costume as a sexy slice of pizza or as a tragic current event is fairly recent, roaming door to door in some form of costume has been around for quite some time. It used to be called guising, and was first documented towards the end of the 19th century in Ireland.
A slutty Ebola germ might almost be a better costume than this Irish embarrassment from the early 20th century, however:
Step up your game, long-dead guiser! Maybe if he knew this mask would one day end up in a museum, he’d have tried harder on that moustache.
I don’t really have a right to poke fun, though, as you’re about to see. I’m adding my voice to the vast internet echo-chamber also known as “last-minute Halloween articles,” and these truly are ideas for the procrastinators, the half-assed, the people relying on poor lighting to make their sad Walgreens-Elsa costume look better.
We’re on the same page here! Don’t throw down a single Hamilton for a party that’s on your “maybe” list. If you end up at home, watching Hocus Pocus, drinking pumpkin White Russians, and waiting for trick-or-treaters who’ll never actually come, you’ll feel at home in any of these low-commitment looks:
1) Blonde Wednesday Addams
This one’s pretty easy if you have a little Goth in you: high-necked black dress, black stockings, flat black shoes, two plaits, and dark makeup. If you’re naturally pale, now’s your chance to shine!
Most strange little girls had a phase where they thought Wednesday had the right idea about a lot of things, and I was no exception. In fact, she’s something of a cool-girl icon for grown women these days; it’s also great for parties where you don’t want to have to smile and engage. You’re just in costume, right? Right.
Sure, my hair should be black. And my collar should really be wingtip instead of Edwardian lace. But the vibe is all that matters when you’re surrounded by drunk dudes in banana costumes.
2) Thrown-together Flapper
Yes, I do know how to do the Charleston. There are 4 basic parts to a semi-successful flapper: a sparkly dress (preferably straight-cut with a dropped waist), heels (ideally t-strap), dramatic makeup, and a fancy headband.
I’m hoping this is the first and last time I link to an article by Lauren Conrad, but goddamn! Her hair is like a silky unicorn mane and I can’t hate on it. If you want more detailed instructions on pinning a faux-flapper bob, she makes it look easy. Needless to say, I did not follow all 10 steps. Maybe 3 of them? The headband will cover all manner of flaws!
Speaking of that headband, it’s just a regular headband, turned sideways, Geordi-style. I didn’t have time this year to even buy some black silk to fashion into a makeshift headdress, but if you have time, you can look way more polished that I do here. Stick it to me!
3) Sailor (If you use your imagination)
If you have a striped, nautical-themed shirt and some red and navy accent pieces in your wardrobe, then you, too, can kind of pull together this adequate sailor costume. Hey! I TOLD you these were last-minute!
Draw a fake anchor tat on your bicep and learn a few sea shanties. I suggest this one to start.
So whatever your Halloween night holds- from watching the Great Pumpkin and dreaming of wicked turnips to one of those DJ sets where the bass drops like wha-whomp-whomp while you’re surrounded by ladies dressed as sexy eggrolls- have a good one! But beware of the full moon, razorblades in candy apples, and roaming herds of Giants fans…