Growing up with a seamstress as a mother, for me meant always having a unique, homemade Halloween costume. ..and seeking out any and all costume contests to take down my competition. Thirty some-odd years later, here I am selling used clothes at my funky little shop in Chico, helping people put together awesomely creative, funk-tastic, one-of-a-kind costumes. And I love it! I love Halloween and all the pumpkin-flavored or pumpkin-shaped whatevers that come along with it. I even love checking out the big-(or small) box Halloween stores that spring up during the season with their spooky displays, haunted music, and twelve-teen trillion costumes-in-a-bag. However, I won’t be caught dead (or un-dead) walking out with a pre-packaged costume set full of someone else’s ideas, and likely the same exact costume as at least one person at my intended Halloween event. Rather, I like looking for inspiration and accessories to add to my own creations.
Over the years I have dressed in a variety of costumes from scary to sweet including a flapper, a baby, a punk rocker, a zombie, a Go-Go Dancer, Dolly Parton (in 8th grade!), Carmen Miranda, and last year as the Bride of Chucky. I’ll admit that some years I didn’t have the time or energy to pull together an amazing costume, but I still never settled for pre-packaged ease. I would simply open up my closet (or my Mom’s, or my husband’s) and get creative. You’d be surprised at what you could put together from even a normal wardrobe. A pair of old overalls, a flannel shirt, and a straw hat with braids and freckles makes for a cute farmer; or add some more holes to an old t-shirt and worn-out jeans, mess up your hair, smear some black make-up under your eyes, and add some blood red lipstick dripping off your mouth for a quick and scary zombie look.
But if you have the time, check out the local thrift shops for a plethora of costume ideas. Pepper Grand Coulee’s Funky Trunk has a vast array of parts and pieces just waiting for you to make them your own unique costume creation, but you can find many fun options at other used clothing shops around town. It can be fun to take a familiar character, but put a creative spin on it. For instance, to be a unique Mad Hatter find a bright green or gold 80’s sports coat, plaid pants, a patterned wide neck tie, and tie a scarf around a big crazy hat to top off your Wonderlandia creation. You could be a super hero with a red tutu, wide gold belt, yellow leggings, bright blue turtle neck, and red cape. Take it one step further and add a felt letter cutout to your shirt to match your unique super power: “F” for Super Funk, Fun Guy, Fierce Femme, Flatulence Man, or…you get the picture.
Whatever you decide to be this Halloween, try to make it your own. There’s nothing worse than two Cinderellas showing up at the ball wearing the exact same dress and same glass slippers. Give your princess, pirate, or Pokémon a personal touch and make your Halloween costume Funking Awesome!