Spook it yourself

Anika Bucek, Staff Writer

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As the Halloween season falls upon us,  the recurring annual question returns – “What are you going to be for Halloween?” Unfortunately, some people might feel like there are limitations on what costumes they can have. This can sometimes hinder people from dressing up, going to parties, or truly enjoying their Halloween experience because they can’t find a costume they want to be seen wearing in public. However, there is another option. Why buy a costume that you only bought because it wasn’t as cheesy as the other ones, when you can be whatever you want by making your own? Making costumes may seem like a daunting task, but this article will cover the basic problems, as well as the conveniences of making your own costume.
Pricing – When asked, sophomore student Ariana Mendez stated, “If I had money for fabric, I totally would (make her own costume).” This statement refers to the fact that fabric, materials for props (wood, PVC, wax, paints, etc), and effects makeup can be expensive. This is true, but, costumes can be expensive as well. The average price of a teen’s halloween costume from Party City is around forty dollars, and the price of fabric varies depending on what type and how much of it is needed. When making a costume, just as with buying one, the price and the quality tend to rise together. The good products are never cheap, the cheap almost never good.
Subject – Halloween stores often have a wide variety of costumes and props at your disposal that anyone can either purchase as a a set or mix and match to create something they like. If one favors a well known character who might have a premade costume, then these stores are a great option for them. Even if someone prefers obscure characters, they could probably use items from a Halloween store to “make” their costume with. Although, if the character they want to portray is almost obsolete, one could very well be left in the metaphorical hands of the nearest sewing machine. This opens up opportunities for a more personal, expressive, and individual costume that no one else will be wearing. Some people even enjoy having this kind of creative ability. “I prefer to make my costumes because I have more freedom.” said sophomore Jeffrey Koff.
Time – Making a costume from scratch can be very time consuming and isn’t something one could just whip up the night before. Plans need to be made for patterns, tailoring, materials, putting it together, error correction, and more, depending on the complexity of the costume being made. It also requires much effort and focus. Going out and buying a costume is often a less stressful and less of a schedule dominating event. However, if the costume is purchased too late, there may not have any time to purchase a new one or correct any issues that it may have.
Comfort – Many people absolutely detest certain fabrics because of how they feel. They may be itchy, too dense, too firm, or just plain uncomfortable. For some people, fabric is one of the most important aspects of clothing. A costume is no exception to that rule. What’s uncomfortable on a person one day will still be uncomfortable on Halloween. Making a costume from scratch allows the creator to select a fabric that they like and is comfortable on them. Also, since the costume is tailored specifically to them, it will fit better. Buying a costume is gambling on the fact that the purchased costume could be extremely uncomfortable due to unpleasant fabric and poor fit.
Difficulty – When asked on what she thinks of creating her own costume, freshman Jenna Poulson commented, “It’s less expensive, but I’m too lazy.” A lot of people say this due to the fact that some steps involved in making some of the more complex costumes require tools or skills that the average Joe might not have. Sewing machines are fairly easy to gain access to in today’s age, but, say someone is making a wooden sword with a complicated design on the handle, and to cut in the design they need a laser engraving machine. Not everyone has access to one of those. However, most people will find easy access to a mass produced version of said sword. Complicated costumes and props, even if they do not require heavy machinery, may just be plain and simply hard to make for a beginning costume maker. Compared to the simple problem in costume purchasing, “which one?”, creating a detailed costume is not always for the faint of heart.

With the spookiest day of the year on the horizon, costumes are becoming more and more relevant. Having gone over some of the pros and cons of costume making and buying, it can be realized that no matter how one would go about the creation of their costume, Halloween still opens an annual doorway for self expression, individuality, and creativity. Happy Halloween!


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