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The Spooky Question | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Spooky Question

Francesca and Plumcake want to know:

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Have you ever won a costume contest? If so, what was the costume?

What is your All Time Number One With a Bullet best costume idea?  (hmm, come to think of it, in the right crowd being a Number One With a Bullet would be a GREAT costume)

I once made an a-line dress out of two Twister boards, wore one spinner as a rakish chapeau and made the other into a handbag with the words “Invitation Only” writ large to ward off the handsy (this worked for the most part, a Classics professor –I won’t say of which institute of higher education, suffice it to say it was a University in Texas– dressed as Skeletor did get a little frisky, but he was promptly mule-kicked in his grey skull) .  I slapped on some white vinyl go-go boots and a jaunty blue wig and was out the door.  It was such a hit that I won the costume contest at the legendary Alamo Drafthouse, which is accordinging to Entertainment Weekly and a whole mess of other places, the best place in America to see a movie.

Unfortunately, a costume designer must have been in the audience that night because several months later I saw my entire costume, down to the wigs, reproduced faithfully –advertising a new musical!

50 Responses to “The Spooky Question”

  1. deja pseu October 22, 2007 at 12:14 pm #

    An ex who worked at a nuclear facility got me an official yellow Radioactive Waste bag. I cut armholes in the bag, wore it as a dress, hung a green glowstick inside, wore my gold lame tights and sprayed my hair green, went as Radioactive Waste.

  2. deja pseu October 22, 2007 at 12:16 pm #

    I should mention that the bag was unused and had never been in contact with anything actually radioactive. :-)

  3. RachelH October 22, 2007 at 1:18 pm #

    This year I’m going as someone from Venetian Carnivale. Really it’s just an excuse to wear a fabulously elaborate dress and a mask. The only trick is figuring out how to wear the immense skirt while at work (alas, once it was found out I had an actual costume, my coworkers were determined to get me into the costume contest).

  4. Pencils October 22, 2007 at 1:33 pm #

    I’m not very good at costumes, but I guess my best one was dressing up in a toga and putting “.com” across my chest for a costume party at the publishing company where I work. Except no one got it. I’m 6′ and well built. I was Amazon.com. Yes, siiiiigh.

    The best costume I’ve seen in a long time was a woman who went as “The Birds” to one of my work parties. She wore vintage tweedy suit and hat, put some bloody rips it in, mussed her hair and makeup, and attached some feathered birds from the craft store to herself like they were attacking. The best part was she somehow attached wires to herself with birds on the ends, so it looked like they were dive-bombing her.

  5. gemdiva October 22, 2007 at 1:39 pm #

    Our company goes all out for Halloween. Each department comes up with a group theme and not only dresses in costume, but decorates their area of the office to complement their outfits. Prizes are awarded and we have a sugar festival of food in the employee kitchen. Too much fun!

    This year my department is dressing as the Pink Ladies from Grease. The best costume we ever had in the office was the year our finance department dressed as their Boss Bob. Bob had grey hair, wore glasses and every day came to work dressed in a tweed blazer, white shirt and tie. There were black Bobs, white Bobs, female Bobs, pregnant Bobs, Senior citizen Bobs and the real Bob didn’t even have to wear a costume (he never did anyway). My next favorite was the year our Client Service people created a mad science lab in their office complete with dark lighting, fog machine, bloody footprints on the floor and jars of brains and eyeballs. It was great.

    I have received emails this year asking if anyone is allergic to straw, hay or cats. I can’t wait to see what people are planning :-)

  6. Jezebella October 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm #

    My all-time favorite was the year I dressed as my Inner Child. My inner child wanted to wear pigtails, pink pants, a pink shirt, hot-pink cowboy boots, a lot of Hello Kitty gear (backpack, earrings, barrettes, socks) and glittery makeup.

    My second favorite was the year I dressed as Autumn. I dyed cotton pants and a shirt the same autumnal shade of brown, bought a raft of fake autumn-color leaves at the hobby store, and stuck them all over my clothes and in my hair. I also glued them to a plain lone-ranger type mask.

  7. Sarah October 22, 2007 at 2:13 pm #

    Last year I dressed up as “Not a happy camper.” I wore shorts, knee socks, hiking boots, and made a t-shirt that said something like “Camp Happy Trails” or something. Then I put some rips in my clothes, burned some of the edges, put sticks and leaves in my hair, fake blood, bandages, calamine lotion… you get the idea.

  8. ame October 22, 2007 at 2:35 pm #

    Such good ideas! I never have the exceptionally clever costume. Just the usual vampire, gypsy, etc. Although one year I was Uma in Pulp Fiction. That was fun. I did have a friend who wore a black trash bag and a halo…Holy Shit.

  9. Ellen October 22, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    My own favorite Halloween costume to date was an old Nickelodeon game show contestant (“Legends of the Hidden Temple” – I was a red jaguar). This was great, since I worked at a college, and all the kids knew the reference. It was easy, too: I painted the t-shirt, wore old sweat pants, and bought a helmet and knee pads.

    The best I’ve seen a friend do was to wear a box, gift-wrapped, with the bow on her head. An enormous gift tag on the front of the box said, “To: Men, From: God”. Easy and fast, and pretty funny.

  10. count sassy October 22, 2007 at 2:51 pm #

    Before I tell my favorite, let me explain that I’m from a small, somewhat southern town. Now I would totally know better.

    Goth princess: black lace top, full black ballgown skirt, boots. Lots of black eyeliner. The crown jewel: a tiara that had the word “bitch” as part of the glitter design.

  11. jj October 22, 2007 at 3:00 pm #

    A few years ago I figured out that what you need is not a costume, what you need is a clever answer to the question “What are you?” To piggyback on Count Sassy, my best costume was dressing up all gothed out and then when someone would ask “What are you?” I’d hold the back of my hand to my veiled forehead and emote “Gother than thou.” ;-)

  12. AngelleNoire October 22, 2007 at 3:09 pm #

    I won a costume contest in 4th grade, I was a fairy princess. Big pink fluffy dress (which I still have for some reason…gotta clean that closet) gold sequin tiara and pink ballet slippers. I was also forced to wear a silly turtleneck because my mother didn’t want me to “catch my death”. Didn’t she know fairies don’t catch colds?!?!

  13. lapidary October 22, 2007 at 3:17 pm #

    david bowie from the labyrinth–skintight silver lame pants, ruffly pirate shirt and black vest, big black boots, spiky mullet wig and lots of that costumer’s wax to make my eyebrows diagonal slashes…
    ohh, and a BIG sock down the pants–have you seen bowie in that movie? At 6′ + I was a hit in the castro of san francisco..the boys thought I was too good to be true…and they were right!

  14. Nina A October 22, 2007 at 3:26 pm #

    My best was to a sorority party-I wore a clown suit made of American flag material, along with a Dan Quale wig and mask, and men’s dress shoes. It was topical at the time-god i’m old.

  15. Bridey October 22, 2007 at 3:33 pm #

    I went to work as the Napster cat a few years back, before the original Napster died in a hail of lawsuits — white wig and kitty ears, green eye makeup (it was surprisingly tough to get that sort of trapezoidal effect), and a Napster T-shirt.

    This was only funny because I was, at the time, a columnist for an entertainment-industry trade paper, and my not-very-positive feelings about P2P music piracy were widely known. When the first of my co-workers saw me, he laughed out loud, which was exactly the effect I was looking for :)

  16. HillaryGayle October 22, 2007 at 3:42 pm #

    I shall be attending a Halloween party dressed as an agent from the Matrix series. Got a very nice, well-cut black suit, tie, sunglasses, earpiece, tie bar, & gun. I imagine I’ll be chasing around my friend Lorne, who’s going as an unplugged rebel from the Matrix. ^_^

  17. Jules October 22, 2007 at 3:51 pm #

    I’ll be a gypsy this year, since I’m short on time and inspiration but my best was for a party a few years back.

    I wore a sky blue sheet with a hole cut out for my head (like a ghost costume) and glued clumps of cotton balls all over it. I wore a blue wig and glued a big sun on it, some birds, etc. Then I carried a spray bottle filled with water.

    I was partly cloudy with a chance of showers.

  18. eleanor October 22, 2007 at 4:09 pm #

    i won a work costume contest the year I went as Mary Katherine Gallagher (Superstar!). And easy to put together – plaid skirt, white blouse, fake horn-rimmed glasses….

  19. Chicklet October 22, 2007 at 4:32 pm #

    The year I absolutely killed at every party I attended was 1993, when I went as Linda Richman from Saturday Night Live. I paired some plain black pumps and black pants with a hideous brocaded purple sweater I had received from an aged relative, and hit Walgreens for red press-on fingernails and oversized sunglasses. My friend curled and teased my hair for me. The whole night was this conversation, over and over:

    Guest: Who are you, Elizabeth Taylor?
    Me: Welcome to Cawfee Tawk, I’m your host, Linda Richman.
    Guest: *falls to floor, laughing*

    That night, however, my costume was topped by the two guys dressed as half of KISS (they constructed platform boots for themselves and wrapped ’em in foil!) and an amazing Borg costume we saw from the cab on our way to another party. My friend Will was bummed we couldn’t stop to take a picture of him with the Borg, as he himself was dressed as Will Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

  20. Poochie October 22, 2007 at 5:03 pm #

    This may have been a physical manefestation of my ironic take on how I felt at the time, but one of my latest home-made costumes was as one of the hippo ballerinas from Fantasia.

    I was feeling pissed off about all of the sexy costumes at the Halloween stores and the fact that I didn’t feel comfortable in any of them. So to thumb my nose at the whole night I wore a grey sweater, grey pants, got a pink tu tu and ballet slippers. I guess I felt, what the heck, I’m not going to miss a fun party and stay home just because I can’t fit into a pseudo-sexy bought from a store costume.

    That’s me. I’m not going to pretend that I’m not feeling a bit chunky. I’d rather “own” it in a funny way.

    At least I thought it was funny.

    Poochie

  21. JayKay October 22, 2007 at 5:07 pm #

    Two of my faves from years past…

    My buddy dressed up in white sweats, a white swim cap, goggles and zinc on his nose. On his sweatshirt he spray painted “Fallopian Swim Team”.

    The same year, my other friend dressed in head to toe pink and constructed a table out of cardboard. She then put the table on her head and went as gum under the table.

    =)

  22. Sara October 22, 2007 at 5:19 pm #

    This year I’m a vamp vampire–it’s very naughty secretary. Black pencil skirt, fishnets, ivory bustier with fishnet stuff and ribbons that’s at LB right now, a long satin cape, fangs, and fantastic hair and makeup. I keep wandering around the house in cape and fangs. :-D

    My favorite is from childhood. I was a princess in an advertising campaign, and my dress was made from a wedding dress pattern. For the ads, I was too small to walk in it the thing was so big and poofy. The next Halloween, though, I was resplendent (and taller).

  23. cassandra October 22, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    My favorite costume was one of the many hideous bridesmaid dresses I have been called upon to wear, along with a tall fright wig,neck bolts, and greenish makeup- The Bridesmaid of Frankenstein :)

  24. Jennfactor October 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm #

    Best costume ever? Jelly fish. Dressed all in black, with clear umbrellas, strips of bubble wrap hanging down, and those glowing tube necklaces? It was a group cosutme, and they would raise and lower the umbrellas, so it looked like they were drifitng down the street.

    May I add, clear umbrellas are damned hard to find these days!

  25. cthulhulovesme October 22, 2007 at 6:36 pm #

    This year I’m dressing up as Doctor Girlfriend from the TV show, “The Venture Brothers.” Pink Jackie O-type dress, white go-go boots, pink pillbox hat, and a bouffant. Also, a voice like I eat cigarettes and gargle whiskey, or at least a close approximation. Alas, I have two different art critiques and a very, very long evening at work planned for the 31st, so I may not get to dress up at all until the following weekend. Sigh.

    As for my favorite costume, that’d be a toss-up between last year’s porcelain doll and 4 years ago’s grunge zombie. Mmm, fake blood. With chunky bits.

  26. Phyllis October 22, 2007 at 7:20 pm #

    Edna Mode

  27. Rhonda October 22, 2007 at 8:55 pm #

    Oh, back when I worked at a large software company beginning with the letter M, I came to work as the Windows Blue Screen of Death one year. Best costume ever.

    I wore a blue fright wig and blue sweatshirt and sweatpants, and got some friends in tech support to find me the actual text of a typical Windows 2000 Server Blue Screen freezeup, and printed it out, grey on blue, and mounted that on a piece of cardboard that I pinned to my sweatshirt.

    Everyone agreed I was the scariest thing they’d seen that Hallowe’en. (But not the coolest. Coolest that year was the coworker who went as Seven of Nine –she was tall, blonde, and slim like Jeri Ryan and carried it off VERY well.)

  28. La Rêveuse October 22, 2007 at 9:29 pm #

    Group costume, with my husband. Bacon and Eggs.

    I was the eggs.

    Yeah, we won.

  29. g-dog October 22, 2007 at 10:18 pm #

    I am impressed.
    I am lazy – my favorite costume was a rainbow fright wig, with a homemade sign that said “John 3:16”. One (other) person got it and laughed (yeah!).

  30. Babs October 22, 2007 at 10:30 pm #

    My best costume was a white toga, a blue stole and a large flashlight. I put my hair up in a loose bun in back with tendrils in front. My answer to everyone’s “What are you?” question was to pose, looking off in the distance with the flashlight held high and respond “The Columbia Pictures girl!”

  31. CanadianChick October 22, 2007 at 11:33 pm #

    most of my past costumes have been pretty generic, but I’m looking forward to this year’s. I’m going as “the friggin’ happiness fairy”. I’ve borrowed a friend’s Tinkerbell wings (she’s doing Alice in Wonderland this year), and have plans to make a purple tulle skirt, and bought a cheap purple feather boa. A limp wand, a cheap tiara, white sport socks and white cross trainers, and I’m friggin’ set.

  32. JaneC October 23, 2007 at 12:12 am #

    My best-received costume was Galadriel from “Lord of the Rings”–one of the boys at the party got an aluminum bowl, wrapped a pitcher in tin foil, and made me pour water from the pitcher into the bowl and say, “Look into the Mirror of Galadriel” in my best British accent. He made me do it over and over, too, every time another one of his friends arrived, and every one of them nearly fell over laughing. (The movie had just come out.)
    My personal favorite was the year my boyfriend went as Count Dracula and I was Lucy Westenra (his first victim in Bram Stoker’s novel) after being attacked by Dracula, with white face and “fang marks” on my neck. It was a bit spoiled by having to explain over and over who Lucy Westenra was.

  33. Ashley Samantha October 23, 2007 at 1:08 am #

    I’m going as Whilemina Slater from “Ugly Betty.”
    Yeah.

    Hi everyone. I am de-lurking.

  34. sfmike October 23, 2007 at 3:43 am #

    The best and easiest costume? Porno chef, it can be any gender. Wear a very modest apron in the front, with big pockets out of which you can take big loaves of French Bread. In the back, nothing, nada, total nudity, shocking amusement. And it’s charming. Go for it. And a spray of flour on the chest never hurt the versimilitude.

  35. class-factotum October 23, 2007 at 10:21 am #

    I wore a bridesmaid dress and told everyone that see, I did get to wear the dress again.

  36. Kelly October 23, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    This year I’m going as Miss Argentina (from Beetlejuice, the secretary in the afterlife).

    In the past I’ve been Scarlet O’Hara, Lucretia Borgia, one of the zombie nurses from the Silent Hill movie, a punk geisha, sailor mars, a zombie saloon girl, and a few other things.
    I can’t recall what I won for each exactly, but it’s a rare year I don’t at least rate honorable mention in any costume contest I enter.
    But then, I usually start months in advance, and have only once won enough to make up for the actual outlay of the costume… that was with Miss Scarlett (for those curious, I went with the green and white dress she wore to the BBQ at twelve oaks)

  37. patricia don diego October 23, 2007 at 3:01 pm #

    I went to the local army navy store, bought a pair of mens long-johns, dyed them pink. Got a pigs snout and little piggy ears, took 12 baby bottle nipples and sewed them down my front…and went as a mama pig.
    People would look puzzled for a moment as they looked, but as soon as they figured out what I was, well, let’s just say everyone got a good laugh.
    A cheap, funny costume.

  38. Jane Canuck October 23, 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    My room mate had a great costume a couple of years ago. She and the guy she was seeing went together as the “office quickie”. He had his shirt miss-buttoned, with the tail of his shirt sticking out of his unzipped fly while her shirt was on inside out and backwards, wearing his tie, rumpled hair/make-up, lipstick kisses on him. You get the idea. It was a huge hit and incredibly funny.

  39. Neller October 23, 2007 at 9:41 pm #

    I think the most *fun* costume I had was from my junior year of college. A bunch of my friends and I dressed up as the Seniors from “Dazed and Confused.” I know – not that original, but it was more fun because there were about 13 of us in the group, and we acted out the hazing scene as best we could. It was just a blast!

    The *best* costume I’ve ever donned was that of a Mafia woman/gun moll. I think it was because it fit me well & accented my good points without being slutty-revealing. I looked good & felt fierce, and got tons of compliments on it. I may have to resurrect that get-up some time…

  40. Sarah October 24, 2007 at 2:14 am #

    This year, I have little money and no time, so I’m wearing a short olive drab dress and long leather coat I already own. Add a pair of tall boots, fishnets, and a blond wig, and voila: You have Helga Gabor, Lounge Singer of the SS. Or I might skip the blond wig, pin my dark hair back with a red star, and instead go as Chiquita Guevara, the Cutest Little Commie In Cuba. Whatever I think will infuriate my fellow party goers more.

    Best one ever was the year I went in in a nude satin negligee with words like ‘superego’ and ‘oedipus complex’ written all over it. I was a Freudian slip.

  41. de October 24, 2007 at 9:06 am #

    The year I won, it was because I had an oozing bullet hole on my temple. I was dressed in regular but rumpled clothes – I went as a ‘mafia hit victim’. I’ve had lots of theatric/movie makeup experience and I got the latex just right that I could have a little ‘pocket’ of blood, that if I wiggled my eyebrows just right, a new river of blood would come out. Best part was most people didn’t realize I was ‘dressed’ until I turned to face them and they saw the new blood! :D
    At my current job, my favorite was when I went as ‘Your Mom”. Its a joke I make way too much to my office buddies – I wore a 50’s polka dot dress (very I love Lucy), a pink cardigan, pearls, my hair in a bun…and I carried a baking dish full of cookies…I was a hit :D. (Tho I think that was because of the cookies!)

  42. Roronoa October 24, 2007 at 2:10 pm #

    Here in Europe we don’t celebrate Halloween but I have had occasions to wear costumes. I once went as Dana Scully from X-Files and I won a contest as Princess Leia.

  43. Oromin October 24, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    Three years ago, I won a costume contest dressed as a female Hobbit from Lord of the Rings. I wore a green skirt with a white petticoat and apron, a white blouse that was really a nightgown, and a green bodice. The best part were the pointy ears and hairy feet, though. I got a pair of fairly realistic-looking rubber ears and attached those, and then I glued real hair (I have naturally curly hair, so I saved what got caught in my hairbrush) to my feet with spirit gum. It was definitely my most impressive costume ever.

  44. Jenna October 24, 2007 at 11:01 pm #

    My two faves:

    Cruella De Vil, with a twist- Dalmatian print fur cuffs and collar on my coat.
    This was before the live action movie came out, so it was impossible to find acessories, but I used stuff I already had, spraypainted half of a white fright-wig black and just went for it. I won the costume contest!

    The other was Marilyn Monroe- another home-made one. I threw on a shimmery slip, stuck on some fur trim with fusible interfacing, put a white faux-fur coat with rhinestone buttons and some black satin gloves, and really worked the hair and make up. People on the street were stopping me to take pictures all night! It was seriously fun.

    This year’s Halloween party is cancelled, so Bonnie and Clyde costumes will have to wait until next year unless we figure out something to wear them to.

  45. Belle October 24, 2007 at 11:21 pm #

    The best costume I ever had was Wednesday Addams… just a long, black wig parted down the middle, and a primly collared white shirt underneath a long-sleeved black dress. The best accessory, though, was the rest of the family. Morticia, Gomez, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandma… we went to see Phantom at the Pantageous in LA, and people stopped us in the street to take pictures with us. The sad part was, not one of us had brought a camera!! *sigh*

  46. QuiteLight October 25, 2007 at 9:03 pm #

    LOL, Belle! For my guy’s 30th b-day, on Halloween (!), we went as the Addams family too; he & I were Gomez & Morticia. He shaved in a real pencil-thin mustache & I FINALLY got he Morticia dress of my dreams. What made it was that we are both tall (6’5″ & 5’10”), and Wedneday & Pugsley (our best friends) are both about 5’5″, so we were all to scale until you got close. We even had a robotic Thing, but our Lurch (my dad-in-law, 6’8″) bailed.

    I was an Executioner one year, “leather” pants & bustier, axe, made a Zorro-style half-mask, and drew elaborate tattoos all over my exposed skin. People I’d known for years didn’t recognize me, but were drawn in. It’s the Bruce Wayne effect. I didn’t buy my own drinks all night.

  47. Ashley October 26, 2007 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi y’all–just surfed over from Manolo, and just about died laughing at the smallness of the world–PLEASE tell me your handsy Skeletor was John Erler. HAAAAAA!

  48. Plumcake October 26, 2007 at 3:40 pm #

    okay, now HOW did you know that?!

  49. Nelly Suit November 15, 2007 at 8:06 am #

    Hey!…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts comin..holy Thursday