It’s that time again. Halloween, when everything comes out of the shadows — ghouls, ghosts, goblins — with narry a plus-size costume in sight that doesn’t involve bare cleavage and thighs.
Francesca does not wish to use this space to bemoan the days of yore, before Halloween became synonymous with slutty costuming. All she will say is that, in her own circles, people win more points for creativity than for T and A, and she wouldn’t be surprised if that is true for most of you, too, oh ye women of taste and class. That’s all she will say.
So, how to go about creating or buying the superfantastic costume?
Search Your Closet. You probably already have the makings of a costume. Want to be Batgirl? Pull on black pants, knee-high boots, and a close-fitting black top, and make a yellow bat to pin to your chest out of satin or even construction paper. Now all you need is a cape and an eyemask and you are done. Vamp up your makeup to complete the look. Francesca’s best costume ever involved a fedora, wig, sunglasses and trench coat; the trench coat had a Letter O pinned to the inside, which she offered to sell to people (in yet another Sesame Street reference); watches would have worked, too.
Buy a full costume. There are modest ones to be had, if you search hard enough. Buy early because modest, plus-size costumes sell out quickly. Try One Stop Plus, Plus Size Costume Super Center, Plus Size Costume Fashions, Anytime Costumes, Annie’s Costumes, Halloween Adventure (keep scrolling), and Costume Craze.
If you are Apple-shaped, look for costumes that evoke styles of the Middle Ages or Renaissance, such as this Queen Elizabeth dress or this Tavern Wench costume.
Buy Pieces of a Costume. If you cannot afford a full costume, or cannot find one that suits you, another option is to buy pieces separately to mix and match. Francesca, for example, has purchased a witch hat, wig, cape, false eyelashes — all in blue jewel tones — and witchlike shoe covers, and will do up her makeup with lots of blue glitter. Who cares what she calls it, she loves blue.
Dorothy Ruby Slippers available at One Stop Plus and other vendors
Here, Francesca urges you to patronize those vendors who serve the plus-size population year-round: Torrid.com Plus Sized Halloween Costumes is selling Halloween wings, tiaras, masks, fishnets, makeup, etc. , and One Stop Plus, in addition to full costumes, has wigs, Halloween purses, etc. (Francesca loves the Coffin Clutch)
Sew Your Own or hire a seamstress. Francesca still remembers 7th grade, when Rachelle Lamberte came to our costume party dressed as a perfect replica of Disney’s Snow White, wearing a dress her mother had hand-made for her, complete with the stiff white collar behind her head and the red headband with the bow. The costume was memorable partly because Rachelle had the exact perfect hair — not a wig, her own, real hairstyle — to go with it, and a perfect figure, and a mother who went to the trouble of making that for her, and the rest of us realized that we could never, ever compete. Indeed, the next year Rachelle embarked on a romantic relationship with a hot 10th-grader, who delivered flowers to her at her locker once a week. In the contest of life, Rachelle Lamberte was the clear winner . . . until Adrienne Chevalier’s chest, along with Adrienne, transferred to our school and Rachelle sort of faded into the background.
Oh, I’m sorry. Francesca got carried away. Ahem. The point is, a costume sewn just for you will be memorable.
One more point:
Don’t mock existing populations of people with your costume. It is one thing to wear old-time styles such as poodle skirts or hoop skirts or tie-dyes, or to dress as aspirational professions such as astronauts, doctors, or firepeople. It is another thing to mock ethnic or religious populations. Rule of thumb: how would someone who actually has that identity feel if you walked by them on the street?
If you think it is all in good fun and Francesca should relax, take a look at this costume and imagine how you would feel if this showed up at your Halloween party. See what I mean? (Thanks, Leah G, for the link.)
Finally, an invitation:
Send us pictures of you in your Halloween costume, for us to post! Send them to Francesca@shoeblogs.com