When I was young we always made our own costumes. I never had a store-bought one and never really cared to. In those days they were cheap plastic masks and simple body suits imprinted with whatever pattern necessary to look like the clown or superhero or skeleton - whatever the child wanted to be. So we kids would head into the attic at my parents and claw through the old trunks and find something to make us look like a princess or gypsy or whatever we decided to be. Children used old sheets to be ghosts or mummies and make-up to look like zombies.
But the pressure was huge. First of all, I was always a chubby kid who wasn't particularly cute, so I knew whatever I put on would not transform me enough to make me pass for a pretty woman of any kind. I may want to be a princess but no one was going to buy it and I knew that. But girls never dressed as ugly things in those days so I couldn't be a mummy or vampire. I never felt cute enough in anything I put together.
Then when my own children were small I had to make their costumes and that was an equal pressure-cooker. I felt so vindicated when my daughter won for best costume once in grade school! I had very little money then and bought about a yard of cheap red felt and and black marker and turned my girls into crayons. I was thrilled when she won an award over the kids whose parent's had spent so much more on their fancy costumes. But other than that year, I still did not enjoy the pressure of Halloween.
So - when I see adults all dressing for the day on Halloween these days, in stores working (that would NEVER have been done years ago!) or walking around the street, I am in no way tempted to join them. I figure my normal costume is enough to get me through. After all, if people saw what I actually look like when I get out of bed in the morning they'd never recognize me at all.
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