Tag Archives: Target

For the Love of Homemade Halloween Costumes

Yesterday Jezebel posted this Target ad in which a kid is clearly embarrassed by his homemade Iron Man costume made by his proud mom. It’s meant to be cute, and obviously Target is in the business of convincing people they should buy their costumes rather than make them, so you can’t get all that annoyed at them, but it did get me thinking about homemade Halloween costumes and why I always find them so much more interesting.

What a kid wants to be for Halloween is a big deal, it reflects who they want to be, what they’re afraid of, or who their role models are. It also lets them express themselves and can be both a fun bonding experience and a creative challenge for kids and parents alike. While a kid, or an adult, can have just as much fun dressed in a store-bought costume, there is something about homemade costumes that’s uniquely charming. Whether answering the door for trick-or-treaters or attending a party for grown ups, it’s always exciting when you see a one-of-a-kind costume. Obviously, as the Target ad shows, it can be hard to make a costume for a licensed character who looks a very specific way, but plenty of kids want to take on a persona that can be created without buying a package.

For example, my older sister as Cyndi Lauper in the early 1980s at around age three, there was no sewing involved, just stuff we had around the house, some spray-on hair color, creativity, and lots O’ fun, the result—adorable!

Here is my fiancé as Hulk Hogan a few years ago. I’ve gone to the Halloween parade in Manhattan many times and I’ve never seen people as excited by a costume as they were when they saw him that year. People were constantly stopping to take his picture and shout catchphrases at him—and he threw this costume together in a couple of hours. There were other Hulk Hogans in store-bought costumes, and they didn’t get nearly as much attention.

This owl costume was a combined effort, I made the head-piece and the glasses to wear one year, and my lovely future sister-in-law improved on my original costume a few years later with the fur trim, feathers, and orange owl feet—hoot!

My friend Jessica donned this awesome Joan Holloway costume last year, I’m shocked there aren’t packaged Mad Men costumes out there yet, but this shows how you can use stuff from your own closet (plus a few store-bought accessories) to come up with a great costume.

My Grandma made these adorable Campbell Soup kids costumes for my dad and uncle sometime in the mid fifties—simple, creative, and cute!

Me as Courtney Love and My fiancé as Ernest P. Worrell, both fun and easy costumes to make.

This was the first costume I made all by myself. My mom made me wear that stone-wash jacket over it since it was cold out so you can’t see it here, but I found an old satin dress, tore it up, caked on a bunch of face-paint, put baby powder in my hair, and threw on a tiara just for kicks. I called it “bloody Mary” I think I got the idea from an episode of Are you Afraid of the Dark?

Anyway, my point is that sometimes (like if your kid wants to be Iron Man) a store costume is necessary, because moms can be busy and kids are easily embarrassed. But putting together your own costume whether you’re a kid or an adult, can be lots of fun, and usually yields more entertaining and memorable results—plus those packaged costumes can be damn expensive.

If you don’t have anything in your closet that works as a costume, check out a thrift store, or the sale rack at Forever 21, you may even wear it again unlike the flimsy polyester packaged costumes. Get any accessories you may need that you can’t make (horns, wings, wigs) at the bigger stores, and never underestimate the potential of pipe cleaners and a hot glue gun!

On a side note, clicking through the pages on the Party City website has convinced me I need to do a whole post on inappropriate packaged costumes—I’m truly disturbed by some of the stuff out there for both kids and adults.

Send me pictures of your best homemade Halloween costumes—I know you must have some great ones!


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Beauty Bullseye: Target

I went to Target yesterday for the first time in about a year, and I literally had to force myself to leave because I was spending way too much money. Target is one of those stores I’m never really excited to go to, but then I always end up finding lots of great stuff once I actually get there.

I’ve been annoyed by Target before because I get all psyched about the designer lines (like Anna Sui or Rodarte) and then by the time I get there I can only find one cruddy dress in either XXL or XXS, both not helpful. Then I get resentful when magazines feature their clothes or I see people wearing them on TV and I don’t want to go back, I’m vengeful like that.

When I went this time I was impressed that they had a better price on plain white Hanes T-shirts (for James) than even Costco or Marshall’s—amazing; Six for $10 that’s less than two bucks a shirt!

The thing with shopping is knowing where to get certain things, and while there is some stuff (like jewelry or jeans) I prefer to buy elsewhere, Target has a lot of product smooshed into one store. The one by me is even in the process of adding on a huge grocery section, so they’re really trying to compete with Wal-Mart.

Speaking of Wal-Mart, may I take a moment to talk about it? Looking at the difference between these two stores can be very interesting. They’re major competitors, but to be real, Wal-Mart leaves Target in the dust on this one. Wal-Mart is HUGE, I mean they’re enormous. Each week one-third of the population of the United States visits a Wal-Mart store. Within 10 years after a Wal-Mart opens in a small town it is possible that half their original retail operations, usually “mom and pop” stores, will have closed. Wal-Mart is anti-union, anti-woman, anti-gay, and have recently been in the news for losing a suit filed by a type 1 diabetic who they fired for testing his blood sugar more frequently than Wal-Mart deemed necessary. Which on top of getting him fired, also nearly killed him, and it’s not the first time it has happened either. If you actually start trudging through the information out there on Wal-Mart, it gets really scary. I’m sure most of us know all this already, but they continue to be one of the largest corporations in the world. It seems that they are the living example of evil big business and why it is so very bad. Whoa, that path took me a long way from my pleasant Target shopping trip, but once I get started on Wal-Mart it’s hard to stop, I apologize!

Let me navigate back to my point, Target is the second biggest discount store after Wal-Mart in the states, which means that it is enormous too, so they also do their part to contribute to the urban sprawl. They’ve been criticized for having lead in their products and for failing to be pro-union, but you’re not going to find any huge corporation that isn’t guilty of something, or being sued by someone. Target has made the list of the top 100 best companies for working mothers by workingmother.com, they put a lot of emphasis on the diversity that they actively seek out, and they are the only major discount store that places design and functionality over simply keeping the prices as low as possible. So i know that they’re not saints, but they’re a heck of a lot better than Wal-Mart.

I would much prefer to buy everything from small businesses, but until we start seeing some subsidies for those little guys, my lack of funds will drive me to buy from places like Target, Costco, or Marshall’s. It’s sad that supporting small businesses has to be a luxury, but unfortunately that’s where we are at right now. So back to Target…

You can get a lot of stuff in this store, which I guess is part of the appeal. Especially on a rainy disgusting day, it offers a lot of goods in once place all at a reasonable, if not great price.

I got this dress for $15. Which is good because in the summer just thinking about pants makes me feel sweaty, isn’t it nice that in the summer you can get away with wearing what is essentially a house schmata in public?

This western shirt is really cute and fits over my boobs and hips, but it is still cut nicely and shows fitting through the waist.$17.99, good deal.

I also bought this other top (it’s not on the website so I had to take a picture) and I’m still not sure about it. It is one of those pieces that looks great on the hanger, and then you get it home and it’s not as flattering. I think it would be really cute on someone else but it cuts at an angle on the arm that I’m not crazy about.

What really sold it for me was the cute zipper on the back.

Don’t you just hate when you’re so excited about something until you get home and try it on? Then you have to debate whether to return it or not, this top was $14.99. As I sit here and look down at it on me, I’m very pleased with the way it looks and the feel of the fabric, but when I check it out in the mirror it’s like, gosh darn this is not cut right for me! Come to think of it, I don’t know if Target has fitting rooms, I didn’t see any.

Moving on, I also bought some face blotting sheets, and a cat food bowl, which is cute and pink, but I won’t take a picture of it because it’s filled with cat food now and that would be gross, and also, it’s not that exciting.

I bought Stardust on DVD too because I’m a fantasy nerd, it was $9.99, not bad.

And that completes my thoughts on my trip to Target, I’m sorry I didn’t buy more exciting things, maybe next time!

Who loves Target? Does anyone love Wal-Mart? Do you prefer to do your shopping at smaller stores? Tell me all about it!


Filed under shopping