This year I’m planning to go all out and enter a costume contest on Halloween at a retro dance place here in Kansas City. Any tips for winning that big cash prize for 1st place?
— Jan from Parkville
Choosing the perfect costume is a tall order, and since I’m kind of short, I have to stand on my tippy toes to pull it off every year. Still, I’m glad you came to me. I’m sort of used to dressing up as things I’m not. It helps blunt the reality of who I really I am, LOL! 🙁
My expertise has led me to create the Rules for Going Out of the House Handbook, my go-to guide for how I look each day – but it still works great for your Halloween costume. Here we go!
My 5 Simple Rules:
Rule #1: Just Say No to Bags
If it comes preassembled in a bag from a costume store, NO! I know it seems easy, but it’s really the worst. There’s nothing that chaps my hide more than seeing a store-bought Teletubby who has the AUDACITY to enter into a costume competition and WIN just because he’s so popular, GREG!
Rule #2: Find Yourself
Who is Jan? What is her essence? Answering this question will help you create a costume idea that fits your soul like a glove. For me, it’s an 80’s female body builder. Specifically the 80’s because teased hair and blue eye shadow speak to me in ways I can’t explain.
Rule #3: Dig through the Trash
You won’t believe the stuff people throw away! One year I got my whole outfit from my neighbor’s garbage can. They threw out this big thing of bologna so I took it and stuffed my shirt with it. I was ‘Full of Bologna’ ha! Best costume, but I didn’t get many props for it. People pretty much stayed away from me all night. Haters gonna hate!
Rule #4: Don’t Break Character. Ever.
Once you’ve committed to being someone else for the night, stay that way. All night. If you’re dressed up like a space cowboy, you talk like an astronaut with a twang. Like if someone asks you where you’re going, you say, “We’re about to enter a solar storm, y’all,” or “Well fiddle my sticks, it’s time to install those solar panels on the International Space Station.”
Rule #5: Do a Practice Run
This needs to happen at least a few days before the big competition. You need a mirror, a private room and a locked door. Preferably your own locked door. Maybe turn on some scary music. When you’re emotionally ready, put on your costume and practice EVERYTHING. The way you walk, your lines, even your facial expression. Nothing worse than getting the double eyebrow waggle wrong when you’re up on stage.
Hope this helps! But you know, if you still doubt yourself by the end, you could always go as me!