For 20 some odd years, both Kyle and I dreaded Halloween. As kids, we grew up with the standard drugstore costumes: a plastic face mask with a thin elastic strap that was sure to break 10 minutes after putting it on, eye-holes that restricted 70% of your vision, and a plastic suit with your favorite character painted on – usually He-Man – that would tear before Halloween ever really got started. This sort of thing can leave you bitter as a young adult when it comes to Halloween. But as an adult, you realize that you’re no longer restricted to the limits of what the local drugstore has to offer. And quite frankly, the adults that we’ve come to hang out with on Halloween have really come to win it when it comes to creative, clever costumes. While this can be intimidating, it’s also pretty inspirational.
This year, as Halloween loomed closer, we amped up our classic horror movie watching to get inspired. We were over superhero themes that were sure to dominate; we wanted something classic, disturbing, and somewhat hilarious. After a late-September viewing of the shining, we had it all figured out.
Being two grown men, we knew that recreating that classic scene with the Grady sisters wouldn’t be easy. It took a solid month of sourcing and collecting each piece of our costume.
No women’s store carried that perfect powder-blue dress that we were looking for, or a dress that had that frilly character so familiar to young girls’ dresses. Perhaps more difficult was enduring the many dirty/puzzled looks we got as we rifled through sales rack after sales rack. We thought our idea was dead in the water. But eventually we stumbled across two 14yrs+, cream-colored flowery dresses. If we could fit our grown-man torso into them, they just might work.
We dyed them and hoped for the best at achieving that perfect powder-blue. The color couldn’t have been more spot on. Then came the remaining details.
We spent a few weekends hoping from textile shops to girls’ accessory shops. We were able to pick up white lace to add as trim around the neck, sleeves and bottom of the dresses (via fabric glue), a pink ribbon to go around our waists (secured with some much-stressed safety pins), a white flowered barrette for our neatly trimmed disco-diva wigs, knee-high socks, and sensible black flats.
We decided to paint our faces with basic white make-up and baby powder to give those corpses a nice touch, along with smoky black eyes and fake blood dripping down our faces.
The dresses we soaked and spattered in red acrylic paint to ensure everyone knew that we were emulating the scene with the sisters bloodied and dead, lying on the floor with the axe near by.
As we applied the last few finishing touches, we were obviously hesitant about leaving the house dressed as two young, dead girls – but our costume was a HUGE success. Everyone loved it and knew immediately who we were. We were constantly stopped for pictures, and we received tons of compliments from our friends and family via social media.
All in all, we couldn’t be happier about how far we’ve come from our drugstore He-Man days. We hope you enjoy our costume as much as we did.