Student suggests using more creativity at Halloween

Column by Virginia Alley. E-mail [email protected]

Your Halloween costume might be good at getting you treats, but chances are the outfit itself was quite a rip off.

While the holiday of dressing up in a ridiculous fashion is more than a month away, costume stores are open, with people buying away.

Sadly though, it seems most people just aren’t into the sheet ghost thing anymore. (Classic, we should bring it back.)

Much more popular are journeys into the risque.

The formula for a modern Halloween costume is simple. In fact, I promise I can teach how to brainstorm your very own marketable costume before the end of this column.

First, think of an occupation. The medical field, law enforcement field or military field — you name it. Okay, do you have one? Picture the uniform that person would wear. Now, remove about 72 to 80 percent of the cloth and add boots. Voila! Costume!

If the idea of dressing like you were at work and then got attacked by a lion is appealing to you, then by all means, go for it.

However, I have a few problems with this system.

One, we’re being tricked out of using our creative ability. A nurse who’s wearing booty shorts instead of scrubs? Exciting.

You know what would be more exciting? A nurse in short shorts who stumbled into a pile of radiation because of her abnormally huge boots and grew the head of giant squid. Just saying.

Making the creativity problem look small, however, is my main issue with these costumes — the way the prices rip people off.

Let us use Halloweenexpress.com as an example.

Oh, look, a “Strip Search Sheriff” costume. The costume consists of a “Low cut, short sleeve top, shorts, belt, glasses, gloves, and police baton.” The knee-high boots are not included. The price? $59.99, and that’s $12 cheaper than the retail price of $71.99.

I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I can justify paying between $60 and $72 for a likely cheaply-made pair of shorts, thin belly-button length shirt, plastic accessories and glasses I could buy for $1.00.

I wonder if once upon a time a committee sat around a long, oval table and said, “Hey, let’s set this up so the fewer clothes you buy, the more it’ll cost! It’s genius!” and everybody fell for it.

The “Strip Search Sheriff” is by no means the only example. Go and look for yourself. These types of costumes with their rip off prices run rampant.

In no way am I discouraging you from wearing whatever strikes your fancy.

I am suggesting we pay a little more attention and use our brains instead of dishing out tons of cash for things we’ll wear once.

Find a real outfit and cut it up. Go to thrift stores or other stores and piece things together. Make things. Chances are, it’ll look more interesting, and you won’t be buying the equivalent of the world’s most-expensive cleaning rag.