“Being normal is vastly overrated.”
The declaration proclaimed by beloved grandmother slash benevolent witch Aggie Cromwell– mere minutes into Disney’s 1998 cinematic masterpiece “Halloween Town”– is just as relevant today as it was 16 years ago.
Though the statement’s sage wisdom can be applied to most of life’s ups and downs, from navigating tricky social scenes to confidently working that out-of-the-box outfit, today we’ll apply it to a strikingly fitting modern-day odyssey: the pursuit of the perfect Halloween costume.
Though it’s tough to cast doubts upon the “normal” costumes (think: witch, tacky tourist, ghost under a sheet, etc.), this is the one time a year you can step into anyone’s shoes for the night. Do you really want them to be tube-socked sandals?
Let’s try something a little more fancy. (That’s right – you already know.)
Iggy Azalea makes for a ridiculously glam Halloween get-up. Channel the Aussie rap queen in a slicked back high ponytail, graphic-patterned crop top with matching bottoms and brightly colored pumps. With some electric pink lipstick, dramatic winged eyeliner and a few of Iggy’s signature beauty marks, you’re in business. “Fancy” may have been sitting pretty at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for only seven weeks, but it will play on in our hearts forever.
Though if Iggy’s not hitting a high note for you, perhaps ‘diabolical criminal mastermind’ is more your scene.
Gillian Flynn’s novel-turned-movie “Gone Girl” made everyone glad they were not married to psychopath Amy Dunne, perfect blonde hair or not. Spoiler alert: Remember when Amy comes crawling back from her (fake) hostage situation straight into husband Nick Dunne’s arms? Recreate the morbid scene with a wig of blonde hair, copious amounts of fake blood on your dress and fliers with “Missing: Amy Dunne” to help drive the message home. Don’t forget to comment on how there’s just one olive in the fridge!
If Amy Dunne’s a little dark, how about a light green? In the form of Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” of course! The weapons-wielding, no-nonsense tolerating alien from afar stood her own ground as a member of the ragtag group of space warriors in this year’s summer blockbuster film. Deck yourself out in a pair of black pleather pants, matching tank, one or two swords, some green face paint and a mane of long dark hair with red highlights. Refuse to dance the entire night, and whenever possible shout out, “I am surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy!”
Gentlemen, don’t think you’re absolved from getting into the spirit of things! Lucky for you, I’ve already thought of the perfect pop culture-relevant costume for you, and it’s a dark horse, let me tell you. No, not literally.
In fact, it’s actually fiery red. Do you recall the collective sigh that escaped the soul of every man, woman and angsty teen with with a heart and access to Ed Sheeran’s YouTube channel on Oct. 7? Yeah, that was when he released his music video for “Thinking Out Loud” and singlehandedly upped the ante for anyone who thought they might make ‘a nice gesture’ for romance’s sake.
All you need is some shaggy ginger locks, a white button down, dark dress pants with matching vest and a sleeve of tattoos. Dazzle random people in the room by quietly saying things like, “Your soul could never grow old; it’s ever green” and “Your smile’s forever in my mind and memory.” Beware of swooning onlookers who may throw themselves at your feet.
[A version of this story ran on page 9 on 10/30/2014 under the headline "Awesomely abnormal Halloween costumes"]