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Costume Condundrum

Costume Conundrum! By Ally Zimmerman

It's just around the corner. It's lurking in dark alleys; it's hiding under your bed, in your closet. October 31 is coming, folks, and with it, one the most beloved holidays of the year. Look around you. You see teens deemed "too mature" for the age-old tradition of door-to-door candy collecting that they've joined in since the days of Power-Ranger and Princess costumes. But that won't stop them. So lose the plastic pumpkin pail and bust out the pillow case, invest in some top-of-the-line toilet paper, and get that costume ready. Wait--no costume?! You've got the bag, you've got the paper…but you just can't decide what you want to go as this year? Then let's break this down. If you're looking for a classic, costume shops like Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds in downtown Austin carry the typical Halloween get-ups. You could go with the archetypal spooky theme--Vampires, Witches, Warlocks--or maybe something comic is more your fancy. Picture "Joe Dirt" style: mullet wig, fake teeth and a white beer stained wife-beater. You'll be the belle of the ball. Star Wars costumes are also big this year with the release of George Lucas' latest movie. I'm a Yoda fan, myself. Ladies, maybe you want to really glam up this Halloween. Famous fairy-tale princesses are recognizable and timelessly charming. Or try a less obvious period piece, like a Renaissance dress or a Russian Anastasia-style ball gown. Don't forget famous glam-queens too! Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, and Cher are some sure-fire girly classics. Don't think you've been forgotten, anime fans. Chances are that most of you have been to one or two anime conventions in the past and seen plenty of character costumes there. Forgot to bring your wallet and had to leave empty-handed? Don't fret; some shops will custom-make the perfect costume to suit your animated needs. So what if nothing in even the most diverse stores is good enough for you? Well, before you throw in the towel and decide to go free and wild this Halloween, hop into your nearest Goodwill. Halloween is definitely their thing. They offer enough costumes, props, and make-up kits to dress up an army--and cheap. But if you really feel there is no hope for finding a good costume...make one! Don't panic. You don't have to be a whiz with a sewing machine to get the right look. If you're resourceful enough, you won't even have to sew at all. Say you have something lacy or anything with a cool pattern--keep it in a box or a bag. Then you can take it out later if you're trying to put together a costume. Or maybe you've decided you'd like to give sewing a shot. If you're experienced with a needle and thread, congrats! But if not, don't get easily discouraged your first try; you probably won't get it right away. Just stick with it and eventually you'll be a pro at this costume-making business. So let's take a look at our checklist. Pillow case, check. TP, check. Costume…Check! You're all dressed up with somewhere to go…and don't you just look smashing! So get out there and plunder your neighborhood of every Blow-Pop and Tootsie Roll in sight. You haven't quite outgrown it yet.
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Ally Zimmerman