Confession: I'm a woman who has never worn a sexy Halloween costume. I must be in the minority, however, judging by the plethora of sexy-version costumes out there. Because, as a woman, if you want to dress up as a cop/nurse/witch/remote control/slice of pizza, it must be a sexy cop/nurse/witch/remote control/slice of pizza or you're going to have to make your own costume from scratch.
At least, that's what it looks like when you go searching for women's costumes online.
I did that recently and clicked the first link, which was for Party City. I then went to "Bug, Animal Costumes" since if I was going to buy a Halloween ensemble it would probably be an animal of some kind.
I wouldn't wear any of those costumes (maybe the "cozy bat", but only with a pair of pants or a skirt).
I'm not a particularly modest person — I wear a bikini while swimming, short-shorts when I'm trail running because they're more comfortable and I've spent time in clothing-optional locales (beaches in Australia, hot springs in California). I just don't want to bare it all on Halloween, which is not exactly the warmest time of year. I also don't want to wear something skintight when I'm going to be eating and drinking all night.
So why aren't there more legit options for non-sexy outfits?
I mean, there's even a sexy "Pizza Rat" costume out there, not to mention sexy Donald Trump and even sexy remote control. ("Fulfill his needs with this fun and lifelike remote control. He'll love to turn you on with the push of a button." Seriously??)
And the trend is trickling down. Plenty of parents have noticed that sexy Halloween costumes are now available for little girls, too.
One mother wrote of shopping with her tween: "We combed through dozens of costumes, but she left the store empty-handed. There wasn't much choice for a young lady who's beyond fairy princesses, but not quite ready for 'sexy sorceress.' When I got home, I searched online a bit where I found -— I kid you not — plenty of choices like 'sexy dirty cop,' 'sexy school girl,' 'Playboy Touchdown Tease' and — wait for it — Captain Booty Pirate.'"
That's just depressing. When I was that age, I dressed up as a witch, a fortune-teller and a mixed animal with parts and colors from all different creatures.
What's the alternative to the sexy costume? Well, there are non-sexy versions of your classic Halloween costumes, of course — Raggedy Ann, Bad Witch, Good Witch and Black Cat are all easy to make at home and don't require you to bare it all. (And hey, if you do want to go half-naked to a Halloween party, enjoy and have fun; that's just not my thing.)
Costume conversation starters
Or you can get creative if you don't like what's for sale, and isn't that always the best solution?
I like to opt for weird costumes that require explanation, because that's fun to do at a party. It gets a conversation going at the beginning when people are looking for something to chat about. In case you're looking for non-sexy costume ideas, I'm here for you. These are Halloween costumes that I have worn in previous years that don't require much in the way of buying specialized stuff you'll never wear again, are comfortable and will definitely give you a good answer to the inevitable Halloween question: "So, what are you supposed to be, exactly?"
My 'ice crystal' and 'native Hawaiian plants' costumes from previous years. I didn't buy anything for the ice costume. I did buy the vintage dress for the Hawaiian one, but I wear it often for formal events. (Photo: Starre Vartan)
My recent costumes have included:
- The last ice crystal on the last glacier that melts from global warming (white-on-white dress with big faux-fur white hat and ice-crystal makeup, pictured above)
- Walk of shame girl (tights, an oversized men's suit coat, two different shoes, condom wrapper in messy hair, eye makeup that looked like I slept in it)
- Autumn-Becoming-Winter (color gradations of clothing from dark brown boots to a bright white wig and a mass of cotton wool floating over my head — basically autumn colors into winter colors)
- A Flowerful Woman (floral pattern-on-pattern-on pattern of a jacket, dress and stockings, plus flowers in my hair and painted on my face; I also attached bugs to some of the flowers for a realistic touch)
- Spirit of the Native Plants of Hawaii (vintage green dress from the '50s, real vines and flowers twirled around my body, carried a giant coconut pod and leaf eye makeup). (Pictured above)
Or you could go as a "Sexy Ernie" — as in Ernie from Bert and Ernie from "Sesame Street," a children's program. Your call.