Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Being the giant costume nerd that I am, you might imagine that Halloween is like my #1 favorite holiday. You might envision that each year I whip up some elaborate, period accurate costume and party in my bustle like its 1889. But alas, that is not the case. While I certainly wouldn't mind if someone made me an amazing costume every year, and I don't have anything against Halloween, I tend to put in minimal effort. If it can be done with no wig, no makeup, and clothes I already in my closet, then I'm in. But with those criteria, I've actually been able to do pretty well. For example, last year I went as Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation:

In fact, this was the second time I leveraged my blonde hair and Amy Poehler's awesomeness into a costume. One of my all time favorites was the year that Olivia and I went as the characters from Baby Mama. 

(I did, however, have to buy that terry cloth tube top. Thankfully, I did not already own one of those)

The other best pairs costume I've done is the easy yet instantly recognizable Wayne and Garth:


My closet does, in fact, have some pretty weird things in in. I also have my "historical underwear" costume which I have pulled out a few times. It consists of a 1970s white blouse from my mother, a tan JC Penney skirt from when "peasant skirts" were in, and a corset I made a few years ago.  It is basically my 19th century twist on a "slutty" Halloween costume in which I am still covered from wrist to ankle. 

(Pictured here with a wonderful grad school classmate of mine who does sew her own historically accurate costumes)

This year my friend Angie and I were brainstorming pairs costume ideas and someone suggested that we go as Little Bo Peep and her lost sheep. It was this weird moment where it dawned on us that 1) we knew exactly who would play who and 2) it would be shockingly easy. She liked the idea of playing a sheep and had various fuzzy, wooly things to wear, and I had an appalling number of things that would work for Bo Peep. The result was one of the easiest costumes I have ever done, while looking like I had spent a lot of time on it. 

Seriously. The only thing I didn't already own was the crook. 

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