Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turn Street-wear into Costume-wear

Halloween is this weekend and if you still haven't figured out what you are going to be, you are probably just going to try and throw something together at the last minute using stuff you already have at home. I have some advice on trying to create a cool costume from your normal everyday clothes.

First of all, keep it simple. You aren't going to be able to create that magnificent stage costume from your favorite Broadway musical in a few hours using what you have in your closet.

Second of all, focus on the broad aspects of what makes a costume look like a costume and don't get too stuck on the details. What silhouette does your character have? The basic shape is what is most recognizable when it comes to costumes.

Third, color. Colors are very recognizable and we associate certain colors with certain characters and things very easily. Use color to your advantage.

Here are the everyday pieces I used to create my costume. This is how I would normally wear them in outfits:

And here is the "Little Red Riding Hood" costume I created with them:

How did I figure this out? I first asked myself, "what makes little red riding hood look like little red riding hood?" Obviously a red hood is very important, but I didn't have a red cape with a hood. Luckily this red hoodie works just as well b/c it has the basic shape and color. If you have anything that is red that you can somehow use as a hood, such as a scarf or wrap, that would work too. The silhouette that we associate with Little Red Riding Hood is one that is a tight corset-ted waist with a fuller skirt. Find something in your closet that could recreate this shape. You could use a belt or a vest to create a corset like shape if you don't have a dress like the one I have. You can use any full skirt or dress you have to get that full shape, and if you have a petticoat then this will make it look a bit more dramatic and costume-like. For the top, you can use any white or cream blouse you have that has short sleeves or cap sleeves. The last component is the boots. Any boots you have will work, but the taller the better. After this is all put together, and if you have time, you can then start to focus on adding some small details. If you have a basket lying around you can carry that and use it as your purse. And makeup is a really good way to make a costume look more like a costume. Make your eye makeup more dramatic than usual, and for Little Red Riding Hood some deep red lips would be beautiful.

You can take the concepts I used for creating Little Red Riding Hood and apply them to your own costume idea. If you can't think of a costume idea out of nowhere, look at the clothes and accessories you have and let them inspire you. Don't get stuck! Time is wasting and you need a costume. Don't fret and don't get discouraged.

For more street-wear turned costume-wear looks, check out the window displays at SoLa in the triangle. The costumes you see in the windows were created entirely with everyday clothes that are for sale in the store. SoLa also has a great selection of colored and patterned tights, which can be very helpful for creating costumes.

Good luck creating your costume and Happy Halloween!

keep austin stylish


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