It’s that time once again—time for the sight of shrivelled leaves falling to the ground, for the cold air to send that oh-so-familiar chill down our spines. We put away our capris and flip-flops, bundle ourselves up in our big woolly sweaters and get ready for winter hibernation. As we bust out our cookbooks and absent-mindedly sift through the soup recipes, we wonder—Was that it? How did another summer slip through our fingers?
Many of us spent the entire sweltering hot summer on the hunt for eligible mates. Using our rising mojos as compasses, we searched for our targets and prepared to move in for the kill. Now, as October unfolds, everyone who is not yet hooked up is frantically searching for someone to warm them up on those cold winter nights. Desperation is about to set in. Before the fall/winter season deals a deadly blow to our social lives however, our trusty calendar hands us a wild card. It’s called Halloween.
It’s a well-known fact in most circles that Halloween is the cutoff point for picking up. It’s our last chance to get any action until springtime; it’s also our last chance to see what people look like before the holiday gatherings, takeout food, space heaters and Blockbuster video rentals get the better of them. If you haven’t found love by Halloween, you will have nobody to accompany you to the office Christmas party, you will celebrate New Year’s with your married friends, and—horror of horrors—you will spend yet another Valentine’s day in your sweatpants watching Sex and the City reruns (well, half of you will anyway).
You can feel the rabid sexual energy in the air. Hungry werewolves check out vampy versions of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Sexy stewardesses fly into parties, hoping to catch you if they can. For one night only, subtlety is out and debauchery is in.
I don’t want to stress you out, but if you’re planning on dressing up, you’d better choose wisely. There’s a lot of competition out there—you don’t want to be the one sipping punch on the sidelines with all the other French maids and the dude wearing his ex-roommate’s balding afro wig.
Oh, the pressure!
Not to worry—there is still hope, dear creatures of the night. Here are a few tips for putting together an alluring Halloween costume:
Costume Tip #1: You want to be sexy, but not slutty
One year, a friend of mine got dressed up as Pat, the androgynous character from Saturday Night Live. She did a great job on her costume and really got into character at a party full of strangers. Little did she know that people were actually placing bets on whether she was a boy or a girl. She hit rock bottom when she heard someone whisper: “See! I told you it’s a girl. Her voice is too high for a guy.” Successful costume, broken ego.
Sexy is definitely the way to go, but there’s no need to get too slutty. Show off your best assets, but don’t forget to leave something up to the imagination.
Costume Tip #2: Quirky is good (if done well)
People remember quirky. They think it’s adorable and are intrigued by the person behind the mask. Quirky characters are fun and approachable. I know a guy who once dressed up as a banana. He wore yellow from head to toe and slathered yellow makeup all over his face. His one accessory was a banana which he held to his ear every time someone came up to talk to him. He was very serious when he delivered his line: “I can’t hear you, there’s a banana in my ear.” Now that’s what I call dedication. Apparently, quite a few interested ladies wanted to peel him open that night.
Costume Tip #3: Originality is the best way to go
Another memorable costume was the golf pro who had been hit by lightning. Clinging to his golf club, he walked through the party in an electrified daze. His charred hair stood up on end, his fingernails were painted black and his scorched golf outfit was shredded to pieces. Amazing production values—his costume belied a keen eye for detail. It wasn’t necessarily sexy, but I’m sure some hot nurse would have been willing to resuscitate him.
Speaking of nurses—and I can’t believe you brought it up—those stereotypical Halloween outfits don’t work. Witches, cowgirls, devils, Tarzans, vampires, playboy bunnies, mafia, guys dressed as girls, girls dressed as cats—we’ve seen it all. If you must go with a typical outfit, at least try to put your own personal spin on it. A cat who was repeatedly run over by a car and is on its ninth life is a lot more interesting than, say, a cat.
Costume Tip #4: Accessorize wisely
Interactivity can be a key factor when choosing an outfit. If you’re normally shy, incorporating treats in your costume can be just the trick for a successful night. If you are dressing up as a tooth fairy, bring a bunch of chocolate coins with you and offer them to some eligible zombies. Just make sure they don’t eat your brain instead.
Costume Tip #5: Don’t underestimate the power of the dark side
According to the Associated Press, the trend this Halloween is leaning toward scary, gory, bloody costumes. People are finally embracing their dark sides and realizing that scary and sexy are in fact two sides of the same coin. Normally, you don’t want people to recoil in horror at the first sight of you, but on Halloween a little terror can go a long way.
Last year, I encountered the Grim Reaper on the dance floor at a Halloween party. While I was partially freaked out, I fell strangely under the spell of this tall dark stranger—I wanted to find out if he was really dead inside.
That said, cute, innocent outfits can sometimes work in your favour too. A few years ago, a friend of mine got dressed up as the Philadelphia Cream Cheese angel. We arrived at a big loft party and she immediately locked eyes with the only other angel in the room: it was a match made in heaven.
Costume Tip #6: Don’t be yourself
The most important thing to remember is that you really have to get into your Halloween persona—otherwise, there is no point in getting dressed up at all. It’s the one night that you can say or do almost anything, so have fun with the character you created. Remember, everyone is playing a role. It doesn’t matter if you make a fool of yourself—nobody knows who you are anyway, and the ones who do are probably too trashed to care. Remember: what happens on Halloween stays on Halloween.
A good ghoul-friend is hard to find. Good luck on your hunt!
Daisy Goldstein is a Montreal writer. This Halloween, she plans to dress up like Yeoman Rand from Star Trek and stun eligible humanoids with her phaser.