Fangirl Thursday: Let’s Play Dress-Up!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year—Halloween! For as much as I love the whole “excuse to eat candy” part of the holiday, my real favorite thing about Halloween is dressing up. Halloween has always given me yet another outlet to show how much I love the fictional characters who matter to me, and that’s dressing up as them.

One of my favorite costumes—from Halloween 2010.

One of my favorite costumes—from Halloween 2010.

I’ve never gone to Comic Con (and I just started going to Star Wars Weekends, only dressing up for it this past year), so Halloween is a way for me to try my hand at cosplaying. In the last few years, I’ve really tried to make an effort to choose costumes based on fictional characters I like and not just whatever looked good at the store. It’s fun to show my passions through the costumes I’ve chosen, and it’s also fun to see other people’s costumes and figure out how those reflect things that matter to them.

When I was a little girl, my Disney princess costumes meant the world to me. (I can still vividly remember my Cinderella dress.) This year, I’m returning those roots to pay homage to my favorite Disney princess: Belle. (Expect plenty of photos of my costume to make their way to social media this weekend.)

Whether it’s Hermione from Harry Potter or Red from Once Upon a Time, my recent costumes have reflected fictional characters that mean a lot to me. This year, my costume is also going to reflect that, and I am so excited to wear a costume that connects 26-year-old me to the little girl I was when I first watched Belle sing about the “great, wide somewhere.”

Tell me, fellow nerds, what have been some of your favorite Halloween costumes from your childhood or your more recent past? And what—if anything—are you dressing up as this year?

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14 thoughts on “Fangirl Thursday: Let’s Play Dress-Up!

  1. I’ve never been much for dressing up… We didn’t really have Halloween where I grew up, although I did dress up like Madonna (Like a Virgin/Desperately Seeking Susan era, when I was about 8!) My friend did it much better than I did, because she was tall and had long blond hair, so I felt pretty lame all tiny, with brown hair cut like a boy.

    Recently I began to appreciate the fun of dressing up because I was peer-pressured – I worked in a library. Library people are really big into cosplay! Who would have thought?

    I don’t like buying ready-made costumes but I have thrifted and borrowed things for Steampunk events, and a Frida Kahlo costume which was pretty awesome, and I tried to dress as the girl from Fahrenheit 451 for a literary theme. I went back to scour the book for costume ideas but all that Bradbury gives us is that she wears white and holds a dandelion – that was not a good costume! especially since I couldn’t find a dandelion. But a male library patron did say I looked like an angel… I’ve done a decent 80s costume with genuine stirrup pants – I’ll have to share my 80s album cover photo (my friend and I took a stupid selfie that would make great band artwork)

    I couldn’t even come close to the dedication of my friends – one sewed her own gorgeous Belle ball gown! And she was a perfect Hermione one year, and a very naughty, very pregnant Hermione a year later – LOL! Another friend showed up as a dog (for work) with a painted face and a tail. Every time we looked across at the Information Desk we would do a double take. She’s so good I often don’t even recognize her.

    Cosplay is not really my thing, but I really love seeing you folks who do it well.

    • I’d love to see that 80s album cover photo—dressed-up selfies are my favorites! 😉

      I am so jealous of people who can sew their own costumes. I have no sewing skills, so it’s either buying a costume (which is usually way too expensive), or finding pieces wherever I can. As someone who is dressing up as Belle with makeshift pieces I found around the house, I cannot imagine the effort that went into your friend sewing her own ball gown!

      • I also like cobbling together something out of stuff I have around the house with a few things I buy from thrift stores to fill in the gaps. I often donate them back right away after the event (like those awful shiny stirrup pants!) so the few dollars I spend is more like a rental fee. We actually have a vintage rental store downtown which might be good for really special occasions, like my friend’s flapper bridal shower.
        I’ll find that photo and post it on tumblr 🙂

  2. I have such great Halloween memories growing up! My mom would get pretty into making sure we had fun costumes. I remember one year I was a witch, and she bought a bunch of rubber rats and bats from the party store, and my dad drilled holes in them…so I had a necklace made out of bats and I had rats strung through the laces of my boots. She definitely taught me the importance of good accessorizing to finish up a costume!

    I also remember really loving the gypsy costume I had one year complete with a knit cross body bag for my magic 8 ball.

    In college I had a pretty awesome Planeteer costume and I spent a lot of the night running around the parking lot of our complex making my friends take photos of me recycling.

    I have to say out of all my costumes though, I am so ridiculously excited for my costume this year. I am going as Ariel in her “date dress” outfit, and I think its going to turn out amazing. When I was putting it together I realized this is the first of my 30 years in existence where I am going as a Disney princess (or any Disney character for that matter). Not quite sure why I never when as one before, but its so fun to dress up as a character I adored as a kid (and more rewarding when you can actually fill out a costume properly, haha). And while my boyfriend will be forever confused why I am not just dressing up as the mermaid version, for me, it was all about that date dress. The black corset, the giant blue hair bow, there is just something about that outfit that always made it my favorite as a kid, and its still my favorite today. Thats the version I connect with the most, and I could care less if anybody else knows what I am supposed to be! But, just in case, I invested in a flounder plush to help them out (again, accessorize!)

    Cant wait to see your costume this year. NGN Halloween twitter party! w00t!

    • Very few of my friends are as into Halloween as I am, so I am always excited to find another person who loves dressing up for this holiday as much as I do!

      That witch costume sounds AMAZING, and I loved the Planeteer picture you Tweeted yesterday. 🙂

      Like you said yesterday, I love that we’re both going with lesser-known outfits for our chosen princesses. There’s something special about dressing up as the version you connect with the most, whether or not anybody else gets it. For me, I’ve always loved Belle in her blue dress because that’s when we first discovered that she loved to read, which is what made me fall in love with her instantly as a little girl. And it’s also the dress she wore when she sang about wanting more from her life than people had planned for her, which is one of my favorite moments in any Disney movie.

      I am so ready for a NGN Halloween Twitter Party!

  3. Of course, I am Emma Swan. Granted, I recycled the costume from the huge Once Upon a Time premiere party we threw last month, but it’s still a great costume and the pictures are really fun!

  4. I actually ended up volunteering at my library’s trick or treat yesterday. It wasn’t planned, but at the last minute I found out that they didn’t have anyone dressed up to hand out candy in the back room, so I threw on my black skinny jeans, a black tank, black cardigan, my pink/purple wig, black cap, and my pink and black butterfly wings. Turns out it was a good thing – school was out so we got more than 300 people show up for story time and candy!! The kids’ costumes were great! There was even a family dressed up as a firefighter (mom), a fire truck (kiddo), a dalmatian (toddler) and an absentee dad who was apparently a fire hydrant!

  5. A week late to this party, but I’ve got to add that my favorite costume ever was the year I went as Mae West. I was 9/10 and it was a great outfit I put together out of my mother’s closet, wig and hat included. I also did a great Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and Jimminie Cricket a few years ago. As you well know, I took great pride in my Venelope stockings this year and got loads of compliments on it during our run through House of Mouse.

    My 9 year old is already planning for next year. She’s very keen on a Greek Mythology theme.

    • I LOVE that 9-year-old you was Mae West for Halloween! I am also super happy you commented on this post so I can tell you once again how absolutely fabulous your costume was this year—I’m glad it got lots of love!

  6. Pingback: Fangirl Thursday: What’s a Must-Watch For Your Halloween? | Nerdy Girl Notes

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