It used to be that Halloween was a “kids” holiday – dressing up in costumes, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating were all activities that the kids took part in while the grownups doled out candy and took pictures. But over the last two decades, growing baby boomers and Gen X-ers have decided “The heck with growing up!” and have made Halloween a celebration for all ages. Now, it’s hard to tell who enjoys the holiday more and costume sales for adults are through the roof. Halloween has become a major event for the retail industry, in the past years consumers were willing and able to spend billions on costumes, party accessories and Halloween related groceries. And that’s despite the state of our current economy.
But if you look back at the history of Halloween, you can see that adults have historically been involved since the very beginning when the ancient Celts believed that the spirits of the deceased would rise on the evening of October 31st and attempt to possess the living. Villagers would dress in frightening costumes and decorate their homes with horrific faces carved onto pumpkins in an attempt to frighten away the souls walking the earth.
And let’s not forget the masquerade balls that were held in the royal courts of Europe. It wasn’t just traditional; it was a lot of fun to hide behind intricate masks, similar to those we see now at Mardi Gras.
In more modern times, it’s hard to tell exactly when the line was crossed, when it was that costumes for adults was as acceptable as it was for the kids. I don’t remember ever seeing my own parents in a Halloween costume! But the fact is that these days, it’s an accepted tradition for the holiday.
Of course, adult costumes are long way removed from the costumes we used as kids! Today’s costumes are all about socializing – it’s not enough to just throw a sheet over your head and say you’re a ghost! Adults are going out partying, looking for a good time and often competing in costume competitions, so we want costumes that allow us to dress to impress.
While there are plenty of costumes available to purchase, if you want to be unique, you’ve got to be creative. Search the internet for ideas; recent movies and celebrities are often a good start. Renting costumes or buying accessories to round out a homemade costume are other options you have.
For women, it seems like sexy costumes are the way to go, and each year gets more and more revealing. If that’s what you want, Halloween certainly gives you the opportunity to show off your wild side! But don’t fret – there are still plenty of fun and attractive costumes that are made with the more modest woman in mind.
Something to keep in mind as you decide on your costume: Halloween parties often include a lot of dancing and drinking. Make sure the costume you choose allows you to move about freely and comfortably. Some more elaborate costumes allow you to remove parts like headpieces for easier socializing.
Costume wearing at Halloween is something that makes the holiday fun for adults and children alike. It’s not often that you get to dress up like your favorite fantasy – in public! Adults in costumes are now an accepted tradition, so have fun this Halloween!