Halloween is just hours away and I’ve got my fingernails painted orange in honour of the day. If I had somewhere to go than maybe I’d make more of an effort, but alas I only have my front door to open and costume clad children to greet. So while I’m a touch of a party pooper this year, I can’t wait to see all the interesting costumes walking the streets and trick or treating up my walkway. I’m excited to see what last year’s Breaking Bad hasmat costume has evolved into. Is it a vampire-paramedic or a zombie-McDonald’s employee? I’m betting we’ll see a few Maleficent, Elsa and Khaleesi princesses because for every person that likes to wear scary disguises, there are equally as many who prefer the pretty or exotic. I do hope we can avoid too many of the risqué naughty nurse, saucy French maid or unitart felines, but alas we know there will be always be a few who can’t resist an opportunity to bare it all – or at least half. You know those are the same ones who take pajama day too far and ruin it for the rest.
Thrift stores like Value Village were created for Halloween. Not really, but that’s become their bread and butter. It’s so worth your while to go in to the stores and peruse the aisles with an open mind and a willingness to create the most unique costume. Gone are the day of the pre-packaged costume – not when you have the Value Village stores around town to grab a wig, some horns, track down some cool blue dress et voilà you are Devil with the Blue Dress On.
For the last minute folks, if you are looking for inspiration, here are some suggestions of scariest fashions from the 1960s to 2000s.
1960s – This was the Very Brady Era. It was all about mood rings, bouffants and beehive hairdos, Go-Go boots and love beads. While there were tons of great fashion items I could sing from the rooftops about (hello Mad Men and mod), we are focused on the scary and these trends fit the bill.
1970s – The Me Decade was all about experimentation with long, flowing hair or big afros, Caftans, Mummus, hot pants, bell bottoms, groovy matching outfits, the hippie look, bold prints, big hats, bright colours and bad fabrics like stretch polyester, satin or sateen (or is that Satan). It was a time to explore. This era of anything goes was practically the motto.
1980s – This was the decade of Excess. Rap made its first commercial appearance and so by default did street fashion. Some of it was great and other trends less desirable. It was about neon, spandex, lace fingerless gloves or a single sparkle glove, legwarmers, stirrup pants, and shoulder pads were bigger than ever. Everything went wrong with hair, but at least it was fun. We saw the introduction of banana clips, but so came about a popularity for mohawks and bigger than Texas teased hair. Slogans like Choose Life, Benetton rugby tops, Lacoste and Polo, and Nothing Comes Between Me and My Calvins linked you with the brand you wanted to be identified with. It was “the more is more” time, which rang true in all walks of life, including the advent of consumerism, credit card debt, big cars, big houses and big mortgages.
1990s – This was the Alternative or Back to Basics Decade where Seattle grunge made a big impression on our fashion inspirational choices, but equally so too did Gap. Style was a bit more androgynous and guys and girls found themselves wearing the same clothes. Girls traded their super tight jeans for looser baby doll dresses worn with edgy combat boots rather than dainty pumps. Both genders opted to wear flannel wrapped around the waist, dirty denim, hoodies and baseball caps turned backwards, bandannas with bunny ears, and one strap done and one undone overalls. Skater style and chain wallets also mimicked some of the decade’s edge. That being said, it was also a bit of a diametrically opposed era when it came to fashion. For every indie rocker mimicked style, there were equally as many Beverly Hills 90210 inspired all-American looks of rich kids with everything they could ever want, yet still unhappy.
2000s – The Mash-Up Decade was a real mix of new and old, all-American and ethnic, where boho met chic, and environmental awareness came into play contradicting the way people started to spend and consume more than ever before. Designer handbags and shoes were no longer only for the ultra rich. People found the means to purchase the same things as the socialites had in their closets, by putting it on credit. Jeans were at an all time low (referring to the barely covered 3″ inseam rise), we never readily saw so many thongs outside a gentleman’s club, and belly tops were in full swing. Bell bottom pants were now called flare leg, and everybody had a pair. Tattoos and facial piercings took off in the 2000s where kids from the suburbs wanted to be pierced and tattooed as much as those from the inner city.
I am curious to continue to follow fashion in the next decade and how I will look back on it with the perspective of the good, the bad and the fughly. Fortunately, I have my blog for historical reference.