Ask Phoenix

Phoenix B. Rishon

Dear Phoenix,

Q: I do not know what I should be for Halloween. I do not want to spend a lot of money on a costume, and I do not want to be something that has been done a lot. With your horror expertise, can you give me some suggestions on costumes?

Dear fellow Halloween enthusiast,

Picking a Halloween costume is difficult because you have to account for uniqueness, cost and practicality. It is almost impossible to be something for Halloween that has never been done before, but you can still be the most original and best dressed at a party.

There are a few categories to think about when it comes to costumes: do you want to be humorous, scary or sexy? Most women are bombarded with the  “sexy” costume idea.  Go to a Halloween store, and there is a giant section of scandalous costumes for women. If you want to wear a sexy costume, look through your own wardrobe and wear half of what you usually do. As “Mean Girls” points out, Halloween has become an excuse for women to wear something (or lack thereof) that would give their grandparents a heart attack. I would much rather scare people into a heart attack.

Funny costumes are always a hit. If you go to a party, nothing makes friends faster than wearing something that makes everyone laugh. Purchasing humorous costumes is expensive, though. Brainstorm with friends about what you want to be. If you can handle criticism, then the more offensive the costume, the better.

Dress as a character from your childhood. Everyone enjoys an immediate blast from the past. Go around in pajamas with bananas in your pockets singing, “Bananas in Pajamas.” Be Oprah . Paint yourself green, put a pillow in your shirt, stick two Starbucks straws on your head, and call yourself Shrek.

Vampires are overdone, but dousing your body in glitter and having a general lack of emotion is a great portrayal of Edward Cullen.

There is an infinite amount of costumes and ideas, but make sure the outcome is practical. If you are going to be the sexy nurse in seven-inch heels, make sure you can walk in them all night.  If you want to be a character that requires a rubber mask, make sure you can breathe in it before you buy it.

If you are talented at makeup (or know someone who is), you can do a lot of clever, easy styles that complete every outfit. Makeup perfection is essential for the scary look.

Do not forget the option of gender bending. For most men, this is impractical and outside of their comfort zone, but for women, this is a comfortable and free costume. Just borrow some clothes from your friend and go to a Halloween party as a man.

Toodles for now,

Phoenix Rishon

Questions can be submitted by email to [email protected].

‘Ask Phoenix’ does not substitute for a professional psychologist or psychiatrist. If you need psychological support: Contact the UMKC Counseling Center at 816-235-1635. If you are in crisis or thinking about suicide you deserve immediate support. Contact the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are in immediate danger or in crisis, please call 911.