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vintage halloween costumes

It's time to start digging in granny's trunk for vintage Halloween costumes! I belive that the best costumes ever are found in old trunks, cedar chests and dusty boxes in the attic. Part of the fun is putting together outfits made from stuff that once belonged to your ancestors.

If your mom threw everything away you can always start to beg and borrow clothing and accessories from your packrat friends. Offer to help reorganize their linen closet or garage in exchange for a dramatic feather boa, spike heels, hat and gown covered in sparkling sequins from a cocktail party from long,long ago.

As kids, we begged our moms to help us design funky, vintage Halloween costumes. I was lucky enough to have a mother who knew her way around a sewing pattern. As long as her Singer sewing machine was working, the sky was the limit. If she had time and something to work with, she let me use my imagination and take my pick of costumes.

Here are some ideas for children’s vintage Halloween costumes:
  • A gypsy with a large gold earring, a colorful headscarf, long peasant skirt and off the shoulder blouse (if you could slip it by the parent in charge)
  • A pirate with a homemade eye patch, tattered pants and tall black boots
  • A hobo wearing grandpa's old fedora, shoes with cardboard stuffed inside to compensate for the holes in the sole of the shoe and a stick over your shoulder decorated with a stained bandana holding your worldly belongings tied on the end
  • A cowboy wearing your little brother's plastic holster, fake cap guns and cowboy boots and hat
  • A witch with a wart on your nose with your face painted puke green and tall pointed hat.
  • Break out the black leather bomber jackets, the black boots and the hair oil to go out Trick or Treating as James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause
  • If push comes to shove, pull an old sheet out of the rag bag and fall back on the Charlie Brown ghost costume

It drove mom crazy when, I started bugging her about making my Halloween costume as early as late August! I knew that if I didn't get started that I might end up having to suffer through the night in one of those uncomfortable vintage Halloween costumes (that are now very expensive on EBay as it turns out) with a sweaty plastic mask with tiny holes and inadequate ventilation. As if the masks weren't awful enough; the matching suits that tied in back were the equivalent of an embarrassing hospital gown. Wearing one of these poorly made Halloween costumes was kind of like Trick or Treating in a plastic garbage bag with little oxygen. Is there any wonder I was hell-bent on making my own? I'm starting a little late this year but with a little nip of fall in the air this morning, I'm reminded that it's time to open up the antique Singer sewing machine and pray that the tension is working properly, so my girls won't be wearing tacky costumes stuck together with duck tape and double stick tape. If the Singer isn't working, the vintage Halloween costume of choice will most likely be Charlie Brown's version of a ghost costume for the big girls and a pair of white footed pajamas with bunny ears for the babies' vintage Halloween costumes. Nothing fancy but they should be happy that I'm generous with the size of the air holes which is more than I had on those unfortunate Halloween nights when my mom was too busy to sew. Please remember to only buy Halloween candy that contains no peanuts. Kids with peanut allergies like to join in the fun, too! Return to Oooh Baby Baby Parenting and Environmental Issues for more stories about my old style Halloween costumes and adventures when I was a kid.