Halloween is approaching once again, and with it comes the spooky, terrifying dilemma: Should you buy a costume or make your own? For creative types, especially those who own a wide variety of strange clothing already, making your own costume is probably a great, fun idea. However, for everyone else, buying a costume works just fine.
Now, itâ€™s almost certainly true that a self-made costume will look better and have the added sheen of originality, as compared to a store-bought costume. However, a self-made costume requires several crucial components that most students donâ€™t have.
First: time. Itâ€™s a not insubstantial effort to acquire and assemble various pieces of fabric or other more exotic materials into a functional costume. Fiddling around with scissors, thread, and glue can take hours and, in the middle of the semester, that can be a luxury. Halloweenâ€™s faux-spookiness is supposed to be fun, it makes no sense to make it actually terrifying by limiting the amount of time available to study for midterms.
Second: skills shortage. Itâ€™s fair to say that most students probably havenâ€™t done much arts and crafts in recent years and most certainly donâ€™t know how to sew. Given these deficiencies, attempting to make your own costume might become a time-consuming endeavor that wonâ€™t even work. The possibility of sinking hours into a costume that immediately starts falling apart due to a poorly sewn seam or the fragility of Elmerâ€™s glue is a pretty worrying one.
Third: expense. Making oneâ€™s own costume can still cost money. Most students whoâ€™d want to make their own costume probably donâ€™t already have everything they need in their wardrobe. To get those materials, then, itâ€™ll still be necessary to drive to arts stores or Goodwills and spend money on the components of a costume.
Clearly, for most students, making your own costume is too time consuming, excessively difficult and still costs money. Luckily, the alternative of buying a costume is easy.
Iâ€™ve actually been using the same store-bought costume every Halloween since my first year at Trinity. Itâ€™s a fleece Batman onesie that I picked up for $20 at Target. It zips up in the front and is easy to get in and out of, has deep pockets and, best of all, it comes with a Velcro-attached cape.
As for popular reception, people love the Batman onesie, particularly the cape. Also, itâ€™s never any worse of a costume than anyone elseâ€™s. Indeed, the Target onesies were such a hit my first year that at least seven or eight people I knew also purchased them in Superman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle variants. The further benefit of buying that kind of Halloween costume is that it has good practical uses. A full-body zip-up fleece onesie is great fashion for winter days when youâ€™re in a rush to get to class or as regular pajamas in a room where the air conditioner is too cold.
Other store-bought costumes can have secondary uses too. Once, for a theme party I picked up a $5 pirate set from Walmart that consisted of an eyepatch, plastic sword and fake hoop earring. The plastic sword now hangs on my wall like something out of â€œArabian Nights.â€
Most self-made Halloween costumes probably wonâ€™t have these sorts of secondary uses and can probably only be worn once a year, assuming they donâ€™t fall apart. So, if youâ€™ve got the creative instinct and the time to spare, by all means make your own costume for Halloween. If you donâ€™t, a store-bought costume will work just as well, and maybe better.Â