Roundtable: Reflecting on childhood Halloween costumes 

Pictured is a plate of Halloween themed cookies. The desserts might just be the easiest part of the holidays, and for Halloween it’s a nice snack to have as you debate which costume you want to wear. Photo credits to Kristina Paukshtite

Ah, childhood. Everything seemed better before puberty hit – open window car rides, falling asleep to the sound of cable television and perhaps most significantly: celebrating holidays. 

Halloween costumes from years of yonder can be a source of serotonin or self-cringe, but either way, they usually provide feelings of nostalgia. This week, the Life section digs into their youthful past in memoriam of a more innocent time, as nothing says innocence quite like showing up to school covered in fake blood. 

Karla Perez, CC 

When I was younger, I had an unhealthy obsession with Strawberry Shortcake. I’m not sure if I was drawn to her because of her iconic strawberry cap or if it was simply because strawberries were and always have been my favorite fruit. Regardless, I never got bored of replicating her signature look nearly every year until I was about 10 years old.  

Had I thought of this costume idea earlier, I would definitely recreate the Strawberry Shortcake look once again. For anyone struggling with what to be for Halloween this year, here is how I would replicate it: 

Strawberry Shortcake had many different eras. We have the original from the 1980s with her adorable red balloon-sleeved dress, a white apron and green and white stockings – all of which you either already have or can find on Amazon. Then there are the very similar 2003 and 2007 versions that you can pull off in two ways. First, find yourself a plain red and white striped shirt. For bottoms, you can pair the shirt with either normal jeans or a denim skirt. Finally, you have the 2009 version, which can be recreated with a white top, a pink skirt and the classic green and white stockings.  

The best part of all these versions is the signature strawberry cap. Luckily, finding one on Amazon is fairly easy, just by searching “Strawberry Shortcake hat.” I don’t know about you, but I would probably wear it even after Halloween has passed!  

Mariia Barabanova, CC 

Growing up, my Halloween costume choices were definitely on the basic side of the spectrum (they still are). The ironic part is that I never realized how basic they were and was shocked and enraged when multiple other girls my age would show up in the exact same ones. 

A compilation of all my costumes from past years would be a balanced combination of Disney princesses (specifically Snow White and Belle as they were the ones who I thought I resembled the most), animals (bunnies, cats, cheetahs – the more basic, the better) and the classic “scary” ones: vampire, skeleton, witch — the list goes on. 

However, I remember that my favorite part about Halloween costumes was the makeup that I barely knew how to use, but that’s what made me even more excited than the outfit itself. Fake blood, smudged red lipstick, dark eye looks — oh, and claws and fangs were my thing. 

One time I came to school in my vampire costume with a slightly excessive amount of realistic fake blood all over my face, and forgot to wash it off when my friend’s dad was picking us up after school, and let me just say he was … disturbed. In my defense, that was the whole point! 

Laxmi Vobbineni, CC 

If there was one thing I was — and still am — it’s indecisive. Time and time again, I was known for my uncanny ability (or lack thereof) to make choices and change them not even seconds later. This held true whenever Halloween rolled around. At seven years old, the costume I chose seemed to be the most important decision I had to make. While all my friends had planned out their costumes already, I was pondering on what I could be up to the week before Halloween. Given all the time I had to choose, you would assume my possible choices would be extraordinary, but instead they were actually quite simple: witch or princess? 

The day before Halloween had arrived and my time to make a choice was running out. With less than 24 hours until trick-or-treating, my mother was beginning to be fed up with my indecisiveness. She clearly did not understand the critical thought that was required to choose the most exquisite (and basic) costume in the neighborhood.  

Fortunately, I had the pieces needed for both costumes, giving me the liberty to put off making the decision until the hour before. Having all the pieces also meant an incredible idea could be proposed by father, who had grown tired of my repeated pestering. “Just do both,” he said, and with that, my problem was solved. Why choose one when you can choose both?  

Happily, I spent that hour combining the pieces of both costumes: the princess dress, the witch hat, the sparkly wand and the pointy boots. Of course, I was a tad bit disappointed when I couldn’t find a way to fit in my tiara, but nevertheless, I was thrilled about my half-basic, half-innovative costume. 

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