Sunday, October 23, 2005

A Skinny Tie Tribute to 80's Halloween Costumes

For every Napoleon Dynamite or Ashlee Simpson-as-Daisy Duke parading around this Halloween, take a moment to look back at the decade that made it all possible. In the Eighties, the pop culture bubble carbon copied itself and exploded! No sooner had T.J. Hooker hit the airwaves, kids everywhere were donning William Shatner and Heather Locklear masks on their mission to fill their pillowcases with candy. Forget the cliche ballerina and ghost costume, if you dressed up in the Eighties, you were either a rock star with magenta colored hair or if you did opt for a ghost, you would either be going as Blinky, Pinky or Clyde.

The best part about Halloween costumes in the Eighties were how damn BAD they were! There was something about the cheapness of them that (in hindsight I suppose) made them so endearing. I remember going as Peter Criss from KISS one year and by the end of the night, my plastic jumpsuit had ripped at the crotch, most of the glued-on hair on my mask had frayed, and I had all but cut my lips on the small plastic opening where I was able to breathe. I fondly remember the new plastic smell of these Halloween costumes and trying to straighten out the creases in them each year. There was nothing worse than trying to look cool in your costume with plus signs going up and down the front of your pants.

Go as David Hasselhoff! Excuse me, but anyone who watched this show would much rather go as Kitt. I was surprised to find a Boss Hogg costume. Unless you really had an ego problem, I am not sure I'd like to meet the kid who chose to be a fat southern bureaucrat versus one of the hot Duke cousins.

Blondes have more fun! Who would you be for Halloween? Plain old Jerrica Benton or her vamped out alter ego Jem?! I can't even believe there was a choice. I also wonder how many boys bought this costume...and where are they now?

Shopping for a Halloween costume was almost as much fun and as big of an event as shopping for school supplies. Gosh, I would love rushing to Wal-Mart each year as soon as word got out that they were putting up the costume aisle and hope that they would have something cool left in my size. I loved the fact that you could count on that costume aisle every year like clockwork. Right there at the front of the store and to the left. I remember the way it smelled and how the costumes were hung like clothes in a closet; their hollow eyes and vacant smiles subconsciously whispering "pick me!" It was probably the only time of the year that I would bypass my visit to the toy section first.

I loved my Boba Fett costume! The silver on the mask was so thin that you could see right through it. It also had this awesome cape which made me of course feel cool; I would then catch a glimpse of those stupid silver plastic pants and feel like the 10 year old geek I was. The Chachi costume is understandable. Oddly I could not find any record of a Joani costume...hmmmm.

Rude Dog rocks! Where's Spuds MacKenzie or the Panama Jack guy?!

My vote for two of the best costumes...ever!

One of the best things about the Eighties is the variety of these generic costumes, ANYTHING could be popular enough to marketed. Why would anyone design an Asteroids costume first of all. Second of all, why does the asteroid resemble brains?

Halloween is still a great holiday for everyone from small children to the directionless Hot Topic goth kids; but for me, it had its zenith back in the Eighties. Grabbing a few things at Target last night I gandered at the Halloween section to see what costumes I might see this year and low and behold I saw a familiar sight! Daisy Duke, Bo and Luke Duke, Crockett from Miami Vice! Everything old is new again. Gone are the cheesy plastic suits and thin expressionless masks. Instead, real fabric and accessories are used. I think they are great but they lack the graphic design of the original. If you do it right though, I bet you could still rip the crotch out of your Crockett costume!

1 comment:

crit said...

i loved these costumes!

some of my costumes from the past...

ballerina
Princess Diana
Sunshine Christy
gypsy
Kid's Incorporated dancer!
KKK Christy (check my blog later for that one!)



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