Favorite Costumes of All Time

Readers share their faves from days gone by.
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Since it's my birthday Halloween has always been a special day for me. It's a great day to have a birthday because everyone is in a good mood. For most children, however, what's most memorable about the day is the costume they wear (and the goodies they collect!). With that in mind, we interviewed Child readers about what costume from their childhood stands out most in their minds as the most fabulous. Perhaps they'll provide you with some inspiration. Happy Halloween!
-- Miriam Arond, Editor-in-Chief, Child

My mother was incredibly imaginative. Each holiday held its special joy, and Halloween was certainly one for fun. Each year she made my younger brother and I coordinating costumes. One year we were Raggedy Ann and Andy with red-and-white striped tights, red wool wigs, perfect copies of their outfits, and makeup to match their faces. Another year we were a ghost and a witch -- again with makeup to complete the looks. The year we visited Williamsburg she outdid herself. Inspired by the three-corner hat my parents had brought home for my brother, she made us beautiful colonial costumes so detailed that we wore them in school plays for years. Now that I'm a mother I'm looking forward to the day my daughter is old enough to wear the costumes that have been stored so carefully all these years. I know that, although the memories she takes with her will be precious, they'll be nothing to match those of a child watching her mother create magic with her sewing machine.
-- Amy Connor, Smithtown, NY

My favorite and most memorable costume was a TV made out of a big cardboard box. I was about 11 or so -- it was possibly one of my last years of trick-or-treating. I made it all by myself attaching aluminum foil on the front for a screen with the words, "Stay tuned for Starsky & Hutch" (my all-time favorite show at the time). It was rewarding and made me feel pretty special when all the grown-ups admired my creativity.
-- Kim Nowatzke, Michigan City, IN

I do have one particularly memorable costume from my childhood. One year, my two older sisters decided the three of us should go as Flintstones characters. Of course, the store sold Betty and Wilma costumes, but no other female characters. Therefore, my lovely sisters were Betty and Wilma while I went as Fred Flintstone. I only remembered being laughed at (good naturedly, I'm sure) throughout the entire candy trek through the neighborhood.
--Joan Lashley, Bowie, MD

Although not extremely imaginative, my most memorable Halloween costume was a clown suit. It was made for one of my older sisters. The costume was a one-piece, cotton jumpsuit. One side was black and the other side orange. The arm and pant cuffs were ruffled, and to complete it was a black and orange ruffled collar with a little cap that tied under the chin and had a pompom on the top. My oldest sister wore it when she was around 3 or 4 years old. It got passed down from my three sisters to me. I wore it when I was 3 or 4. It is so memorable because I still have the costume, and three of my sons have worn it when they were about 3 or 4. Now that my youngest is almost 3, he will have his turn in wearing it this Halloween! I paint red lips and a red nose on them with lipstick. We have pictures with all of us, including my boys, in this same costume. The costume is over 40 years old and still in wonderful condition. I look forward to one day passing it on to grandchildren!
-- Deanna Sanderlin, Kirkland, WA

I am the youngest of six children, so my Mom had to be inventive around Halloween when money was tight. One year I asked to wear my brother's football uniform (he was 8, I was 7). I'll never forget how it felt to be "suited up," and filled with a "toughness." I thought only my brother could know! I knew while trick-or-treating, that I wouldn't have to worry about tripping on any silly old dress, or wear shoes that were too tight or that slipped on the concrete and grass. I thought boys were lucky they didn't have to worry about those kinds of things. I felt strong and invincible! I "tackled" that night of goodie gathering in record time. And after tugging off that helmet at the end of the night, I felt victorious!
-- Jane Hodgson, Canton, GA

My favorite Halloween costume was one that required both my parents' assistance to make. The three of us spent a Saturday afternoon cutting out cardboard pieces so I could be that funny yellow fellow from the video game, PacMan. It was a huge headpiece that sat down over my shoulders, and being in third grade, it was surprisingly heavy. We went through countless yellow markers, and my dad, a handy guy, crafted a secure costume. I even won most original costume in my school's annual Halloween costume contest.
-- Kristin Danley-Greiner, Pleasant Hill, IA

The only costume I can really remember wearing as a child was one of those inexpensive ones that came with a plastic mask and body cape -- it was Wonder Woman. I must have been about 6 or 7 years old the year I wore it trick-or-treating. Since my mom never had much money, it was a big deal that I was able to have a store-bought costume instead of something conjured up out of my closet. I remember feeling special and important because my mom had spent the little extra money on me. I wore that costume for many days after Halloween to play in and pretend. Wonder Woman was my hero back then, and whenever I put on that old mask and cape, I became her. Finally, after weeks of play and imagined heroism, the mask cracked, and the cape tore, and I remember feeling exceptionally sad when we had to throw it out. But the sadness didn't last long, as children replace their favorite things frequently and without much heartbreak. It does seem strange, though, that almost 30 years later, I can still remember that old costume and the extra effort my mom made to get it for me.
-- Autumn Conley, Springfield, OH

When I was about seven or eight, my mother had the bright idea of making me a bouquet of flowers for Halloween. My mom worked full-time and didn't even sew, so it was amazing to me that she conceived of this idea. She had me dress all in bright Kelly green from head to toe with turtleneck, tights, and socks. She then attached tons of brightly colored tissue-paper flowers all over the top of my body, framing my face and on my shoulders and torso. She made all the flowers herself and she pinned them to the costume. I actually hated my costume until I went to my elementary school Halloween parade where I won first prize for best costume and I won a leather ice skates bag!
-- Julie Mitchell, San Francisco, CA

One of my most exciting costumes was Snow White. It was a generic costume, but I came up with the idea of tying a black scarf over my head to mimic brunette hair. My own hair was baby blond. I still remember how pleased and excited I was when my neighbors pretended not to recognize me and told me how surprised and taken in they were by my dark "hair."
-- Kathryn Leonard-Peck, Vineyard Haven, MA

When I was about 6 or 7, I went as a ghost. I remember being fascinated by the fact that I could transform myself into a ghost just by using a simple white pillowcase with two eye holes and a mouth hole cut out. Who says a costume has to be elaborate, to incite a child's imagination?
--Amy Brown, Bethesda, MA

One year my father made my sister (then 4) and I (then 8) a pair of dice. We had big white boxes on, painted with black dots. We wore black tights and leotards under the boxes. Whichever way we turned, we made either 7 or 11. It was a hoot -- very original and really very easy.
-- Stacy Berger, Lantana, FL

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