Costumes Caper

In England, dress-up for today is strictly (well, mostly) in the scary category. Halloween UK-style is awash with witches, vampires, skeletons, ghosts, ghouls, gremlins, etc. It’s totally unlikely you’ll meet a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz on the street or a man in a Superman or Spiderman suit. But here in the States Halloween dressing is hoisted to a whole other level. For a start suits don’t have to be scary it seems and second, everyone gets in on the act. And I do mean everyone. Dogs get done up as ballers, bees, lobsters or hot dogs. There’s a whole lot of hot dogs going on.

And billions must be made each year dressing up baby as a bee, a bug or a mischievous monkey.

Mostly the tiny tots looks contented enough in their stuffed, colorful costumes, but I have seen one or two outfits that might be just a smidge misguided… And what is it with all the lobsters?

As for the adult aisles, is it just me or does every option for women have the prefix sexy attached? If it isn’t sexy nurse, then it’s a teacher, nun, fairy, pirate… no profession is sacred and a lot is naked. Either that or dress like a crayon.

And as for our adult males, the general rule seems to be to strip away as much esteem as possible.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love all this stuff. I can’t wait to get my own basset hound and babies to truss up in some trick-or-treat gear. In fact, in the spirit of anticipation, I gathered up some art-inspired costume options on a recent trip to the NGA. Let’s see. There’s the clown choice, either as Walt Kuhn’s White Clown (body-confidence is a must here, menfolk)…

… or as Cézanne’s red-and-black check Harlequin (again, self-esteem needed to carry off the collar).

You could play it straight as Manet’s Tragic Actor (this only for those who have lovely legs)…

… or camp it up as Rembrandt van Rijn’s definitely dandified Polish Nobleman.

And ladies, please don’t worry, I’ve not forgotten about you. I suggest this sexy Odalisque as envisaged by Auguste Renoir. Sorted. Bring me back some of the sweets and candy.