Whether it is a three-month dedication to becoming the spitting image of Jack Sparrow or a quick thrift shop run on the eve of Hallow’s Eve, the Halloween costume has its own version of dedication and bravery.
The costume, a sort of mask away from normalcy and everyday living, allows for a day/night escape from fashion or style, or the non-fashion/non-style fashion or style if you are inclined on keeping it real under those terms.
Costumes seem to be expressive of inner bottled-up longings or desires. Sure, you say modest is indeed hottest, but this is October’s thirty-first day you are talking about, so you willingly choose to hike up that skirt and forget the undershirt for that dropped v-neck on this special night of pumpkins and candy.
I digress. The real mask is the one we put on the rest of the 364 days of the year. Khakis, ties, dresses – the whole gamut of our clothed expectations, taboos and standards. Does that mean the ‘real us’ wants to trounce around town bare-midriffed and made up Halloween style? I would presume not. But the permission to let loose is very thrilling.
It’s that expressive urge, which boils up for months and months until – POP – the release. And why is it okay to break the usual guidelines? Well, for one, it is now a cultural norm to dress up, sometimes in a risqué way. The reasoning lies somewhere near the comically absurd racist-rationalization, “It’s okay, I have a black friend.” But the phrasing is a little different – “It’s okay, it’s Halloween.” Perhaps the better comparison is a more intense business-casual Friday at work.
Whatever the case may be, let the hair down or grow it out, find your Tarzan/Jane and enjoy the hell out of Halloween, because in no time you’ll be back in your Old Navy/Urban Outfitters costume for another 364 days.