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Another costume question
October 10, 2012 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Please help me win an office Halloween costume contest. First prize is 3 day in Cabo!

Help me, Metafilter, and I'll get a tan! I've been invited to participate in an office Halloween costume contest. First prize is 3 days at a luxury resort in Cabo. (The company does luxury travel.)

I need something (maybe topical?) awesome ... I'm used to edgier or couple's costumes and for this kind of thing am at a loss. For real Halloween, I'm Ann Romney and my date a bondage-y dressage horse. But this is a solo contest, and steering clear of politics is probably wise.

Me: female, 5'3" blond. I am not above playing the cleavage card but "slutty contract worker" is right out.

Thank you!!!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Is Ruined Spanish Fresco Monkey Jesus too edgy?
posted by Rock Steady at 1:06 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine once donned a nightstand and went as One Night Stand.
posted by Leezie at 1:11 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The key to things like this is knowing your judge(s).

Who is judging the contest? Is it your boss? Your co-workers? A secret tribunal?

If you know who will be judging you guys, play to them and their sense of humor/interests. That will give you a leg up.
posted by phunniemee at 1:12 PM on October 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


This jetpack costume from a thread from earlier today is awesome.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:14 PM on October 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think you should either go with something relevant to the work that you do or travel (an airplane? a full body x-ray scanner? ), but headless Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite Halloween costumes ever.
posted by inertia at 1:17 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phunniemee gives good advice.

I'm the type of person who makes my own costumes every year - sewing, make-up, even appropriate hair colour via dying. I'm really into it. In my experience, this works super well with my friends and I regularly win any costume contests we have in a more intimate setting.

However, I entered the work costume contest one year with my awesome, friend-award-winning Snow White costume and... nothing. I didn't even get into the final and my costume was damned good. The vote was based on anonymous ballot. The winners? A group of guys who rented teletubby costumes who were known as the funny guys. The runners up were a man dressed as a woman (TOTES HILARIOUS...) and a pregnant nun.

So... yeah. Funny is good for the office. Making fun of yourself is good, particularly if you have a quirky personality. Topical for the year is also good, but not too meme-y or niche. Obvious retro costumes are also vote-catching.
posted by urbanlenny at 1:20 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


How many people are potentially involved, and how into Halloween do you think your coworkers are?

I know somebody who won a costume contest last weekend based on being the only one who actually tried. She was half of a somewhat unusual couples costume that, while creative, is not really a Winning Contests Forever level costume. So, if it's more like that sort of thing, as long as you really go for broke and don't just run out to the Halloween Superstore for a sexy cop getup, you're probably fine.

I'm really envious of anyone going as Big Bird this year, but that's probably too political for you.

A (female) friend of mine went as Mr. Rogers a couple years ago and it was pretty amazing.

Do not do one of those "hold X prop and speak with a British accent" sort of costumes. You will not win. That is not a costume, that is an impression.

Probably also don't do zombie anything, unless your coworkers are still somehow oblivious to the zombie craze. There will either be a million zombies, or you will be the only one dressed as a zombie because everyone else will be over it.

It should be something that anyone who sees you will immediately know what you're dressed as, even if they are not terribly intelligent or aware of pop-culture. Keep it simple. Don't go as a celebrity you don't look like or something where you have to be intimately familiar with a specific subculture (e.g. don't go as anything from Dr Who if you are American).

The best costume I have ever seen in my life was a group dressed as the Golden Girls. I saw them from across the street and immediately knew. I know you said no groups, but that is the sort of thing you're going for. People should be able to see you from across a room, know what you are, and think it's clever.

What about something travel related? An old-school stewardess? Ship captain? Palm tree? Is there something topical within your industry that all your coworkers will think is clever?
posted by Sara C. at 1:21 PM on October 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Put some curling gel in your hair, stubble up your face, add some eyebrows, a red t-shirt and some jump pants, sunglasses, a mic, and you can be Sammy Hagar. Carry a guitar if you can manage it.

If a man dressed as a woman gets nods, do the totally unexpected and go as a woman dressed as the Red Rocker. Fits with the Cabo theme, anyway.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:33 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I work at an office where Halloween is a BIG DEAL, and I'll nth Phunniemee's advice.

Our prize is decided by voting and it's usually not the most elaborate, or most carefully handcrafted costume that wins. Instead, our recent winners are usually wearing costumes that are really embarrassing, or make a nod to some sort of inside-joke around the office.
posted by tinymegalo at 1:33 PM on October 10, 2012


To follow up on Sara C, how about a Pan Am Stewardess? The show was on not too long ago and you can have fun looking for props like Train cases or those big, round suitcases.

Here's one that's slightly slutty, but I think you can do better.

Here's a step-by-step guide.

Whatever you decide, I'd love to see a picture.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:34 PM on October 10, 2012


I need something (maybe topical?) awesome ...

I misread that as "tropical" and immediately thought of Carmen Miranda. Identifiable across the room, plus you can ask the DJ to play "Chica Chica Boom Chic", and you can have a lot of fun with the fruit (oh God, not bananas in the breakroom again...).
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:40 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for ideas so far! Haven't worked with these people long, don't know inside jokes (if there are any) and it doesn't seem to be a particularly hip or meme-y workplace. Pretty sure judging will be done by ballot.

I do have a decent start on a Hello Kitty costume, maybe I should work on perfecting it....
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 1:41 PM on October 10, 2012


Oh and gah, I forgot that I have a near inexhaustible supply of LED lights and can make LED fabric stuff controlled by Arduino, etc. But this isn't a geek office and I'm not sure how blown away they'd be.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 1:44 PM on October 10, 2012


Lights, you say?

Vegas. Go as Las Vegas.
posted by Sara C. at 1:46 PM on October 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, the Eiffel Tower.

Either Las Vegas or the Eiffel Tower.
posted by Sara C. at 1:46 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


To follow up on Sara C, how about a Pan Am Stewardess?

Or how about the Orbit "Got a Dirty Mouth?" pitch lady? It has the advantage of being something funny to begin with, gives you an opportunity to bribe folks by giving out gum, and is a reference most people will get.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:55 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dress as the CEO of the company - almost a caricature of the CEO. It gives you license to make fun of him / her and people voting for you have the additional motive of teasing the boss.

Take this with a grain of salt if the CEO would hate that...
posted by jmevius at 2:19 PM on October 10, 2012


Chatted up a few people around the office ... last year's winners dressed as flip-flops and "chicken suit with boobs" and "Mormon dude" are remembered as HIL-arious. So it's random, and I won't sweat winning.

But I do have a golden brown long cotton sheath dress and am thinking about Sara C.'s suggestion of palm tree. I can outline fake palm fronds in LED lights for a headdress, vaguely reminiscent of that old Corona beer Xmas tree commercial. That's kind of Cabo-ish ... any suggestions to make that a more awesome costume are much appreciated! Thanks again.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 2:54 PM on October 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Instructables is a great web site for ideas and detailed instructions.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:07 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can outline fake palm fronds in LED lights for a headdress, vaguely reminiscent of that old Corona beer Xmas tree commercial.

Well, no woman is an island, but I think you could add a sand-colored flare to the bottom of your dress to represent the proverbial desert island. With a small beach chair? "SEND HELP" written out in lights?
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:57 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's kind of Cabo-ish ... any suggestions to make that a more awesome costume are much appreciated! Thanks again.

Make yourself a stiff sand (sandpaper? sand glued to a fabric top of a sea-blue tutu?) ballerina type skirt and put little figures lounging on the beach around your palm tree. There's a bunch of silly plastic stuff here at this cake decor site if you scroll down.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:12 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the best Halloween constumes I've ever seen was worn by a trick or treating kid who was about five. He came to the door dressed as a toilet.

His parents dressed him in white, put a large cardboard tank around his head with a cutout for the face, and the cardboard toilet bowl (with a white pillow case) was where the candy went.

If humor goes over well, and it's not too out there, it might be a pretty neat idea.
posted by tatiana131 at 9:52 PM on October 10, 2012


I think the key is the dyed blonde ringlets, but Sammy Hagar might be a good Cabo-themed costume.
posted by benzenedream at 12:38 AM on October 19, 2012


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