Halloween Questions are less boring in April, right?
April 18, 2013 10:11 AM   Subscribe

I am going to a "Halloween" party in a couple weeks. I own this nurse dress and this nurse cap. In them I look like a realistic, traditional, matronly nurse. I would like to look like a ______, ______, and/or _______ nurse. How do I weird this costume up?

It's in a DIY space / gallery and will likely be attended by artists, promoters, drag queens, hipsters, art school students, tumblr celebrities, queerz, club kids, and other assorted riff raff. Not exactly some sort of James St. James underground orgy of in-over-our-heads hedonism, but not a fancy dress party in someone's living room, either.

I am extremely broke right now, but can afford/borrow/mop basic craft supplies. I have a friend who can do basic alterations for me. The dress is a little big/loose on me.

I'm not interested in a cliche; "Sexy Nurse" or "Zombie Nurse" is out. I need an idea like Civil War Nurse, or School Nurse at Satan's School for Girls, and ideas for how I'd pull that off. My current best idea of "Nurse Ratchet" (a play on the modern slang definition of ratchet and the character Nurse Ratched), bedecked in neon fishnet and mile long fake nails, but I am a little uncomfortable with it due to the weird racial overtones.

I'm a petite Latina who wears glasses (I have black catseye glasses that work for vintage looks plus a million other colorful pairs of oversized Ray Ban knockoffs). I have zero shyness about my body (and this is one one of those safe-for-all-gender-expressions kind of parties, not some gross Spring Break mess where I'm going to get groped by bros) so the "No Sexy Nurse" ban is about avoiding lameness, not preserving modesty. My personal wardrobe is generally either "hyperactive supergirly girl hopped up on candy and Sailor Moon" or "crusty bike punk soaked in black metal occultism and genderqueer androgyny."
posted by Juliet Banana to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total)
Rave Nurse: have a bunch of quick-draw lightsticks (or maybe throw them into empty, large syringes?), a bandolier of (empty, for practicality purposes) water bottles, and then just some candy kid accessories to top it off.
posted by griphus at 10:14 AM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Nurse Shark: Put a dorsal fin on your back and maybe add some sharp teeth and flippers.
posted by xingcat at 10:15 AM on April 18, 2013 [17 favorites]

Also you could probably get someone to nail some large platforms (or a series of small platforms, I forget how this is done) into a pair of nurses' shoes and paint the sides with the Dancesafe logo or something.
posted by griphus at 10:16 AM on April 18, 2013

If you can get some white cat ears and a fake white tail, then those props + the cats' eye glasses = "Hello Kitty Nurse".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:20 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about going as a vintage black and white nurse photo? Opaque gray tights, gray makeup on your face/neck and arms, vintage styling and your catseye glasses. (I am assuming your hair is dark enough to look black.)
posted by purpleclover at 10:24 AM on April 18, 2013 [13 favorites]

You could do Nurse Ratchet from Futurama's hospital for criminally insane robots.
posted by steinwald at 10:27 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

you could go as hellooooooo nurse!.
posted by koroshiya at 10:56 AM on April 18, 2013

Steampunk Nurse. Add a white petticoat or 2 (thrift shop), belt (military-style canvas w/ lots of beltholes), lace tights, perhaps combat-type boots, feather in the nurse's cap, and ideally, goggles, etc.

Steampunk costume thread on ask.me
posted by theora55 at 11:03 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Slutty the nurse uniform up a bit (bare midriff) get some black pantyhose and boots, slap on a Star Trek insignia and you could be mirror universe Nurse Chapel.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:06 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Soak the uniform, soak your hair. You're a Wet Nurse.
posted by dywypi at 11:18 AM on April 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Combine it with some nice wizarding garb and go as Nurse Pomfrey from Harry Potter.

I'm loving the Nurse Shark, Steampunk Nurse (you absolutely need some scary-ass foot long bronze syringes, however), or Wet Nurse (although you may have to use "fake" damp).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:39 AM on April 18, 2013

Maybe cause I've been playing it recently but a Steampunky/Bioshock Infinite nurse could work. Get your hair done up all Gibson girl, put on baby-doll makeup and big spooky khol eyes, carry scary-looking brass devices, wear freakishly impractical knee-high heels, white elbow length gloves with "Healthy Soul/ Healthy Body." written on them. Give off the vague impression you're in a cult. Carry a medical bag full of old timey powders and vials.

Failing that, I almost feel like you'd want to buck the trend and show up as a perfectly researched 1940s Nurse - which I think would be mostly hair.
posted by The Whelk at 12:21 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, oh oh oh - Star Trek TOS/Space nurse. Pointed ears, matching stockings, big 60s style makeup, odd little "alien" sparkly stuff around the eyes and arms, plus you could carry around an iPad and it would still work.
posted by The Whelk at 12:26 PM on April 18, 2013

I came in to say you should get some deely-boppers and go as a "bee nurse" but I'm really loving "Nurse Shark" now.
posted by JoanArkham at 12:59 PM on April 18, 2013

Add a tool belt and be Nurse Ratchet?
posted by obol at 2:21 PM on April 18, 2013

What if you went in drag as a sexy male nurse?
posted by en forme de poire at 2:57 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Or as a dude in drag as a female nurse.
posted by griphus at 3:54 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm thinking maybe a nurse from a Far Side cartoon. You have the glasses for it, and if you could figure out a beehive style hairdo and Sixties makeup, plus maybe some sort of weird prop, it might just be teh awesome.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:49 PM on April 18, 2013

Are you going with anyone? If so, maybe some kind of twist on this photo? Like reverse your positions so you (the nurse) are the one actively doing the kissing?
posted by MsMolly at 6:14 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

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