Ideas for dessing up as a cranky old lady for halloween?
October 16, 2013 2:42 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to be that stock cranky old lady with the horned-rim glasses for halloween. She's often in cheesy comics/cartoons, but I don't know where she originates from. Anyhow, suggestions for how to do this?

I know, this should be an easy costume but I'm just not great at these things.So far I plan to wear:

- bathrobe and horrible loose clashy nightgown
- maybe big, low hanging boobs, maybe not
- hair in curlers
- horned-rim glasses preferably with gemstones


- Is there some way to give my reddish brown hair a blue/purple tint?
- What do I wear for makeup?
- What cranky things can I say?
- What props would be good (I often see her with a rolling pin, or cigarette, or a drink)

posted by kitcat to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maxine? I know you weren't asking for links but I thought it might help.
posted by peep at 2:49 PM on October 16, 2013

This lady? Her name is Maxine, and I think Hallmark invented her.
posted by zoetrope at 2:49 PM on October 16, 2013

I'd draw some eye wrinkles and have maybe a blue eyelid and very pink cheeks.
posted by Swisstine at 2:51 PM on October 16, 2013

Response by poster: I suppose I was thinking of her. But there is also this lady.
posted by kitcat at 3:07 PM on October 16, 2013

don't forget the fuzzy old-lady slippers.
posted by xbonesgt at 3:17 PM on October 16, 2013

Best answer: Loose socks that bag around the ankles. Practical, outdated shoes.
Tissues in sleeve of baggy formless outsized cardigan sweater.
Cat litter stuck to various parts of your outfit.
Hat with moth holes in it.
Some sort of ancient perfume.
Eyeglass chain for glasses to hang out on when you're not wearing them
Gum and mints that you hand out to children

This is basically my mom who has embraced this role. Have some good jokes to tell people.
posted by jessamyn at 3:18 PM on October 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

All of the above, plus:

sloppy pink lipstick.
posted by celtalitha at 3:21 PM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For inspiration, you need to track down the original Magic Bullet (the blender) infomercial and watch for Hazel. Trust me. (My brother and I would intentionally stay up late to watch the Magic Bullet infomercial just to see her.) I know at least parts of it are on YouTube.

Go around yammering about your bitch of a neighbor, Gladys, and how her begonias are encroaching exactly 2.5 inches onto your property.

Your husband's name is Hubert and he is absolutely useless at everything.

You will want to be wearing a pair of socks, one of which has the elastic all shot, so they schlubbily sit at different heights. You will pair these with slippers ("house shoes").

If you want to add a touch of special effects to this, put a fake mole on your chin (should have 1-2 hairs coming out) and draw spider veins on your legs.
posted by phunniemee at 3:21 PM on October 16, 2013

Best answer: 1. You should be able to find temporary hair sprays or dyes in a blue/purple tint. This might not give you the realistic 'old lady' hair you're after though. Because of your darker hair color, you may need a wig to obtain those colors.

2. I would wear regular make-up and go heavy with it. Bright (and gaudy) blues/purples for eyeshadow, pink cheeks and bright (red) lipstick applied thick and with some coloring outside the lip lines. Bonus points for lipstick on teeth.

3. "Stop that racket!", "Pull up your pants.", "Damn kids.", "In my day we respected elders.", "Get a job!",

4. Some props I think would be hilarious: Old-Style Phone (to call the police on neighbors), BonBons, Cigarettes, Wine Glass and my favorite (but more difficult to pull off) a whole lot of stuffed animal cats (or little dogs).
posted by stubbehtail at 3:27 PM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you've got some binoculars, you could pretend you're spying on the neighbors.

More inspiration for the look, although she wasn't really cranky, could be Mimi from the Drew Carey Show.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:17 PM on October 16, 2013

hair chalk for the colour - has the added bonus of making you look a bit dusty!

and the far side for inspiration
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2013

you def need a crooked ratty old wig...bonus points for wig cap (ask at the wig store or halloween shop...they are made of pantyhose and cost a dollar) peeking out around the hairline.
if you get a new wig (short and curly-ish is probably best) you can make it ratty pretty quick by rubbing it around on the carpet...maybe a little hairspray and repeat.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2013

...and skirt tucked into support pantyhose is always a nice touch...pack half a roll of toilet paper and one of double-stick tape and you can trail it from your shoe all night (occasional re-application prob necessary)

filling the feet of panty hose with dried beans makes great low-hanging boobs.

get spirit gum at the halloween store and those fake cigarettes with the red foil on the end (they look really real..also are cheap. remove foil, cut cigarette down to a butt, re-attach foil. use a q-tip to remove a spot of your lipstick near the side. apply spirit gum to cigarette butt (one side only) and clean spot on lip...allow to mostly dry then tap both glue surfaces with a finger (this makes it extra sticky) then apply will stay there all night and be hilarious.

maybe a pageant sash that says 'Miss Secretary's Day 1962'?

a flask of 'gin' (water), a martini glass, a small jar of olives, and a box of toothpicks in your purse?
posted by sexyrobot at 5:01 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

You could be carrying the neighbors' kids' ball
posted by homesickness at 5:41 PM on October 16, 2013

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