Halloween Costumes and Kids

When I was a kid (many Halloweens ago), kids costumes were pretty basic.  Most were basically painted trashbags or mini tarps paired with masks. It was either that or some kind of a a "kit" costume, or one Mom helped us put together with things we already had, and maybe some help from a make up kit. Or at least that is how I remember it. If your mom could sew, you may have something cooler, but our mom wasn't exactly a seamstress.

This year was the first year I had to help kids pick our Halloween costumes. Their mom was making costumes for actual Halloween (they have a ":family theme" every year), but the girls needed costumes for Autumn Camping Weekend and Zoo Boo with us too.

I researched some Halloween costume sites, found the one that was running the best promotion, and I sat down with each girl and the laptop. Each girl had a price limit for their costume.

The six year old didn't know what she wanted to be, so we just started looking at kids costumes. After flipping through a few pages she tells me to look up skeleton bride. We found one she liked pretty quickly.

Then it was the nine year old's turn. At first she wanted to be the same thing she was being at her mom's, but once we looked at the costumes she changed her mind. After some looking around she had me look up mermaids (she loves the show H2O). Most of the costumes that came up were for little kids (like Ariel costumes) or grown ups  (aka: waaaaay to skimpy for a 9 year old). We eventually found a costume she liked, but it said it wouldn't be available until the next day.  Not a problem. The promotion went through that day, so I would just wait a day to order.

The next day I went online to place our order, and the costume was now listed as out of stock. I placed the order for our other costume (and a few things we needed for our costumes), and went back to the drawing board. After hours of searching, I had to resign myself to the fact that the only store that sold the exact costume she wanted  was the store where it was listed as out of stock. No one had it on E-bay or Amazon. Her dad and I would have to pick another costume.

After some initial searching, we only found "Little Mermaid" costumes, or costumes that were just too childish and/or small for a 9 year old, Mark reluctantly agreed to look in the tween costume category.1) I was surprised by how many regular adult costumes came up under that category. 2) Some of the costumes labeled as "tween" were just as skimpy as the grown up options.  After another hour or so, we found one, in her size, and just bought it.

I bought both girl's costumes "a size up." I would normally do that with any costume I buy for me, as they usually run small. In their case, I wanted their to be plenty of room to layer warm clothes if it was cold on the days we were trick or treating. If I had to alter them a little: so be it.

The skeleton bride costume fit the bill. There was room for a sweater under it, and it was a little long. That was okay. The mermaid costume pretty much fit the 9 year old perfectly. There was room for clothes, but not for too much layering. That was a bit shocking to me. The nine year old is a string bean. The large shouldn't have been that form fitting. She by no means should have been swimming in it, but it was still sad to see that they already start sizing them small for that age group. Lets make fourth graders feel self conscious. Never mind that the teen years will already be brutal. Lets just start chipping away at their self esteem now.

I picked their additional accessories my self. My thought was to make the prices of their costumes even. Mermaid was more than Skeleton Bride. The mermaid basically just got hair extension. The Skeleton Bride got nails (mainly because her fingerless gloves were a bit big), hair extensions and a dark flower bouquet.

Neither costume required a make up kit (yay!). My real make up did the trick very nicely.  Although the mermaid did require glitter, and if you do not want that nasty gel glitter, be sure to check out the little kids princess costume area. It should be there.

Costume planning was fun overall. I am already looking forward to next year.


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