Saturday, October 30, 2010

Guest Post: The Nine Most Costume Inspiring Stories

Welcome Gina from Fantasy Casting, who wrote the second guest post of this week. She has some awesome thoughts, so thanks Gina for sharing!
note: Also, click on the links in her post, they lead to more pictures!

As Halloween grows nearer, each of us is looking for costume inspirations in every possible place. I, and my fellow book nerds, are often looking to the stories and pages that we cherish for costume ideas. So, this year, I present to you the Nine Most Costume Inspiring Stories.

However, as nobody wants to receive blank stares on Halloween night (a la Josie and Guy in Never Been Kissed - fast forward to the 4:40 mark if you need to watch the video for reference) we often end up relying on stories and books that have been turned into movies. With a movie version of your beloved character, other less bookish friends will have a visual point of reference. So, in reality, I present to you the Nine Most Costume Inspiring Stories That Were Turned Into Popular Movies.

I will tell you up front, I don't have any Princess stories or fairy tales on this list. You can come up with those all on your own, and really, they aren't all that creative. You can go as Princess Fill-In-The-Blank and your guy can go as Prince Charming. Next year, you can be a different princess, and he's still Prince Charming. Not fun, ladies. Let's spice things up a bit, shall we?

1. Peter Pan by JM Barrie
Between our hero, the forever-child Peter Pan and his supporting cast; pirates, Indians, lost boys, Wendy, Tinkerbell, mermaids and the rest of the Darling family, there is a nearly endless supply of costume ideas. And, as every Halloween connoisseur knows; anything with tights and short skirts is an automatic best seller. Plus, anything that lets you dress up your little fairy princess thusly:

is a total winner in my book.

2. Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Harry Potter is excellent for three reasons: 1) it is instantly recognizable 2) it is easy to put together a group of almost any size 3) it doesn't require anybody to dress like a skank. You could sex it up if you wanted but on the whole, every character has a family-friendly getup. An extra bonus: you probably don't have to buy much to make the costume work. You probably already have the white button up, black skirt/pants and a cardigan.

3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alice, The Queen of Hearts and The Mad Hatter have all long been favorites of the costume-wearing fandom. This year, we add a new element to the mix, as Tim Burton's version gives adults choices for these costumes as well. I went as Alice when I was 8, and the costume was as pristine as any 8 year old's costume should be. There have always been the overly-sexy versions, especially of Alice, but now we have some adult and teen costumes that are decidedly not childish, but are also not trashy.

4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
This is another story that blends the three great costume needs: family friendly, makes a great group, instantly recognizable. And, like the Harry Potter and Alice costume sets, you can easily adjust the size of your group; just a few of the main characters, or add in lots of peripheral characters like munchkins, monkeys, guards, etc.

5. Gone With The Wind By Margaret Mitchell
Gone with the Wind is an excellent choice for couples costumes because it fulfills both her desire to be pretty and dramatic and allows him to skip the tights, makeup and wigs. Plus, he can reasonably carry a weapon without ruining the authenticity of the costumes.

6. Where's Waldo? by Martin Handford
These are easy, perfectly identifiable, funny and almost never done. I think I've seen one person as Waldo in my whole life, and it was hilarious. Because nobody thinks of it- but it is brilliant. And talk about comfortable... jeans, t-shirt, hat. And you probably already have it all.

7. Dracula by Bram Stoker
Tell me, is there any more ubiquitous costume than vampires? Adult vampires, child vampires, baby vampires, sexy vampires... the list goes on and on. And while vampires have spun off in a zillion different directions; they wear leather (so do the female vamps) they disguise themselves as bikers, they look like aristocracy, they sparkle, but I think we can all agree that Dracula is the most famous, and likely the first one thought of when anybody dresses as a vampire.

8. X-Men by Marvel Comics (created by Stan Lee)
OK, so this one might be outside the standard "book" concept, but I think we have to acknowledge that comic books are increasingly influencing our culture, our reading and our viewing habits. Of the Marvel Comic universe, X-Men are, I think, the most costume friendly characters. The reasons? They don't require masks (I hate masks- your face always feels like it's suffocating and you can't eat anything all night...blerg) and they never look like pajamas. Let's be real- Spiderman costumes always look like you're wearing Spidey jammies instead. Plus, with X-Men, you can go several ways: For instance, if you are dressing as Wolverine, you can go the ultimate geek route (yellow and blue spandex) or you can be a movie version (black leather and bada--ery) or go for the wife-beater tank, jeans, super sideburns and a cigar. Versatility ensures that nobody else at your party is wearing the same outfit.

9. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
This makes my list just because I think EVERY set of twins needs to dress as Thing 1 and Thing 2 at some point in their lives.Seriously- how cute is this:

So, there you go, internet. The nine greatest costume-inspiring stories. You now have no excuse- there are plenty of costumes that are cute, easy, identifiable, comfortable and make you look smart. Because you got the idea from a book.

Gina blogs over at Fantasy Casting where she spouts her opinions about who should be cast in the inevitable movie versions of all of our favorite books and stories. You can contact her here.

1 comment:

Thanks for the comments! I read every single one and try to reply, either on your blog or another comment! They make my day!

As of 1/17/11, Book Infinity is an awards-free blog. My schedule is busy as could be, and I don't have time to follow all the rules to pass them on. But I really do appreciate the thought, thanks so much for thinking about me!