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Ask a Staffer: Halloween Costume Hacks

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The countdown for trick-or-treating has ticked into the final hours, parties are less than a workday away, and I still don’t have a costume for my toddler or me (and something tells me I’m not alone). After my daughter protested both the bumblebee and the cow, I turned to my colleagues to find out about their most memorable and creative Halloween costumes. My kid is too young for most of these ideas, so I’ll likely turn to her hand-me-down, pullover pumpkin outfit. Or toss on her mini Peyton Manning jersey with a couple smudges of eye black. Heck, maybe I’ll moonlight as good ol’ number 18, too. When in Denver, right?

Lindsey Koehler, deputy editor
Around age nine, I was a mummy. My mom and I tore a white sheet into strips and burned the edges over a candle. I put on a pair of old-school waffled long underwear and sewed on the strips, some loose, some tight, and wrapped the loose pieces around my hands, feet, and head.

Amanda Faison, food editor
Sometime in middle school, maybe 5th grade, I was a roller skate. My dad took two refrigerator boxes and duct-taped them together. He added wheels from a garden cart so it would move freely. I painted it purple, added a yellow lightening bolt down the side, and laced it up with thick ribbons. We also cut out a circle so I could see and arm holes so I could trick or treat. To wear the costume, I stood in the middle and simply walked (the wheels did all the work). It was cumbersome, but since it always snowed on Halloween, it helped keep me dry and warm.

Kasey Cordell, senior editor
A few years ago, I was Hawaiian Punch. I wore a lei and a pair of boxing gloves around my neck. Done. You could, of course, add a grass skirt, coconut bra, Hawaiian shirt, boxing belt, etc. But, it only takes two items to make the point.

Amanda Croy, associate art director
Holly Golightly is an easy one to assemble from stuff you already have—pretty much any solid black dress, hair in a bun, cat eye makeup, pearls, tiara, and long gloves. A long cigarette holder, coffee, or pastry are all optional.

Dana Pritts Smith, art director for 5280 Home
In 2008, I was a “swing state.” I wore a little dress and a sash across my chest that said “Florida.” My friend did the same and was “Ohio.”

Robert Sanchez, senior staff writer
I dressed up as a duck once. One of my talents is being able to talk like Donald Duck.

Luc Hatlestad, editor-at-large
One year in college I put on all my clothes backwards, so when people asked what I was, I could say, “I’m leaving”. Then, when I was about 24 and wearing tortoise-shell glasses full-time (instead of contacts), I had several people independently tell me that I looked like Clark Kent. So for Halloween that year I wore a blue suit and a fedora. I had a Superman T-shirt underneath and pinned my dress shirt open so you could see the “S”. The cherry on the sundae was running a bent-up wire coat hanger through my tie to make it look like I was in mid-transition from Clark to the Big Guy.

Natasha Gardner, senior editor
My mom wasn’t into commercial Halloween, so we always had homemade costumes and they were usually of some historical female. I was Sacagawea, Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Brontë, and, of course, Molly Brown.

(Read past “Ask a Staffer” columns)

Follow assistant editor Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.

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