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Are you "IN' to costuming?  Here are a few things anyone that likes to dress up as someone or something else should keep in mind.

Step 1: Things to Concider . . .

This is the time of year when many people, especially little ones, begin thinking of being someone other than themselves.  Of course I do not mean they are developing a dual-personality but, are thinking HALLOWEEN!!!
To find the perfect costume to fit the new you, a few things need to be kept in mind.

Step 2: Concider a Theme


Have a costume theme in mind.  One can go with the traditional such as Pirate, Bum, Ghost, etc. or not so traditional like famous personalities (ie. Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, etc.).  One thing to keep in mind however, it IS the PITS to have to explain over and over who or what you are like the unlucky guy that dons a suit and tie and has to explain over and over he is an accountant, banker or the like.

Step 3: Hunt for the Elements

Search ALL year.  The best time to find costume elements is when Halloween is FAR from people's minds.  It is also the cheapest time!  I volunteer to do a science fiction/fantasy convention decorations every February.  I have three PVC dummies to dress differently every year.  After finding out what the theme of the convention is, I spend all spring, summer and fall keeping my eyes open at yard sales and thrift stores for their's as well as my costume parts.

Step 4: Keep an Open-Minded

Be flexible.  IF you wait until the last minute, unless you are going to buy a pre-made costume from Walmart or elsewhere, remember you might have to go as something other than your first choice.  I was in a Goodwill recently, looking for things that struck my fancy and I was in the Halloween department.  A mother and her two school age girls were there looking through the racks of clothes and I heard the mother say, "You are not going to find something exactly like what was in the catalog!"  The mother suggested several possible ideas for the costumes available but the daughter didn't like ANY of them.

Step 5: Please Your Audience

Keep your audience in mind.  Dressing as the Grand wizard of the KKK and going trick or treating in Harlem might NOT be a wise idea.  Conversely, dressing as Boy George and going door to door in San Francisco might be extremely popular.  It can also be profitable.  Last year I attended an annual local community Halloween party where the host of the local cable's Friday night horror flicks was going to be master of ceremonies.  This guy's costume is sort of a vampire like suit something like Grandpa wore in the Munsters.  In my hunting I had found a half mask that looked like the guy so with the hospital scrubs I also found and carrying a skull I went as the master of ceremonies' brother the "Mad" doctor (see pic).  I won first prize, a $50 dinner for two voucher from a fancy restaurant and movie tickets.  The cost of my costume?  Five bucks!  Now I am NOT saying going dressed the way I did guaranteed my win but, I think it got me a closer look over the three pirates, two zombies and one ghost that were my competition.

Step 6: Be Inventive

Be creative.  This IS probably the MOST difficult thing for MANY people (those here at Instructables are the exception)!  It seems that fewer and fewer of us are using our creativity for anything other than keeping our drug use from being detected (and NO I do NOT use drugs)!  Example, this year's convention theme is Steam Punk.  I will be going as Barron Auto Baun Steampunk.  I got a plastic bike helmet and mounted a short spike on it, a paintball mask painted along with the helmet to match (shiny black) and lined with black nylon so my facial features are not so discernible, a long brown leather coat, a white shirt, Jodhpurs (puffy, Nazi-like riding pants) that started life as regular pants that were ten sizes too large and cut down and knee high canvas, zip up boots.  None of these items came ready made and if you were to look at them individually you would never imagine they would fit together.  Although I am still working on the costume, I think it will again be one of the best costumes around.

Step 7: Finally . . .

Well I hope you can use any or all of this document to improve you or your friend's Halloween Persona!
<p>One thing to c-o-n-s-i-d-e-r is Spell Check. My wife can't spell either. ;)</p>

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