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Judging campus costumes on Halloween

Jess Shaffer | Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A sage movie quotation from “Mean Girls” once stated, “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

Once again, it seems that Lindsay Lohan’s wisdom is far from infallible.

Halloween is one of my holidays of the year. I mean, who can complain about free candy and the opportunity to dress up? Unfortunately for us college students, age appropriate etiquette forces many of us to give up our trick-or-treating ways. With our opportunities for free goodies dwindling, it is only logical that we instead use costumes to throw ourselves into the Halloween festivities. With the endless possibilities of grown-up dress-up, Friday’s wardrobe choices promise to cover the range of good, bad, hilarious and alarming.

As per the opening “Mean Girls” quotation, let’s talk about girls’ costume choices. You don’t have to be Miss Cleo to predict the onslaught of scandalous outfits in this weekend’s future. “Naughty” costume choices seem to be a collegiate Halloween staple. And my guess is that we’ve all been guilty of donning shocking apparel at one point or another. Or, at least most of us can admit to the temptation of taking a break from our normally classy attire. The mix of tenacity and bravery it takes to pull off that ultra-short, ultra-skimpy costume can be undeniably intoxicating.

But, honestly, what would Stacy and Clinton of TLC’s “What Not To Wear” fame say to your Catwoman outfit? Better yet, what would your dad say to the scantily clad pirate wardrobe option?

And then, the weather is always a concern. Considering last night’s first snowfall, that micro-mini skirt might not be the most prudent choice for an off-campus trek. So before you choose to don your most scandalicous outfit, be forewarned that your health (unfortunate colds, etc.) and your rep might take a hit. Remember: Lindsay Lohan isn’t always right, and Halloween isn’t always an excuse for salaciousness.

Girls are not the only Halloween revelers that need a reality check. Most boys seem to exist on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as Halloween revelry is concerned. They seem to either go all out, or to express a stereotypical apathy.

To the former, good for you. To the latter, muster up some enthusiasm. Stop leaving all the dressing up to the girls. Half-hearted costumes shouldn’t cut it. For example, wearing all black and being a body guard is lame. Similarly, wearing ND apparel and being a fan is equally pathetic. Unless you are dressing up as a Halloween Scrooge, half-hearted and nonexistent costumes won’t suffice. Additionally pimps and gangsters are equally uninteresting. For once, please shy away from boring, stereotypical, and lackluster outfits.

With this aforementioned list of concerns and complaints, perhaps some costume suggestions are in order. For boys, you can’t go wrong by dressing up as a kissing booth, an easy and adorable option. Knights in shining armor won’t fail to sweep the girls off their feet. And for the extra committed, there’s always full on body suits, like a gorilla or a chicken.

Girls, don’t be afraid to opt for cute over scandalous. Creativity is always appreciated. Maybe ditch the overused costume ideas, and come up with something original. Or add twists to common ideas. Ensemble costumes, like the Spice Girls or casts of movies, are delightful and fun ways to coordinate.

Ultimately, it takes all types to contribute to Halloween’s wonder. It takes a mix of racy apparel, cute classics, and creative geniuses to bring out every side of the holiday. And with four days until the big day, there is plenty of time for students to get their Halloween spirit into full gear. But with the combination of sugar highs, fright fests and costume creativity, there’s not much to complain about this fall tradition.