10/31/17: Back in the sixties, Halloween costumes were not the modern marvels of engineering and fashion (and expense) they are today. No. We wore garbage, and liked it. First, came the “ventilated” plastic masks that smelled weird, made everyone sound like they were speaking into a pillow, and would never line up with your actual eyes. If you loved a TV or movie star, Farrah Fawcett or Donnie and Marie, to name a few, you didn’t dress like them. You attached toxic plastic to your face and put on an acetate costume that tied behind your neck, and let me tell you, you felt fabulous. You can’t tell in the photos because our faces were obscured, but we were positively beaming in there. There was no attention to detail, no attempt at reality, no beautiful mermaid makeup, no folding transformers equipment. We happily wore the awful costumes we carefully picked out from the local general store, and we all carried the same plastic pumpkin with the handle that cut into your fingers every year until we somewhat wistfully aged out of the system. By the mid-seventies, everyone was dressing as hobos and gypsies, and the terrible plastic masks and pumpkins were all but gone. For the record, I still kind of miss my stupid plastic pumpkin. I always associated it with fun. And sugar.
Just to drive home the shocking horrendousness of the costumes children wore, I thought I’d do a side-by-side comparison. Then and now. And if your little upstarts have the nerve to complain that their costumes aren’t legit enough, show them this post. That’ll learn ’em!
Go check out all the vintage costume horrors at the online Halloween Museum, whose website inspired this post!