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Halloween Backlash: 2012 Was the Year Parents Got Sick of the Over-Priced, Overly-Revealing Costume

Despite being inundated with pre-Halloween images of “sexy” costumes for kids, I didn’t actually see any costumes like that on kids yesterday, did you?

I attended our elementary school’s annual costume parade, where I saw about 600 kids in costumes, and I didn’t see a “Sexy Big Bird” or a “young pimp” in the bunch. I also went trick-or-treating with my kids last night, and I didn’t see anything other than age-appropriate, adorable kids on a sugar high.

The most grown-up looking costumes I saw were the popular Monster High costumes, but it seemed like every Lagoona Blue and Draculaura costume had been modified…with pants. And that layer wasn’t just because of the cold weather: One of my friends noted on Facebook that her daughter went as Abbey Bominable but “I made her wear pants under the ‘dress’ because it really looked more like a shirt.”

I also saw more home-made costumes this year than I have in the last few years. Is it the economy? Maybe. Lots of families don’t have $60 laying around to buy pre-made costumes and all the accessories. Or is it that we’ve all finally reached breaking point and don’t want to spend that much money on a poorly-made costume that doesn’t even involve much fabric?

I asked my readers to share photos of what their kids were last night, and the results were awesome. I  wish I could have included all the photos here, but I could only use the first 25 that I received. Check out these super-creative, warm, comfy, and (mostly) homemade costumes below–and file away the ideas for next year!


  • Rosie the Riveter 1 of 25
    Rosie the Riveter
    "My 15-year-old sophomore, dressed as Rosie the Riveter."
  • Audrey Hepburn 2 of 25
    Audrey Hepburn
    "This is my nine year-old dressed as Audrey Hepburn. She read, and was inspired by, the picture book Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo. She spouted off facts and quotes from the book all night."
  • Dr. Bunsen Honeydew 3 of 25
    Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
    EPIC WIN. Please tell me that someone else was Beaker.
  • Dinosaur 4 of 25
    Dinosaur
    "Here is our two-year-old dinosaur enthusiast, wearing a costume her Gram made. The stripes were painted by me!" wrote this mom. "She refused to wear the awesome feet, but at least she stayed in the rest of her get-up!"
  • Box o’ Puppies 5 of 25
    Box o' Puppies
    "Made the wheelchair little more fun for Halloween!" wrote this creative mom.
  • Pumpkin Guts 6 of 25
    Pumpkin Guts
    "This is my 10-year-old's costume choice. Her hair is just a ponytail wrapped with yarn. Didn't even have to wash out hairspray. We googled creative costumes. Her other pick was a refrigerator, which was cute but would have been hard to maneuver. Also, we live near Texas A&M. The orange color clothes were hard to find and on clearance. And the cashier held them up and informed us we were getting the wrong color. Silly college rivalries."
  • Baby Ghost 7 of 25
    Baby Ghost
    Adorable! This 4-month-old cutie's mom made this itty-bitty ghost costume.
  • Little Mermaid for the Whole Family 8 of 25
    Little Mermaid for the Whole Family
    This mom made everything except the Ariel costume (which still involved some layering).
  • Hello Kitties 9 of 25
    Hello Kitties
    I love assembled costumes like these.
  • Butterfly and Nerd 10 of 25
    Butterfly and Nerd
    "My oldest daughter just turned 11," wrote this mom. "She was a nerd, and a pretty cute one, I thought. The costume selection at the stores is just sad."
  • Olympic Gymnast 11 of 25
    Olympic Gymnast
    Super-clever costume for 2012!
  • Homemade and Comfy 12 of 25
    Homemade and Comfy
    Phantom of the Opera, Flying Purple People Eager, and Error 404: Costume Not Found.
  • Red Riding Hood 13 of 25
    Red Riding Hood
    "It's a red cape with a bridal slip for the dress," this mom wrote. "Just cut a slit down the opposite side, restrung the ties, and fastened them over her shoulders as straps." Clever! And, really, who's ever going to wear that giant slip again?
  • Roar! 14 of 25
    Roar!
    You can tell the kitty in the background is totally scared of this big cat.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 15 of 25
    How to Train Your Dragon
    "These are my three kiddos. Mini-Me has wanted to be Astrid since LAST Halloween. When I discovered there was to be a Marshmallow of tiny age this year I decided to have him match as a little Toothless. Then of course big brother Chunk had to join in the family fun (with a little convincing from mom.) Took me two weeks to make them (including the week where Marshmallow didn't want to be put down because of a cold/teething) but I got them done morning of Halloween. They loved them."
  • Cat and Football Player 16 of 25
    Cat and Football Player
    "My nine-year-old daughter was a cat, complete with a dress I recycled from last year's pirate costume. Added a pair of leggings for modesty, leg warmers & fingerless gloves for a little warmth, and a $5 tail & ears. She was happy & comfortable! My four-year-old son was a football player...nice and simple. He asked to wear Halloween socks & carried a Dollar Tree football to complete his costume."
  • Ghostbusters (Covering Tube Feeding Equipment!) 17 of 25
    Ghostbusters (Covering Tube Feeding Equipment!)
    "Here is my medically complex, almost 2 two-year-old who needs tube fed around the clock," wrote this mom. "His AWESOME homemade Ghostbuster costume allowed us to still feed him Trick or Treat night but in style! His proton pack is covering his feeding backpack."
  • Spartan King Leonidas 18 of 25
    Spartan King Leonidas
    Spartan king from some battle yada yada. All the pictures I found online showed mostly naked muscly men--no thank you. The breast plate is a modified GI Joe costume. The rest I made entirely with an iron and hem tape. Too lazy to sew!
  • Zombie Cheerleader 19 of 25
    Zombie Cheerleader
    Good, scary fun!
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors! 20 of 25
    Rock, Paper, Scissors!
    You all win.
  • Zombie Kids 21 of 25
    Zombie Kids
    Always a classic.
  • Gnome 22 of 25
    Gnome
    "I like to incorporate Jenna's stroller/wheelchair into her costume," wrote this mom. "As you can see, she was not terribly impressed." Well, I'm totally impressed!
  • Boxers and Refs 23 of 25
    Boxers and Refs
    Fine, it's not homemade. But I loves me some themed family costumes. Plus, what parent doesn't feel like a referee most of the time?
  • Um…Something 24 of 25
    Um...Something
    "This picture is of my four-year-old in one of his made-up costumes," wrote this mom. "It's Halloween everyday at my house! He comes up with some doozies!"
  • Zombie Justin Bieber and Dragon-Slaying Knight 25 of 25
    Zombie Justin Bieber and Dragon-Slaying Knight
    DUH, of course girls can slay dragons.

What were the best costumes you saw last night?

Read more from Joslyn at Babble Pets and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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