A Passion for Costumes
Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved to dress up for Halloween. In those days, our mother would cut eyeholes in a bedsheet for a ghost costume, or dirty our faces with ash from the fireplace to be a hobo. Over the years, I continued to enjoy playing a role every Halloween, even if it was just to hand out candy at the door.
The photo is me dressed as a gypsy at an office Halloween party when I worked at Bank of America in the 70s. (Apparently, mimes were a thing then.) Office parties today just aren’t the same!
This is a photo of me and coworkers at another one of our famous office parties at Bank of America. Witch costumes are pretty easy but I added a serape for a south of the border touch!
Making Costumes for My Children
I’ve also used my sewing skills and made costumes for my children when they were little. One favorite costume was a mouse made from gray flannel, complete with mouse ears and a long tail. (I borrowed the forms for the mouse ears from a pair of plastic Disney Mickey Mouse ears!) The tail was formed over a piece of thick cording. Even though my kids are grown now, one of them still has that mouse costume! This photo shows me in the witch costume and my daughter dressed as Raggedy Andy. The yellow “hair” is made from thick yarn sewn into a felt bowler hat.
The Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration
It wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the Mexican festival called Dia de los Muertos (in English, Day of the Dead). In 2009, my daughter had moved to the predominantly Latin American Mission District in San Francisco, where Halloween was secondary to Day of the Dead in popularity. I appreciated the beauty and solemnity of this traditional celebration, and took some photos with my little digital camera. The photo below is of the processional along Harrison Street to Garfield Square, where ofrendas, or altars, had been arranged to honor deceased loved ones.
A few years later, my husband and I decided to dress up and participate in the procession, and so my daughter did our Day of the Dead costume makeup. We enjoyed the experience but sadly found that the formerly solemn celebration has become a party event for the non-Latino crowd who now inhabits the Mission District. I hope to travel to Mexico someday and see an authentic traditional Dia de los Muertos celebration for myself.
I hope you enjoy costumes and dressing up as much as I do. I will continue to update my blog to include more special occasion costumes. Please bookmark and check back often. Thanks for visiting!