Halloween at Harriton


Photo Credit: Unsplash.com


November 1st; a day which, for many of us, marks the beginning of the holiday season. Or maybe, for those of you who are taking things a little slower, November 1st is simply a day closer to Thanksgiving. Whichever way you look at it, the holiday that took place only hours ago has most likely slipped your memory by now. While you might still see some straggling Instagram posts belonging to those who waited to post until the morning after, the unsurmountable excitement surrounding Halloween is gone. Why is this? On December 25th, the events and gifts of the day prior are still being discussed. Actually, it is not uncommon to hear the question, “what gifts did you get?” reverberating throughout the hallways until at least January 15th.  So why does all talk of Halloween diminish as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the 31st? Well, whatever the reason may be, I am here to breathe life into the dying discussion of Halloween. 


While the question of what candies you collected may have perished in middle school, or even before that, costumes have remained a universally beloved aspect of Halloween. Mercifully, there is no age cap on wearing costumes like there is with trick-or-treating, so even disenchanted high schoolers can enjoy this aspect of what was once their favorite holiday. And, due to their undying popularity even in high school, it seemed only right that your favorite fashion critic should dive into what makes a good costume. Keep reading to learn if this feat was achieved at Harriton this year. 


While “good” can be broken up into several concepts, I believe there are a few key criteria a costume must meet to claim such a broad title. First off, a costume must be intricate and laced with details that show more than what one would initially expect. Of course, I understand the fast and frenzied nature of Halloween eve, the drama that always seems to follow group costumes, and the weather changes of late October. I am not saying that you have to plan out your costume days or even weeks in advance, but it is important to ensure that your costume does not reflect the amount of prep time you had. Another important aspect of any costume is originality, which is clearly subjective, as it is in many other circumstances. Of course, a costume can only be so “original” for it to hit the comedic, pretty, or gory markers one may be searching for. For that reason, even the smallest attempt at an original costume could go a long way. 


On that note, the first step in your costume decision-making process must be determining the category that your costume will fall under. There is the comedic category, which, these days, is made up almost entirely of large inflatable sumo wrestlers or dinosaurs. As there are movies and TV shows aimed at every age demographic, it comes as no surprise that character costumes have remained a ubiquitous favorite and a staple well into adult life. These costumes can range from elegant fairies to wizards and witches from the world of Harry Potter, Grease characters to Toy Story toys, and of course, Austin Powers’s favorite: fembots. Perhaps accredited to Karen Smith’s infamous line “I’m a mouse duh” from Mean Girls and Elle Wood’s famous bunny costume from Legally Blond, animal costumes, including polar bears, the Playboy bunny, cats, and more have made their way through the teen girl population, and beyond. The final and arguably most popular category, can be warmly dubbed the “traditional” costumes, or less favorably, the costumes everyone wears. I am sure you have all seen at least five devils and angels, vampires, sports players, or cowgirls/cowboys circling your social media over the last few days. Please, do us all a favor and select a costume from any other category. It never hurts to change things up. 


Given that Halloween has already passed, we have a lucky opportunity to see if anyone met any of the aforementioned criteria. Now it’s time to take a look at the costumes that have already splashed the screen of our phones and decide for ourselves whether or not they lived up to a good Halloween costume. Well, let me start out by saying this – I personally felt as if the 2021 Halloween costumes looked like they had been planned out a week prior. However, while almost all were versions of the same few ideas, I will admit that most were decently well done. Perhaps the main proponent of this idea was the multitude of fairy costumes I saw. While they were all similar in essence, consisting of a dress and wings, the articles of clothing which I just mentioned were unique in their own way. Each dress was slightly different, whether it was the material (silk to sheer) or the wings (small to big and even the occasional handmade) and topped with the differing sparkles and makeup I saw, each fairy, at the very least, looked well put together. It was clear that people were enjoying the holiday, and that is the entire point of costumes at their core. 


While I know that Halloween is now another 300-and-something days away, I encourage all of my readers to keep this article in mind as the chilly weather begins to roll around once again. As a high schooler myself, I understand the pressure of fitting in, especially at school. However, on the one night where it is encouraged to be creative and dress up as someone or something else, at least try to shake off the perception that we must look identical. For truly, your uniqueness is what draws others to you. And I promise, you will enjoy a night of fun and candy even if you aren’t dressed as a devil and angel. As always, stay tuned and stay you.