Oh Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners reassured you that she was working on another post for October, and here it is! True, it’s not a terribly lengthy one, but it is particularly timely!
Dear Lady of the Manners, I have been told that it is rude to dress as a goth for Halloween, and I wouldn’t dream of doing such. However, my mother has informed me that Oct. 31st is the only day I will be allowed to wear makeup. Would it be out of line to incorporate some eyeliner and concealer into my costume? Am I being oversensitive? What is a confused babybat such as myself to do?
Respectfully yours, Kali
You may be a tiny bit confused and oversensitive, oh spooky darling. Incorporate the eyeliner and concealer! See if you can indulge in some lipstick and glitter!
Quite simply, it is not rude to dress as a goth for Halloween. Why, the Lady of the Manners’ own mother regularly dressed as a goth for Halloween, annually borrowing clothes from the Lady of the Manners’ wardrobe and requesting help with eyeliner and dark lipstick. (And because her co-workers knew about her daughter, Mom was often greeted with “Happy Halloween! You dressed as Jillian!”)
For that matter, the Lady of the Manners has posted a guide on how to dress up as her over on Tumblr, just in case anyone has an urge to do so. (And if you do dress up as the Lady of the Manners,please send her photos!)
The only way dressing as a goth for Halloween would be rude (well, tacky) is if you bought one of those slightly tawdry and awful (well, very tawdry and awful) costumes-in-a-bag from a Halloween store. You know the ones: the construction is dodgy, and the fabric is scratchy or of extremely poor quality. (And sometimes misspelled, because the Lady of the Manners has tragically seen “panne” velvet listed as “penne” velvet.).
If there aren’t plastic skulls liberally glued to things, then the costume-in-a-bag is a shoddy knock-off of a favorite fictional goth icon, with a few details changed so the costume manufacturer doesn’t get slapped with a lawsuit. The last time the Lady of the Manners took a glance at the “goth” costumes that were for sale, she found multiple versions of Lydia Deetz, and Morticia, Gomez, and Wednesday Addams, all with names such as “Red Gothic Bride”, “Mortuary Mama”, “Putrid Papa”, and “Gothic Darling”. Needless to say, the Lady of the Manners shuddered and promptly closed the browser tab.
(However, in the interest of complete honesty, the Lady of the Manners must admit that she does want this “The Haunt” costume, because she covets that sheer hooded cape.)
If you want to dress as a goth for Halloween and a goth costume-in-a-bag is all you can afford or have time for, so be it, the Lady of the Manners completely understands. But she also feels that if you want to dress as a goth for Halloween, then you should scamper off to your local thrift stores! Not only do they always have a wide assortment of black clothes (the Lady of the Manners has recently found black velvet skirts, ruffled shirts, and waistcoats at her local thrift stores), but the Halloween season is when those thrift stores put out racks of what they consider “costume” pieces, which are often dark-hued fancy or vintage items.
Finally, Halloween isn’t just a time to don a costume; it is also a day that allows people the freedom to express who they want to be, even if that means just indulging in darker clothes, eyeliner, or dark lipstick for a brief while. In fact, the Lady of the Manners doesn’t really wear a costume on Halloween, but instead takes it as an opportunity to be even more fiercely herself. She pulls out all the opulent stops with her wardrobe, adorns herself with more elaborate makeup and glitter than on a regular day, and wears an extremely fancy and possibly enormous hat. Well, perhaps the vampire fangs count as a costume, but perhaps they don’t. You never know.
So happy Halloween, Snarklings! The comments are open, if you wish to share your Halloween plans or tell ghost stories.