Of Goth and Halloween Costumes

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.

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8 Responses to Of Goth and Halloween Costumes

  1. Mischa Mischief says:

    Is the “penne” velvet served with vodka sauce?

  2. Lady of the Manners says:

    One would hope. 😉

  3. Nicki says:

    I too want that sheer hooded cape! 😀

  4. I personally use halloween as a day to NOT dress spooky for once! Often looks of colors and crazy make-up (also often in bright colors). Last year I was Hatshepsut (nobody got it, lol), and this year I’ll be Anna from Frozen!

  5. Jenny says:

    As Halloween rapidly approaches, I’ve received the usual barrage of “Hey, it would be really funny if you dressed up as a ‘normal person'” and “Look, I dressed up as you” from people who mean well, but could do with a sense of humour revamp. I, personally, don’t like to wear costumes either. I would much rather spend the day in an outfit that I love and that I’m comfortable in than spend it in a costume (especially as most of the costume ideas I’ve considered in the past would require explanations). I’ve also just had a friend ask “Oh, can I borrow some of your clothes? I want to dress as a goth” *deep sigh*
    I loved this article <3

  6. Nyx Shadowhawk says:

    There’s definitely a difference between dressing like “those freaks that wear black all the time,” (which would be offensive), and saying to your Goth friend “hey, can I raid your wardrobe?” My mother often wears my clothes for Halloween!
    I have no patience for cheap costumes of any kind.
    I’ve seen that sheer hooded cape, or ones like it! My mother decided it would be easier to make one, so we did. It worked pretty well.

  7. TheRedhead says:

    I usually love, love, LOVE making costumes for Halloween (I love costumes and sewing) but I just didn’t have the time to make myself one this year.
    But I did sew a simple pirate outfit for my toddler, who looks mighty cute in it.
    So this year, I shall be going as a “dapper goth”, as my husband and friends call it: white button-down shirt, black tie, and black skirt with striped stockings and stompy boots.

  8. Fal says:

    “Penne velvet” made me giggle. And agree that simply buying inexpensive black basics and some inexpensive dark makeup would be much better than a costume-in-a-bag. All the drugstore makeup brands have a black eyeliner and a burgundy lipstick!

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