Not Sexy Halloween Costumes I’ve Tried and the Confused Reactions They Received

Weeping Mary

Halloween, as a young-ish adult, is generally about having fun, drinking, wearing tasteless costumes, and possibly sexing up the cutie with a (hopefully) fake head wound. That’s how we end up with sexy kitties, sexy doctors, and sexy Pikachus staggering down the street every October with a parade of Jokers, Wolverines, Scream masks, and zombies, all ultimately hoping for a spooky nooky (or spoopy noopy).

With so much sexy, I try to make it a point each year to keep things interesting.


In college, I took my work-study earnings, drove to the nearest dollar store, and purchased about a hundred packs of multicolored O-Cel-O sponges and safety pins. I was a pretty good seamstress, and managed to construct a hoopskirt using this sponge/pin method, and fashioned a corset in the same way.


O-Cel-O, call me, we could do great things together!

The good news: I was able to wear clothes under my creation, so I wasn’t freezing.

The bad news: Once it was pinned on, that was it. There was no taking the damn thing off without ruining it, which would have made the day I’d skipped that lab class to pin hundreds of sponges together a total waste. I put it on, and I kept it on. All. Day.

It rained; I was absorbent. My eight-pound gag-garment became a 28-pound gag-inducing garment, filled with Long Island rainwater, and I left the lingering scent of mildew everywhere I went, like a frat boy leaves a snail trail of Axe body spray behind, only less offensive.

Much to my dismay, very few people got the visual humor, and just complimented me on my unusual dress. With each, “Wow, that’s amazing!” I would reply, “I know; I’m self-absorbed!” and was met with blank stares until I explained the dress was made of sponges, which was followed by more blank stares, and the occasional, “Why?”

Chewed Gum

I wanted something low-key, because I was attending a show, and wanted to wear something that was creative, but not obnoxious. My hair was already pink, so this seemed like a no-brainer. Due to my natural housekeeping skills, I dug a crumpled-up bubblegum-pink dress out of the laundry, and grabbed a shoe to complete the look.

My shoe of choice was a clunky, worn-out running shoe. I stole some extra laces from my roommate, and wrapped them around my head the way one might wrap an ice pack around their head, if the ice pack were a clunky, used, worn-out running shoe. Again, I thought this would not be at all obnoxious.

I was met with greetings of, “Hey, Shoe-head!” and I removed the laces wound too closely to my Adam’s apple before the first act was over. When the oxygen returned to my brain, I decided to ditch the shoe-hat, and opt for a much more practical shoe-purse option, which didn’t at make make my belongings smell like feet.

Gum Costume

Cooling off them finger guns, because I’m clearly too hot to handle.

Weeping Mary Statue

Decking myself out in the robes of one of the most recognizable religious icons in history, and then pouring blood down my face turned out to be one costume that not only confused people, but also angered and offended them. I was, of course, delighted by this response, until a disturbing amount of people asked me, with awe, to bless them. They were not joking, and I take my commitment to character very seriously.

Somberly, I lay my pale, ceramic-like hand upon the head a particularly reverent young man, painted green, claiming to be undead. I lifted my blood-streaked face up to the heavens, and let the good Lord speak through me:

“Bless this zombie, oh Lord! For the day will cometh your son shall rise again as he, in all his undead glory! Amen.”

Weeping Mary

You have to admit, I’m pretty handy with a paper plate.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Moments After JFK’s Assassination

I had the perfect pink dress and made the perfect matching pink pillbox hat, splattered the whole thing with a mess of blood and latex brain matter, and carried around a piece of bloodied skull with me for the evening, which just happened to be one of those things I keep on hand, just in case.

Anyone younger than 25 didn’t know or didn’t care who Jackie O is, and didn’t know enough details to get the costume, and I quickly realized that when one describes a national tragedy in terms of what they thought was a comedic costume, one looks like an asshole.

The older people that did get it, and did find it offensive wasted no time in telling me so. Their disgusted eye rolls, and comments of, “Oh my God,” and “Were you even alive then?” were met with a general response of, “Too soon?”

Jackie O Halloween Costume

Pictured here sans skull fragments.

I admit, this one could fairly call into question my matter of taste, but as I discovered as the night wore on, the people that got it AND thought it was funny were easily the most fun people of the evening. Special shout-out to the man dressed as Frank Reynolds as Man-Spider, who, totally in character, climbed the scaffolding outside of the bar, only to fall unceremoniously to the pavement and pass out.

Now that’s commitment to character.



Sarah Louisa Burns

Author: Sarah Louisa Burns

Sarah is the writer and director of the upcoming feature film cult classic comedy Uptown Art, and the producer/writer/director (#foreveralone) of the web series True Story. You might also have seen her on late-night cable, typecast as a whore. When she's not writing, she's crocheting internal organs under the name An Optimistic Cynic. Tweet me @UptownArtMovie for some well-curated B.S.

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