Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Costume Concerns, 2011 Edition

If you were following this lovely little blog last year, you may recall the great blogging debate I had with myself over what to make my children for Halloween.

You know, last August or so.

And it's that time of year again!! Well, at least it's that time of year costumes start popping up in stores, and since I would still rather browse hundreds of overpriced dress-up rags rather than do something productive like folding laundry, you, my dearest readers, get to come along for the ride.

First up, let me forewarn you that even though there hasn't been a blog post about deciding costumes since last October, it HAS been a hot topic of discussion here.

Kristina has gone through quite the list of what she wanted to be. Pirate, elephant (costume made by Daddy), bumblebee, princess (generic), pink flying unicorn (that really flies), bumblebee (again), Rapunzel (from Tangled, with wig), pink dinosaur, Buzz Lightyear, bumblebee (so she can sting people), lion, butterfly, bumblebee (yet again) and as of today (for the first I heard of it) mermaid were all on it for some length of time. Some I was a bit more discouraging of than others based on general availability, but it was her tendency to change her mind sporadically on whim that has me worried the most.

Now, back on her most recent bumblebee choice, I was getting rather excited by the prospect of dressing Adrianna up in a nicely coordinating flower costume (and even playing with the idea of me going as a gardener/beekeeper along with them!), and then became absolutely excsatic (no really, I do mean jumping up and down and squeeing with glee excited here) when I (quite accidentally, I assure you) stumbled across Gymboree's newest costume line.

What could generate such excitement? Why, nothing short of absolutely adorable perfect little tutued bumblebee AND flower costumes!

And although the girls have not had Gymboree costumes in the past, I have observed things like the very key bumblebee tights selling out in lightening speed in past years, so I went right for loading up a shopping cart with those goodies.

And then looked at the total.

$133.75 IS a rather ridiculous amount to be spending on costumes for my children (and that doesn't even include the undershirts (or like, snowsuits) I'll have to pick up as well since we live where it's COLD at the end of October right now and not in places like Oklahoma where Kristina almost got heat stroke her first time trick-or-treating) with money being as lacking as it is.

And really, if I'm going to go on a crazy credit card shopping spree, it really should be for things like that good pair of khaki work pants I've been eying (and maybe some non-toe-blistering cute shoes to go with) that fall much closer to the need category than a yellow and black striped tutu.

But it's such a cute black and yellow stripped tutu! And the flower one is just precious!!

My mother recently commented after I had been complaining about the truly abhorrent amount of crap people buy at Target that I never was much for consumerism, with perhaps the exception of clothes for my daughters.

And she is very, very right.

I know they're overpriced. I know Halloween costumes don't matter nearly to the degree I like to think they do. I know living vicariously through my children's tutus makes for a rather pathetic life.


My bank account says otherwise.

(My bank account often makes me sad.)

So, I did NOT succumb to the urge to buy them right then (or even just now, when I re-added them to the shopping cart to get the exact price), but rather took careful stock of my proceeding options.

I could (probably) squeeze enough out of the next couple of paychecks to cover the costume costs (assuming I can continue to dig up enough hand-me-downs to ensure my not needing to actually buy my children clothes for the upcoming cooler months) by Halloween. But then there's the big gamble over how long the largest toddler size tights would be available when funding was, and the still very valid point of kinda sorta almost needing other things to come out of that money (how much do I like shoes? I suspect I like tutus more.....) and that lofty goal of accumulating future savings and all.

I could spend the next two months scouring the interwebs and store sales for the best half-priced knock off bumblebee and flower costumes. I'm vaguely remembering Target usually having Halloween costumes. I could probably manage to get something at a discount when it's also on sale, that really might be a frugal way to go. Frugal is good, right? And lets face it, I'm certainly going to be seeing every single costume that store has many times in the month of October if school supplies in July and August is any judge, I might as well plan on using that exposure for good (instead of the usual evil: how will this help me take over the world? approach).

Or I could *gasp* attempt to MAKE my children Halloween costumes. Now this option does scare me a bit, since I A) Don't sew and B) Have no idea how to make a tutu. Also, I'm not sure whether I'd really be saving much cost wise when it's all said and done (at least not compared to the 'buy Target costumes on sale' plan), since fabric and the ruffley tutu stuff and whatever magical glue I would use to assemble them all cost money as well. I do distantly recall myself being crafty once upon a time, long ago... but that was when I didn't have children. I'm leery to take on decorating a birthday cake, creating TWO costumes from scratch would be biting of a lot in my humble opinion.

And none of these actually address the issue of her changing her mind!!

Today Kristina totally abandoned the bumblebee I thought we were fairly set on and went for a mermaid! A mer maid!!! Do you KNOW how skanky all those costumes look? Not to mention details like going from "gee, I think I could make a bumblebee by gluing yellow stripes of felt onto black sweats" to "uuhhhh, how do I make a fish tail??" real fast!

I'm also rather glad Adrianna can't really talk yet and I don't feel particularly guilty just picking something for her this year.

But next year.... next year could be quite the challenge if I have both of them going at me with an ever changing list that I still must logistically and financially coordinate.


  1. Well, you've proven you're good at decorating a cake, but I agree that making 2 costumes might be a bit much.

    I went quite a few years as a bunny, and I remember one year my mom made me a sack of jelly beans. That involved blowing up lots of small round balloons, cutting leg holes in a clear trash bag, and then having me put on the trash bag and putting in all the balloons around me. Then the trash bag got fastened around my neck region (but not in a choking way).

  2. Amazon has cheap bumblebee tights.