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Halloween costume planningAs a die-hard Halloweenie, you know “it’s never too early” to start planning for the Big Day; but when should you actually start? Dependent upon he complexity of your Halloween plans, the answer could range from a mere month to developing a year-round hobby of it. Most of us fall somewhere in-between even though Halloween tends to sneak up on even the best prepared. One day you look at the calendar and have 9.5 months left, then suddenly you’re rushing around the night before to put together a costume. With so many variables to think about- costumes, decorations, food, treats, haunts, new horror movies, etc.- it can be easy to forget some crucial elements until the last minute. We’ve put together a guide that will help you easily begin planning a killer costume now so you can spend October having fun.

Decide on Your Costume: Make this all-important decision now so you can concentrate your efforts. If you’re having trouble deciding on just 1 costume, try to narrow it down to characters with similar traits. For instance, most super heroes are muscular and wear bodysuits, Jedi wear robes and carry light sabers. This will still allow you to focus, while having some leeway until you are ready to decide.

Money: Yep, C.R.E.A.M. The most obvious place to start whether you’re planning something huge like a Collector’s Edition Darth Vader costume, an elaborate homemade costume or just your standard $100 “ultimate” costume. Squirrel away a few bucks a month and your wallet will barely feel a thing come October.

Hair: Wigs are the standby for costuming, but nothing beats authentic hair for realism. Hair grows at an average rate of .5″ per month, so with 9 months prep time you can add about 4.5″ to your current length (although factor in small trims every 6 weeks to keep it looking healthy). Facial and body hair grows at very different rates for everyone, but most men can whip up some Wolverine chops in a month or less. Alternately, if your hair is already too long and you want to cut it, just plan for a haircut a week or so before Halloween. Some hairstyles, like mohawks, will require both growing and a haircut.

Body: New Years resolutions to hit the gym are easily broken, but dedication to a costume may be the incentive you need to make it happen. Whether your Xena costume requires bigger muscles or you need to drop a few pounds to be a more convincing Jack Skellington, take your time and do it safely. Starting as soon as possible will allow you to make small changes in your diet and lifestyle that will be easier to stick with. For a less permanent solution, investigate your prosthetic and padding options.

New Skills: Napoleon was right; it’s all about the skills! Would you be convinced by a Neo or Agent Smith that didn’t perform at least a little martial arts? Every good costume has at least one ability associated with it, and you’re going to seem much more convincing if you can actually perform them. It may be something as small as learning a couple magic tricks or even becoming a decent swordsman to become Captain Jack Sparrow, but it will sell your costume.

Obtaining Difficult to Find Items: It’s called “limited edition” for a reason. If you wait until October to find that 1995 Boba Fett Don Post helmet that you need, you’ll probably only end up with a crappy substitute. Make a list of every item you think you will need, and any items that can’t be obtained at the store every year around Halloween should be planned for now. This especially includes vintage items and custom made pieces. For many costumes and accessories you can usually find quality fan-made replicas on eBay: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matrix, every anime and Manga character imaginable, and even a lot of TV shows are represented. Start watching for your rare items now, and you’ll have time to locate the perfect ones for your costume.

Accents, Dialogue & Presence: Humans are sight-oriented creatures and our first impressions of a costume will definitely come from the outfit and accessories itself. After that first glance, though, it is the intangible aspects that will make your character come alive. We’ve all seen badass costumes acting out of character, and although it may be funny, that’s probably not why you’re spending months preparing a costume.

When dressing as a character from film or TV who has an accent, getting that accent down will make a huge difference. Copy what you hear, and Google your desired accent to learn a few pointers. Perhaps even more important, though, is presence. This can be an elusive concept, but the first step is to try method acting. This will effect your facial expressions, your timing, body language, choice of words, and how you react to situations. Become your character, and your costume will knock everyone’s socks off.

What are you planning for this year? If you’ve got a tip for long term Halloween costume prep that we didn’t mention, please let us know in the comments.

Posted on January 18th, 2007 in
Halloween Costumes by Lauren

Well boils and ghouls, you made it through the holidays. It’s the beginning of the year, and a whopping 9.5 months until Halloween. It might seem like you’ve got plenty of time to prepare, but there are actually 2 time-sensitive online offerings that you need to check out before January 15th.

Corpse Solar LightFirst, Fright Catalog is offering 20% off your total order, using coupon code FC20. It’s the off season, and a lot of products are not currently in stock, but now is still a good time to stock up. We just purchased the Solar Corpse Light, which we were enamoured with last Halloween, and are anxiously awaiting its arrival. Like you’ll be reading in an upcoming article, its never too early to start planning for next Halloween, and sales like this are excellent places to start.

Next up is Dark Candles, who is the “originator of gothic and horror themed candles for… people with dark and eccentric tastes”. Hey, that’s you! They have a limited edition set of holiday themed scents, aptly called Dark Holidays. The black “Midnight Mass” candle sounds like quite a mood setter, and there is also a matching body care line in the same rich scent. After January 15th these candles disappear… Via [Ghost Droppings]

Posted on January 9th, 2007 in
Halloween Decor by Lauren

The Jerk DVDThe Jerk Costume IdeaThis Navin Johnson (“The Jerk”) costume is really quite simple. All you need is an ashtray, a paddle game and a remote control, and that’s all you need. And some matches. The ashtray, and those matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And a lamp. The ashtray, a paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that’s all you need. You don’t need one other thing, not one- except for a chair.

Accessories are what make The Jerk costume really recognizable so don’t forget to get as much as you can. The costume itself is simply made up of a robe with white shirt underneath and white boxers/shorts. You can leave it at that, or you can go all out and add the black shoes and socks with black pants around your ankles. Just remember it’s a little hard to walk around with pants around your ankles, but if it’s a commitment you are willing to make, then go for it!

Add another dimension to your costume by reciting the monologue that Steve Martin so effortlessly gives. The entire monologue can be found here in text and you can watch the 4 minute clip in the video below.

Via [I Feel Pithy]

Posted on January 2nd, 2007 in
Halloween Costumes by Sean
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