Keeping costumes clean

Short skirts featured among many of the Halloween costumes this year whether or not they were appropriate to the costume or to dress code. Illustration by Smitha Gundavajhala.

Short skirts featured among many of the Halloween costumes this year whether or not they were appropriate to the costume or to dress code. Illustration by Smitha Gundavajhala.

Stephanie Chang

Short skirts featured among many of the Halloween costumes this year whether or not they were appropriate to the costume or to dress code. Illustration by Smitha Gundavajhala.

There is a very fine line between a costume that is just risque and one that is risking it all.

For Halloween, a bedsheet with two holes for costumes used to be enough to get candy. Nowadays, though, we see costumes that become increasingly skimpy. Less is not more.

This is an issue that has weighed on the minds of many students over the years. Sure, the stereotypical witch costume or scary mask is an option–for most people.  But for many girls, Halloween seems to provide the perfect excuse to wear revealing costumes.

Keep it clean. Students can have fun with their costumes, but they must remember to stick to certain boundaries.

Certainly, the definition of decency is ever-changing. Recently, though, the cringe-worthy costumes (the little black dress and heels that become a costume with the addition of cat ears, the too-tiny Tooth Fairy dress)  have taken center stage. Maybe in a few years, these costumes will be acceptable , but for now, here are a few guidelines that will stay constant throughout the ages.

How to know when your costume is indecent:

  • If it is breaking a school rule. This one should be obvious. The school rules have been put in place to ensure safety and efficacy throughout the year. If there were separate rules for Halloween, we would know about them. This is not only about violating dress code, but also about violating zero tolerance rules.
  • If it is not something you would wear to a family Halloween get-together. The point of a Halloween costume is to play dress-up and pretend to be someone different for a day. The repercussions of an improper costume can scar for life. Students wear these costumes to their classes. Teachers will remember your indecorous costume when grading your next essay.
  • If it is getting in the way of someone’s life. It is great that students are getting into the spirit and getting creative. However, when a costume gets elaborate to the point where it is disrupting someone else, it’s time to reconsider. We are not in elementary school anymore. We still have classes and work on Halloween. Life does not stop for your enormously distracting costume.
  • If it takes the character out of a character. When a nurse costume looks more like an escort with a stethoscope, it’s something to be concerned about. Little Red was never from the ‘hood, so why would that change just for Halloween?
  • If you don’t want pictures of you in your costume on Facebook, where your grandparents see it. Because they will.

It is not practical to have specific requirements, because those will quickly become obsolete.. Hopefully now students have a better sense of what is okay and what is not as they go trick-or-treating in the future.  A stitch in time saves nine. Wear tights and go easy on the fake blood before you make your elderly neighbors faint.