Coolest Costume … What’s Yours?


Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays, in part because of the free candy. My friends and I always went to the rich neighborhood in town in hopes of getting king-sized candy bars, and it usually worked. I “saved” my candy and hid it under my bed for when I really wanted it. But, by the time I was ready to finally eat it, the candy had either already melted or turned white and discolored. I guess it’s better to enjoy what you have in the moment.

Even more exciting than the candy were the costumes. October presented a crafty challenge to think of a costume that would top the previous year’s get-up. Check out this costume contest. The costume categories are “Green,” “Pet,” “Kid and Baby,” “T-shirt,” “Sci-Fi,” and my favorite, “General Awesomeness.” Here are some of the contestants’ costumes.

Growing up, my mom made what I like to think were “generally awesome” costumes. I once dressed up as:

— A singing California Raisin. I wore a big, black, stuffed garbage bag and black-tinted glasses, and held a microphone.

–A very scary looking troll with blue hair. (I was once mentioned in my hometown newspaper for having 365 trolls … yes, I had an affinity for these so-ugly-they’re-cute creatures.)

–A tube of toothpaste. I wore a felt costume that said “Crest” down the front of it, and topped it off with a lampshade on my head for the cap.
–A hot pink Crayola crayon with a felt cone on my head.

–A strip of dot candy. (I cut out two large pieces of cardboard and then cut Styrofoam balls in half and spray painted them. I glued the Styrofoam to the cardboard, then tied some string to the cardboard so I could wear one piece in the front and one on the back.)

–Other years I dressed up as a flapper, a 50s girl, a doctor, and Alice in Wonderland. This year I’m joining some friends and dressing up as Madonna throughout the ages. A dozen people could dress up as Madonna and all have completely different costumes …

Have any fun costume ideas/stories? Share, share, share!

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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