Elle is at that age where Halloween costumes start getting tricky, especially for girls.
For many 6th grade girls, dressing up isn’t as much about being a character and having fun as it is about looking pretty or stylish or cool. And in their desire to look pretty, many girls start leaning to the sexy side of Halloween.
I became aware of this sexy trend when I started going to the school Halloween parade and the 6th grade classes would pass by. The boys would walk by with lots of fake blood, gore, crazy wigs, and sports gear. And then the older girls would come by. While there were lots of babies and nerds and movie characters coming through, there were always your more adult costumes too – short skirts, high heels, fish net tights and lots of make-up. Who knew bees and lady bugs were sexy creatures? All this time I thought they were just bugs.
Anyway, I knew I didn’t want a sexy anything around this house, so we needed to find Elle a costume this year where she could feel pretty and feminine and creative, but not look sexy.
And we have Locke to thank for helping us meet our goal. He came up with our costume idea for Elle.
We were just sitting around the counter last year after Halloween, and Locke declared he wanted to be a snowman next year for Halloween. I loved the idea because I had never seen a snowman before as a Halloween costume. My wheels got turning and I decided that a snowman would be a darling girl costume. I proposed the idea to Croft, but she shot me down in a hurry. So then I moved on to Elle. After some coaxing, she went with the novel idea.
(For those of you worried that I stole Locke’s dream, don’t worry. The next day Locke forgot about his snowman desire and is Buzz Lightyear this year. He is a happy camper.)
I took advantage of Elle’s flexible homeschooling schedule, and included her on the design, budget, shopping, and construction of the original costume. Actually she and her grandma made part of the outfit during her weekly sewing time with grandma.
We got to work brainstorming the costume. We discussed ideas and Elle sketched her vision for the costume.
The main item to make was going to be the big, fluffy white tulle skirt we wanted. We bought lots of tulle at Hobby Lobby. The base of the skirt is just wide white tulle I found in the wedding section, but we added some white glitter and polka dot toile on top for some glimmer and shimmer. Elle cut the tulle into 50 inch lengths, and then she and grandma tied the strips with square knots on to a big elastic band.
We found giant snow-man buttons at Jo Anns Craft store. Elle sewed those on to a hand-me down white cardigan.
We bought a top hat at Partyland for under $3 and embellished it with some leftover tulle and an old flower clip Elle had.
She already had a scarf, gloves, black galoshes, and white leggings that helped complete the look.
She opted not to go with a carrot nose due to that “pretty” thing those 6th grade girls care about.Finally, we added some white shimmer make-up to her cheeks to add to make her look cold and snowy and beautiful.
As Halloween approached Elle started to question the snowman idea. She had never seen the whole thing together; she only saw the parts. She didn’t want to walk in the school parade because she was embarrassed by her costume. When I asked her more about her feelings she said, “I have just never seen a snowman in a Halloween parade before.”
But when it came time to dress up for the first time (a church party), she put everything together, and I could tell just by the way Elle looked in the mirror that she felt pretty and special. She was so proud to wear her homemade costume.
It helped that a group of teenage girls rushed Elle when we got to the church party to tell her “that is the cutest costume they have ever seen”. She looked at me sheepishly and I just whispered, “This is a lesson in trusting your mom.”
In the end, we were both really happy with our non-sexy creation. She was a beautiful snowman.