Ready for Halloween? |

Ready for Halloween?

Preston Utley/Vail DailyAn ugly shirt at the Minturn rummage sale.

MINTURN – Some people may associate Labor Day with stowing away their summer whites, but for the Queen of Halloween, Labor Day is costume deadline. Halloween is the one night a year you can be anyone you want – or any thing. By Labor Day, I want to be diligently working on the ensemble I will wear for what has become my personal New Year’s Eve.

For others like me – who already have a list of possible costume ideas – the gigantic rummage sale in Minturn this weekend is a treasure chest full of costume inspiration. And lucky for ghosts and ghouls on a budget, everything is half-priced Saturday and Sunday.Try not to be distracted by rummage-sale clutter. Look for key pieces to build your costume around. While searching for tall, white moccasins (I’m going as cupid this year), I noticed a pair of platinum knee high boots. Made of a quilted silver, these kickers would be perfect for an Austin Powers Fembot costume, or you could use them to dress as one of the female rockers from the 1980s’ “Jem” cartoon. Are you more Hologram or Misfit?If no shoes are catching your eye, next head to women’s clothing, specifically to the pajama and nightie section. Sleep-wear makes excellent costumes for two reasons: It can be very comfortable or very sexy (for those of you who continue to be a black cat each year.) Upon my brief perusal, I spotted a white, silky wrap-around robe – ideal for that heavenly (or Victoria’s Secret) angel in all of us. There was also a black lace negligee. Think vampire or wicked witch.

On the more comfortable spectrum, a whole rack of vibrant ’70s Muumuus beckoned me. Toss on a red curly wig with that oversized Hawaiian print dress, accented by a large wooden bead necklace, and you are one sex-deprived Mrs. Roper from “Three’s Company.” Other costume winners in the women’s section included, a turquoise kimono and green snake-skin pants. Those pieces translate into Geisha girl and Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Axl.In the men’s department, jackets gave me creative impulses. You can put anything under the sun behind the belted flaps of a trench coat for a “full-of-suprises” Halloween outfit. Throw on a leather bomber, goggles and flannel scarf and fly to your costume ball as the Red Baron. Retro ski outfits never get old in a ski town. But don’t wear just the one-piece as your costume. Be innovative – slip on a pair of rabbit ears and go as a ski bunny.

Don’t rule out non-clothing items as costume props either. Shag rugs, picture frames and toys all have their place on Halloween night. A shag rug could be made into a barrister wig. Pose as the Mona Lisa behind a large frame or be a pirate with that plastic sword.Imagination is key when hunting for costumes at rummage sales. But if all else fails, you can always dress up as a cowboy. Western wear is in abundance at this second-hand sale.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or Vail, Colorado

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