If you are entering a contest or are really into Halloween you may be willing to sacrifice comfort for the sake of a costume, but most people don't have that resolve. Uncomfortable costumes are quickly abandoned thus defeating the purpose of having a costume. If you want a costume that you'll be able to wear for the duration of a Halloween party or other event, ask these questions before finalizing your choice:
- Will you get through the door? It's wonderful to be able to make a dramatic entrance in a great costume, but that requires that you can make an entrance at all. I was at a costume party for which a guy had constructed a shower around himself. It was a very clever costume except the pipe holding the shower curtain couldn't make it into the door at the party. He had to completely get out of it and reassemble once inside. That probably wasn't the first impression he hoped to make after all that work. Consider the doors where you will be as well as how you will fit in a car, bus or train if you need one of those to get you where you are going.
- Will you be able to walk? If a costume restricts your ability to walk you are likely going to scootch yourself to a spot and stay there most of the night which could limit your fun.
- Will you be able to sit down? Some costumes look great when you are standing up, but you can't sit down in them either because it will ruin the costume or it is physically impossible. Costumes made from large cardboard boxes tend to have this problem. Some box-based costumes are quite clever, but if you think you'll want to sit at some point you may want to leave the box out for recycling and go with a different option.
- Will you be able to eat or drink? If you are just going to be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters a costume that covers your face is fine, and in cold weather may be quite welcome. However, if you are going to a party you will likely want to enjoy some food and drink. Most party goers ditch full-face masks quickly.
- How will you go to the bathroom? If you are only making a brief appearance it may be okay to be trapped in your costume, but if you will be at a long event you should think about how you will deal with inevitable biological necessities. Don't be like my friend in college who had to frantically have someone cut him out of a duct tape bikini he had created over his jeans.
- Is your costume primarily defined by a prop that you are likely to put down? Sure you came up with a clever sign for your Occupy Protester costume, but once you get tired of carrying it your costume is gone. Props are great as an added touch, but they shouldn't define your costume.
For quick and easy costumes, most of which are far more comfortable than the things described above, check out my list of 40 costume ideas here.