These young ladies are pretty seriously tricked out in their witch costumes— so well in fact I wonder if this was the inspiration for American Horror's season, "Coven", about junior witches.
When I was a kid costumes were usually homemade and not very elaborate. Little boys were either cowboys (vest, six-shooters and a star were little-boy attire) or hobos in their dad's old clothes. Little girls wore stuff they wore for dress-up, a mishmash of mom's cast-off clothes and accessories with (for one night only) makeup. Store bought costumes were considered lame as well as dangerous. They were made from a highly flammable combination of paper and quasi-cloth. Not recommended for wearing near jack o'lanterns (yes, we put real candles in those).
|"Retarded" may not be the same as "retardant"|
One year I did coerce my mother into sewing an elaborate Queen of Hearts costume. I was hoping to replicate the outfit worn by Betsy in "Betsy and Billy", one of a series of books by Carolyn Haywood about a little girl first published in 1939 (and still not out of print).
Over the years I've dressed up in earnest, in companionship (Princess to a very small Darth Vader) and in irony (Coco Chanel at the Lovely Boutique Where I Work). I've suffered through full-on rubber masks and the indignity of having to wear a coat over my costume while trick-or-treating.
Masquerade balls were quite the thing in 17th and 18th century Europe. Aside from elaborate costumes, a mask was supposed to hide your identity. Wearing a mask also lowers your inhibitions. Who would you be if no one knew who you were?
|Marie Antoinette hiding in plain sight|
Coincidentally this year I'll be in New Orleans for Halloween. Since Nola is a combination of Halloween, New Year's Eve, Fourth of July, Christmas and Valentine's Day year round this should be fun.