Handmade Costumes : Beetlejuice & Lydia
First off, I want to welcome [my] [insert cutesy relationship label] Alex to the blog! He and I decided to go as BJ&L for the second time. Admittedly, this year we wanted better (non-phone) pictures and a chance to do better makeup and add specific costume parts. Our costumes cost about $50 each because there were many items… I… already had, haha.
In my Beetle Deetz
post last month, I explained my affinity for Lydia Deetz and the film Beetlejuice. Lydia was influential for me as a child, particularly with her style and how she learned to embrace being strange and unusual.
So last year I had this black Nordstrom-label sweater cape and black floppy hat that inspired me to go as Lydia. Unfortunately the hat I had turned into a monstrous floppy monster on my head, and my makeup was rushed. Sufficed to say, I was not satisfied. On the other hand, Alex won $50 at a bar last year for his costume. We only had to buy a white jacket and pants from a thrift store, an “old man” wig from Spirit Costumes, and clothes paint; I already had the tie, the white button-up shirt and the makeup for him to use. I studied stage makeup for theatre years prior, so I was very excited to perform the temporary cosmetic transformation once again.
Only this year, I used spirit gum to tack on (his old War Hammer) fake moss — it’s amazing how it helped the authenticity! Alex has a narrow face and head (where as Beetlejuice does not), so the addition of the moss added much needed (for the character) bulk. Otherwise, everything was just re-used this year for his costume — no cost on Alex’s part!
For me this time around, the hardest component was to find a replacement hat. I found it nearly impossible to find a large, black, flat-brim, non-floppy straw hat. I combed through lookbook, polyvore, pinterest, google, ebay and amazon for a hat that wasn’t astronomically priced. Finally, I bit the bullet and invested in this hat
because I can wear it plenty of times after Halloween. I like to consider the overall use of items before building costumes.
The reactions to our costumes both years have been really fun — even just going to a grocery store for party favors or walking around neighborhoods, we got compliments galore! People were especially into yelling things at Beetlejuice, which made us both a little uneasy at times (depending on the person). There were younger kids who weren’t familiar with the character that were a bit spooked by him, but we often overheard other kids and adults taking up conversation about the movie and what it meant to them. The best kind of creative Halloween payoff is when your costume sparks good discussion.
How was your Halloween? Ours was pretty spooktacular.
BLACK WIDE BRIM STRAW HAT BY SAN DIEGO HAT COMPANY; VINTAGE BLACK OVERSIZED VELVET BLOUSE FROM RED LIGHT PORTLAND; VINTAGE BLACK VELVET & MESH PANEL MAXI SKIRT MODIFIED FROM DRESS TO SKIRT FROM GOODWILL; BLACK LACE FINGERLESS GLOVES MADE FROM OLD TIGHTS; VINTAGE LARGE BLACK RING FROM THREE PENNY MERCANTILE; STAGE MAKEUP BY BEN NYE