There's a chill in the air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, and the wonderful smell of fires burning. It must mean one thing: Halloween is upon us! The blissful thirty one days of October mark my absolute favorite time of year, and in keeping with tradition, we are once again throwing our annual costume party.

I'm sure many of our guests begrudgingly don a getup each year for our frightening fete, but I can't think of a better way to get in the spriit of things than to dress up for a night. Although it's always a fun endeavor, there are some years that my creative juices just aren't flowing and I need to turn to other sources for inspiration.

So, in case you're stumped, here's a look back through the years of costumes past. Some scary, some silly, and some more wild than others. We hope some of our costumes can give you a good idea or two if you're still searching for your costume this year. Enjoy!

2010: Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love

2009: Cat Burglar

It was the year of the serial burglar in Old Town Alexandria. What better way to poke a little fun at someone who was breaking into homes, yet making time to drink people's wine and eat their food before making off with their treasured possessions.

2009: Beekeeper and Her Bumblebee

2009: Devil Dog 

Yep, Oliver really had two costumes that year. As a first time "dog mom," I just couldn't help myself.

2008: Victorian Vampiress and The Karate Kid

2007: Marie Antoinette

Let them eat cake! (Or donuts.)

2007: Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn

Alex went all out for this one. He hunted eBay for a 20 year old Indians jersey, had it custom stitched, made the horn rimmed glasses with skull and crossbones, and even had me shave triangles into the back of his head to really nail Charlie Sheen's character in the movie Major League.

2006: Fred and Velma

In an homage to my favorite childhood cartoon, here we are as the famous Scooby-Doo super sleuth's. "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!" Classic. Without me in the picture, Alex looked a little bit more like a porn star that I would have liked.

2005: Tooth Fairy

Note the bag, embroidered with the words "teeth" on my waist. I learned this year though that a wide set of wings doesn't work well in a house as narrow as ours.

2005: Shriner

In Old Town we see our fair share of shriners in the various parades and events within the city, and Alex loves them. So he decided to be a shriner in 2005 to celebrate their philanthropy and tiny cars. He went all out and eBay was his best friend. He scored the fez in one auction, the jacket and cumber bun in another, and the pants in yet another. The fez, jacket, and cumber bun were all 100% authentic and vintage. People loved this costume.

2004: Cleveland Indian, The Witch, and The Bumblebee

Alex threw together his "costume" from a bunch of game used uniform parts from 1995 Indians players. I think it was sort of lame. Mel sure made a cute bumblebee that year though.

2002: The Stormtrooper

That's Alex basking in the glory of his true nerdry. This costume actually won first place in our apartment's best costume contest, which won us one month free rent. That was more than $1,250 back then. Not too shabby!

As you can see, we've had a lot of different ideas and costumes over the years. Some good, some slightly less creative, but all a lot of fun. What are you going as this year? Do you try to coordinate with friends or your significant other, or do you do what you like and go at it alone? Or, dare I say it, is Halloween a holiday reserved for the kids?

Update: Check out our costumes for Halloween 2011. Alex as a Cleveland Browns player and Wendy, going all out, as Tippi Hedren's character from the Hitchcock movie The Birds.

Comments 7


Josh Shaffer
10/6/2011 at 6:40 PM
" Alex looked a little bit more like a porn star that I would have liked" he he he
Me too, Josh. Me, too. ;-)
10/6/2011 at 9:40 PM
Alex I remember going to a CLIENT meeting with you in that full Stormtrooper costume--and you couldn't sit down because of the codpiece!
Oh do I remember it, that was AMAZING. It was a meeting at the National Parks Foundation. I blame Jason for this whole debacle, that's for sure. He told me the day before that I should absolutely come to work dressed like a Stormtrooper and that everyone would be dressed up at the meeting. Well, they weren't.

I still tell this story to people today. I think there were about 20 people in that meeting, and everyone else was in normal business wear except for the nerdy software developer.
10/6/2011 at 10:14 PM
Hey Wendy, great costumes! I still haven't decided what I want to go as, this year. I had started to collect vintage pieces to make a Mad Hatter costume, but I'll never have time to finish it by Halloween. All I've got are a pair of funky pants (that need modifications), and an overcoat (that also needs work). I have none of the other accessories.

Unrelated: I was wondering though, in the photo of you as the Tooth Fairy, is that antique clock yours? I'm a huge clock collector and restorer, so I was curious to know if you had more info/pics of it.
Thanks JC! A Mad Hatter costume could be so amazing, but I know what you mean about needing time to really make it work. Maybe next year? :-)

Yep, that's our antique grandfather clock pictured behind me in the tooth fairy photo. We purchased it off of eBay several years back for a steal. We were told it's a French Morbier movement inside an American made case. But we bought it because I loved it! It's currently not working - about a year ago one of the weights fell off the chain. We're trying to figure out if we can repair it or if we need to call in the experts. We'll share more info on it but would love to hear from you if you can tell more about it from the photo.
10/7/2011 at 6:08 PM
Hey Wendy, it definitely looks like a Morbier (also called a Comtoise Clock), and if so, it's indeed French. That said, it's a very good quality clock (as far as clocks go, meaning you didn't buy a piece of junk), and is worth repairing.

Since it's a weight driven clock, it makes it easier to repair (you don't need specialty tools to work on it).

If you or Alex are interested in repairing it yourself, I could give you assistance. However, I've never worked on a Comtoise clock (I really want to own one someday since I'm a fan of them), so I can't give you *specific* details about the mechanism (every type of clock is different).
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