At the time I answered b/c the adult costumes are for adult parties and most usually want that. Though not all of them are--you just have to look harder. Long black robes are still in style, if you want to be a midnight priestess or a professor from Harry Potter.
But this made me start thinking about the practice of Halloween. When I go into the store, I see all these costumes for children (infants and toddlers, girls 4-7). Parents in there purchasing a costume for a small child for 40 dollars.
When I was a kid, Halloween involved creativity. A child spent ages trying to figure out what they wanted to be. Things like A Kleenex box, a bowl of spaghetti, a baker--would emerge from their bright minds. One would wish to be Tinkerbell and a mother would take a coat hanger to make some wings, and use a long green hanes shirt out of dad's closet tied with a belt. Some gold glitter (or that cool glitter sparkle gel that we all loved in the 90s) and the child was set. I can't recall the last time I saw a costume that wasn't prepackaged and usually trademarked. I can't recall the last time a Box of Kleenex came to my door.
The older children--assigned to escort the younger one--thought they would win the battle and not have to go door to door. They lost to superior parental forces and spent an hour running around trying to come up with a costume. When I was in that role, we ran up to Walmart and/or a thrift store. We bought a white hanes t, tore up some jeans, and with a little bit of pink hair spray (that worked better on the tshirt than in my dark hair)--and a punk rock star was born!
Now most of the older kids come to my door as "a teenager". Halloween-no creativity required.
I reward the kids who I can tell have a handmade costume with more candy. Since when did it lose its creativity? The fun of Halloween was coming up with your "inner personality". Remember that show Daria on MTV? It suited me so well that when I found my thrift store green tweed and a plaid skirt--with my black combat style boots--everyone was very impressed. Those who know your personality know why you picked it.
Best Costume Prizes used to be the most creative, most detailed--now its the most expensive.
Parents and kids are missing out on this valuable bonding time. Mom and I on a search for a halloween costume--raiding attics for a suitable shirt, cutting out cardboard and painting whatever sign I needed. The child--not trying to achieve the same perfection as the Disney assembly line--but creating a costume that they thought was beautiful b/c they helped make it.
Of course maybe this was back in the day when the science fair looked childish as well. Before engineering fathers built the project in the garage and a child merely carried it in the next day.
I remember getting older as well. Halloween costumes at 15, 16, 17 when I wanted to be sexy--not slutty. When I still had to leave the house. When words such as "as long as you live under my roof" echoed. Now I see 13 yo girls on Y!A asking if a playboy costume is cute enough. "No child of mine" is becoming faint.
Where are the parents? Sexy. It wasnt so long ago for me. I understand wanting to be attractive and not wanting to dress up as Simba from the lion king, too old for cute and cuddly. But that doesn't mean skirts out in public that wouldn't be allowed in a school system. Our Pretty Woman costume was leopard, sure, but that skirt reached the knees too. The long black robe was figure flattering and tighter--but I'd never have gotten arrested for indecent exposure.
Have the kids lost all the creativity? Is it true--video games and obesity have taken the place of all the outdoor games? The imagination is crushed. Or have parents just lost time. Have our 60 hr work weeks meant that we no longer take the time to help our children wrap the toliet paper around and around until they are a mummy. No pillowcases for candy--instead its a pumpkin shaped plastic bin. Is it the childrens fault for losing all creativity or the parents fault for just wanting to swipe a credit card and be done with "family bonding time"?
What color ribbon can I start wearing in an effort to save Halloween?