All posts tagged: Costume

Masking It: The Night I Started Hiding Alcohol

After a six-month, self-imposed period of abstinence from alcohol, drinking crept back into my life — while I was in costume. It was Halloween night, 2009. I was dressed up as a hippie, with a long, blond, knotty-dread-ish wig (topped with a colorful tam) and a floor-length, swirly patterned dress. My husband (then fiancé), Andy, matched me as my mate in his own wig and Grateful Dead tee, and we brought along my old Cabbage Patch Kid to complete our peace-and-love family. I had also just completed a six-month, self-imposed period of abstinence from alcohol, which I was oh-so-proud of. The fact that I had been able to stay sober all on my own, without AA meetings, rehab, or ultimatums from loved ones, was a major accomplishment; one that I believe proved, once a for all, the thing I so desperately needed to believe about myself – that I was not an alcoholic. So after dousing ourselves in Patchouli oil (the scent of which stayed with us for days — don’t ever do this as …

At What Age Can I Go Back to Dressing Like a Lunatic?

(Graphic: Kat Borosky/TueNight.com) My first fashion-related memory is of my dad taking me shopping for my first pair of glasses. My mom — perhaps unwisely — had opted to stay home. I was 4 years old and had already developed a magpie-like obsession with anything shiny. So I immediately honed in on a pair of purple, rhinestone-encrusted cat-eye glasses, the likes of which had not been in style for decades. I was utterly enthralled by the sparkles that dusted every angle and the pearly purple plastic that framed my face so glamorously (I thought). My goal in life at the time was to be “fancy,” and I used the word constantly. And to me, those glasses were the fanciest fucking things I’d ever seen. My mom was not thrilled that her small child came home looking like a trashy, cross-eyed secretary, circa 1952. I didn’t care that she was mad. These glasses made me “fancy.” My next fashion-related memory is more utilitarian. It’s of being outfitted for the uniforms my siblings and I were required to …

Witchy Poo: A Cautionary Tale

(Graphic: Kat Borosky/TueNight.com) One Halloween, when I was about 11, my Mom sewed me a killer witch costume: floppy, pointy hat, black cape and all.  I looked awesome and fearsome. The year marked one of the first times we kids could go door-to-door by ourselves. Yes, at 11 years old. These days? No way. This was maybe five years before the razor-blades-in-apples scare (which was so not even a thing.) Gathering up my friends Anne, Kathy and several others, we prepared to become sugar terrors in the quiet, preppy neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Our aim was to get as much candy as we possibly could. We were unleashed by ourselves, no parental supervision. We OWNED this damn Halloween. So without any sense of boundaries or discretion, we’d knock on our neighbors’ doors, reach into the giant bowls of wrappers, and lunge at the pile of candy like ravenous baby bears. Maybe we were more polite and choosy than that, but I’m pretty sure we were bloodthirsty. I kept an eye out for my favorites: …

If the Spirit Moves: My Not-So-Successful Séance Experience

(Shaker Meeting House/Shaker Heritage Society of Albany, New York, New York) The Albany Shaker Meeting House is a sanctuary of purity and simplicity, with the exception of the 747s from the Albany International Airport that fly overhead, and the Trader Joe’s that’s located around the corner. I am here for my very first Halloween séance. I don’t have any expectations, frankly, but I am a very willing participant. I am open to feeling the energy that comes from a group of people suspending disbelief and possibly tapping into something outside ourselves. And if I am being totally honest with myself, I am also hoping to receive a message from someone on the “other side.” From outside, the Shaker Meeting House is milk-white and austere with triple hung windows and wide pine wainscoting painted an evergreen color. Inside, there is a clear-span building the size of a small gymnasium, which is lined with built-in Shaker benches. On the floor, they have set up about 100 white plastic chairs in three concentric circles around each other. I …

The Case for Not Looking Like Hell

Last week I broke my rule. I had just come from the gym and had to dash to the Upper West Side and take care of some business. Instead of stopping home for a quick shower, change of clothing, and a touch of mascara and lip gloss, I decided to go “as is.” As soon as I got off the train, I saw a TV producer I had been hoping to re-connect with and pitch some ideas. In my big wool hat (hiding my crazy gym-hair), sloppy sweats and sneakers, let’s just say I was not ready for primetime. I looked like hell. I slipped past him. I am a firm believer in leaving the house looking pretty good, I won’t lie. For me, that doesn’t mean a fully tarted up face and heels, but I always want to look decent; because it’s true, as I was just reminded the hard way, you never know who you might meet. I grew up with a Georgia Peach of a mom who didn’t leave the house without …

Mom, The Costume: When My Daughter Wants to Dress Like Me

Dressing up is one of my daughter’s favorite pastimes. In her seven years, she’s logged a lot of sartorial hours. It started with Princess gowns, because when isn’t it a good day to be royal? Then came Halloween – kangaroo, fairy and vampire are her faves. And of course there’s The Dressup Bag.  A jam-packed pink canvas number that holds the aforementioned Halloween costumes, plus boas, scrubs, leotards, pearls and at least four tiaras. It’s a winner for almost any playdate. But it’s the Mommy Costume that always gets me. When out of nowhere trots in my little 4-footer donning one of my dresses or sweaters or nighties, invariably with a pair of very high heels. Sometimes there is also a hat. Occasionally, lipstick. It’s really, really cute. And, in my wistfully analytical moments, it’s a good reminder, too. For her, “being me” is fun. It’s still something to aspire to, up there with princesses and gold medal gymnasts. In those moments my heart aches just a little, because I really hope she always thinks …

Dressing the Part: My Slacks-and-Blouse Costume

(Graphic: Kat Borosky/TueNight.com) Because I work at home, my everyday wardrobe is dominated by t-shirts and jeans. But a few times a year I travel to conferences for work, and each time I have to wear a costume: my professional one. To me, the words slacks and blouse are cringe-worthy. They aren’t as offensive as moist, because slacks and blouse are missing the dreaded oi combo, but I still feel compelled to say the words in a nasally voice, making it clear that these articles of clothing — if not the words themselves — are undesirable. A few years ago, as I squirmed uncomfortably in our conference booth, tugging at my collar and re-tucking my shirt, a male colleague pointed out that I wasn’t required to dress so formally. Many of the other conference attendees and exhibitors wore t-shirts, and wearing one of our company-branded short-sleeve shirts was always an option. I explained that I didn’t want anyone to see my tattoos, one of which now goes from my left shoulder to my elbow. “Why do …