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COLUMN: Costumes aren't just for Oct. 31



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I’m not much of a gambler, but I’d place a pretty steep bet on the costumes you’ll see at this weekend’s Halloween shindig: a few “Risky Business” characters, some white people appropriating the sugar skulls face paint and a whole lot of girls attempting Pinterest-friendly fruit. 

Whatever you fancy, Halloween is your chance to reach into the costume box and pull out the make believe and hopefully-not-racist ensemble of your wildest dreams. 

Sure, the dress code says “spooky,” but all looks are accepted. You could go as a '90s pop cultural reference for your hipster vibe, something sexy solely for your Instagram page or a political pun you thought would be ironic, but really is just depressing. 

It’s truly up to you. But here’s my question: Why not do it every day? Obviously the fake blood and vampire fangs should be reserved for Oct. 31, but what about those not-so-spooky looks? 

Your desires for your costumes to be seen as attractive, alternative, political or ironic aren’t necessarily foreign ideas. In fact, they’re often what drive us to choose our daily outfits each morning. 

Think the Bernie shirt you tuck in with jeans or the floral button down you found at the local Goodwill. Each expresses a different kind of will or desire, whether determined consciously or subconsciously. 

The only difference with getting dressed Oct. 31 is somehow we’re galvanized to turn up the volume in a massive game of dress up. 

For example, you and your significant other decide you want to do a couple’s costume this year – something cute, cheap and easy enough that he’ll actually follow through with it. Whatever your choice – Hugh and his favorite bunny or Sandy and Danny – it doesn’t really matter. You came dressed as the ideal couple for everyone to see.

Or maybe you’re not the one in the couple’s costume, but instead a “... Baby One More Time”-era Britney Spears. Busy studying for the past week, you didn’t have time to think of a costume, so you ransacked your business-professional closet for a knotted button down, plaid skirt and knee highs. Despite being chained to a desk all day, you came dressed to show that’s not all you have going.

Whether it’s your relationship status, self-confidence or sense of humor, you get to flaunt these facts without fear of ridicule. The free pass of a Halloween costume means we all get to be as bold as we desire. 

Of course that pass has a Nov. 1 deadline but only because we let it. If the way we dress is a form of expression and identity, we should be giving each other free passes every day, not just once a year. 

As we get dressed each morning, we have the opportunity to dress as whatever sort of character we want and in whatever costume we can cook up. Sure, I may not be wearing cat ears to class, but you bet I’ll come dressed as a goat-herding ranch hand, “Les Misérables” cast member or semi-professional mountain climber any day of the week.

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