By, Katie Rieth ’19
The modern-day princesses, super heroes, and the classic costumes you see walking down your street on Halloween, are the exact opposite of the original costumes 105 years ago. Back in the early 1900’s Halloween costumes were actually meant to scare, rather than today when you can basically walk around in a skin-tight dress with kitty ears and a tail, and not be judged for it, or even the costumes you wore as a kid are completely different.
It’s time to get back to the basics people, let’s start with 1910:
1910 is the year where Halloween started becoming popular, the most common costume theme? A classic sheet with holes, and women would dress in her mourning dress and put on a witch hat.
1920 was the decade where no on wanted to buy a costume, so they all just dressed like scarecrows, as you can see their costumes were a burlap sack over head, loosely tied around the neck (definitely not recommended) with holes cut for the eyes, nose, and mouth.
1930, people finally bought store-bought costumes, not that they didn’t look any less terrifying, but kids were were finally dressing up as other things rather than just scarecrows. Now kids had a thing for dressing up like clowns, miners, animals, and of course ghosts.
Finally, we’re out of the burlap sack and creepy clown era. 1940 is where most of our “modern” costumes come from. As you can see. these kids’ costumes are no longer scary, and more friendly. Children of this decade still had a thing for clowns, but their costumes were way less intense.
1950 was the time people started having other costume ideas rather than just ghosts (a.k.a bed sheets with holes), clowns, miners, etc. Their masks were still pretty creepy if you ask me. I wouldn’t be surprised if I looked outside my window on Halloween and saw a few people dressed in similar costumes to the Doll (far left) , the Demon (bottom left) or the Witch (third last on the right).
I’m sure we’ve all seen these costumes one time or another, 1960 is when Halloween started getting friendly and wild. This era is when Halloween parties began to sweep the nation and the costumes were more revealing, funny, and playful. As you can obviously tell, this era is also when adults started to get into the Halloween spirit (mostly so they could get into parties and drink). This time sparked the future generations of Halloween to no longer be the “scariest” day of the year, rather than just turn it into a time to turn up and fun have!
Ah yes, the seventies… No totally kidding, but the year 1970 is when the first few superhero TV shows aired, they were extremely popular among kids (they still are). Of course every little kid wanted to be their favorite hero, so of course creepy masks were made just for that…
Finally we get to the first StarWars Halloween. If you ask me, I think there was a huge difference in costumes in such a short time. The costumes in this picture compared to just ten years ago to 1970, are so much more polished, and better quality. I still hate the masks though… Costumes of this time were mostly Sci-fi, Superheroes, and Skeletons, which is pretty similar to today’s costumes.
Welcome to modern day costumes people, 1990 is the year most of those creepy masks were forgotten about, which makes me really happy. All the costumes in this picture here, can still be found in most Halloween stores, and Party Citys across the country.
There really is no big difference between 2000 and 1990 if you ask me. However, the costumes are better quality. At this time, many little girls and boys were really interested in Sailor Moon as you can see by the little girl’s costume (far left), they also liked pirates, as a snappy costume is modeled for us by the little boy (middle), and of course an astronaut (far right). This year is the only Halloween in my life because it was the day I was born, and I don’t think a 5-hour-old baby could leave the hospital to make the 6-o-clock Trick-or-Treat route.
It’s crazy to think how different the costumes are from 2010 to today’s costumes. Starting in the year 2005-ish, the popular adult costumes came into play. Ever since 2000, the costumes kids wear today really haven’t changed, except with the disney themes.
Finally, we have last Halloween’s costumes. Personally, I don’t understand why people want to show off as much skin as possible on Halloween and why it’s acceptable. I’m not here to judge though, at least all those awful masks are gone!
All opinions aside though, Halloween is the time to dress up in silly costumes, eat free candy, and have fun with your friends. Halloween costumes have come a long way, some have changed in good ways, and others in bad. However you choose to spend your Halloween, just make the best of it!