Have you seen the Target commercial slamming homemade costumes? Take a look:
I find this commercial incredibly funny…and very sad.
We make our kids’ Halloween costumes. It’s what I did when I was a kid. In fact, I have many Halloween memories of my siblings and I running around the house trying to create a costume at 4pm on Halloween (I was a a hobo at least a couple of times). It’s part of the fun. Creating something new from something old. Creating a new persona, a new character, a new you, from relatively little…and from something that already exists with you.
This commercial–as funny as it is–denies imperfection. It tells your child that he/she should be concerned with what other people think. And, most importantly, it suggests that the imagination can’t be used for dress-up. For dress-up! Halloween is all about using the imagination. Thinking about how you can make yourself look like something else. Store bought costumes reduce this process and simply present a finished product.
With all that said…I completely understand the desire for store bought costumes. Especially from a parent’s perspective. If your child really wants to look like so-and-so and the cost of the supplies needed to make the costume far exceed the cost of the costume (how many people have the red tights and leotard that are so helpful in creating a Spiderman costume), a store bought costume can often be the way to go. I do, however, encourage you to look around your house. See what you have. See what you and your child can create together.
Here’s Bennett’s Halloween costume from last year. He was Captain America. Yes, I see the similarities in this costume and the one in the commercial. But look at that grin!