Advice from HRV’s Costume Experts

by Talon Staff Reporter Jennifer Furrow

Because Halloween is creeping around the corner and HRVHS’ annual costume contest is this week, The Talon has gathered the helpful tips and sneaky tricks to quickly creating a show stopping costume from HRV experts.

Do you know what you want to be? The first step to creating your one-of-a-kind costume is finding a source of inspiration. English Teacher Kathy Yasui suggests starting “with a picture, or character you want to emulate.” Whether you plan on imitating a generic persona or your favorite movie character, finding a point of reference will make the rest of this DIY a a bit more sweet. Do your friends have costumes? If you are planning to go out in a group, Activities Director Niko Yasui says, “you have to have a theme.” In years past, the Yasui family has portrayed their favorite characters from Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

The Yasui Family honoring Edgar Allen Poe's most famous characters.

The Yasui Family honoring Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous characters.

Now that you have an idea, it’s time to scrounge through the abyss of your wardrobe for the basis of your costume. “Look around the house for simple, recognizable stuff that can be made into a costume,” advises Senior Lexi Jones. Years prior to transforming the “puffy lining” of a flower girl dress into the extravagant gown of the Queen of Hearts, “I was a cheerleader for Halloween. I found a maroon skirt and athletic sweater, and I threw up my hair in a ponytail with a ribbon. Then I found a pom pom,” Jones giggles, “Just one.” Jones also recalls being the Black Panther Queen. “I put on a pair of black pants, a black t shirt, and black Converse, then found a tiara and was ready to go.”

If you didn’t find everything you need at home, step three is shopping. Each of experts suggested taking a trip to Walmart for cheap staple items and craft supplies to create the details with.  If you don’t know how to sew, Mrs. Yasui suggests “grommets for making lacings,” or “appliques, which are iron-on patches that can add detail to your piece.” Jones recommends visiting Jo-Ann Fabric for sew tape and fabric glue,  as well as textiles with fun patterns, and colors. While you are out shopping, think about the details that will make your costume shine. History Teacher Dave Case, who is well known for impersonating historical figures, claims that “at least 50% of the male costume is a hat, mustache, and glasses . . . wigs are a must have, too.” Jones prefers big, flash, symbolic props.”

History Teacher Dave Case impersonates Kim Jong Ill.

History Teacher Dave Case impersonates Kim Jong Ill.

Once you have everything you need, put it all together. Remember not to be afraid of the scissors. Each of our experts note that a good portion of creating you own costume is cutting up old clothes. Make pants into shorts. Cut sleeves off. Tater and dirty them up. Glue and iron on details if you can’t sew. Mr. Yasui recommends using cardboard., while Mrs. Yasui prefers yoga mats. Whatever you do, crawl out of your mental box, get creative and have some fun. “Dress up and participate. More people makes it more fun for everyone and less embarrassing for people who are nervous about it,” Mr. Yausi adds as a final piece of advice.


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