How Halloween Has Changed Over the Years

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One more day.  One more day.  I am really looking forward to Friday this week has been rough.  Anyways moving along.  This will be the second year in a row where Mark and I will hanging with my sister and her kiddos for Halloween.  All you parents out there I had no idea all the fun that went on behind the scenes.  My sister and all her parent friends get “wagons” I use that term with quotes because it’s not to haul kids around in but they stock it with beer and wine then proceed to drag that around the neighborhood while the kiddos get all the various chocolate goodness for the parents to scarf down on when the kids go to bed. I kind of like being on this side better.  Oh and now I finally get it when your parents had to “inspect” all your candy to make sure it was “safe” to eat.  Basically they were taking inventory and mentally dividing up the goods amongst themselves.

Am I getting warm?

As I’ve gotten older and wiser, my approach to Halloween has certainly changed.  I was never much of a planner when it came to costumes…I usually would go with whatever was in my closet and “make it work“.  When I look back at my costumes throughout the years I seriously cringe….I cannot believe I let myself out of the house like that.  I mean I can’t even post the pictures on here because I think my stomach is showing in 75% of them.  At what point did that flip switch where Halloween went from fun kid activity with getting candy to full out lingerie with wings and oh I get it she’s a fairy!

I have only bought one Halloween costume in my entire life and it was an Alice and Wonderland dress because my one girlfriend was having a Mad Hatter Tea party and I was picked for Alice (not because I was special or anything I think I was the only blonde). Nothing in my closet was remotely going to work for it so of course at the last minute I had to run to all the party stores and find that dress.  One place had it…Spencer’s gifts did you know that store still existed?  I thought it went out of business the same time as Coed Naked shirts.  Do you remember those????  My mother wouldn’t let any of us wear them no matter how cool there were.

Since I waited till the last minute all they had was a size X-Small….it was short.

that poor rabbit…..

Mean Girls nailed it completely about how Halloween is an excuse for girls to dress up let’s call it…..inappropriately and how companies take all the childhood fairy tales and make them into adult costumes.

Case in Point.  “Grownup” version of Cinderella.

How about Little Red Riding Hood.  Or as they are now calling it “Racy Red“.

My niece is going to be a ladybug this year….certainly not with a costume like this.

Okay this one is just hilarious.  I didn’t know a raccoon could be sexy.  I just thought they were dirty mean animals who rummaged through garbage cans.  However apparently you can sex up any Halloween Costume with a short skirt, mask and tail.

Okay so this is the grand finale where I pull all the random musings together….. at least I hope I can.  The last time I was home I was looking through some old pictures my parents had and started cracking up when I found some stellar pictures that I would like to share with you to really illustrate my point.  Amanda circa 1987…wasn’t I so happy looking in this picture?

Clearly I wasn’t having a good day.  First hands on the hips…now crossed against my chest.  Probably had something to do with that hat I was wearing.

Flash to Amanda 2010 when my one girlfriend orchestrated the Alice in Wonderland themed Halloween party.

See how it all comes full circle?  As you thankfully cannot see in this picture is the length of this dress but it probably had less fabric than my dress from 1987.  I was thinking about trying to sell it on ebay but naturally I never got my act together but I had it hanging in my closet for the past two weeks.  
Mark finally asked me the other day what my plans were for that “french maids costume“.  I asked him when did french maids start abiding by the pastel color wheel.  He clearly doesn’t get my humor.
I thought I would share my history repeating itself 20 years later with the before and afters.  Have you dressed up as an “adult” version of a childhood character?  What are your thoughts on how Halloween costumes are pretty much the most degrading things to females and professions for that matter.  I mean honestly what cop do you know wears thigh highs and carries plastic cuffs?  I’m so glad my Halloween costume this year will be a black Northface fleece with black cat ears.  I also plan on stealing all of my nieces and nephews Reese’s Fast Breaks (oh those are so good) and Peanut M&Ms.  What are your Halloween plans???  xoxoxoxo
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45 responses to “How Halloween Has Changed Over the Years”

  1. Christina says:

    hahah i had to laugh when i recently saw one of my old “bunny” costumes…at age 6…then again at 22. WOW how different they are. but yes, same amount of fabric. :)

  2. Hahahaha! I think the best thing about adult costumes are the names, Racey Red haha! Ya I would say the costumes have definitely changed since we were little!

    <3 Shannon

  3. The raccoon kills me!! haha. I think I’m going to dress up as Rosie the Riveter :)

  4. Ok, so call me a total prick, but I have not dressed up for Halloween since graduating from high school – and even then the last few years I spent the holiday doing the “adult thing” passing out the candy while my mom and her best friends walked the younger siblings around the neighborhood with wine in hand.
    Part of me is glad Halloween isn’t such a thing in Australia as it is when I was living in America that it’s not weird to not dress up on the holiday, but at the same time, even if I was back in Florida with my friends and family I couldn’t see myself as a sexy anything… it’s just not me.

  5. Can those outfits be any shorter? Okay I am showing my age. I totally dress up to pass out the candy to the kids but it will not be skimpy.

  6. MarlaJan says:

    A sexy raccoon….. Well I never. I definitely did the sexy thing in college and my bartending years, but grew out of that by the time I was 24. I went as a sexy lady bug, a school girl, Adriana from The Sopranos. I never wore anything that would make my parents ashamed! Last weekend on FB, I saw an old friend who now lives in FL wearing a bra, undies, fishnets and a cardboard hashtag. She’s almost 35.

  7. Haha yup, I have totally dressed up as an adult fairy tale character. And yup, my childhood costumes probably have more fabric. The names they give the adult costumes are ridiculous. I used to be super into Halloween but truthfully… I kinda just want to sit at home and watch tv this year.

    <3, Pamela

  8. Oh the college years and even a few post college years!! I can’t imagine my nieces dressing in anything I wore that was a adult version of their super cute costumes!! I can’t be bothered with it and actually got my costume at Wallgreens this year…just the cat ears and tail…and it was $3!! LOL

  9. Maggie says:

    Oh halloween in college…those pictures of mine are best left in the trash box of my computer!! I love that you guys bring a wagon for adult beverages – that is amazing and I need to do that. As far as costumes go, I am keeping it simple this year too!! Just like Biana, I am rocking the cat ears. and maybe some uggs. Not sorry.


  10. LOL halloween makes me laugh because women dress up in sluttier versions of pretty much anything and you can’t judge them.

    as for the candy, i’m a mean mommy – i let kayla have like, 2 or 3 pieces and then i bring the rest to work for everyone else to eat because i don’t want her eating that crap. then when she asks about it, i tell her that the candy fairy came. at 6yrs old, i’m not sure how much more i can keep that up LOL

  11. We wheel the “wagons” around behind our kids in our neighborhood, and it is so much fun. I also initiated a “Twix Tax” on my kids several years ago, and my kids actually are sweet enough now that they bring me their Twix bars without me asking. I figure it’s only fair that they learn about taxes early right?
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  12. Well don’t you just look adorable as Alice when you were 6!

    I don’t get the sexy costumes for adults. I can’t even fit in any of them. I will just put a black garbage bag over me and I will go as a rock. That fits.

  13. shut up! last time i dressed up was about 4 years ago i think. maybe 3. in an alice costume haha. and it was shorrrrrt. there were a few versions at the halloween store and i picked the least offensive. oh well. no more dressing up for me. annoys me. i did paint my face super cool last year. so at least there’s that.

  14. Elle Sees says:

    i’ve never been a “sexy” version of anything! i’m not against it for others, i just get way too into making my own costume or makeup. i’ve done a lot of celeb looks and gory stuff. i shared what i’m doing this year on monday.

  15. You were the cutest little Alice! :) I’ve never dressed up too racy or sexy, but I’ve definitely had my fair share of cringe-worthy (looking back) costumes. Think Madonna circa 19080’s Like a Virgin era and Regina George from Mean Girls when she walks around with circles cut out of her tank to reveal her purple bra. Although, I’d have to say that costume was genius at the time, lol! If I ever wore one of the sexy beloved childhood character costumes – I was both Cinderella and Dorothy from Wizard of Oz as a kid, both handmade by my momma – I’m pretty sure my family would disown me.

  16. Julia says:

    Aww, you were too cute in your Alice costume at 6 years old! LOL at the sexy raccoon! The adult costumes are pretty ridiculous!

  17. Joey says:

    I….I hate halloween. Like, HATE it. For a lot of reasons. I don’t have a problem with anyone who likes it–It just personally don’t like it. Which is shocking considering how much I love candy. Now Nov 1? Best holiday of the entire year. Halloween candy hits the clearance shelves!!! I did a sexy outfit once. I was working in a bar and just happened to be scheduled halloween night (and the bar was…uhm…racy to begin with. Think local version of hooters). So I knew I had to dress up. I don’t even know what I was. When someone asked, I said “I don’t know, you tell me?” I got “sexy librarian.” “Sexy Secretary” “Sexy Teacher.” Whatever. But you know what? You look adorable as alice in wonderland!

  18. yup! Did this with ariel! except obviously it wasn’t slutty!! lol

  19. Once I dressed as Alice. The costume was short, tight and very revealing. I added tulle under the skirt and wore a high tank top which helped a ton! Those “sexy” costumes are wayyy over priced and just look tacky. I will never spend money on those again. I much prefer my homemade costumes. (:

  20. Dying over the baby Amanda pictures! You were too cute! And Halloween has definitely changed over here.. no more terrible costumes (I was a loofa once in college.. like WTF), instead we are handing out candy this year and I actually can’t wait!

  21. Those pictures of you as a little girl.. haha. SO cute!! Wtf is that raccoon costume?! Who is going to wear that? I haven’t dressed up for Halloween since I was 25. Just not motivated anymore. I kind of wish that we got trick-or-treaters but we have a security box so no one can enter the building without entering a code. I like seeing the kiddos in their costumes. No plans for tomorrow besides work. I hope that you are having a good day so far too! :-)

  22. Courtney B says:

    Definitely not dressing up myself. I never liked it, and I especially don’t like all the little costumes they offer now. There’s no way I’m going to wear a costume smaller than Mia’s (ha!) But dressing Mia up has been a lot of fun!
    To be honest, I wasn’t ever a fan of Halloween, really. But this year with a toddler? LOVE IT!

  23. Jillian says:

    oh boy — i did my fair share of group halloween costumes (including disney characters — i was alice too and i drank from a teacup the whole night). looking back i know i looked ridiculous with my friends but it was fun….and no i wont be dressing scandalously this year with the bump (i actually havent dressed up the past 3 years) im over all the really oversexualized costumes — i love the ones that are thoughtful and funny instead :) have fun with your sister and the kiddos!! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  24. YUP – I think I tried ONCE to do a “not appropriate” halloween costume…. And, the day after, looking at the pictures I was thinking – WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING. I have never done an Adult Storybook character – just feels wrong to me…. I wrote about this recently, have you noticed that the tween girl costumes are now looking just as – TINY? SCANDALOUS? I am so glad to have a BOY, I cannot imagine what would happen if I had a daughter, and she wanted – ONE of THOSE costumes. ACHK.

    This year – I’m going to have this masquerade ball gown look going on – if I can’t find a good mask for it – then I’m planning on just being a princess. HAHAHAHA. Emry and Klay are doing the zombie thing – I’ll post pictures – We have a lot of liquid latex and fake blood this year.

    And, I pick through Emry’s candy every year – for my favorites.

  25. This is hilarious: in 2010, same year as the pic you posted here, my gf’s and I went as “Disney characters” so we were all coordinated… In Vegas… with our butts all hanging out. That was the last year I skanked out Halloween. Now, I’m super pumped to take Henry around the block in his costume with our dogs who will also be dressed up (because our stroller has cup holders, and you already know what’s going in there!) and then sit on our front porch and greet trick or treaters. Ahhhhhhh, life changes. I don’t miss the skanked out days, though. Nope.

  26. Ugh yes.. I was sexy Snow White several years back… LOL. I was just thinking about this topic the other day, oh how things have changed!

  27. I have always loved DIY costumes, my Mum is a sewing magician so I always had the most legit costumes as a kid. We were mother and daughter penguins one year and I seriously wish I could find the adult version she made because it was perfection! I will admit I was a store bought “candy corn witch” my first year of uni. The skirt would have been short on someone who was 5″0 and I’m a tall girl – lets just say opaque black tights were non-negotiable.

  28. My daughter was Alice one year. The same year as adult you. Funny.

    I don’t dress up for Halloween but the trampy costumes do get on my nerves. Not everything needs to be sexed up. Like Olaf. Why does that need to be all sexy? It’s a snowman!! They are big blobs. Drives me nuts.

  29. ohh you were such a cute kid! It’s crazy how halloween costumes are just so dirty!

  30. Meagan says:

    I actually kind of wanted to dress as Alice this year, haha. And Joey was to be the Mad Hatter but he didn’t like that idea… plus I hate buying costumes. They’re just so expensive. And I’m not creative whatsoever. I was going to be a loofah but my friend can’t find her costume so I don’t have anything! lol I have old stuff but I’m not sure…. I kind of just want to throw on minnie mouse ears and wear something red and colour my nose black lol. My friend leant me her Minnie dress like 6 years ago from when she was little, it wasn’t revealing though. It turned out super cute. But I haven’t been able to find any little Minnie dresses….. anyways! Ramble! I’m lame. Haha

  31. Emily says:

    Too cute.. Always fun to relive childhood! Love the costumes ideas!

  32. Haha! The raccoon is just too much! I’m going as a flapper!

  33. I detest the slutty for no reason Halloween costumes. They indicate a lack of imagination and the idea that females are only to dress as one type of thing. I hate hate hate it.

  34. I’ve never actually done the adult slutty look, I just cant’ do it. I’m always behind the ball on getting a costume together, always scrambling at the last minute but I’m excited about my costume this year ;)

  35. I think there were maybes t years in college where I did a bit of the inappropriate look but that was really it. If you have conscious thought about how you look in public, aka wow my rear is hanging it out while I get my dance on, dressing inappropriately becomes really annoying really fast. Last year I was Miss America and this year I’m going as a classic icon. It’s so much easier (AND warmer) to put some full coverage clothes on


  36. I don’t event want to comment because I am about to embarrass myself but people have seen the pics so there’s no denying I have worn skimpy stuff on Halloween. It’s like an excuse to feel pretty and/or hot for a night… in stuff I don’t otherwise wear.

    This will be the first year passing out candy as the previous years were at parties or clubs/bars. As I ‘grew up’ the bars weren’t as fun anymore so parties were the thing. This year we have plans Saturday morning and can’t really do the party thing so we are having a couple drinks while passing out candy with friends. I like the wagon idea A LOT

  37. Haha loving the Alice costumes and the little tude at Disney World… and ummm can I tag along on the wagon pull? Wine and beer sounds perfect while kids are collecting candy.. fantabulous idea :-D

  38. My little sis is going to be Alice. She is four :)

  39. Kristen says:

    awwww look how cute you were!!! i wanted to dress up as tinkerbell the other year and there was literally no costumes that were long enough – i ended up wearing the biggest size and it barely covered my booty. never again! i dressed up as a ‘sailor’ back home when we went out for halloween one night but i wore leggings underneath – i’m just not down with the whole slutty thing lol

  40. I am going to this immersive theater/cocktail party where I have to dress up as one of the seven deadly sins. I’m wearing a classy cocktail dress and then doing my hair and makeup to be somewhat like “Wrath.” We’ll see how it turns out!

  41. hahaha I have debated putting halloween pictures up and all I can think is, jeez I dressed like that?! Yup, I did. With no shame.

  42. Meghan says:

    This week has definitely sucked. so I feel ya. I can’t even fathom some of the Halloween costumes I wore in college. I am embarrassed and disgusted with myself for being so degrading. I’m with you. DG and I will have a fire out back with Winston so the doorbell doesn’t drive him crazy and then go out to eat. No trick or treating for us!

  43. Are you heading by me to trick or treat? I have bought an insane amount of wine and other adult beverages to be drank during/after and all pair very nicely with any type or flavor of candy. I get the shivers when I think of how and what I used to run around in on Halloween. If my mother only had any idea… I think I legitimately bought a piece of fabric and pinned it around me one year and called it skirt. Ahhh, memories! Have so much fun with your nieces and nephews!!

  44. I’m with you… trick or treating was fun as a kid but as an adult it’s even better – let the kids do the work and just reap the rewards!

  45. Is this where I admit that I totally dressed up as a racy Red Riding Hood last year? Ha ha! I didn’t dress up this year but I took Carson out trick or treating and he was a super hero :) I figure I will dress up next year and probably wear something semi-revealing again. I guess I should also admit that the costumes in the stores have a lot more fabric than anything I wore before I graduated high school ha ha!!

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