Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Hallowe'en Madness

Well now. I am a fan of Hallowe'en and dressing up in general (check out my Alice Cooper concert-wearing outfit here, and last year's non-costume outfit for Hallowe'en here).

My Book Club meeting was last night (check out Sherylyn's Severed Foot Cheeseball recipe over at Yummyland!) and we decided to do a theme night in honour of Hallowe'en: come as a literary character. I chose the Mad Hatter from "Alice in Wonderland":
I also decided that, despite the lack of morale in my department at work lately, I would dress up for work today in the same costume. Some of these pictures I took last night and some are from this morning.

The full costume:
The coat is the only thing I've never worn on the blog. It is Noa Noa and I got in the spring (it's been too warm to wear it up to now). It was regular $375, marked down to $79.99, with an extra 30% off, so $56.00. Not bad!

Last night, I used my shiny black purse to carry my book to the meeting:
All done up. I got some strange looks on the bus on the way there!

The thing I like about my costume is that I didn't buy a single new thing for it - I had all this stuff in my wardrobe or in the house. For me, that makes it more creative and special than going out and buying a costume. Here's how I built it ('cause I know you guys like to see how it's all put together).

First, I did my stripey tights (previously seen here) and my red vintage slip (seen here):
Then I added the blouse I wore to the interview a couple of weeks ago, and my flouncy Noa Noa skirt (seen here):
I gathered the black skirt up and pinned to the red slip to show off the red more. I also scrunched my hair up with a glob of volumizing mousse.

Then I added my plaid bustier (last worn here) for a nice smooth look:
Lastly, I put on my coat, tied a long scarf-belt (from an old skirt) around my neck as a floppy bow-tie, and put my hat on. And I added the boots (last seen here with the same black skirt):
I tied a long length of ribbon across my body, and draped a measuring tape around my neck.

Here's a close-up of the upper body details:
I copied Johnny Depp's makeup from the recent movie (it's not very good, by the way, but pretty to look at). Those are my lace cuffs from my "Never Seen" series (here). I raided my knitting box for various pins with fancy heads, my seam ripper and scissors (in the breast pocket). I also had a big needle threaded through the measuring tape, which was wrapped around the brown ribbon.

Some coat details are needed! The back is embroidered in cross-stitch: As is the breast pocket:
So amazing. I love details like that. I looked at this coat for weeks before I finally bought it - when I had that "what if it's sold?" panicky feeling, I knew I had to bite the bullet and buy it.

Here's how I decorated my vintage 80s top hat:
I tied my Smoking Lily obi around it, then started pinning things. I cut out a sticky note and wrote 10/6 on it (it's the one feature I made). I've had the feathered eidelweiss pin and the bug pin for ages. You can also see that I hung needle threaders on my hoop earrings. The starburst pin is the one on my skirt.

I also pinned one of my butterflies that I got at the Victoria & Albert Museum gift shop in London on the hat (seen on another hat here), along with a couple of straight pins:
I like how the ends of the obi looked:
Mom's old kilt pin (noted in the "Never Seen" accessories post linked above).

Here's a shot of the lace cuffs and my red fingerless gloves (it's a little chilly today). The gloves looked great with this.
And the tape measure...for good measure.

I hope you have a safe and spooky Hallowe'en! Let me know if any of you posted costume pictures - I'll link to them if you like.

By the way, I won my company's Best Costume contest today! I got a $35 Visa gift card.

Coat (Noa Noa), bustier (Le Chateau, consignment), blouse (Esprit, consignment), black skirt (Noa Noa), red slip (vintage, Suzette Lingerie, consignment), tights (Hue), boots (LaTianna, consignment), top hat (vintage 80s, Le Chateau, L's boss' wife).


  1. Love it! What a wonderful, creative costume! I bet your coworkers were delighted.

  2. This is genius! I love your costume! I'm a big fan of Halloween, but this year is pretty low key for me. I'll be donning a simple, mostly DIY cat costume for a 5k I'm running tomorrow.

  3. Oh Sheila, that is one great costume! I love how you put it together from your closet.

    You and I are on the same wavelength! I'm dressing for Sunday as the Mad Hatter, but my son went to school today as the White Rabbit. He complained the girls were bothering him too much because they were chasing his tail all afternoon. No more cute costumes for him!

    I'll post pictures of the Tea Party later.

  4. WOW! What a fantastic costume! I wish I could be even half as creative around Halloween. Do other people at work dress up?

  5. *JAWDROP* Omg that has got to be the coolest costume. I'm glad you won because I don't know what could be better. Crazy creative, Sheila. Major props.

    Also how cool is that coat - I wish I had a place to grab Noa Noa stuff. I can't wait to see you wear it for 'regular wear.

  6. I especially love it that you wore this to work! I'll bet morale jumped to new HEIGHTS!

    I noticed that some of the Borders clerks and staffs were wearing Halloween costumes this afternoon, too (at least I HOPE they were costumes).

    None were as brilliantly creative as yours, I assure you.

  7. What a great costume and OH MY GOD that Noa Noa coat is gorgeous!! I can't wait to see how you style it in a non-costume outfit. What an amazing deal, too.

  8. Thanks, Rad! My coworkers didn't say much, actually, but various people around my building commented.

    LaHdeM - thank you! I can't wait to see your costume!

    Jen, thank you, me too. Ooh, please post your costume! I'll link to it. Ha, your poor son - too old for rabbits.

    Thanks, Anne! There's always a reliable group in our building - I walked around and did a tour to see what everyone did. I wish more dressed up!

    Aw, thanks, Megan! I'm pretty pleased with it, so I'm glad you like it. I adore the coat and am looking forward to cool weather to wear it.

    Rebecca - I wish! I had a lot of fun wearing it all day, though. I love seeing people wear costumes to work - it just tickles me. Thank you so much. :)

    Thanks, Audi! I knew you'd love the coat - you see why I had to have it!

  9. EEEK!!! I love this so much! Such a perfect styling for the Mad Hatter. That Noa Noa coat is stunning, I love the details. This is my favorite type of costume. Use what you have, non-costume type of costume.

  10. That is a fabulous costume, and I totally WANT that coat.

  11. Your coworkers probably thought it was just another day at the office for you! ;P j/k. Fantastic! I expected no less from you.

    Love the coat, of course...

    My pics should be posted Sunday, we are dressing up for a party tomorrow night.

  12. Wonderful! And yes you should take double pride in creating it yourself and doing that by using existing items. Very impressive.

  13. Brilliant outfit - Love the jacket, bustier and the hat especially. The detailed way you put it all together is so creative.

    I'm not suprised you won 'best costume.

    PS On the subway in Toronto this outfit wouldn't get a second glance! ;)

  14. This is AMAZING. Sheila, you bring costuming (and morale) to new heights. I just love it, LOVE IT. Happy Hallowe'en.

  15. What an awesome costume!! Putting one together is so much better than buying one, I just love it!

  16. Love, love LOVE your Halloween outfit!

  17. So Perfect, and what a great tutorial for layering!

  18. What does it say about me that I completely love that outfit for everyday wear? (Perhaps minus the scissors and needles...)
    It all just fits together SO beautifully. Like a Hitchcock film, every item contributes to the central point! Fabulous! I am so glad you won the contest- you deserve it. And you look marvelous...

  19. Love the Mad Hatter costume, the coat, the hat. And what a gorgeous coat! You rock, Sheila!

  20. Your costume is positively amazing. Bravo! Love!

  21. oh for flip's sake i thot i already commented! just absolutely perfect. cannot say another word. LOVE the needle threaders!! and man i want to copy that jacket sumthin fierce!

    i posted my costume over at my place...i even made lace cuffs after i saw yours!! i hope you had a fantastic weekend! steph

  22. Thanks, Alison! It's my favourite kind of costume too. :)

    Thanks, Cynthia!

    Thanks, Wendy!

    'Doll, yeah, pretty much, ha! Cool, I will check out your blog tonight.

    Thanks, Freeda!

    Faith, thank you!

    Thanks, Ralph. :)

    Thanks, Northmoon! Ha! I didn't get a lot of reactions on Friday on the bus.

    SU, thanks so much!

    Thanks, ShyGirl!

    Thanks, Anonymous.

    Lesa, thanks!

    Thanks, Charlotte!

    Rita, aside from the makeup and themed accoutrements, I probably would too (maybe not the hat). Thanks so much!

    Thanks, Aradia!

    Thanks, Jenny!

    Thanks, Steph! I'll check out your costume! Go for it - I'd love to see you copy the jacket.

  23. ha! what a fabulous outfit!! so stylish too! brilliant idea!

  24. Saucy and wonderfully crafty! I like the touch of steampunk in the look.

  25. Thanks, Cat! I love the steampunk aesthetic, so thank you very much!

  26. I am catching up on blogs, and this costume is fantastic. I love making costumes out of stuff I already have, but you're inspiring me to take that to new levels next year!

  27. Best costume of the year. Hands down. Not that I am in least bit surprised.

  28. (Still catching up with blog posts, LOL!)

    LOVE it! And it's all things you already had. That's kind of hilarious. :)

  29. Thanks so much, Kristen! Someone called me the Mad Hatter today, so I guess it was memorable! I like that it's a "found" costume too.


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