Saturday, October 31, 2020

Hallowe'en Flashback!

Happy Hallowe'en, my friends! Hallowe'en is a "thing" in Canada, just like in the US. People decorate, kids go trick-or-treating, we decorate the office, there's lots of candy. But the best part of all - for me - is dressing up! (Candy is a close second). 

Prior to starting my blog in 2008, I have dressed up for Hallowe'en nearly every year I can remember (and some I can't!), pretty much since I was born. 

In October 2008 I tanked on Hallowe'en and just wore regular clothes - I just wasn't feeling it. My colleagues complained ("Where is your zombie outfit?"), and I regretted not making an effort. 

I've never missed a year dressing up since, whether it's a spooky-adjacent look or a full-on costume, so trick or treat, kids! Let's have a Flashback at all my previous looks. I've included links to the posts, if you feel like getting more pics of my (and L's) outfits, along with process pictures of some of the more elaborate costumes. 

2009 (original post here)

I wore this to work at my old job, and this is a Hallowe'en-inspired sort of look. My gothy side comes out! 
The black dress/top is a vintage piece (I'm wearing it here for a Film Fest gala) that Yvonne now pulls out for swanky events.

I wore one of my capes under it (I have three!), a crushed velvet hooded cloaklike one I've had since the mid-90s. L bought it for me at a Wiccan shop that used to sell costume pieces - I think it was around $65.00. 
The long leather gloves add a nice vibe, although I bet my arms were cold. 

2010 (original post here)

The following year, I got my creative on, and raided my closet for my Mad Hatter costume. The only thing that wasn't a "found object" was the sticky note in the hat's brim. 
If you have a top hat, you have a costume! I have a vintage 80s one from Le Chateau. 
I have a good 80% of this costume still in my closet. I won my company's costume contest that year! 

2011 (original post here)

I was less than a year into my current job, and had just switched to office management, so I wasn't too sure how dressed up people would be. They were not quite ready for me in Mad Hatter mode!
"Who's there?"

I still ended being one of the only people even close to being in costume. This was the first time wearing my vintage lame (lah-MAY!) dress for Hallowe'en, and it would not be my last. Aw, Vizzini is less than a year old there - he's full of beans and ready to squirm away, I can tell. 

2012 (original post here)

I pulled out all the stops the following year, prompted by a bunch of feather crows in the dollar store. I'm Tippi Hedren in "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock (an excellent movie). L took a bunch of pictures of me on our front lawn.
Again using all stuff from my own closet. I did mangle a pair of vintage gloves that I thrifted for a dollar, and shredded a pair of nylons. I worked all day in this (as I did in all of these outfits), and the wired-through feet of the crows were scratchy and annoying. 
I never scrimp on fake blood, heh. I still have that suit and the hat and a bag of crows - I could do this costume again easily. 

2013 (original post here)

Since my newer office had never seen my Mad Hatter outfit, I reprised it and changed it up a bit, with different things underneath it. 
I also played with my make-up more, adding some curlicues and writing. 

That overskirt makes me laugh now - it was my around-the-house skirt in spring and summer for about 4 years. 
I like props with an outfit - it helps make it more authentic. I had an "Drink Me" china teacup under my hat, and an "Eat Me" saucer in my coat pocket, and did a reveal with them to amused friends/coworkers.

L also dresses up for work most years, although this was from the aforementioned Monster Bash. 
He's Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, complete with hair and blood-encrusted walking stick. 

My new and improved make-up. 
Maybe one day I'll repeat this outfit too! As noted, I still have all of the clothes and the odds and ends. 

2014 (original post here)

L and I threw a Hallow'en party this year, and we also wore these outfits to work. It takes a bit of commitment to wear a costume all day; they are often overly warm or get in the way. 
I am Lydia, the bride from the classic Tim Burton movie, "Beetlejuice." I bought a bunch of red vintage nightgowns and an 80s red lace prom dress to make this.

L was Beetlejuice himself, of course. 
He had a vest on with tons of bugs and rubber snakes sewn inside it so that when he opened it, they all bounced out - surprise! 

For the party, I turned the prom dress around to and took off one of the nightgowns.
Sexy version! I've no doubt I kicked the shoes off after an hour so I could dance. 

2015 (original post here)

Another outing of this amazing gown, this time with my black wig and funky Day of the Dead make-up.
As I'm wearing these outfits to work, I also have to factor in make-up time - I don't give myself extra time in the morning to get ready, so all make-up (and often L's too) has to be done in a 20-minute window, in our single bathroom! 

I did a practice run of this make-up a few days before - if you click through on the original post, you'll see my trial-and-error approach to it. 
This was super-easy, mostly using a felt-tip style eyeliner pen. 

2016 (original post here)

I'm a huge fan of the movie "Mad Max: Fury Road" and especially its lead character, Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron. This is my interpretation of her character.
I had an awesome day, clomping around and glaring at my coworkers in this. They all knew I was like this by then! 

I thrifted the goggles and some odds and ends of strapping, but otherwise everything in this is from my closet. 
Work-tested, cat-approved. 

L's costume was inspired by our favourite boardgame, Arkham Horror, and by the 2016 Presidential Election.
He's a Cultist, promoting Cthulhu for President. We made his sign (see how the staff is his walking stick from the Jekyl/Hyde costume?), and that's my same cape as in the 2009 outfit above. 

2017 (original post here)

My coworker David and I created the Company Red Shirts as a group costume this year, based on the Star Trek universe's meme of characters in red shirts getting killed on missions (because Hallowe'en!). I print and cut out about a hundred paper communicator badges and loads of folks show up in a red shirt and black bottom (or full-on Star Trek cosplay!) and are welcomed by me to Starfleet. 
I bought a ton of faux fur key-charms and vintage ear-muffs and made them into attacking tribbles. 

My sweater had started to pop moth-holes, so I shredded it and covered myself in fake blood. 
I shed tribbles all over the office. Most fun day in the office ever! 

2018 (original post here)

I changed up my Red Shirt outfit the following year as a green-skinned, purple-haired alien. 
My leather skirt and sexy boots are totally office-appropriate! 

I had fun with my make-up. 
I recall I had to use olive oil to get this off! 

L's costume that year was stupendous. He was a Werewolf of London, based on the Warren Zevon song. 
"Egad, is the Man a werewolf?"

We really went to town on his props! He had a take-out menu from Lee Ho Fook's, and served non-alcoholic pina coladas off his desk (with homemade coasters from Trader Vic's), AND he had a few business cards for his tailor. 

2019 (original post here)

Last year, my enthusiasm for the Red Shirts waned, but my boss encouraged me, and my colleagues appreciated it. 
I went with my red suede suit (due a wearing soon!), and did my best "I'm a Starfleet captain, you will obey" glare. 
It was nice to change it up this year and wear my Hallowe'en dress, but I do miss the masses of red-shirted coworkers! Hopefully next year! 

2020 (original post here)

And there it is, my Hallowe'en dress, and since it's 2020, I'm wearing a Hallowe'en mask as well. 
My colleague Gary took these pictures for me. 

Smiling with my eyes! 
Ha, you can see some of my COVID protocols for the office in the background. There's a Desk Guidelines sign, and a desk cleaning supply station. Truly a year for the books. 

Happy Hallowe'en! 


  1. You and L always pull out all the stops for Halloween - I'm so impressed with your creativity and dedication. The Tippi Hedren costume and Lydia are two of my favourites.

    1. We do love getting dressed up. I love the Tippi one - the Lydia one only really worked when I was with L, as it didn't translate as well when I was on my own at work. Thanks, Shelley!

  2. So many fabulous costumes, it's impossible to single one out. I'm even more impressed with how you created most of these with items you already had at your home and in your closet. You are really creative. L had some fabulous looks too, you two make for a perfect couple. It is also phenomenal that you worked in these outfits, I'm sure you made Halloween more fun for your colleagues. The Tipi Hedren costume is fantastic. I only saw bits of the Birds film, I really need to watch it all some day. I also loved your Day of the Dead Costume, Furiosa and Star Trek captain. The Beetlejuice red bride look is fantastic as well.

    1. I love the challenge of creating an outfit out of what I already own, Ivana! Some of them, I had to pre-test to make sure I would be able to work in them (the one with the crows was horrifically annoying). Ooh, you need to watch The Birds again - I just watched it a few months ago and it's awesome.

      Thank you!

  3. WOW fantastic costumes. We didn't celebrate Halloween when I was younger, if we had I would have chosen punk!

  4. Shiela, you look great in all your Halloween outfits!

    It's fun putting together costumes when you've got a unique wardrobe filled with fab clothes. X

    1. Thanks so much, Jess! The Mad Hatter costume really bought that home to me - I realized that I could create fun outfits with not a lot of effort. It does help that I have a closet of really interesting pieces!

  5. I LOVE THE ROUND UP! I'm terribly sorry for falling off the face of the planet but Life the Universe and Everything conspired me to crop my world a little smaller, a little simpler. I do pop in on your blog to lurk from time to time though don't often have the brain to comment.

    I especially love the Crows, Tribbles and Werewolf of London costumes. But all your costumes are amazing and super creative. This is the first year I've been really able to go all out in some time. My dad and I broke down our costumes into small projects (make this prop, sew this bit, dye hair) and spent about 8 weeks pulling everything together.

    Your Halloween dress is lovely though. A very classy approach to the holiday. I didn't wear my costume to work, even though my coworkers are well aware How I Am. I kept it more sedate with some cat ears and a halloween themed facemask too.

    1. MEGAN!! So good to see you, sweetheart! I totally get it, no worries, and no obligation to come 'round - lurk to your heart's delight. :)

      Thank you! Those were so fun to do! I love that you and your dad did your costumes in little easily-accomplished increments - it's far less overwhelming that way!

      Thanks - it was a nice nod to the holiday without having to deal with an actual costume.

  6. I love how creative you get with your costumes Sheila! And I really liked that sparkly dress this year and the previous time you wore it! :) We don't really do Halloween here in Australia so I don't get to see costumes often!

    1. I love getting dressed up, Mica, so it was fun even if I just wore this dress this year.

  7. I bow to your creativity and imagination! You are both superstars.
    What an incredible round up. xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Vix! We really love getting dressed up - it was fun digging all these pictures out.

  8. Halloween was made for the stylish! I love your various looks. I hope next year has a little more normalcy, but I think people made the most of it.

    1. It definitely allows our creativity free rein, SAM! Thank you - I hope next year will be a party!

  9. Love the costumes, so creative! You guys really nailed the Lydia/Beetlejuice one especially and I'm always in for some Star Trek (I embroidered a communicator onto a shirt years ago and since then, it's been my favorite last minute costume). I have to say though, L's cultist might be my favorite- we spent our Halloween night last night playing an Arkham game haha.

    1. Thanks so much, Ashley! I love that you have an embroidered shirt - my communicator badge was the starting point for my Trek looks.

      Heh, I thought of you! I think you might be the only person reading who gets the Cultist reference. :)

  10. Hallowe'en has never been a thing here until it was inevitably imported about 10 to 15 years ago. But it's certainly not as big here as it is in Canada and the U.S. and there's generally little or no dressing up involved. We even have only a handful of children trick or treating.
    You certainly seem to pull out the stops every year, and you manage to look both spooky and stylish at the same time! What a fantastic flashback! xxx

    1. Yeah, it's definitely more of a North American thing, but dressing up is the best part! It's my favourite part (aside from the candy, ha!). Glad you enjoyed the Flashback, Ann! Thank you!

  11. Halloween is a great excuse to get creative and your costumes have always been exceptional. Love seeing them again.

    1. I so agree, Ally - thank you! Glad you enjoyed them. :)

  12. You and my niece would definitely get along well. Halloween is her favourite holiday and she dresses spectacularly for it as do you. I love all your costumes, but especially your Tippy Hedron!

    Sadly Halloween was a bust here in my neighbourhood. We put out candy and waited to see the kids, but sadly only two children ventured out all evening. Damn that covid!!

    1. Thank you, Nana! Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who loves to get dressed up. I love that Tippi one too.

      Aw, I'm sorry that it was a bust! Dang!

  13. Oh what a joy it must be to work with you! I really promised myself to start a tradition next year as we don't celebrate Halloween at all here. And I love it so much. Your Tippi look is so perfect!! Makes me want to watch all the old Hitchcock movies again!

    1. Ha ha, aw, you are so sweet, Nancy! I really have fun getting dressed up - and you should definitely re-watch some of those Hitchcock movies! They're fantastic!

  14. For people like L and you, this day is of course the ultimate thing. You get to dress up ! And how. Splendid costumes, all of them.
    You are really scary. I think the Mad Hatter is my favourite.
    Still cannot comment with prefilled details (my blog name) on my iPad or iPhone. I think Google doesn't allow it anymore (privacy reasons), as Safari has already done.

    1. It's usually a pretty big deal for us - I love that L always wants to get dressed up too!

      I love the Mad Hatter one, thanks! That's really odd about your commenting - your comments look like they always look to me. Maybe Google is still adjusting the new Blogger??

    2. When I am on my desktop, everything goes as normal. It is on my iPhone and iPad I am in trouble.

    3. Oh, that's bizarre - I'm sorry to hear that. :( I hope it gets better - they are constantly adjusting things in blogger.

  15. I adore the red shirts idea! I would totally join in (in fact, next time I wear a red jumper, I am totally going to add a communicator badge! Such a cool idea! I am so impressed with your dedication and creativity- it is so fun to have an excuse to dress up, though I don't do Halloween! I have a mild phobia of face paints so I almost never have costumes involving painting of my face- about as near as I have got is drawing on a nose and whiskers for a cat costume with eye liner and putting glittery eye-shadow on my cheek bones for the ice-queen.
    Your lame (lah-may- haha, I love how you always write the phonetic version just in case anyone doesn't know what Lame is and thinks you are being mean about yourself!) dress is gorgeous and is super versatile. It actually really looks like one my Mum had - I'm wondering if I can find a picture of it and see if it is the same dress...

    1. It is an awesome group costume, and all you need is a communicator badge, maybe an old flip-phone for a's easy to add things to make it work. I think I like the outfits where I play with make-up the best, actually!

      Heh, you caught me - yes, I'm too lazy to dig out the accented e for lah-MAY! Ooh, I would love to see your Mum's dress - wouldn't that be odd if we had the same one!

  16. mwhaha, this is my favourite flashback ever!, so many Fab outfits, I'm loving your Mad Hatter costume (including props, so proffessional!) and Tippi Hedren costume is such a creatively amazing idea!. And both you look so Fabulous in your Beetlejuice inspired attires, totally appropriate!. And Imperator Furiosa is a great inspiration indeed!

    1. It's one of my favourites too, Monica! I love all the costumes, really. Thank you!


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