Archive for November 2008

 
 

The Triumphant Christmas Tale of a Turkey Hen Named Judi the Cutie

One day a few weeks ago a lovely turkey hen named Judi the Cutie received a rather intriguing piece of mail. It was an invitation to attend the Lincoln family annual Thanksgiving dinner at their palatial home in West Hollywood, California. Judi was instantly elated by this invite and darted into her turkey den to pick out a costume for the occasion.

She didn’t make it more than five feet through the den door before she yelled “Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!” – translation, “I’m a turkey, I could be the dinner at this party!” Her hopes were instantly dashed. Fortunately, the feeling of disappointment didn’t last long.  As this was such a grand holiday affair, and her first holiday party invitation ever, Judi vowed to do everything in her power to attend.

Judi spent quite a bit of time over the weeks that followed thinking, planning and trying on a variety of deluxe costumes including: the Victorian Santa costume, The Nutcracker Toy Soldier costume, the sexy Mrs. Claus costume, and the North Pole Elf costume. She also squeezed into a few costumes for the little ones, the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer costume, a baby Christmas tree costume, and the children’s Santa Claus costume.

Then, on Thanksgiving Eve, Judi was out doing some holiday window shopping when she ran into to her friend Mary, pushing her new born son Jesse in a stroller. Judi and Mary took a break from their Holiday shopping to chat each other up.

Judi told Mary all about her Holiday costume crisis and during the middle of this rather animated discussion, Judi and Mary thought of the perfect Holiday costume. Judi the Cutie would show up in disguise wearing a super sexy female Santa costume!

Judi went to the Lincoln Thanksgiving dinner in her holiday costume and she was the belle of the ball!  Simply Stunning, throughout the evening she received compliments and praise on her fashionably sexy Christmas costume. Judi was triumphant. Her clever plan had worked!

That was exactly 5 years ago. Today, Judi will spend the day preparing for her 4th Annual Black Friday Christmas Costume Extravaganza; as you can imagine, her spirits are high. The featured models will be wearing stunning fashion forward Christmas Holiday costumes. She is particularly looking forward to seeing the hottie model wearing the men’s Sexy Santa costume.  Judie the Cutie may not be a spring chicken, but she’s no Mother Goose either!

Tale of the Fairies

One of the most popular costumes for girls of all ages is also one of the easiest to assemble: the fairy costume. Fairy costumes are distinctly feminine and can be uniquely customized in the style and color of your choice. Of course, you’ll want to stand out and be remembered for your outfit, so here are several options to consider when deciding on a fairy costume

Good and Evil

Decide on your preference between a good or evil fairy. Differently colored wings help to distinguish between the two, as does your fairy dress. If you can’t choose one, don’t be afraid to create a hybrid fairy of with helpful and mischievous tendencies. After all, even the most innocent fairies can be tempted by dark powers.

Generic vs. Specific

Think about the variety of fairies seen on the big screen and popular television like Tinker Bell from Peter Pan or the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella. There are also generic fairies and pixies, as seen in artwork and comic books. Specific fairies may require extra planning because in order to create an accurate Tinker Bell disguise, you’ll need to find an authentic-looking Tinker Bell outfit and wand. Ultimately, however, Tinker Bell is simply a fairy dressed in all green with blond hair while the generic fairy version has so much more potential, limited only by your imagination. Other specific fairy characters like the Tooth Fairy are still generic enough that you can generally dress however you see fit.

Eclecticism

One thing to always keep in mind is that you do not need to limit your fairy attributes to just a fairy costume. It’s safe to say that, in general, everything can be a fairy as long as it is somewhat feminine and has wings. Therefore, you can take a non-fairy costume, add wings, and suddenly you are the fairy version of the same costume. Example: If you are an adult, you can get an Oktoberfest Beer Garden Girl costume, add wings and instantly transform into the Beer Fairy. Or, if you like, put on a baseball outfit and you can be the Fairy of Foul Balls, aka the Fair Ball Fairy. Similarly, for girls you could find a popular princess outfit and transform your daughter into a fairy princess without difficulty. As you can see, there are an endless number of costume permutations that would work for a dress-up event.

The ease of dressing up as a fairy is also its primary benefit and by injecting a little creativity you’ll see it’s not that challenging to augment the outfit, creating a unique fairy costume that was effortlessly quick to develop and incredibly fun to wear.

Dressing In Style for Thanksgiving

Now that Thanksgiving is less than one week away, there are undoubtedly numerous tasks yet to be accomplished, all of which require meticulous preparation, precise timing and expert execution. In the remaining days it is important for you to develop and implement a well thought-out plan in order for your Thanksgiving dinner, gathering, or party to be successful. Topping the list among these tasks are cooking the Thanksgiving turkey, decorating your dinner party location and finding an appropriate Thanksgiving-themed outfit to wear.

Getting the House Ready
Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends, indulging in delectable turkey meals, reminiscing over the past and creating new memories. Therefore it is important that you prepare a warm and cozy setting for your guests to settle into. Fun is sure to be had if you decorate the table with a Native American, Pilgrim, or Turkey-style centerpiece. Hang some oversized cardboard bird cutouts on the walls. Think about showing the DVD of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or Planes, Trains and Automobiles after the kids go to sleep. It’s the little details that people end up remembering, so use your imagination – the effort will not go unnoticed!

Choosing Your Thanksgiving Outfit
As Thanksgiving is generally considered to be the official start of the Holiday Season, dressing up in an appropriate costume is a guaranteed fun and festive way to spend the day. There’s a veritable cornucopia of costumes to choose from, just browse our list below and pick your favorite.

1. For the Guys
Native American Indian, Mayflower Pilgrim, Colonial Settler, Tom the Turkey – All great choices for the holiday, just remember you’ll be about one size larger after dinner!

2. Ladies’ Choice
Native American Indian Maiden, Colonial Lady, Pilgrim Lady, Sexy Indian Princess, Sexy Pilgrim – The first three work well if you’ll be wearing it while cooking dinner. We recommend saving the sexy costumes until after dessert!

3. Boys Will Be Boys
Native American Indian Boy, Colonial Soldier, Pilgrim Boy – Kids will love these historical outfits and will want to wear them even when it’s not Thanksgiving!

4. The Little Misses
Native American Indian Girl or Colonial Girl – Make this Thanksgiving extra special for the little girls by spending it in costume!

Gobble gobble! There isn’t much time left, so get out to the market this weekend for all your Turkey Day food needs but let us handle your holiday costumes – you’ll be thankful you did!

Keep ‘Em Laughing with a Clever Clown Costume

Clown costumes are the rare kind of disguise that can be worn just about any time of year but especially for birthday and costume parties. Their popularity can directly be attributed to the jovial appearance and good humor inherent in the character, though putting together an amusing clown costume can possibly involve quite a bit of time, effort and makeup to successfully pull off. Clowns can also represent a darker side of the spectrum, easily turning evil and scary becoming the feared killer clown. The problem is that with so many clown possibilities, the standard clown becomes a costume that may be considered unoriginal.

So, if you want to wear a clown costume these days, you need to make sure you are doing it right from the start! Use your imagination, be creative and select a clown character that will be unique and stand out from the pack. Here are some ideas about how you can make your clown costume something special:

1. Ronald McDonald – Just because you are dressing like a clown does not mean you have to look like a generic clown. Ronald McDonald is a perfect example of a clown that is well known in pop culture but that few people actually think about when they are considering their costume. Don’t forget the bright red wig and bring some hamburgers with you as a great costume prop or snack if you get hungry! Also, as the night wears on and your white face paint begins to run you may start to look a little scary and demented, bringing us to…

2. The Scary Clown – Clowns can always become scary so feel free to frighten up your costume. Begin with any standard clown costume and apply make-up to give your clown a mean or unusual face, maybe adding a belt that holds a weapon like a machete or dagger. Pretend that your clown has a limp along with some wounds and scars for a more chilling and authentic visual effect!

3. Krusty the Clown – Back to the funny clowns, this one is a guaranteed laugh maker. Who doesn’t love The Simpsons and Bart’s favorite TV host? Remember the details and fans of the series will praise your dedication. Krusty is Jewish and had a heart attack, so a Star of David necklace and pacemaker scar along with a pack of cigarettes are good accessories for Krusty.

4. The Meta Clown – When in doubt, explore your creative side and make your clown costume a combination of a few looks. Select some well known characters from pop culture and transform them into clowns, perhaps more so than they already are. Morph two different clown characters and create your own original costume. Looking to make a political statement? Buy a George W. Bush mask and add some clown makeup. Like scary movies? Turn the hockey mask-wearing Jason from the Friday the 13th horror flicks into Jason the Jester. Design a clown version of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Combining two looks into one, the possibilities are endless!

Clown costumes are a great excuse to wear makeup, act silly, tell corny jokes, and make balloon animals. All you have to do is decide on your character’s intended look and outfit your clown with the appropriate decorations. After that, it’s all smiles for you and those around you. Good luck and happy clowning!

11 Consummate Christmas and Holiday Costume Ideas

The holiday season is here again. A joyous time to relax with family, indulge in meals and generously give presents, these last few weeks of the year are also highlighted by parties hosted by friends and employers. If you ask us, there’s no better way to celebrate than by donning a holiday-themed costume to attend these festive gatherings.

Christmas and holiday costume parties are always a great time, but finding an excellent costume is not always the easiest task. There are very few characters directly associated with Christmas and even fewer for Hanukkah. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and put together 11 Christmas and holiday costume options for you to choose from before it’s too late, snow begins to fall, and the egg nog starts to flow.

Holiday Costume Ideas for Adults

1. Santa Claus – Obviously the first character anyone thinks of in the context of Christmas, a Santa Claus suit is likely the easiest costume to find. Unfortunately, that dubious honor makes it one of the least original. Our suggestion is, if you are determined to dress up as Santa, give him a twist with a classic religious Victorian Santa look, the dark and gruff Bah Humbug Santa or the Sexy Santa for men or women.

2. Mrs. Claus – Helping to keep Santa warm at the North Pole all year round, one of these ladies costumes should be easy enough to locate. She’s an essential part of the holidays but, as always, adding some originality to your Mrs. Claus outfit will help ensure you are more of a distinctive presence and not just a background artist.

3. North Pole Elves – Elf outfits are almost always funny, but they can be downright hilarious if done correctly. Obviously green and red are primary color choices, but if you arrive as a blue or purple elf instead, that could be a memorable interpretation of the character. In addition, elves are perfect to spice up with accessories. Consider making your elf a bit more hip, with slick sun glasses and a rebel hairdo. At least in this way you will be adding some uniqueness to the character, thereby making it all the more memorable.

4/5/6. Three Wise Men / Star of Bethlehem / Virgin Mary – There’s no costume rule that says you can’t dress up as other characters and icons from the story of Jesus’ birth. The three wise men, the star of Bethlehem, even the Virgin Mary – each of these is a potentially amazing Christmas costume.

7. Hanukkah Harry – A jovial Santa Claus-like character who personifies the Jewish holiday, he originated from a Saturday Night Live skit and has become a renowned Hanukkah figure. Instead of the colors red and green, think blue and white – the national colors of Israel.

Whatever costume you choose to dress in, don’t be afraid to give the character a modern twist. Taking a well known character and updating their personality to represent the current times is a great way to make an old costume appear fresh and new.

Christmas Costume Ideas for Children

Most adult costumes work for equally well, with a few obvious exceptions such as the sexy outfits. However, the best costumes for kids are going to be the costumes that children rarely wear.

8. Santa Claus – Santa is an ideal costume for children to dress in, since Santa is almost always portrayed by an adult. Dress your child as Father Christmas Kris Kringle and they’re sure to leave a lasting impression on friends and family.

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Sing the popular Christmas song or watch the popular animated television special to refresh your child’s memory of this influential animal hero. An antler headband, red nose, and fluffy tail will get your outfit started as you prepare to pull Santa’s sleigh through the night

10. A Christmas Ornament – Here’s a unique idea: Dress your child as a Christmas decoration. Have them wear a giant round ball and decorate it with paint and glitter. Or perhaps your child can become a walking Christmas tree, complete with lights and tinsel. Using creativity and imagination you will find the possibilities here are limitless!

11. A Gift – Another option is to transform your child into one of the presents. All you need is a giant cardboard box, some tape, wrapping paper and a bow and you will have created a great outfit that he or she can sport throughout the holiday season.

Ben Franklin’s “Bird of Courage”

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, there are a few things to share about these majestic domesticated birds. The modern domesticated turkey is more than just the centerpiece of our traditional holiday family feast. This large bird of poultry primarily raised for food is a descendant of the wild turkey.

This tasty bird we call the turkey has been linked with the ancient Mesoamerican trickster god known as Tezcatlipoca and was first domesticated by the Mesoamericans. The Aztecs raised the turkey as one of their major sources of protein, but did you know that they used its feathers as a means of creative expression, as did many other Mesoamerican cultures. Wow, turkey art!

Turkey feather fibers have been blended with nylon and spun into yarn and used for knitting, while the USDA has patented a procedure for removing the stiff quill from the fibers which make up the feather. As this is a potential untapped supply of natural fibers, research has been conducted at Philadelphia University to determine textile applications for feather fibers.

Turkey Breeds – Some of the more distinguished breeds include; the Spanish Black, the Royal Palm, the Broad-Breasted White, the Broad-Breasted Bronze, the Blue Slate, the Bourbon Red, the Chocolate, the Heritage, and the Norfolk Black, to name a few.

Popular Tasty Turkey Dishes – The traditional baked turkey, the deep fried turkey, the turkey roast, turkey soup, turkey burgers and don’t forget there’s also turkey chili. A truly global meal, in Israel turkey, rather than lamb, is typically used to make shawarma and of course there’s the ever popular turkey sandwich.

5 Interesting Turkey Facts:

1. The average domesticated turkey has a 10 year lifespan.

2. Turkey meat with mole sauce is the unofficial national dish of Mexico.

3. Turkey dung is used to fuel electric power plants in western Minnesota.

4. Each year around Thanksgiving time one lucky turkey receives an official Presidential Pardon and sent off to live out its days at a petting zoo.

5. Benjamin Franklin regarded the turkey as a noble bird and preferred it to the eagle as the proposed symbol for the new United States, describing it as a “Bird of Courage.”

Participants at the First Thanksgiving – Heralded as a quintessential American family gathering, the original participants at that first Thanksgiving likely included: a few Indian Princesses, some Fearless Pilgrims and Brave Indians. Also in attendance were Colonial Soldiers, Sexy Indians, and some seriously Cute Pilgrim Children, all humbled, happy and satiated by the tasty bird.

Without a doubt, this grand bird of poultry is more than just delicious!

Ready for Your Close-Up: 20 Celebrity Costume Ideas

Choosing a costume for the holidays, a school event, party or other special occasion can be difficult, particularly if you’re short on creative inspiration and find yourself light on cash. So this time around, ditch the standard character ideas and dress yourself up as a famous celebrity from the annals of Hollywood history. With so many dramatic and comedic personalities to choose from, let us help make your disguise decision a bit easier. Here are 20 ideas for celebrity costumes new and old that will get the flash bulbs popping:

1. Marilyn Monroe – Who doesn’t know the iconic Marilyn look comprised of a white dress with billowing skirt, platinum blonde hair, seductive pout, and high heels. To complete the look, ask a friend to place a fan where you will be standing to send your skirt billowing

2. Elizabeth Taylor – Here’s one actress whose beauty hasn’t faded over the years. You can dress up as Liz by donning a Cleopatra ensemble or choose an elegant black dress and style your hair with a black classic wig. Don’t forget the violet contact lenses!

3. Lucille Ball – I love Lucy! And you will too when you dress up like this much-loved comedienne of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Her look comes with her curly red hair up (usually with bangs) and a ‘50s-stye dress.

4. Madonna – Like a Virgin? Material Girl? There are a multitude of Madonna incarnations to choose from. You can express yourself as blonde or brunette, just don’t forget the fishnet stockings, short dress, cross and other religious accessories. Go for the Pre-Raphaelite look from “Ray of Light,” the urban cowgirl of “Music,” the Patty Hearst look of “American Life,” the gangsta pimp and Art Deco style from her current “Sticky and Sweet” tour, or her longest-running fashion inspiration — the dominatrix.

5. Elvis Presley – Hundreds impersonate the king of rock and roll especially during Halloween and costume parties. If you can’t beat them, join them! You have the option of going as a young Elvis (thinner) or the older (and heavier) original American idol. Just don’t forget the guitar, flashy outfit, jewelry, and scarf.

6. Michael Jackson – The king of pop may be misunderstood but he’s still one of the most famous legends of the music industry. A fedora, big eyeglasses, sparkling military jacket, black pants (a bit short to show off a pair of glittery socks) and a flashy glove worn only on the right hand – this ensemble will automatically be recognized as the “King of Pop” even at a distance.

7. Audrey Hepburn – Elegance epitomizes what this famous actress is known for. Show up in character as Holly Golightly in her famous black Givenchy evening dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, wearing a ‘60s hairdo will help you pass as Audrey for sure.

8. Zac Efron – Sport a basketball uniform and dress up as his character Troy, Captain of the East High basketball team, from Disney’s High School Musical, or show up as Zac (the actor) wearing the Hollywood teen heartthrob look.

9. James Dean – If you want to appear as a suave Rebel Without a Cause, then James Dean it is. Hair should be combed back and parted at the middle. You should also wear a plaid shirt, and tight fitted jeans. Don’t forget a prop cigarette, preferably a fake one, to complete the look.

10. John Wayne – Who wouldn’t want to go to a costume party as a cowboy? The Duke is the most famous actor from the entire Western movie genre. All you need here is a cowboy suit and a pioneer attitude.

11. Liza Minnelli – Think Broadway. Liza is renowned for fishnet stockings, black mini dress or tanga, short black hair, and well made-up eyes.

12/13. Donny & Marie Osmond – Flashy costumes with big hair, heavy on the rhinestone jewelry, feathers and gold lame should do the trick.

14. Sammy Davis, Jr. – A founding member of the Rat Pack, Sammy is best known for his sleek performances wearing a thin moustache, sunglasses (day or night) and open neck suit.

15. Liberace – Here’s one guy whose appearance defines flamboyancy. Flashy clothes, big blonde hairdo, lots of gold and a loud personality should complete the look.

16. Bruce Lee – If you are into martial arts then you shouldn’t mind dressing up as Bruce Lee. An apple cut hairdo and a martial arts gi (uniform) are pretty much all you need. Note: simply wearing a black belt does not mean you should demonstrate how to break a wooden board with your forehead.

17. John Travolta – If you love disco dancing and the ‘70s then John Travolta is your best pick. Remember his white suit while dancing under a disco ball during his Saturday Night Fever heyday? Let that image be your costume guide.

18. Cyndi Lauper –One of the most popular female performers from the 1980s. Well-known for a crazy hairdo, almost skin head shaved on one side and long and colorful on the other, her clothes were also very vibrant and outrageous.

19. Boy George – Famous for a strong, soulful singing voice and provocative sense of fashion, this lead singer of the ‘80s group Culture Club made a loud fashion statement with his androgynous persona, distinctive costumes comprised of trench coat, long hair and fedora along with heavy makeup.

20. Don Johnson – Detective Sonny Crockett from the hit ‘80s TV series Miami Vice, he’s well known for a fashionable open neck shirt with coat folded or pushed back and leather shoes worn without socks. Prepare yourself for the inevitable barrage of people asking “Where’s Tubbs?”

These 20 famous actors, actresses and musicians should provide you with plenty of options when it comes time to assemble an instantly recognizable costume. Just remember to stay in character when star-struck fans flock toward you for an autograph!

Coming Alive Off the Page: The Best Costumes Inspired by Books

The Holiday season is officially underway and along with it come the festive celebrations that this special time of year inspires. You may already have plans to attend a few of these holiday events, some of which could be costume parties. If you’re looking to take home the prize for Best Costume but have run out of ideas for the time being, let us assist you with our disguise expertise. One solution is to wear a costume that is tried and true in terms of longevity and popularity. Some of the greatest characters to choose from are those from classic novels and stories. Don’t worry, there’s no need to rush out to the library. Take our advice – here are some of the best costumes inspired by books:

1. Fairy Tales – Cinderella, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood

2. Classic Works – Little Women, Frankenstein, Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson, Don Quixote, Rhett Butler & Scarlett O’Hara, Robinson Crusoe, Quasimodo

3. The Lord of the Rings Series– Frodo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Sauron, Sam Gamgee, Merry & Pippin, Aragorn, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas, Gollum

4. Nursery Rhymes – Little Bo Peep, Humpty Dumpty, Jack & Jill, Three Blind Mice, The Owl & The Pussycat, Little Boy Blue, Little Miss Muffet, Mother Goose

5. The Harry Potter Family – Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid, Sirius Black, Death Eater, Voldemort

6. Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow – The Headless Horseman, the beautiful temptress Katrina Van Tassel, school teacher Ichabod Crane, among others

7. Shakespeare’s Novels – Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra

8. The Golden Compass – Lyra or her daemon Pantalaimon, Lord Asriel, the witch Serafina Pekkala, the armored bear, the golden monkey, King Ogunwe, or Lady Salmakia

9. The Chronicles of Narnia – Lucy, Susan, Peter, Edmund, Aslan, Queen Jadis the White Witch, Mr. Tumnus the faun, Prince Caspian, Puddleglum the cheerful Marsh-wiggle

Before you select your favorite costume from these options, open up one of your favorite books past or present. Given the wide range of dastardly villains, magical figures and mysterious characters that you have read about – your costume choices are literally limitless!

Most Popular Costumes for School Plays

These days, schools are trying to bring the arts back into their classroom programs. As such, school plays have once again become an important part of the American classroom. Parents visit the school to watch their children perform either a play written for their age group or an adapted classic Shakespearean play performed with most of the objectionable parts removed.

Often times it is the job of the parent to dress up their child for the play. Some parents sew the costumes themselves in order to create that homemade look, but considering the disaster that could potentially happen when a parent tries to sew, it is probably better to purchase a pre-made costume designed and created by professionals, rather than the abilities of a passionate yet untrained adult.

School Play Costumes

The type of costume often depends on the age group. One of the most popular school play costumes is of little animals because when kids are younger they often participate in some variation of a Noah’s Ark or Animal Sounds play that is really designed to make their kids look cute rather than actually perform any type of stage art.

As children get older, the school plays start to have more thematic content. That is when costumes like the Roman gladiator tend to become more popular, as there are several plays that take place around that time period. Roman gladiator costumes tend to be popular for anything that happened during that time period, including Greek history, since historical accuracy is rarely what the schools focus on.

There are also a lot of pirate costumes, because there are many ways to tell a pirate story. Pirate stories are popular with teachers, because they have a hero, a climax, and choreography without having to learn one of the more content-driven classic plays that may be difficult for younger kids to perform.

A similar logic holds true with fairy tales. Fairy tale characters have several story variations and costume types that are popular for younger kids. From princesses to dragons, there are a variety of styles and characters to dress your child and many story lines available for teachers to pursue. There are also usually enough different characters for many kids to participate, even if the only part available for them is the tree or a silent soldier.

Finally, if all else fails, characters like little red riding hood are always a plus.

While costumes clearly depend on the play, the fairy tale costumes, animal characters, and roman soldiers still persist as some of the most popular costumes for school plays. These costumes are often seen at any grade, from kindergarten to fifth, and although they may trail off as the children get older in favor of more historically accurate and personalized costumes, they are consistently featured in elementary schools across the country.