Random Ephemera

6 Ways to Dress Like a Houstonian for Halloween

Halloween is coming up, and a lot of folks are trying to figure out what kind of costumes they'll be wearing this year. This is a weird year, and some outfits just won't cut it anymore — dressing like an evil clown might get a person arrested or shot, and those "costumes in a bag" that are so popular span a range from "didn't try too hard, but it's adequate" to "this is a terrible fail on every level." For those Houstonians with any crafting abilities and local pride, there is always the option of making a costume that shows their love of this great city. Costumes like...

6. Sexy Luxury Town Home

All one needs is a thong and a little creativity with scissors and a box to create the "Sexy Halloween" version of New Houston's favorite home style — the "Luxury" Town Home. Sure, the real things aren't built very well, and they all tend to look the same, but that can be said of most "sexy" Halloween costumes too, so it's a natural crossover.

5. "Possum and Garbage Can" Couples' Costume

Couples costumes usually look a little desperate and forced, but they are popular. For those who want to show off a little H-Town swagger and avoid the played-out superhero and pop cultural references that most of this year's couple costumes seem to rely on, what better choice than to come dressed as our city's only native marsupial and its favorite food source? That's right, it's time to see a few couples dressed as possums and garbage cans. With a little work, this could even be made into a "sexy" variation...It seems like anything can these days...

4. Houston Freeways

Our much-reviled sprawling freeway system is famous, and justifiably so. A section of I-10 is 26 lanes, making it the widest freeway in the world — that's worth some bragging rights, isn't it? Our freeways would also make great Halloween costumes for men or women. Simply take a gray dress or suit, use fabric paint to draw lanes, and stick a bunch of toy cars all over it. For those who want to get really creative, they can add realistic details like "car fire" or "suddenly closed lane." Nothing is fun about sitting in traffic, but sitting around dressed like traffic at a Jell-O-shot-fueled Halloween party sounds like loads of fun!

3. The Astrodome

Say what you will about the Astrodome, but generations of Houstonians knew it as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" for years. It was the world's first domed, multi-purpose sports stadium, reigning over our fair city with futuristic innovations such as AstroTurf and its animated scoreboard. So why not use the Astrodome as inspiration for a Halloween costume? There are many approaches that could be explored, from full-on wearable re-creations of the building itself, to more abstract versions. Pants or a skirt fashioned from AstroTurf and a shirt depicting the animated sign could be pretty spectacular, and relatively simple to make. I've never seen an Astrodome costume before, and that seems like a true injustice.

2. Giant Mosquito

This one is a no-brainer, and some folks might think it's low-hanging fruit, but I haven't seen a heck of a lot of mosquito costumes, and that just seems weird. There are so many interesting ways one could go with this one - scary, blood-sucking and monstrous, or sultry and sexy...Why not? Vampires got the sexy treatment, and they're basically just blood-drinking creeps, something they have in common with Houston's resident insect. Whichever angle you decide to go with, just have fun with it. No one says pestilential bugs can't be the life of a Halloween party!

1. Mattress Store

It's 2016, and nothing says "Houston" quite as much as a mattress shop. They seem to be on every block lately, redefining once eclectic and iconic neighborhood's like Montrose into "Mattrose"; something more quilted and plush, perhaps. So how does a person dress like a mattress store? As with many of these ideas, there are different approaches, but if a person wants to avoid the boxy option of dressing "like" a building, he could just hollow out a real mattress and make holes for his head, arms and legs. Then he can just add a sign reading "Mattress Firm" (or the name of other mattress store of choice) to the front, and he's all set to spread the most peculiar form of homogenized gentrification just like the real deal! Mattress stores seem to be the business equivalent of zombies — becoming more numerous every day, and gobbling up everything in their path. What could be spookier than that?
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Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.