I have to admit, I find Halloween more exciting than Christmas. There is far less pressure associated with Halloween as opposed to Christmas; no scouring the shops for the perfect gifts battling with fellow harassed shoppers, no chaotic traffic from morning until night, no adverse weather conditions, there are no cheesy tunes dedicated to the old romantics and no mistletoe. Instead, we have the fun of the Jazz Weekend coupled with Halloween fancy dress parties over two weekends!
Over the past number of years, adult fancy dress parties have become increasingly popular. I absolutely adore them! In some ways, maybe it may seem childish wishing to dress up in a costume and maybe it is, but I simply can’t resist. The array of costumes now is bigger than ever so our choice is endless! Gone are the days when my mother used to cut three holes in a black refuse sack, one for my head and the other two for my arms and da-daa, I was a scary witch. In fact much to her dismay, she will most likely find me dressed as a French maid, a naughty nurse or something totally inappropriate. I had a right chuckle recently when I saw my editor tweet about one costume in particular in which she said – “A sexy bee – what the hell is a sexy bee”. Totally legitimate question, which would receive a totally illogical answer – but that’s all part of the fun of Halloween.
Instead of the Jazz last weekend, I opted to go to a fancy dress party in town with the girls. As we were enjoying our drinks at the beginning of the night, we were observing the outfits and of course the talent as people began to arrive. The vast majority of people really got into the spirit of things and put a huge amount of effort into their costumes. I felt this year, that the men in particular really did get into the spirit of things. I suppose the idea of fancy dress is that we get to live out a fantasy of being that character for one night. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned my costumes in the last paragraph!
On the night in question, I noticed that there were a few popular male costume choices which obviously told me a lot about the hidden fantasy that they were trying to emulate on that evening.
- Pilot – A popular choice since the movie, Catch Me If You Can starring Leonardo Di Caprio where he got to ‘live the dream’ as a lothario with dozens of cabin crew hanging off his arms as he strutted through the airport. Unfortunately though, here in Ireland 99.9 per cent of pilots don’t bear any resemblance to Leonardo or any other Hollywood actor for that matter, but that is the beauty of fancy dress – you can be who you want for that one night. And definitely, the pilot costume was a hit with the women that night!
- Superhero (Batman, Superman etc.) – As we all know, a superhero is a character that has extraordinary superhuman powers dedicated to protect the public. I am always amazed by men’s fascination with all things fantasy from their childhood, right up to adulthood. I found it endearing, bordering on ridiculous though how into character some of the superheroes were – I began to worry that maybe they dress up as Ninjas at home too!
- Pimps/gangsters – This was a very popular choice for the boys travelling in groups and it really did show the devilish side of their personalities. They got to live out their daring side as Al Capone, Jesse James, The Kray Twins or Johnny Torino. However, some of them really opted for an over greased look with low buttoned shirts and I think they were more inspired by Dirk Diggler. This was not a good look on the night and most of the Dirks were left lurking near the bar with a creepy grin.
There were many more costumes from sailors, to navy officers, to cowboys, to cavemen. And while, all of us do live out a fantasy in those costumes, I think it’s more as break from reality for one night than any more serious. I also loved how much effort people did put in and from a female perspective, I loved how the men equally participated in the fun which showed that all the guys there had the ability to laugh at themselves which is a very endearing quality. On the night in question for those of you wondering, the girls and I went collectively as ‘Minnie Mouse’. Unfortunately though, we didn’t see any Mickey Mouse!