Costume (Love) Story

31 Oct

On our very first date, Zack had been going on and on about how near and dear the White Stripes were to his heart, and how much he adored Jack White. So when he asked me, “Do you have plans for Halloween? What are you going to be?” I naturally joked, “Well, why don’t we go as the White Stripes?” I will never forget the look he gave me. I’ve described it before — it was this mix of, “How did I not think of that?” and, “Oh my God, who is this girl?” that made me melt a little. It was decided then and there that we’d couple it up as Zack’s favorite rock duo, and I really believe this is also part of the reason he at least gave me a month’s worth of relationship*; we had to follow-through with this brilliant Halloween plan, after all.

This set the precedent for us, because we went all out. We got a hairstylist to style our wigs authentically, we went clothes-shopping together to make sure we each passed as our chosen character, and Zack went so far as to dye his beard black** (note his slightly dark fingernails). We knew we’d have to be a rock couple every year out, so this year, we started brainstorming early. We were afraid Win Butler and Regine Chassagne from Arcade Fire would be too discrete***, and Zack refused my plea to go as Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham**** (even though he’d be a perfect Lindsey. Someday…someday.) We finally settled on Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. It seemed apropos, since Kurt had been in the media quite a bit this year and people were thinking about the curse of the age 27 after Amy Winehouse’s death. The question was — could we pull it off?

*It certainly did more than this heinous semi-colon directly after this footnote. Seriously though, I was totally into you at that point anyway, but a couple friends did note that I was signing up for another month with the costume idea, but I was all-in. Getting to watch “Under Great White Northern Lights” and costume shop just added a couple fun dates.

**Not just beard. Eyebrows and sideburns too. The eyebrows were dark all through Fun Fun Fun and I always think I look like a freak in pics from that festival, even if no one else notices.

***And because Win’s hair is a nightmare that only he can pull off without looking like Hitler youth.

****”What are you guys? Like 70’s or something?” -Everyone we’d hypothetically run into in Stevie & Lindsey costumes. Kill me.

I’d argue we totally did. Zack went for some super ripped-up jeans that caused the Goodwill clerk to ask him, “Do you really want to buy these*?” We found a striped shirt that was totally Kurt, and Zack already had a long-sleeved white shirt that his dad bought him when he was in town. The guitar was a recycle from last year (thanks, Eric and Rob!) and the wig and glasses were totally perfect and lucky finds, courtesy of Lucy in Disguise. The finishing touch was that Zack looked up the specific brand of cigs Kurt like to smoke. I gave him a lot of crap for smoking, but he hated (/hates) it and mostly just held the cigarette in his hand**.

*Not to sound like an entitled rich kid (I’m really not), but I love (love!) when goodwill employees don’t understand that you’re buying things for Halloween or costume parties. Torn jeans?! “But, but, but … didn’t you see we had perfectly good $7 Mossimo’s back there? Why are you buying these?” They can’t process it. 

**Oh, I smoked them. And it was terrible. First and last pack of cigarettes I will ever buy. I gave Tristan half the pack at the end of the night, let at least 3-4 get bummed throughout the night and my chest felt like someone was sitting on it the next day. I will never be a cigarette smoker. Thank god.

I had a lot more trouble trying to find something that was “typical” Courtney Love to wear. Mostly, she just looks like a train wreck, pairing items that make no sense and showing more skin than I normally feel comfortable showing. I was ready to throw in the towel*, when I came across this perfect lacy baby doll dress at a different Goodwill location, sticking out almost as if it was presenting itself to me. It was just see-through enough to be trashy, particularly when paired with a turquoise leopard-print bra, and then I added black stockings and my funky 90s boots to give it that grunge twist. I got the wig at Lucy in Disguise (it was literally called “Courtney,”) and then looked up a photo of the gal to base my makeup off of.

*It’s a tough costume, but you totally killed it. Just like you killed Kurt (I don’t really believe that.)

I knew I had to smear my lipstick, although I did so somewhat begrudgingly (ask Whitney and the other Caitlin, who witnessed me trying to mess up my face but continuously hitting right on my mouth*). I based the eyes on a photo of Court I found with dark, green and purple shadows, and made sure my cheeks were a deep red. Score! Until next year…

*HA. I didn’t want to say anything, but it def could have been smudgier. The perfectionist in you wouldn’t let that happen. The eyes were immaculate, though. 


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