The Frightening Amount of Preparation Halloween Requires

You might think it’s too early, but you won’t be laughing when the Ash Ketchum costumes are sold out.

By Katie Sanchez, University of Texas at San Antonio

Halloween is only (yes, only) three months away.

If you haven’t decided what you’re dressing up as, you should be spooked. You should know what you’re going to be for Halloween at this point because it’s wickedly important to give yourself ample time to plan your costume.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to purchase your attire, you still need to go through the process of selecting, trying on and buying your future Halloween getup.

Not convinced? Maybe these points will be so bloodcurdling that they’ll enchant you into preparing for this frighteningly close holiday.

1. Making and Buying Your Costume Takes Time

If you’re going to make your costume stitch by stitch, you really need to finalize your attire ASAP. Not only do you need to shop for the needed materials, but you’ll also need to put it all together.

Even if you’re experienced with creating clothes, you need to have enough time because you never know what can happen.

What if you sewed together some pants, but it turns out you made them too small? Or what if you ordered some fabric online only to receive it and discover that it’s not the color you wanted? You might even run out of materials, which means you’re going to need to go out and purchase some more. Essentially, anything can go wrong, so you must be prepared.

Halloween is Only Three Months Away—Are You Ready?If you’re going to purchase your costume, you need to go to a Halloween store before everyone else does. As the wicked holiday creeps closer, stores are going to become packed with people, which means that you’ll have to push and shove your way through crowds. Not only that, but you might have to try on your costume, so you’ll have to wait in line for the changing rooms. Essentially, going to the store in the month of October will be an annoyance—something that you can easily avoid.

Even if you purchase your attire online, you are running the risk of ordering the wrong size. If you order a few month in advance, you’ll have plenty of time to exchange your costume if needed.

2. Looking for Costume Pieces Is Difficult

It doesn’t matter if you simply need to buy clothes to put together a costume, you still need to hunt for those trilling costume pieces, which can prove challenging.

Let’s say you want to be May (from Pokémon) for Halloween. Her outfit may (haha) seem simple, but locating each article of clothing is not. You’ll have to find a short, plain, white skirt—one that isn’t poofy or too tight. Also, don’t forget that it’s a solid white skit, so it can’t be transparent either. Amazon has numerous white skirts, but sorting through hundreds of pages isn’t too exciting.

Sure, stores like Forever 21 or H&M might have something, but what if the skirt you find isn’t like May’s? I mean, you can find something that is at least similar to it, but if you can’t find something that tickles your fancy, that means you gotta keep searching.

Do you see how much of a struggle buying clothes can for this ghoulish holiday can be? And that’s for only one part of her outfit.

The difficulty only amps up if you want to cosplay as May. Each item of her attire that you purchase needs to be on point, so your appearance can match hers. Not one piece can differ from May because you’ll break away from the meaning of cosplay, which will result in your costume not looking as badass as you’d want it to be.

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(Please note that there’s nothing wrong if you don’t want to cosplay. If you want to dress up as someone, your goal should be to find items that will allow you to look very similar to that someone, not look EXACTLY like someone. As long as you enjoy your costume, all is well.)

3. Good Costumes Sell Out

Even if you’re going to purchase your costume, you need to make sure you buy it as soon as you can, especially if your character is popular at the moment.

If the demand for your character’s attire is high, chances are that stores will sell out of what you want, which means you won’t be able to dress up as the person you wanted to be. You’ll be left severely disappointed, so why not avoid that sadness? The sooner you decide who to be, the sooner you can guarantee your outfit for Halloween.

4. If Your Costume Requires Make-Up, You’ll Need to Practice Applying It

Unless you have a friend who is a make-up guru, you’ll have to worry about applying make-up, which can be difficult. Sure there are application videos on YouTube you can watch, but observing someone putting on beauty products is different from doing it on your own.

Similar to sewing your Halloween attire, you might make mistakes. Therefore, it’s better to practice your look a couple of times before your big debut.

You don’t want your first application to happen on the day of Halloween because you won’t know how much time you’ll need or how you’ll look afterwards. If you give yourself time to practice, you’ll know what you need to improve on, what to expect and how much time you’ll need. Plus, the more you practice, the better your make-up will look.

5. Costumes Cost Money

Whether you’ll be creating or purchasing your costume, you’ll need money, and in some cases, lots of it. A typical adult costume can cost $40 or more, depending on where you search.

If you’re going to make your own apparel, you should expect to spend anywhere from $40 to $100 or more.

Nevertheless, the amount you spend is contingent upon how elaborate you character’s costume is.

6. Discovering What You Want to Be Can Prove Difficult

Pokémon Go is very popular right now—should you be Ash Ketchum? But “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was released this past December, so why not be Kylo Ren? Wait, didn’t the office want to be Harry Potter characters?

The possibilities are endless when deciding who to be for Halloween, so picking just one person to dress up as can be difficult. Quite honestly, coming to a final decision takes time because you want to pick someone you’ll feel amazing being, but you need to make sure you’ll have enough money. You don’t want to wear a costume “just because.” You want to wear a costume because you feel cool dressed up as that character. At the same time, you don’t want to sacrifice a month’s worth of groceries, so give yourself a good amount of time to choose.

Whether your cosplaying or buying your costume, you need to decide who you’re going to be for Halloween soon, because costumes require time and money. Creating your outfit can be fun, but you need ample time to come out with an amazing product. If you’re purchasing your attire, don’t wait too soon, because you don’t want find out that a store ran out of the product you wanted. Either way, when you’re wearing your costume, you should feel awesome. You’re dressed as the character of your choosing, so rock it!