When I was growing up, it seemed that my family never had enough money to buy costumes for Halloween. My sister and I would always have to bear wearing costumes that our mother would make us. Looking back we understood that these costumes were made with love and our mother simply did the best she could. Nevertheless, when you are a child you do not think in those terms, and every Halloween seemed more like a time of embarrassment than fun.
Alright, fast forward to 1980, and again Halloween was approaching. As the holiday approached I had no idea what costume I was going to try to make. Then I remembered the movie “Star Wars” had come out the previous year and the characters in that movie were considered to be the best Halloween costumes. I decided I would be Luke Skywalker; it was a perfect match for me because I looked pretty similar to the character.
The costume itself was really simple and I did not have to make it look exactly the same as in the movie to make it look good. Luckily for me, corduroy was a very popular type of pants at the time, and I had my share of them. I picked out a nice dark brown pair of corduroy pants and set them aside. Then I had to come up with a shirt, but that was no problem because I would use one of my dad’s shirts. It was very big on me and I could wrap it around, and then fasten it with a white terry clothe bathrobe belt.
I was even in luck when it came to the perfect pair of boots as well. One of my uncle’s hobbies was making moccasins from those mail order kits. I had my own pair of moccasin boots and it was a perfect look when I tucked my pants legs into them. Now, I considered myself very fortunate that all of these things I was able to put together and it did not cost a dime. I would have been satisfied with my dad’s black metal flashlight as my “Light Saber,” however; my dad went one better for me.
My dad worked as a Boson’s Mate in the Navy and would moonlight as a maintenance man at the local Holiday Inn. This gave him access to bits and pieces of miscellaneous items, and he brought me home a nice two and a half foot long, piece of clear Plexiglas. It was the perfect addition to the flashlight, and he helped me fasten it together with a lot of duct tape. To my surprise it worked and it looked really cool. Of course, it was clear Plexiglas, but that did not matter, it was awesome.
I guess you would have to say that it does not really matter how much, if anything you spend for a costume. Sometimes the best costumes are home made. That Luke Skywalker costume I created was truly the best costume I had ever had.