Months ago, my partner and I started discussing potential costumes for Halloween. It’s been a while since I’ve really, truly dressed up for Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday, but I usually have to work the day or night of and until this year, I wasn’t in a spot where I felt good enough after work to want to go out and celebrate with friends or strangers or any mixture thereof. This year, we’re going to host a thing at our apartment — small, quiet, fun.
We discussed lots of options for costumes, most of them variations on “couple costumes”. There are so many options, especially once you open up, dismantle and eventually toss out gender roles. Eventually, we settled on costumes that did involve us and another being — but not each other. This year, I’ll be dressing up as one of my new favorite cartoon and comic book characters: Bee. My adorable furbaby, Tommen, will be dressing up as Bee’s right-hand man: Puppycat.
This cartoon series has become one of my go-to, feel-good remedies. It’s so happy and easy and enjoyable. The comic series is fantastic, as well; Natasha Allegri’s art and writing are so delightful in every way. The more I thought about this costume idea, the more I fell in love with it. It just fell into place so easily once we adopted our cats and brought them home in February. Once the image of Tommen as Puppycat entered my brain, I couldn’t shake it. She’s just going to be so cute!
Obviously, Tommen’s portion of this costume is easy: all she really needs is a “leather” jacket from Build-A-Bear. I doubt she’ll be willing to wear it for much longer than it requires to take the obligatory photos for social media, but that’s totally okay. She might surprise me, though — she did happily wander around the apartment in a DIY kitten coat after her spaying surgery with almost zero complaints and only a few attempts to wiggle out of the jersey fabric. She might be totally into the jacket. We’ll have to wait and see.
My costume, on the other hand, required a bit more thought and a bit more shopping. Bee’s standard outfit is a yellow sweater with a big bee on it, a pink skirt, white knee socks, and little pink shoes. Sounds simple, right? Those colors are common, especially with the trend in brights and pastels that’s been happening lately. It seems like you can’t walk into any department store without encountering at least one clothing item that’s solid, bright pink from top to bottom.
Sounds like an excellent opportunity to go shopping! Except… I hate shopping. Also, clothing is usually overpriced and realistically, I don’t want to spend a ton on a Halloween costume. So, sounds like an excellent opportunity to go thrifting at my local Savers, right? Except… I’ve never been very good at thrifting, primarily because I have such a hard time finding cute, quality used clothing that’s actually in my size. However, inspired by this perfect costume (and future cosplay) idea, I asked a friend who’s super pro at thrifting to take me shopping and teach me his ways. When I went looking for pictures of Bee and Puppycat to use for inspiration (and to show co-workers whose lives haven’t yet been blessed by this beautiful series), I encountered this drawing by stare507 on DeviantArt:
As you can see, it’s a bit of a twist on the “classic” Bee look. She’s got little tan shoes with bows instead of pink Mary Janes and shorts instead of a skirt. I opted to use this drawing as my primary inspiration and saved it to my phone before our shopping trip. We went this afternoon, tip money burning through our pockets, and although I had to make a quick stop at Target for one part of the costume, I came home with all the pieces I needed to complete my Bee ensemble.
Not bad, huh? The boots are Madden Girl, which I bought on clearance last year for $8. The socks came in a two-pack that I bought in the same purchase as the boots for $15 (which breaks down to $7.50 per pair). I bought the white, collared shirt at Old Navy in May for work; I believe it was on sale for $20. The only two pieces I purchased today on our trip were the yellow sweater, which was $4 at Savers, and the pink skater dress, which I bought at Target for $25. That’s expensive, I know, but! It was the LAST DRESS in that color and it was IN MY SIZE, which felt like some sort of sign when I saw it hanging, perfectly centered below a fluorescent light, on the back wall of the women’s department. The only thing for the costume that’s missing from this photo is a Bee. How am I going to incorporate Bee’s signature insect into this outfit, you ask? Well, for this bit, I did splurge. I bought these bee lapel pins on Etsy last week and am just awaiting their arrival in my mailbox.
This costume isn’t 100 percent perfect or 100 percent accurate, which is okay with me. It’s one that I can easily see myself wearing comfortably if I ever make it to Comic Con, and each individual piece is something I can wear in combination with lots of other things in my closet. The fact that I really only had to buy two actual pieces of clothing is really awesome, too. It allowed me to splurge a little on the dress and the lapel pins without feeling too bad about it, because I’ve been looking for a skater dress all summer and my recent obsession with bees would have pointed me in the direction of lapel pins and other jewelry at some point, anyway. Halloween costumes usually run in the $50 range, it seems, so I feel like I did pretty alright.
I’m super stoked to rock this costume this Halloween, and to rock it at future events as well. It will give me an opportunity to talk about lots of things I love: Bee and Puppycat, my cat, and comics! What more could I ask for? (Keep an eye on my Instagram for photos if you want to see how it all comes together.) Happy Halloween!