Author Archives: Camilla

Coming Soon to a Halloween Near You

Halloween is less than two months away! I hope you’ve all started to prepare. Just in case you can’t think of anything, here’s a short list of what I think will be popular costumes this year.

The Joker

joker1.jpgAdmittedly, there will still be a number of Batmans running around, especially among the younger folk, but it’s clear to see that the Joker was the real attraction of the film Dark Knight, and I’ve already seen Joker costumes popping up all over the place, for events like the movie premiere and conventions. Undoubtedly a fair amount of these will be used for Halloween too. Some of them are amazingly accurate, all the way down to the green hair and smudged, worn makeup.

For the Joker, you will need a long purple coat, a light purple suit jacket, a green vest, a reptile print shirt, purple pinstripe pants, a green camouflage print tie, black shoes, and multi-colored socks (try finding Mardi Gras socks for that). Good luck! For makeup you’ll need some kind of temporary green hair dye (it’s probably more like hair paint), white joker2.pngcream makeup base, red makeup for the mouth, black makeup for the eyes, and brown makeup for creating the shadows and basically helping to smudge and dirty up the makeup job.

There are plenty of tutorials for making Joker costumes online. If you can’t sew, that’s not a problem! You can buy clothing at thrift stores that are similar to the style you need, but light in color, and then simply dye them purple or green. This article on Associated Content gives pretty good instructions for it.

Dr. Horrible

horrible.jpgIt’s not just us here at My Disguises who are obsessed with the bad doctor. Even though it’s been difficult for costumers to get the costume items they need to make an accurate Dr. Horrible costume, we know that they will do whatever it takes to get out there on Halloween night with all that mad scientist style.

We’ve posted previously about what’s needed in a Dr. Horrible costume, and there is plenty of fan discussion over at

deadbowie.jpgBut what if you want to show your love for this phenomenon, without looking like everyone else? If you’re a girl you can put together a Penny outfit. Why not go as Billy, Captain Hammer, or even better, choose another villain from the Evil League of Evil? My personal favorite is Dead Bowie, but you can choose for yourself. This post on has a rundown of all the ELE characters, including screenshots of all of them.


pirates2.jpgEven though there hasn’t been a big pirating film out this year, I think it’s safe to assume that everyone still loves pirates, and they will be strong contenders at Halloween for a few more years yet.

The great thing about pirate costumes is that you don’t have to base your costume on a specific character (unless, of course, you want to). They can be as fancy or as simple as you like, and you can make a costume for males and females.

The most simple, pared down basics for a pirate costume is a puffy shirt, and baggy pants, or a skirt for the girls, if desired, and a sash to tie around your waist or head. pirates3.jpg From there, you can go on to add hats or bandanas, fancy pirate coats, vests, corsets for the girls, big boots, fat leather belts, jabots, weapons, lots of jewelry, and any other piratey accessory! Make sure to decorate things with skulls and crossbones—I found some awesome silver skull and crossbones buttons at a fabric store the other day.

pirates4.jpgIf you’re thinking about historically accurate pirate costumes, I’ve found that the Pirates of the Caribbean films are actually pretty good references, and corroborate a lot of the research I’ve done on the period (mid-to-late 1700s); with the exception of most of Elizabeth’s costumes, and some of the more obviously fantasy-based costumes. Of course, you can do your own research by searching online or checking out fashion history books.

And while I’m on the topic, let’s give another reminder that Talk Like a Pirate Day is just a few days away! We’ll hear more from FunkyLady on that soon.

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When Cosplays Collide

Cosplaying is interesting. It’s one thing to dress up as a character you like, but cosplaying generally involves having to act like the character as well. Cosplayers pride themselves on having the most accurate, authentic costume possible, and when cosplayers start making up their own characters, things start getting a little crazy.

One interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed is something I’m going to call crossover cosplaying (this is not to be confused with crossplaying, which is crossdressing cosplaying). It’s when a cosplayer, usually for a humorous effect, combines two characters from two different canons. Sometimes a character from one canon is simply placed into a different canon, without being combined with another character.

Hello Kitty Darth Vader
A fairly famous example of this is the Hello Kitty Darth Vader.


Elvis Trooper
Perhaps an even stranger Star Wars crossover cosplay is the Elvis Trooper.


Sailor Blueberry Muffin
I like the Sailor Blueberry Muffin, a Sailor Moon and Strawberry Shortcake
crossover, which I found on It’s delicious!

Obviously, this type of cosplaying veers away from the canon image that is so highly respected in cosplaying, which is why this is done more for fun and laughs. It also requires more creativity in designing the costume than normal cosplay, because the cosplayer first must decide which characters to combine, and then figure out how to make a costume which represents both of these characters in the way the cosplayer desires.

This isn’t a very popular trend yet—in fact, crossover cosplayers are kind of considered the oddballs of the groups! Some cosplayers feel that crossover cosplayers are just mocking the cosplaying phenomenon, but I think they’re just trying to have fun with costume design and characters they love.

Let us know about some crazy crossover cosplays you’ve seen!

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Literature, Music, and Costumes

Previously we posted about Flight of the Conchords and the zany costumes they come up with for their music videos. But they’re not the only band that dresses up for fun!

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with wizard rock. It’s a genre that promotes literacy and fighting evil by rocking out to Harry Potter-based music. There’s much more to wizard rock that I can really cover in a pithy sentence, but what I’m really here to talk about, of course, is the costuming. Part of what makes it so awesome is that everyone can dress up. The bands dress as characters from the books, the fans dress up as witches and wizards, and even the instruments get costumes!

Music, Harry Potter, and costumes—all in one! It’s too good to be true!

Brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge wear Harry Potter costumes for their band, Harry and the Potters. The two of them created their band, and wizard rock, in 2002.

Costumes on top of costumes! The Harrys don Santa hats for a Yule Ball performance.

Brian Ross and Bradley Mehlenbacher dress as Draco Malfoy for their band Draco and the Malfoys.

Jace of Catchlove wears a Ravenclaw uniform.

Joe plays a saxophone painted red and gold to become The Sax of Gryffindor.

Paul plays a guitar decked out as a broomstick.

Alex Carpenter of The Remus Lupins encounters a fan dressed as Lord Voldemort at a wrock show.

There are some pretty amazing costumes out there for this genre—I heard that Matt Maggiacomo of The Whomping Willows wore a tree costume once at a performance, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any photos of it!

Check out the Moaning Myrtles in their schoolgirl uniforms in this video!

There are literally hundreds of wizard rock bands—it’s become somewhat of a grassroots indie movement–and getting to dress up as witches and wizards is only part of the fun.

So which wizard rock band has the best costumes? I think Harry and the Potters win for their dressed up instruments, but why don’t you browse around Youtube videos of wrock concerts and decide for yourself?

More info on wizard rock, for those who desire it, can be found at

Images for this post are borrowed from the Wizrocklopedia galleries.

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Costumes of the Dead

Sometimes, a costume is more than just the clothes you wear. Sometimes, a costume is less than just the clothes you wear.

Makeup is something we haven’t talked too much about around here. That’s because makeup is usually an accessory to the costume, something that finishes the costume to make it more complete. It’s not often that a costume is defined by the makeup alone—but sometimes, it can be.


The brilliance behind zombie costumes is that you can wear whatever you want—or just whatever you normally wear. If you had really turned into a zombie, that’s what you would be wearing. As far as costumes go, it’s about as simple as it comes. It’s the makeup that’s really the costume.

To be a zombie, you’ll need pallid, sickly-looking skin. Maybe with a bit of a greenish tint to it. You’ll need at least one wound—that’s the zombie bite that turned you. And if you want to be really dramatic, blood splatters are the way to go.

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Fake blood can be easily made by mixing corn syrup with red food coloring. Adding a little cocoa powder to the concoction will give it a darker blood color and ensure that when it dries, it will look just like dried blood.

Making your wounds takes a little more work, but it’s so much more fun. There are plenty of recipes for this kind of thing. I’ve done it with cotton balls and gelatin. I have a friend who made amazing realistic-looking zombie wounds with marshmallows. You can experiment with other textures too, like tissue or corn flakes. The wounds can be glued on with latex (the kind they use in theater to attach fake beards and the like), and painted with makeup and fake blood.

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You don’t have to wait until Halloween to do this, either. Grab some friends and make a fast and fun zombie film. Or better yet, participate in one of the many zombie walks that occur every year across the country! is a good resource for finding one, or organize your own in your neighborhood.

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A Short History, Part 3

This is the third and final part of the history of my personal costuming experience.

Part Three: Post-College


These days, I try not to be too serious about costuming. I’m good enough of a seamstress now that I don’t stress about irreparably screwing it up and wasting a lot of money. If a situation pops up where I need a costume (I have a friend who is fond of throwing costume parties, for example), my strategy is to glance at my wardrobe and what costume pieces I have on hand, and just piece something together. I’ll make new pieces or buy them if I feel it’s necessary to complete the costume. That’s exactly what I did last year for Halloween, and I think my Little Red Riding Hood costume turned out very well. Even better is that I didn’t spend a lot of time, effort, and money on it!

But that’s not all I do with costuming. I’ve always been fascinated with historical fashion, and these days I do a lot of sewing to make garb. It seems more practical to me than costumes, although I’m not sure how I’ve convinced myself of that, because it’s not like I go to Renaissance fairs any more often than other costuming events. But I did get to go to one this spring! I ended up making medieval clothes for almost my whole family, so that we could look awesome at the Ren Faire. (And we definitely did look awesome.) Maybe I’ll end up selling garb at a Ren Faire someday.

It’s not all fun and games, either. My penchant for costuming has not escaped the notice of my friends, and now I’ve been asked to design and create the wardrobe for a feature-length independent film which my friends will be shooting this summer. For the film, I’m only making one costume from scratch, but it’s pretty exciting.

I’m definitely doing a lot more costuming now than ever before in my life. And I’m enjoying it a lot more than ever before too! The experience I’ve gained in sewing makes designing and constructing the costumes a lot more easy and enjoyable for me, while I can still challenge myself by trying styles and methods I haven’t done before. In the meantime I’ve come across more reasons to costume, just for the fun of it. Maybe my next birthday party will be a costume party!

I suppose the moral of the story is, if you like costuming, don’t let the lack of events stop you. Just keep on making costumes. I’ve had several events recently where I was really glad I had a costume stash, so that I could lend them to people and quickly come up with costumes for parties and other things. If you like doing it, do it! And if you’re really desperate for reasons to wear your costumes, I know we have entries addressing that matter in our archives.

Most importantly, have fun with it!

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A Short Costume History Part 2

Having been deemed as the writer with the most costuming experience, I am here to share with you–

A Short History of My Own Costuming Experience.

Part Two: College

The next few years saw a little improvement in my costume-making skills. Of the sewing I did at this time, my creation efforts were mostly redirected to making normal clothing, and I only made three real costumes during my years of college. One was a cosplay of Victoria Everglot from Corpse Bride, one was a Queen of Spades costume, and the other was a new, more awesome pirate costume.


Continue reading

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Scottish Festival

This weekend I got the opportunity to go to the Scottish Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. It was awesome! I got to see some rocking celtic bands, participate in celtic rituals like waulking, eat haggis for the first time (seriously, yum), and of course I was dazzled by the eye candy! Tartan was draped everywhere, there were hundreds upon hundreds of kilts, not to mention a variety of period costumes and other fun things to wear!


This family sang an a capella rendition of the national anthem for the opening of the Highland Games.



This is the band Wicked Tinkers, they were very popular!

Some pretty outfits:
walking-lady.jpg henna-artist.jpg


I even showed up in the most Scottish-looking outfit I could muster.


But this guy was definitely the best dressed of everyone at the whole event!

Posted in events, history, music, world costumes | 2 Comments

A Short Costume History Part 1

Having been deemed as the writer with the most costuming experience, I am here to share with you–

A Short History of My Own Costuming Experience.

Part One: High School

It was in high school that I started making costumes for reasons that didn’t involve Halloween or theater productions. In fact, it was at this time that I started making costumes at all—previously, all my costumes had been purchased or made by my mother.

I made five costumes in my high school career.

High School Costumes

Continue reading

Posted in discussion, DIY, random | 3 Comments