I recently had an embarrassing moment shopping for a Halloween costume. I’m looking for something that won’t terrify my daughter, and so I’ve decided to go with a storybook theme. I visited a costume rental shop, and I’m now going to make a choice between a few prospects that have seen better days after serving in hundreds of high school and college musical productions.
The first costume I’m considering may be my favorite. It was originally used for Cinderella’s wicked step-sister in said theatrical production of Cinderella. My fashion-conscious two-year-old gave a “thumbs down” to it, but I love it because it’s hot pink and I’d get to wear a hat with an enormous ostrich feather. Then there’s Glenda the Good Witch of the North, but the enormous hoop skirt seems impractical for my child’s upcoming birthday party, especially because I’ll want to take a whack at the piñata.
Finally, there is Alice in Wonderland. A traditional Alice costume for adults is very difficult to come by. It seems that marketers believe grown women look better as naughty Alice, in spike heels and fishnets and a low-cut pinafore (yes, it’s possible to transform Alice’s white apron into an outfit more appropriate for a night of partying on Jersey Shore). Luckily the costume shop’s Alice is more wholesome than oatmeal for breakfast.
The problem is, on me these costumes are all backless, meaning I can’t zip them up. And I refuse to wear a corset. Not when I’ll be eating all my daughter’s Halloween candy that poses a choking hazard for kids under 3. That’s a lot of candy. Maybe I should just go as a ghost with a sheet over my head, Charlie Brown style.
Not to worry, said the shop’s seamstress after a somewhat humiliating Scarlett O’Hara moment of attempting to will my body to fit into these dresses. She’ll be able to let them out all the way in the waist on both sides.
All this made me think back to not so long ago when I could wear those size zero Daisy Duke short shorts.
Maybe it’s time to forget Halloween costumes for a moment and go to mall clothing boutique Chico’s for a little ego boost. “Are you familiar with our sizing system?” the Chico’s sales lady asked cooly the first time I entered the store not so long ago. Admitting that I wasn’t, she looked me over and informed me that I would probably wear a size zero, according to their system. Nice system! Chico’s also has double and even triple zero as sizes for the more petite physiques. Talk about a piece of marketing genius. The largest size they carry is a 4.5 according to their system, which is the equivalent of a size 22.
Imagine, all I have to do is step from my car into the mall, and suddenly I’m a size zero again. I can eat whatever I want. That momentary lapse of reason at the Cinnabon, or even with the leftover Halloween candy, is wiped away as soon as I walk into Chico’s. No Scarlett O’Hara waist-cinching required.
But a true size zero needs to be relabeled. I propose a letter rather than a number system: “R” for “ridiculous,” “Y” for “You’ve got to be kidding me,” and “N” for “No way in hell.”
And so tomorrow I will go back to the costume rental company with my head held high. Let the letting out begin. Let it out all the way, baby. I’m not full-figured. I’m voluptuous, and this year I’ll be all tricked out for Trick or Treating.
Happy Halloween, everybody!