Editor’s Note: A previous version of this piece included “Caitlyn Jenner” and “Love Wins” on our list of the top costumes for Halloween this year.
While the inclusion of these costumes in the list was intended to promote and celebrate the accomplishments of the LGBTQ and trans* communities, as readers and commenters have pointed out, costumes portraying Jenner and the June 26 Supreme Court ruling in favor of legalizing gay marriage appropriate and trivialize the experiences and identities of members of these same communities on campus and elsewhere. Our inclusion of these costumes in the previous version of this article serves as an endorsement of those practices of marginalization, which goes against the Daily’s goal of helping to develop a climate of tolerance and inclusion at the University, in Ann Arbor and among our own staff.
We deeply regret having allowed the earlier version of this piece to proceed through our editorial process without pausing to consider that, rather than promoting inclusion, it would frustrate efforts to develop a safe and tolerant community for people of all genders and sexual identities who attend the University and live and work in Ann Arbor and on the University campus.
Furthermore, we hope this editorial failure can serve to illustrate the point at which the celebration of marginalized cultures and identities crosses the line between giving support and claiming ownership of another community’s struggle. Allyhood depends on the celebration and acceptance of difference, but we can’t celebrate difference before completing the hard work of fighting intolerance in our own communities to create a space where all cultures and identities can thrive.
Jen Calfas, Editor in Chief
Adam DePollo and Chloe Gilke, Co-Managing Arts Editors
It’s finally Halloween, what some would call the favorite holiday among college students, especially here at the University. Halloween is a long affair filled with various festivities, coupled with an excuse to dress up as something clever or scary. But for many others, it is an excuse to dress down with an extremely revealing costume — but we hold no judgments. After all, it’s all a part of the creativity, the humor and the life-long regrets that come with the territory of Halloween.
Halloween has a way of bringing out a vibrant energy around the University’s campus each year unlike that of gamedays or other noteable campus events. For most of the world, Halloween lasts for one night. But for others, the bravest students on campus (some would argue), Halloween quickly escalates from one night of celebration to a full-fledged “Halloweek.” People on campus always amaze us with their unfailing ability to brave the cold weather to go out each night with some new and undoubtedly inspired costume. With the costume of the current night always outdoing the previous, the University’s campus during Halloween is quite the show for students and Ann Arbor residents alike.
Each year there are always various costume trends among University students. Inspired by the likes of pop culture, music, classic films and so on, there are those who go all-in and conjure up an entirely new and unique ensemble individually or with a group (how many Kardashian sisters do you think we will see on campus this year?). The other group of students, what we call the much less adventuresome individuals, tend to stick with what they have in their closet and simply accessorize. Nothing to be ashamed of there, with being responsible for up to a week’s worth of costumes, it’s undoubtedly the economical choice. Regardless of how exciting and different a person’s costume is, there always tend to be those few select repeat costumes each year. Let’s take a look.
“The cat” … what some would call a college Halloween staple. People are attracted — and often default — to this look simply because it requires minimal effort in most cases. You can wear an entire jumpsuit with a cat-themed pattern on it (leopard and cheetah included, let your inner Cookie Lyon roar, people) and actually somewhat resemble a cat in almost all cases. Others take a slightly different approach. Some people use this as the excuse to strip down to the bare minimum of clothing (with Michigan weather, you folks deserve an award), slap some cat ears on their head and call it a costume. Regardless of which way a person goes with this, I guarantee we will see more than a few. We rate this here at Daily Style as a more than acceptable costume — just don’t expect the likes of Heidi Klum to gush over it anytime soon.
“Britney” … another college/life/teenage girl classic. Each year we are left in awe not just at how many people go for the Britney Spears look, but also how people differentiate each one of Britney’s many stages of life. Some people will go with a group of girlfriends, with each girl mimicking one of Britney’s wide-ranging looks. From the jean on jean, to the Catholic school uniform, to the inevitable bald caps, there really is no way to go wrong. Oh baby, baby, we aren’t sure whether Britney’s PR team deserves an award or a stiff drink, because this pop star seems to be providing more than enough content to keep girls and boys alike set in the costume department for days.
“Football Player” … being the football school that we are (Yes, MSU, we still are aMazing), this is yet another look that students cannot stay away from. Yet again, the simplicity of the outfit is why we believe its popularity has never faltered. All one has to do is find a jersey, find tight pants (or no pants in many cases), and put some eye black on. It’s easy, quick and will always be universally and University relevant.
This year, we expect to see many of the same looks. While we love to see uniqueness, we have stopped getting our hopes up. But then again, bald Britney is always a crowd pleaser. The truth is, with the wide variety of costumes actually on the market, students have no excuse to be wearing the same costume as anyone else.
Ragstock, a vintage and used clothing store that opened in October of 2010, has become downtown Ann Arbor’s center for Halloween costume shopping, with the biggest appeal to students. With hundreds of costume options, accessories and individual pieces needed for the perfect Halloween costume, it would be hard to leave empty-handed this time of year. Ragstock offers the inventory giving every student, lazy or inspired, a chance to find a unique and Insta-worthy look. Students flock to the store in troves whenever the holidays come around, whether they’re in need for Halloween costumes or ugly Christmas sweaters. We can rest easy knowing that Ragstock will never fail to provide whatever bizarre, outfit-completing piece a person may need.
“Here Halloween is like our Christmas; it’s our busiest day of the year,” said Ragstock employee Elaine, an Eastern Michigan University student. Due to the prevalence of Halloween culture on the University’s campus, Elaine discussed how the store gets overwhelmingly busy during the Halloween season. Students, ridden with midterms and the like during these weeks, will often come in last minute, leaving the store flooded with students, especially during the week of Halloween. People will come in groups for their friends’ input or to focus alone, each looking for that perfect outfit.
Elaine said that the store starts prepping for Halloween in the last weeks of September because there are still those ever-prepared people who are ready to get the ball rolling for Halloween just a little bit earlier than the rest of us.
Given that some people choose to accessorize rather than buy a full costume, Ragstock is prepared for both. Although both are popular, Elaine believes the majority of people come in looking for accessorizing pieces, rather than the whole look.
“They buy both. More popular are accessories because we have so many unique things. They come in with something really specific for a unique costume that they’re doing.”
For those Halloween enthusiasts who find themselves bombarded with exams with just a bit of light gleaming at the end of the tunnel in the form of Halloween festivities, we have got you covered. If the popular costumes among students bore you, or if you are looking to the bigger picture of relevance and Halloween legendary-ness, then look no further. Lucky for you, 2015 has had plenty of Halloween-costume-worthy events.
1. Donald Trump
This reality star-turned-GOP presidential candidate has gained serious attention in the media, good and (really, really) bad, making him a perfect Halloween costume. Just imagine the blonde wig you can buy for this.
2. Miley Cyrus
After “Wrecking Ball” took Halloween by storm in 2013, Cyrus is the artist that keeps on giving great ideas and moments for Halloweens for years to come. The 2015 Miley Cyrus thoroughly enjoyed showing plenty of skin and, frankly, bizarre outfit choices. Seek inspiration from one of her (10) outfits from the VMAs.
3. Kylie Jenner
This freshly legal “famous” person is always at the forefront of entertainment news. Break out your shot glass and do the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, add some black or blue lipstick and your costume is complete.
4. Stephen Curry and daughter Riley Curry
The Internet went crazy after videos of Riley surfaced being, well, a boss-child, at a press conference. You come up with the rest.
5. “Fifty Shades of Grey”
The excitement that came with this book wasn’t enough to mask the pure horror that came from watching the movie. However, this can be your opportunity for an exceptionally punny costume, as all one needs to wear is a multitude of gray colored clothing and maybe some leather …
6. Left Shark
It’s weird to look way back on the Super Bowl because it feels like forever ago at this point, but hey, it’s still 2015. Left Shark took the world by storm after botching his dance moves in “Teenage Dream.” Memes galore and GIFs followed suit. Be creative, be you, become the Left Shark.
7. Chanel from “Scream Queens”
Emma Roberts plays a fashionably bitchy (scary similar to her character in “American Horror Story Coven”) sorority president named Chanel in ABC’s “Scream Queens.” She’s known for wearing immaculate outfits that are always accessorized with fur. This can be especially fun as she has minions, Chanel #1, Chanel #2 (dead), Chanel #3, Chanel #4 (dead), Chanel #5 and Chanel #6. Sorry for the spoilers, but just think of the #squadgoals outfits that can come as a result of this?!
8. “American Horror Story”
It is Halloween after all; “AHS Freak Show” and “Hotel” have scary and interesting characters alike. With more than 10 million viewers of the FX series, these haunting, gory costumes would surely be a hit. We never thought we would say this, but we give you all full permission to channel your inner Gaga.