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Do You Dress Up With Your Kids for Halloween?

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

Halloween used to be my favorite time of year. I once postponed having back surgery (just a microdiscectomy) until after Halloween was over, because I didn’t want to miss out on all the parties and chances to dress up (serious dedication, I know). But ever since I had Preston 26 months ago, I haven’t dressed up or gone to any adult costume parties and—honestly?—something seems missing from my life. So to fill the void I put extra effort into thinking up the perfect Halloween costume for Preston, but it wasn't cheap.

I love when costumes have a topical or editorial hook to them, and since this year marks the 25th anniversary of one of my favorite 80’s movies, Top Gun (a new 25th anniversary edition of the Top Gun DVD and Blu-Ray was released on Aug. 30, with footage of the making of the film and interviews with the cast)—guess what Preston is going as today? Maverick of course! I found this adorable one-piece army green flight suit online, and at the last minute scored a pair of kid’s aviator sunglasses at (super cheap and fast delivery). And since it’s always so cold in Chicago on Halloween, I also got him a bomber jacket at The Gap (30 percent off!), which he can obviously wear when it’s not Halloween (bonus). He got to wear this adorable costume on Saturday for one of my best friend’s son’s 2-year birthday party; another extra bang for the buck.

It actually wasn't a hard costume to pull off, but admittedly I did have to take it in to the tailor to add extra material to the inseam because it was a little too small on him. On top of the $50 I paid for the costume, tailoring was an added $20. Sunglasses were about $10 (I got two pairs, so really $20), and the faux leather brown bomber jacket was $30 I think, after the sale. See those perfectly matching camo Vans? We already owned them. All in: I spent more than $100 on his costume, but two parts of it can be worn again (the sunglasses and the jacket).

But how much cuter would it have been if all three of us dressed up? My husband could’ve been Ice Man and I could’ve been Kelly McGillis’s character. (Or maybe it would’ve been more appropriate if Preston were Ice Man, and Jay were Maverick.) Whatever. It’s too late now, but I love when parents get into the Halloween spirit with their kids. I’ve seen some great costumes on Facebook from the weekend’s festivities: One family I know dressed up as the cast from the The Wizard of Oz—the mom was Glinda the Good Witch and the dad was the Wicked Witch of the West, and their daughter was Dorothy. So cute. I also saw a father-son duo in costume as a bottle of Jack Daniel’s (the father) and a pack of Marlboro Reds (the son)—um funny, but horribly inappropriate.

We could’ve gone as superheroes—I have this great costume that I’ve worn for seven Halloweens in a row (it was quite popular). It’s a mix between a race car driver and a daredevil. I called her “Shevil Knievel”—Evil’s fictional sister. The last time I wore it was back in October 2007 when Jay and I were first dating. He went as the Riddler. We both look so young (and thin!).

Are you dressing up with your kids today? How do you celebrate Halloween? We took Preston to a pumpkin patch a few weeks ago but we never even got around to carving the pumpkin; instead we bought a Woody (Toy Story) set that you stick in the pumpkin and called it a day (the lazy parents way of “carving” a pumpkin, I guess). But believe me, when he’s older Halloween will be celebrated like Christmas (or Hanukkah for us).

I get the best ideas from other people, so post stories about your kids’ Halloween costumes (and how much you spent on them) in the comments section so I can get started on next year's theme.

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