It’s Halloween again, and you only have $0.79 to spend on a costume. Enter your special holiday savior: the masquerade mask! With just one key accessory, you can put together countless costumes and save the other $2 from your recycling bottle deposits for next year!
The Legend of the Affordable Costume
Your first option with a plain black masquerade mask is a childhood classic: Zorro. Add a black brimmed hat and a sword, and draw in a thin mustache with eyeliner and you are ready to carve Zs in the cheese tray. A black cape makes it even better, but a plain black shirt is fine.
“A Cheap Costume is Inside my Mind”
Carefully cut your mask in half along the nose portion and re-staple the elastic band to the new outer edge. Add a puffy white shirt, a single rose and a sultry pout and you are the Phantom of the Opera! Yes, the original mask is white, not black, but only about 10% of any given group you encounter will know that.
Out to Dry
Cut a length of clothesline to run the length of your arm span, over your shoulders and behind your neck and pin it in place along your long-sleeve t-shirt. Safety pin hand towels to your chest and back, washcloths to your shoulders and a sock to each wrist.
Clip wooden clothespins across the top of your mask- no more than three or it will be too heavy- and along your rope on your shoulders. A fabric softener in your pocket may be the perfect finishing touch to a costume you can wear when everything else is dirty.
You, Me and My Mask Make a Threesome
For an exotic, R-rated costume, trace some designs in white glue on your masquerade mask and dust with glitter, and apply colored feathers to the temple areas. Add a negligee and thigh-high fishnet stockings and you are ready for a Kubrick “Eyes Wide Shut” -style evening. Covering with a satin robe is recommended north of the Mason-Dixon line.
Cut-rate Carmen Miranda
Cut out bananas, oranges, lemons, grapes and pears out of construction paper and glue to the top of your mask, going up and out as far as feasible. Add large gold hoop earrings, a breezy dress and high heels. Ole! All of the glamor and none of the fruit flies that Carmen experienced.
With great care, your masquerade mask costume will last for the whole evening. If it falls apart before midnight, just consider all of those people with elaborate costumes who were unable to finish their drinks because of facial obstructions and be proud of your ingenuity.