I was a huge theater geek in high school. Big surprise, I know. When I get the chance to put on fancy clothes and be some other persona for the day, I take advantage. Even if it means I’ll be stepping into character for 13.1 miles.
The key is to create a versatile and functional illusion of what you’re trying to convey. This is the most challenging aspect for me. I always forget that the costume doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t need a blind hem or actual button holes. It’s for show. You will wear that costume one time, it doesn’t need to be a work of art. It does, however, need to stay together for awhile. I’ve put together a few tips, just to get your creative juices flowing.
Tip #1: Sequins are pretty, but they chafe like a mother.
Choosing the right fabric is vital. I generally want my costumes to be soft yet supportive. I also run hot so I need material that will breathe well. I generally choose cotton spandex blends. However, I will absolutely embellish with some fanciful trims. For example, our Ring Master costumes consisted of a plain white tank top with the sparkly vest sewn right onto it. The vest was a heavier material with the gold trim sewn to look like closures. A coat with tails would have been awesome, but who wants to run in that? I used the tulle to create a no-sew bustle instead. That way we could give the illusion of a fancy coat without an actual coat.
Tip #2 Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
Sometimes the best costumes aren’t even about the actual clothes. Accessories can take your typical runwear and turn you into a roller derby diva. For these costumes we used black shorts and shirts silk-screened with a logo. Everything else was in the accessories: bandaids, temporary tattoos, handkerchiefs, knee pads and elbow pads, fishnets, even black Halloween make-up for creating bruises and missing teeth.
Tip #3 No Zippers Necessary
When I made these three Good Fairy costumes for the Tink half, I wasn’t going to have a chance to fit the dress to the girls. So instead of making the dresses with zippers, I used a t-shirt as the bodice and sewed the skirt onto the bottom of the shirt. That way I knew the dresses would fit. The shirts were also comfy and stretchy, perfect for running 13.1 miles in wings and a hat.
Tip #4 Fake It till you Make It.
Sometimes you have to just fake it. For this Rainbow Brite costume, I didn’t have a chance to finish the sleeves. So I just paired the dress with a shirt and gloves. This costume won me $100!
Tip #5 Work It
When it comes down to it, attitude has a lot to do with whether or not the costume works. You have to embody the persona you’re trying to represent. For instances, when I’m dressed like a ninja, I’m completely undetectable. I hide behind trees and jump and kick and I truly become the ninja. Same with our signature poses last weekend at the Disney 10k. We worked those sailor dresses!
You make it look so easy! And fun! The idea of running in costume, with extra ‘stuff’ on, typically makes me want to head for the hills (not literally, I hate hills). But these are great tips!
Wow! These are all great costumes! You are so talented! And you brought your sewing machine with you? That is dedication! Loved your sailor and ringmaster costumes. So creative.
Cam, you really are so creative and talented! You have it pulled together, it’s all in the details and accessories. Attitude and working it goes a long way to finish the look. The fact that you have to consider comfort when getting materials to work with makes your outfits even more amazing. Your kids must have the best Halloween Costumes ever! 😀
I am so lucky to have you as my personal seamstress/dresser/etc. If you could just live with me, that would really be perfect.
We need to go into business together!