Remembering Costumes from My Childhood
I had the best time searching for vintage Halloween costumes for this article because it brought me back to the Halloween costumes of my childhood. I guess that means that I am vintage also, but even the vintage Halloween costumes in a box were fun to look at because I recognized the boxes.
There are some really great vintage Halloween costume finds for children especially, but for adults as well, and lots of great vintage sewing patterns for Halloween costumes. I will have to ask my mom if she still has our old Halloween costumes at home because if so, I will be using them to decorate my store this year.
Halloween was a simpler holiday when I was a child, but there were already worries about children’s safety. However, back then we trick-or-treated without adults in relative safety in our own neighborhood, or at least we thought we were safe.
Vintage Collegeville Halloween Costumes
I remember buying costumes as a child in boxes just like this Collegeville Halloween costumes shown on this page. And you can buy Collegeville Halloween costumes on Etsy that are still in excellent condition.
How much fun to have your children wear the same costumes you did as a child when they go to their Halloween party this year.
Vintage Zombie and Prom Dresses for Halloween
With movies like Carrie being Halloween classics, it is not surprising that there are numerous vintage Halloween prom costumes, and also lots of Zombie housewife costumes on Etsy. But if you are not into Halloween blood and gore, you can always wear vintage Raggedy Ann or vintage Raggedy Andy costumes for Halloween.
There are also some really great vintage Disney costumes available including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto the dog, Donald Duck, and Goofy full body costumes and masks. These costumes are also great for Mardi Gras and Purim, two other costume holidays.
Collegeville has some generic vintage costumes like band leader costumes and cheerleader costumes.
Classic Kids Costumes
There are also a lot of vintage classic kids costumes like MGM’s Tom and Jerry, G I Joe, Peanuts characters, Lucy and Charlie Brown, and of course, we can’t forget the superhero costumes. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash are very popular now, and were even more popular several decades ago.
Vintage superhero costumes come with a mask, costume and cape, and are usually appropriate for boys and girls to wear, so they make a good choice for vintage Halloween costumes.
Vintage Black Cat Halloween Costumes
And don’t forget about the vintage black cat costumes. Cat costumes are especially good for girls to wear, and all you need is a vintage black cat mask and tail, and some black clothes, and you are ready to go to your next vintage Halloween gathering.
Why Do We Wear Costumes?
Today, Halloween is thought of as a night when children dress up in costume and go door to door trick-or-treating for candy and other goodies. However, Halloween is actually steeped in history and tradition and is believed to have originated with the ancient Celtics.
The Celtic Festival of Samhain
The Celts held a festival known as Samhain on October 31, the night before the Celtic New Year which began on November 1. On this night, it was believed that the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead were somehow blurred, and they believed this was the night that ghosts of the dead could return to Earth. This night eventually became known as All Hallows Eve, and later, Halloween.
During Samhain, pronounced sow-in, enormous bonfires were lit where the Celts made sacrifices of animals and crops to the Celtic deities. During this time, the Celts wore costumes. The costumes were typically made out of animal skins and heads and the Celts wore them in an attempt to disguise themselves as spirits, hoping to trick the real spirits so that they would not bother them. Historians feel that this is likely the origins of the Halloween costume as we know it today. Many people would also place bowls containing food outside of their homes in an effort to appease the spirits so that they would be left alone.
Christianity and All Souls Day
With the influence of Christianity in the 9th century, November 2 became known as All Souls Day in 1000 A.D. This was considered a day to honor the dead. The traditions for this holiday were very similar to those of Samhain and included lighting bonfires, participating in parades, and dressing up in costumes such as saints, angels, and devils.
These ancient festivals and traditions laid the groundwork for what we now know as our modern day Halloween. After learning the history, it is easy to see where the Halloween costume tradition originated, as well as other traditions such as trick-or-treating and Halloween parades.