K-State students discuss what goes into making a Halloween costume

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Students paint pumpkins in Bosco Plaza on Halloween afternoon. (Jackson Willis | Collegian Media Group)

Bosco Student Plaza was a busy, bustling scene on Halloween afternoon of a Kansas State Farmers’ Market. Brisk air left browsers bundled in scarves and coats, and people dressed in costumes sold items like jewelry and honey.

The LGBT Resource Center sat burrowed in the back of the display, cheerfully signing students up for its traditional Halloween costume contest, which the center co-hosted with Union Program Council. Each participant was given a small package filled with items like candy, knickknacks and condoms.

“The Halloween costume contest is just a tradition of the LGBT Resource Center,” said Dre’Vel Taylor, graduate student in public administration. “We try to host it every year. We usually try to collaborate with another organization as well. It’s just a fun activity to get the LGBT resource center out so students know that we actually exist.”

Taylor said his favorite part of the event is seeing the variety of costumes. There are four categories people can compete in: the cutest, the spookiest, best handmade and best overall. Taylor said the winners receive prizes, which are all donations.

“I contacted Dillard’s, Raising Canes and Best Buy and UPC, since they’re a co-sponsor they wanted to donate something as well,” Taylor said. “The gift baskets are approximately a $100 to $150 value each.”

Many of the costumes took months to put together and some are based off characters from popular fiction. Sarah Allen, senior in information systems, was dressed as Wonder Woman, and her husband was dressed as a World War I American soldier.

“Wonder Woman was actually a very iconic role for me,” Allen said. “I wanted to be Wonder Woman last year, but I was in the process of losing 100 pounds, so I wasn’t able to fit into the costume. I made my goal earlier this year and was able to fit into the costume. She really inspired me to instill the inner Wonder Woman in me, so it just felt appropriate to portray or at least do my best to portray her today.”

Allen said the costume took her around a year to put together, and a lot of it was pieced together.

“Some of these are super authentic,” she said. “The hand straps themselves are reproduction but are based after the actual film, and same with the corset. The skirt was a buy off of eBay as well.”

Allen motioned toward the top piece she was wearing.

“But this was actually an Etsy find, someone had hand stitched this from Italy,” she said. “It’s not quite an exact replica but pretty close to at least what was affordable for me — same with the headpiece, this also came from Italy.”

Jacob Allen, senior in history, portrayed a member of the Kansas National Guard. He said he likes reenacting history because it helps bring it alive and make it more real.

“With Halloween, it’s an appropriate time to dress up and its very Halloween-y because people want to talk about scary and horror — true horror is the first world war.” Jacob said. “This is a horrific event that people argue that it inspired the modern genre of horror — and it all comes from the war. Lastly, my wife is portraying Wonder Woman from the 2017 film and she’s in world war one so it kind of fit to have a couple’s costume and acknowledge history as well.”

Some costumes weren’t based on characters at all, but took a more humor-oriented approach. Junior transfer and first-year architecture major Jake Bandy said he got his costume idea from work.

“I am a wacky inflatable tube man and it works great, because I am very tall and thin and awkward just like the costume,” he said. “Me and my boss always joked around and guessed whose costumes would be what. …We’ve been talking about it for years and finally I saw this and was like, ‘I have to go through with this — it’s awesome.’”

Jacob Crawford, sophomore in biology, and Victoria Knolton, sophomore in fisheries wildlife and conservation biology, dressed as a Pokemon trainer and the Pokemon Piplup.

“We’re dating and we kind of met and got to know each other with Pokemon Go, which I know sounds really dorky, but that’s kind of how we started connecting and we’re just like, ‘hey, he likes penguins, I like penguins, Piplup’s adorable, let’s just do that,’” Knolton said.

Crawford and Knolton both said the best part of their costumes was seeing the end product after putting in all the effort.

“Seeing the way that hers turned out and being recognized … I am surprised that as many people jumped to Piplup as did, but that’s really cool,” Crawford said. “There have been three or four people that are like ‘I love your Piplup costume.'”

The winners of the costume contest were Knolton, Yelmy Alvarez, freshman in open option, and Tiffany Oberdorf, freshman in animal sciences and industry.

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Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat and I'm the culture editor and an assistant news editor for the Collegian. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.