Archive for the Costumes Category

Never Halloween Without a Witch, 1911

Posted in 10s, Advertising, chromolithograph, Costumes, Halloween, Magazine, SFW on 2 April 2011 by redwitch1

The October 1911 issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal contains a colour spread under the title “The Halloween Masquerade” with eight designs by Adrienne Brugard and drawings by M. E. Musselman.

The eight designs are: Yankee Doodle Boy, A Very Demure Goose Girl, Up-to-Date Aeroplane Girl, a Witch, Bo-Peep Hunting her Sheep, Pumpkin and Lettuce Girls, A Calico Clown. The spread is promoted in these words:

For a jolly time on Hallowe’en give a masquerade party. How shall I dress? is always the first thought on receiving an invitation to such a party. The girls and boys will look well in these fanciful costumes, some of which suggest others which would be just as quaint and humorous. Ghosts and goblins might accompany the Witch, and Little Boy Blue and other nursery-rhyme characters might go along with Bo-Peep. If the dominos do not sufficiently conceal the features suitable masks may be obtained for a number of these costumes. The more one’s identity is concealed the greater will be the fun.

The attenuated broom carried by the witch suggests that M. E. Musselman was not familiar with the object itself, but the costume is cute. Note the short cape, which turns up in some graphics from the 40s and 50s (here and here). BTW: I love the Lettuce Girl (below)—I can’t understand why this costume has waned in popularity since 1911!

At the foot of the page are two paragraphs (which I have transcribed) that explain you could buy the pattern to three of the costumes. For women, the witch costume was the only one available, men, could choose between the Yankee Doodle Boy and the Clown outfit. It would be nice to think that this meant that the witch costume reigned supreme at Halloween, for women of all sizes (i.e., with bust measurements from 32 to 44 inches). But contemporary photos suggest that the Calico Clown was more popular with women than the witch outfit. And many of the witch outfit people actually wore were hybrids with the clown outfit. After all, it was easy to make!

I haven’t given up hope of finding a surviving pattern for this design, or a costume based on it, or—better still—a contemporary photo of someone wearing this Adrienne Brugard’s creation. Until I do, Musselman’s artwork will have to suffice.

* * * * *

Patterns (including Guide-Chart) for the numbered designs shown on this page can be supplied at fifteen cents for each number, post-free. Pattern No. 4112 [Calico Clown] comes in four sizes: 26, 30, 34 and 38 inches; No. 6409 [Yankee Doodle Boy] in six sizes: 24, 26, 32, 36, 40 and 44 inches chest measure; and No. 6407 [Witch] in seven sizes: 32 to 44 inches bust measure. Order from your nearest dealer in patterns; and by mail, giving number of pattern and bust measure, and inclosing the price to the Pattern Department, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Philiadelphia.

Note—If you want any further information about the costumes shown on this page send an addressed, stamped envelope to the Fashion Editors, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Philiadelphia, who will tell you how to make these costumes, suggesting substitute patterns for any of the unnumbered designs shown on this page. Several of the costumes may be made from discarded dresses, with only a small expenditure for accessories.

Seven Halloween Hats, ca. 1955

Posted in 50s, Costumes, Halloween, SFW on 20 February 2010 by redwitch1

I did my first post on this series of hats on 25 August 2006, did a second on 21 January 2007 (by which time I had three hats) and in April of last year I wrote that “I now have seven hats in this series … I suspect there were eight in all, so I am holding off on doing the post until I find the missing hat.”

Well, now I am not so sure there are actually eight hats in the series so I have decided to “post, and be damned.” My new-found skepticism is partly the result of finding this vast collection of Halloweeniana on Flickr, which contains five hats from my series, followed by a sixth hat (below) that I don’t have and which had me wondering in July of last year whether it could be my long-lost eighth hat.

Then, only a few weeks back, I found the same hat in Claire M. Lavin, Timeless Halloween Collectibles, 1920–1949: A Halloween Reference Book From The Beistle Company Archive With Price Guide (2005), 109. It is from the “Clown Hat” series [Stock no. 1749] originally released in 1940.

Looking closely at Lavin’s entry I realised (1) this was not my long-lost eighth hat and (2) there were only five designs in the “Clown Hat” series—just as there are five in the 1938 “Clown Hat” series [Stock no. 1731] (on p. 116)—so it is possible that only an odd-number of hats were ever released in my series too.

Another thing that occurred to me while looking at the six hats on the Flickr set, and the various “Clown Hat” series in Lavin’s book, is that it quite likely that my series was issued by the Beistle Company. I can only assume that it was issued after 1949—since it does not feature in Lavin’s book—but I had dated it from “the late 50s” on stylistic grounds anyway. Of course, the only way to confirm my suspicion would be to visit the Beistle archives, which may take some time to organise!

Unfortunately, Mark B. Ledenbach, who had a look at one of the hats for me back in 2006, was confident that it isn’t the handiwork of “Beistle or Dennison and probably isn’t Whitney or Gibson either,” suggesting that “it must be from one of the countless small firms supplying the Halloween market.” It is with the greatest reluctance that I would differ in opinion from an expert such as Mark, which is why it has taken more than three years, not just to collect the hats, but to come to this conclusion.

One final thing to note, if this series is from Beistle, then it is likely to be another “Clown Hat” series. I have said before just how similar the home-made clown and witchy costumes were in the first decade of the the twentieth century, and that one key difference is the hat. Witches hats do sometimes have a bushy/pom-pom top, as my last post showed (what an amazing coincidence that I just happened to do a post on the Columbia Pictures/Dusty Anderson/Adele Jergens chorus girl outfit last week!) but they are uncommon and Clown hats usually have more than one pom-pom.

There are also usually other features, like a neck-ruffle and an all-in-one loose-fitting Pierrot-gown, which help to separate the two. But, as I have showed twice before (in April 2008 and again during last Halloween (here), sometimes you do get a mixture.

Anyway, all of this is mere background to my main question: were Beistle’s “Clown Hats” really (only?) intended for Halloween Clowns (i.e., people who wore a clown costume on Halloween)? I have assumed that this series of hats was intended for women dressed as witches, as well as actually being hats that feature witches: a kind of symbolic tautology, like naming your dog “dog” or your car “car.”

And it has amused me no end thinking about this symbolic tautology, it would be like an accountant wearing a tie depicting accountants, a fireman wearing a protective suit covered in pictures of firemen rescuing people and putting out fires, or a politician wearing a shirt with little silhouettes of them kissing babies, talking to the press, emptying your wallet, taking bribes, and having sex with prostitutes.

Of course, it is scarcely less amusing to have a clown wearing a picture of a witch: they really aren’t supposed to be very funny, are they? And a happy or a smiling witch should really be quite alarming (“oh goody, your baby is nearly ready to eat!”), but perhaps a happy sexy witch is another matter altogether. Anyway, it would make more sense for them to have pictures of little bicycles and exploding cigars, no? Also, would a witch wear a hat depicting a clown? I’ve never seen one. Bats, Cats, Moons—all the gothic and macabre cliches in fact—yes, but clowns? It is all very silly. But perhaps I just need to get some more sleep…

31 Days of Halloween-Day 17-Another Day, Another Coven

Posted in 00s, Costumes, Decorations, Halloween, Halloween Countdown, Photograph, SFW on 17 October 2009 by redwitch1

This is another private boarding school or sorority group, of ca. 1900 this time, dressed as witches and … well I am not sure what those with towels on their heads are supposed to be.

As you can see, the witches are very cute: there are a few witches dressed in white and one in black.

Here is one close-up of each.

And here is a close-up of the hat of one of the others. What a great Halloween design!

It is enough to make you smile, isn’t it?

A Modest Halloween Witch Costume, 2009

Posted in 2000+, Admin., Costumes, PSFW on 28 August 2009 by redwitch1

Modest, as in smallest, as in the weeniest, microscopiest costume I have ever seen. In fact, its an “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Black ‘n Orange Witch Bikini …” and it is for sale on eBay for only 99 cents! (here, but probably not for much longer).

Two weeks up to your elbows in computer bits will unhinge the sanest person, and I wasn’t completely sane to begin with, so I have an overwhelming urge to rewrite more of this song…

She was afraid to go to the party,
She was as nervous as she could be.
She was afraid to go to the party,
She was afraid what somebody would see!
(Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!)

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie black ‘n orange witch bikini,
That she wore for the first time today.
An itsy bitsy teeny weenie black ‘n orange witch bikini,
So in her room she wanted to stay!
(Two, three, four, stick around we’ll tell ya more!)

Well, you get the general idea.

Anyway, the horror is not quite over. My computer is working again, and I recovered all my files, but not all the software, and without Photoshop I am lost. The disks I need to re-instal Photoshop arrive Monday, so I’ll do a post mid-week. And I’ll make it a doosey. Stay tuned!

And if there is anyone out there with a figure just like this model, please, please buy this outfit, take lots and lots of photos, post them on Flickr and then tell me all about it, so I can help the world beat a path to your door.

[UPDATE 29 Dec 09: ten of these four-piece “Sexy Lingerie Halloween Party Luxury Witch Costume[s]” are available from DecorStream on eBay with a “Buy it Now” price of USD14.99 (here).

The same costume—modeled by a towering blonde (below)—is available from Yandy for USD29.95 and by Fenvy on Amazon for the same price. On Amazon the costume title is “Sexy Wicked Naughty Harry Potter Witch. Includes Halter Bra Top With Satin Ribbon Detail, G-String With Mesh Zig Zag Skirt, Arm Pieces, And Hat. Roleplay Costume Lingerie Leg Avenue.” Comprehensive, but …

“Naughty Harry Potter Witch”??!!]

Bewitching Brooke, 2007

Posted in 2000+, Costumes, Halloween, NSFW, Photograph, Striptease on 8 June 2009 by redwitch1

After I finished this week’s post on Emily Brady I remembered that I had another series of photos of a pretty blonde-haired woman stripping out of a pink witchy costume. Once I found the pictures I realised that the costumes were almost identical. It being the Queen’s Birthday long weekend here, I thought I’d give you all a present to celebrate the event: Brooke W.

Brooke W. is difficult to find on Only Tease, though a number of sites still carry the preview gallery for this series of photos and link to the Only Tease splash-page. But she is there, hidden among 519 other models on the site. Once you find her page you are told that Brooke has 3,900 images on Only Tease (100 images in this set alone), that she is 157cm (5 foot 2 inches), the same height as Emily Brady, and that her measurements are 32DD, 24, 32.

You will find sixteen of the 100 images in this set here and a slightly different sixteen here. For the rest you’ll have to join up at Only Tease. As for the costumes of Emily and Brooke, there are at least four possibilities: [1] 3wishes.com’s Fantasy Witch, [2] CostumeCraze’s Pink Ballerina Witch, [3] Leg Avenue’s Pinky Witch and [4] buycostumes.com’s Witchy La Bouf Pink.

To work out which consume both Emily and Brooke are wearing you will need to look at the images really closely. Probably a few times. Both of them. No, really, you do. Trust me.

Keeley Hazell, Halloween Witch, 2008

Posted in 2000+, Costumes, NSFW, Striptease on 24 April 2009 by redwitch1

After a series of posts on witches in the highly-romantic art of Luis Faléro, and in the delightful pastel shades of antique greeting cards, it is time for a little reminder of flesh and blood. So here is Keeley Hazell.

Hazell is, apparently, a “Page 3 Idol.” Her breathless bio on Page3.com says that “The Bromley babe” stormed to victory in 2004 in the Page 3 Idol competition (shortly after her 18th birthday) “as voters went mad for her sensational 32F-24-36 curves.” I can’t imagine why.

Happily, on 31 October 2008 Hazell appeared in the guise of a witch in The Sun (and online on Page3.com), which is all the justification I need to include her here. Enjoy!

Sexy Witches at Dreamgirl

Posted in 2000+, Costumes, PSFW on 4 October 2008 by redwitch1

There really are only four sexy witch costumes of note from Dreamgirl; two of which are Wizard Wanda (previously listed by WonderCostumes.com) and Wizard Academy School Girl.

Wizard Wanda and Wizard Academy School Girl are wearing a school uniform and carrying a wand. The uniform is based on the house colours of Gryffindor (scarlet and gold) from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The most famous female from Gryffindor House is Hermione Granger. Hermione is, famously, a curly-haired brainiac. It seems likely that, though Hermione does not wear glasses as Wizard Wanda does, these costumes are intended to be cheeky Hermione Granger costumes.

Wizard Wanda

Since Wizard Wanda was available in 2007, when both the character Hermione Granger and Emma Watson (who has played Hermione in all the Harry Potter films so far) were minors, I was suprised that this costume attracted no attention.

Emma Watson is now an adult (we have the naughty party-girl photos to prove it) and the books tell us that Hermione eventually married and had children. But as long as she was wearing a school uniform she was a minor and so these are still, at least in part, a pedophilic fantasy costume. They now join the ranks of Sexy-Alice (seven and a half in Wonderland) and Sexy-Dorothy (eleven years old in the Wizard of Oz) costumes, among others.

Wizard Academy
Wizard Academy (plus size)

Broomstick Babe

Which Witch

[UPDATE: for all my posts on the subject of sexy witch costumes, see: Sexy Witch Costumes Index.

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