Halloween costumes: UNH style

Bret Belden

By Elizabeth Haas, Contributing Writer

A Victoria’s Secret bag, Alvin and the Chipmunks and a gumball machine will come out this Friday as students at the University of New Hampshire dress up for Halloween.

“I saw the tutu, and I just picked it out,” said Grace LaMuraglia, who plans to dress as a fairy, complete with wings and a wand. She said she dresses up mostly for the tradition but also to participate in the general fun of trying to outdo her friends.

Erinn Vittum is dressing up with a friend as CatDog, the conjoined cat and dog from the animated Nickelodeon television series. They made the costume themselves, cutting out fabric spots to attach to yellow skirts and tops. The pair plans to start out conjoined by a sheet, but Vittum said they are “probably going to detach by the end of the night and just be a cat and a dog.”

As a philosophy major, Vittum is surprised that she has not pondered dressing up for Halloween before. After a moment of thought, she decided it’s mostly for the fun. She is excited to act out her beloved childhood cartoon.

As a child, Vittum’s favorite part of Halloween was making her costume the best to receive the most candy possible. She thinks Halloween has lost its childhood meaning of getting candy and being scary ghosts and witches.

“For girls, it’s an excuse to wear tight little skirts,” Vittum said.

Nick D’Ambruoso, a junior, agreed that some girls take Halloween as an opportunity to wear scant clothing, but he does not think it is true of everyone. A sociology professor explained the opportunity women have during Halloween to challenge traditional gender roles.

“As women’s equality in the workplace, in politics, and in education has increased, Halloween seems to have become an opportunity to roll back the clock and enact — rather than challenge — traditional gender roles based on appearance and sexuality,” said UNH professor of sociology Cliff Brown.

He also found that, “the anonymity and dress-up aspect of Halloween provides more cover for people to express themselves in ways that they might be reluctant to do in everyday life.”

D’Ambruoso is not seeking personal expression with his costume. Instead he is dressing up to fit in with everyone else for the night. He said he wouldn’t dress up if he did not have to, but he “can’t be that one guy who doesn’t.”

D’Ambruoso found his costume at Savers for $15. He was looking to spend as little as possible and knew Savers had a good selection of funky suits. He plans to be Champ Kind from the movie “Anchorman.”

Russ Fink is also dressing up to fit in with his peers and cannot choose between being a pregnant women or a pumpkin this year. He misses his childhood of “eating a pillowcase full of candy” for Halloween.

Fink sees many students going for “Savers-made” costumes to cut costs. Last year he spent $30 at Savers for his Forest Gump costume.

All of Vittum’s friends are making their own costumes. She could have spent over 100 dollars buying a premade costume but only paid 15 dollars supplies to build her cat costume.

Vittum wonders what the big costume for this year will be.

“There were [‘Despicable Me’] Minions everywhere last year,” she said.