hen we were all unexpectedly plunged into the pandemic back in March, nobody expected for it to affect our Halloweekend plans. But here we are, and the spooky season looks more spooky than it has any other year. It’s no doubt that people have to find new ways to celebrate the holiday—from gathering in small groups to going out for dinner and drinks, students have to get creative this year. But the circumstances of the COVID-19 era also affect the most important part of Halloween: the costumes. How will celebrating this holiday in fall 2020 change the way we dress up for the occasion?
Currently, Massachusetts allows limited indoor and outdoor seating at restaurants. Though you can’t go to bars like you used to be able to—sweaty and packed in with friends and strangers alike—many have adapted by providing social;y distanced tables where customers can sit with friends. This has led to a semester of students attending more public outings with friends as opposed to packing themselves into sweaty basements.
This shift has prompted a wide range of opinions from people on whether they’re willing to be more bold or reserved with their costumes. For some, rolling up to restaurants in a vibrant costume might feel intimidating.
“When you go to a party, everyone’s dressing up. But when you go to a restaurant, it’s a completely different demographic, and people haven’t really had the option to get dressed up to go out to eat before,” said Anthe Dalkouras, MCAS ’23.
For others, the circumstances serve as an opportunity to go even more all out than they normally would.
“I feel like since we’re not going to places where we know a ton of people, it’s almost more fun because no one will know who you are,” said Molly Binder, Lynch ’23. “Whereas if you’re at a party, you want people to know who you are.”
Binder explained that this year is the perfect opportunity to do something way out of your comfort zone because in these settings, you are basically anonymous.
Various students made note of how costume planning has been more spontaneous compared to previous years. During previous Halloween seasons, people started planning weeks ahead to assemble all the moving pieces of their costume. This time around, students were more hesitant about planning in advance the exact shoelaces and hairpieces they would wear because of how uncertain the holiday was going to look.
“Last year I had three different costumes planned,” said Nikki Sewall, MCAS ’23. “But this year, all I have ordered is a wig from Amazon, and I think that’s my whole costume.”
Sewall said that makeup will have a much more significant role this year, because people will be forced to work more with what they have. In general, last-minute costumes demand much more creativity, whether it’s treating your face as a blank canvas or coming up with an outfit from your closet that’s unique and crazy enough to pass as a costume.
Ultimately, college students looking to celebrate Halloween this year while respecting university guest policies must get creative in how they do so. This has a huge impact on what they choose to wear. Welcome to the world of last-minute costumes—get excited to see how innovative people will get.
Graphic by Allyson Mozeliak / Heights Editor