Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vintage Halloween Costumes

Ever wondered what little girls and boys dressed up as in the past? I can remember clearly the kind I had as a little girl. The were usually a plastic apron you put over your head and tied at the side or back and a plastic mask. I believe they were made  by Ben Cooper, Inc. They came in a box and were so easy to use--the best part was that you could wear all these warm clothes and put the costume right over it. So you were warm and ready for Trick or Treating!

Ben Cooper's company was an American manufacturer who created costumes from the late 1930's until the late 1980's. You can find some of his costumes on Ebay or Etsy. I remember them being very popular during my childhood and I kind of miss the simplicity of those costumes.

The use of Halloween costumes did not become known in the United States until the early 1900's and they weren't popular until the 1930's. What kind of costumes do you think children would wear? Well of course the more money spent on an item the more elaborate and unique it is. Most children simply wore masks and some were even hand made! Can you imagine that? I am not 100% sure but I assume the handmade masks could have been made out of Paper Mache.

Irregardless of what materials were used to make the handmade masks, I believe they came out the creepiest. Put on a simple outfit and wear the mask and they would be able to spook even the grownups! Aside from masks in the image of faces, animals, ghosts, etc children dressed up as Witches, Devils, Jesters, Animals, Faeries, Angels, Indians (Native Americans), Clowns, Gypsies, Hobos, Pirates, and Ballet Dancers just to name a few.
Dressing up in a costume for Halloween wasn't just for children but many adults joined in the fun as well. Some would host or attend Halloween themed parties just for adults and play dress up. Oh boy would I like to go to one, wouldn't you? Have you ever considered throwing a costume party or hosting a vintage inspired Halloween party? If so, this site is defiantly inspirational and could help you get started on your planning. Its called Vintage Halloween Ideas and their selection of ideas range from the 1890's to the 1960's. They have many helpful tools from Party Ideas, Decorations, to Recipes.

I plan to throw a little "party" just for the five of us with our black cat as an additional prop-just kidding LOL I will defiantly post pictures of our little soriee and the activites I will be doing with my munchkins soon. I love holidays, don't you? Any reason to celebrate is a good reason for me!



  1. Those little devils are a delight. My mom made my sister elaborate costumes but the time I came around we were buying costumes in a box - and I LOVED them. Fav was Gypsy fortune teller.

  2. Aren't they! I love the simplicity of it all. Dressing up is so much fun!! xox

  3. Always funny to see those vintage Halloween pictures!!! Halloween is not a popular event in France but I will also throw a small party with friend I will wear a long 30's balck velvet dress with some orange accessories to be a vintage witch!!!

  4. I love the simplicity of the masks in that second picture you shared. We personally don't celebrate halloween, but the boys wear costumes throughout the year, pretty much whenever they want to dress up in their super hero outfits and play. I remember buying costumes from Playworld that came out of a cardboard box and included a plastic mask with an elastic band - the kind that were held with a staple and would always break. Good times!

  5. I know old pictures are always interesting to look at even the ones from our childhood. I look at the toys that were given to me at Christmas and I drool wishing I had them today or seeing my fathers hair in the 70's heheh too cute! I didnt know it wasnt popular but I love that you celebrate it in style! Where in France are you from? I have been once :)

  6. Hahah Mr. V-those were good times! Thats what I plan to do this yr-have them reuse it as dress up clothes to play at home and as they get older encourage them to play dress up more. Super heros-FUN! Any exuse to dress up and be silly is the BEST! xox

  7. When I was young I never heard about Halloween ewcept from the Spielberg's movie E.T. Nobody spoke about Halloween and we didn't celebrate it till about 10 years ago.
    I'm from the north east of France close to Germany and Belgium.
    You can see me in my blog:

  8. I'm a follower of your blog now!!xox


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