Halloween Nostalgia: Costumes and One “Ugly” Sweater

Here’s a look at some of my Halloween costumes through the years and a particular “ugly” sweater that I associate with Halloween.

Bugs Bunny (1979)

This was my costume for my first time trick or treating when I was two years old. It doesn’t look like I wore any make up that year. I didn’t really like the all-over the face make up. Maybe I was afraid it would be itchy or we wouldn’t be able to get it all off my face and I would get it on my pillow or something. 

Raggedy Ann (1980)

For trick or treating, it looks like I wore the same headscarf again but this time, there was also some makeup, blush and some “freckles”. The picture with the mask was taken in my grandparents’ kitchen. 

This is also the year one of my aunts took me out trick or treating because my parents were at the hospital waiting for my baby brother to arrive. 

Apricot from Strawberry Shortcake 1981)

This is the last picture I have of myself in Ben Cooper/Collegeville style costumes, but the first year my little brother came with me. There was also some make-up for both of us. 

In 1982, it turns out that we did not go trick or treating because after my aunt’s wedding, we had to go back to Florida. We had to stay in Florida until just before Christmas. That was when we went back to Illinois to get ready for the move to Georgia. 

Snow White? (1983) 

In February 1983, we moved to Georgia. I did get another Ben Cooper costume, but I don’t remember which one it was. I think it may have been Snow White, because the movie returned to theaters in the summer of 1983 and my mom took us to see it. It was the first movie we ever saw in the theater. I don’t remember what my brother dressed up as that year. 

We don’t have any pictures from that Halloween, but I remember going to either Richway or K-Mart for our costumes. I remember seeing the boxes stacked up on the store shelves and having to find the right size in the stack, kind of like shoe shopping. I held the box all the way home. 

Cowgirl (Multiple years) 

We all remember those DIY costumes, where you used articles of clothing you already had to make a costume. I wore my denim skirt with a white blouse and a bandana several years in a row. 

Color Guard (1988)

My mom occasionally did some sewing for weddings and proms, making flower girl and bridesmaid dresses. One year, someone we knew from our church put her in touch with a lady who hired her to make color guard uniforms and I wore one of the samples. 

The uniform was a black and white spandex jumpsuit. The sleeves were white from the elbow to the wrist and there was a white ruffle around the v-neck. I don’t think I carried a flag, but I may have had one of my glitter filled batons and I got to wear make-up (blush, eyeshadow, and mascara. Not the all over the face kind of make up.) Unfortunately, we didn’t take any pictures that year and I’m disappointed about that one. 

Princess Jasmine from Aladdin (1995)

When I was a sophomore in high school, Aladdin was released in theaters. Each of my female friends had a different favorite Disney movie. Mine was Aladdin so one year my mom made pants from gold lamè. I wore a light blue short sleeved blouse with a brocade vest and carried around a plush tiger (Rajah from the movie). 

I also wore this costume my first year of college when I went trick or treating with some friends from my class. Then we went to another friend’s house where we ate pizza and watched Rocky Horror Picture Show on VH-1. 

One “Ugly” Sweater!

Most years, my dad took us out trick or treating and he would wear this sweater.

My mother knitted this for him while they were dating in the early 1970’s. As I mentioned before, my dad worked for IBM and they wore black or navy blue suits.

This sweater is made from acrylic sport yarn and the colors used were also high fashion colors at the time. For reference, my dad is 6’5”. Dad or our neighbor would shine the flashlight on the sweater and we would know where to run in the dark.

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About Karen Flieger 25 Articles
I was born in the late 1970’s, spent my childhood in the 1980’s, and my pre-teen and teen years in the 1990’s. I graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2001 with a B.A. in English. I collect various forms of media (books, music, movies, and television shows) as well as plush toys, dolls, and Funko figures.