I’ve been wanting for awhile to do an article on showing up to a non-costume party in a bunny outfit, a la Legally Blonde or Bridget Jones’ Diary. (Why there is a rule that in movies, one’s costume must always be a bunny is beyond me.) I realized, however, that if I went to a party deliberately dressed up, I would certainly get to see what people’s real life reactions were to the situation, but ultimately, it would be a stunt on my part. I wouldn’t really get a sense of the utter mortification that occurs when you accidentally show up to an event and realize you’re the only one in a costume. Worry not, for I have solved that problem.
Rewind to two weeks ago. My friends J, H and I had tickets to a midnight showing of The Hunger Games. Needless to say, we were excited. J and I had been planning our costumes for weeks. She was going as “Arena Katniss” in all black with hunting boots and a jacket. I was going as “Interview Katniss” in a red formal dress and sparkly heels. We were both rocking the side braid. I remember looking in the mirror before leaving my apartment and thinking “I am really pulling this look off.” Famous last words.
I was no stranger to midnight movie costumes. I’ve seen a fair number of Harry Potters at midnight, and while I put in a decent effort by wearing my “Hogwarts Quidditch” t-shirt, I was always impressed with the extent to which other people dressed up, the effort they put into making scarves in house colors, and their willingness to be seen in public wearing wizard robes. I cannot express quite the same sentiment about people who showed up to the Twilight showing in their “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” t-shirts (yes, I went to see Twilight at midnight, and no, I don’t want to talk about it). The really mindboggling thing was seeing how many girls showed up in cocktail dresses and strappy sandals to a midnight showing of Sex and the City 2. My friends and I had all disco napped before the movie and not actually changed out of pajamas to go see it, but everyone else was dressed to the nines, and as I sat there in my baggy yoga pants, I vowed to put in an effort for all future midnight movies.
So of course I was excited to see what kind of outfits people turned up in for The Hunger Games. There were so many options – the garb of citizens from different districts, wacky Capitol outfits, or even just a mockingjay pin. You can imagine my shock when we walked into the theater and realized that, in addition to being a decade older than everyone else, J and I were the only people who had dressed up. I looked around, thinking that surely there must be at least one other person who’d gone in costume, or one other person who was a legal adult, but it was jeans and hoodies and high school student IDs as far as the eye could see. J had the advantage of being able to blend in, since an all black outfit isn’t that ridiculous, and she’s the height of your average 14 year old. So it was just me, the crazy person who showed up to a movie in a party dress. My night was redeemed by someone’s mother, who insisted on taking a picture of me and J, was clearly the only person who appreciated our efforts, and who saved us from the shame of being the oldest people in the theater. (The latter seems less of a big deal until you take into account that they showed a preview for the Titanic rerelease, and I had the horrifying realization that everyone else in the theater was too young to have seen it the first time it came out, and subsequently felt very, very old.)
The whole experience was a little embarassing to say the least, but I will say that at least if you show up to a movie dressed wildly inappropriately, everyone is too excited about the movie to pay you much notice. In the interest of attracting more attention, at some point, I will show up to a regular party in a ludicrous costume, if only because I aspire to be one of the hardcore girls who only wears lingerie and some form of animal ears. On the other hand, having experienced the horrifying ‘holy crap I completely misjudged what I should have worn to this event’ moment, it is not something I am eager to repeat anytime soon.
And now, the part you’ve all been waiting for – you can check out my lovely costume, and concur that it is indeed a lousy picture (iPhone, I blame you!).
Image via theRecasts