I was chatting with some folks recently — adults, I should specify. I asked if they dressed up for Halloween. Not really, they said, and asked the same.
Kind of, yeah. There was my taco costume last year. And my Bill S. Preston, Esq., costume for Tampa Bay Comic Con. And I thought about my Lady Gaga and my Olympic rings (group costume) and my child beauty pageant contestant, and … well, yes, was the answer. Definitely, yes.
Halloween, or any chance to dress up, is my favorite. I'm big on humor, and adults don't let go and look ridiculous nearly often enough. There's a thrill in finding the perfect costume pieces online and at thrift stores, often mere moments before the party. (I'm still looking for elements of this year's Goblin King getup.)
This week, we're giving you plentiful costume inspiration. Feast your eyes on our cover model, Eleanor Zayas, 1, daughter of Tampa Bay Times enterprise editor Alexandra Zayas. We dressed her as telekinetic mystery girl Eleven from the Netflix sensation Stranger Things. We scattered Eggo waffles, a touch fans of the show will get. She brought her own sweet, bald head.
We used a $27.99 blue "boys" jacket from the Children's Place (why can't a girl wear a plain blue jacket, guys?). The pink dress was a pretty penny at $62 from Carriage Boutique via Amazon, but, come on. It's perfectly Eleven. And we had to have those '80s tube socks, made by Mustachifier. We skipped Eleven's signature bleeding nose, which felt a little intense for a baby, but grownups could use a little red costume blood or lipstick.
Check out this issue for 2016's most popular pop-culture costumes, from the presidential candidates to Snapchat filters. Christopher Spata has also dreamed up some oh-so-Tampa Bay costumes, from St. Pete's crumbling "cheese grater" building to our local celebrity icon — for better or worse — Hulk Hogan.
And if Halloween does not juice your costume fruits enough, MegaCon Tampa Bay is here this weekend, bringing stars like David Tennant and Billie Piper of Doctor Who, Henry Winkler and more. Christopher has some hybrid costume suggestions that mash up nerdy with ghoulish, making for a perfect cosplay weekend.
EVEN STRANGER THINGS: PARTY TIME
Put your own Stranger Things ensemble together for events going on this weekend to celebrate the release of the show's soundtrack. Daddy Kool Records in St. Petersburg is partying from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday with a free Eggo bar and a Dungeons & Dragons mini figure painting session. If you wear a Stranger Things costume, you get 5 percent off your purchase.
In Tampa, celebrate the album release from noon to 7 p.m. Friday at Steelworker Records with episodes on loop all day, free waffles and Stranger Things buttons with every purchase. Costumes encouraged. And after that, head over to Mojo Books & Records at 8 p.m. Friday for a party that includes a synthwave set from DJ Suspiria and a performance from Miami band Pariuh. Plus — you guessed it — more waffles.