Chicago gangster or Blues Brothers costume? You make the call.

Over the years, we have developed a few house rules — “challenges,” if you’d prefer — for the kids’ Halloween costumes:

  • You have to be able to wear it in cold, rainy weather, because we live in Chicago, Home of the Cold and Rainy Halloween.  And your costume has to be warm enough on its own or you will have to wear layers underneath or a winter coat over it to prevent pneumonia.  (Side note:  see what I did there?  I’m now daring Mother Nature to make it 70 degrees and sunny!)
  • It has to be age-appropriate, length-appropriate, and school-appropriate since you’ll be wearing it to school for the classroom party.
  • Since this costume is only for one day, we’re not going to spend lots of money on it.  Call me cheap, but I figure it’s a personal creativity challenge to come up with a costume based on the raw materials found in this house.
  • Consider your options carefully and choose wisely.  I love creating Halloween costumes, but I don’t love making more than one per person per year.  Brainstorm.  Think of all the angles.  Consult with your friends, if you’d like, but once you decide and we start it, there’s no going back.

Chicago gangster costumeInspiration to meet these rules comes in all forms.  C decided he wanted to be a Chicago gangster after reading the juvenile nonfiction book, You Wouldn’t Want to be a Chicago Gangster! by Rupert Matthews.  (I know, I know — reverse psychology, right?).

He delved into his brother’s closet and hand-me-downs to pull this look together all on his own.

  • Old suit passed down from M?  Check.
  • Dark sunglasses?  Check.
  • Hat and black tie (on loan from his older brother)? Check and check.

C would also like you to notice that he is in fact carrying a violin case, just like the gangsters of old used to disguise their guns.  He’s lobbying hard to take the case to school, arguing that it is NOT a weapon (because weapons of all kinds are not permitted).  It just looks like it houses one.

kid gangster costume

Personally, I think he’s a dead ringer for Elwood Blues of the Blues Brothers.  Right down to the attitude.

blues brother costume

He’s ready to rock and roll — even if he has to wear a sweatshirt underneath his costume.

I’ll show you what E created on Monday.  Are you making any costumes for this Halloween?  Do share!  Hope you have a good weekend!

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About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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10 Responses to Chicago gangster or Blues Brothers costume? You make the call.

  1. Oh my goodness!! That is so awesome!!! Yes, we also make our costumes or do something very, very cheap…I’ll be sharing them soon! Also, I love the new banner!! Much better than sitting in a heap of laundry!! LOL! Where was the photo taken at?

    • Can’t wait to see your kids’ Halloween costumes. If the babies-in-pumpkins pictures are any indication, you are pretty darn creative when it comes to costumes!

      Thanks for noticing the new banner (you inspired me to change it!). I figured I see enough laundry every single day of my life — I don’t need to see it on the blog as well! That particular photo was taken at the Field Museum in Chicago — and you can see the silhouettes of me and my trio against that cool wall. I thought Darwin’s quote pretty much works for parenting or writing. It’s a good “Thought for the Day” when the laundry is getting me down!

  2. Katie B says:

    Awesome. Love that he did it on his own. We have the same general rules about costumes. I will put a few dollars toward supplies (ie new sweatsuit or a reusable item) but it has to be homemade. This year E has decided he is over Halloween. We’ll see next week when the big day arrives.

    • I should clarify — I’ll also throw a couple of bucks toward the costume, but seriously ONLY a couple of bucks at this point. One year M dressed up as an old man and I bought white hairspray-paint stuff to age him. I can get behind that.

      Trick or treat is hard when they’re that tweenish age, but I’m betting on the lure of free candy. Have a good one!

  3. Lisette says:

    He looks awesome!! You are so creative! I feel like a mean Mama. I told A to tie her hair in a ponytail and stay up with me until about one doing laundry and then go to bed wearing her clothes. When she wakes up she’ll look like me! Ta-Da!

  4. I just wanted to say I love how you involve your family members in the decision making but set very clear guidelines. This costume is sooo deightful and I love how your son is so playing the role in the photographs! ~Thea

    • Thanks, Thea! For us, setting out the Costume Challenges (aka, the rules borne from “live and learn” experiences over the years!) early in September helps the kids figure out what they want to do and how they’ll do it. If I wait until a couple of weeks before Halloween to lay out the rules, the kids look at them as restrictions rather than game-like challenges and the ensuing stress is no fun. Ask me how I know!

      Thanks for your kind comments on my son’s costume and photos. As you can tell, he’s pretty proud of his efforts!

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