Lucy and Ethel Costumes as the Women from Mars
We love Lucy, especially the Women from Mars episode when the girls make $500 for a publicity stunt atop the Empire State Building. I knew we could do these costumes if I could find the pointy noses and the retro ray guns — which I found on Amazon after some searching. It was hard finding the smaller turned up noses, as most prosthetics are witches or Cyrano, or trolls. Found the last pixie noses online at a theatrical store.
Then came the costumes. I downloaded the Lucy episode and studied each frame, taking screen shots. Went to JoAnn fabrics and bought a yard of pleather, cut it to our waist lines, and in the right shape, and hand-studded and snapped the belts and wristbands. That took forever, but not as long as the wings. Went everywhere to find gray turtlenecks, shorts and leggings that matched color (there are SO many shades of gray – yes, more than 50, lol). Bought the shiny fabric and made a pattern for wings out of butcher paper. Had to buy a sewing machine – for $40, plastic and weighed about five pounds, and as I sewed, the machine would move along with the fabric. That wasn’t frustrating at all. Forget the fact that I took sewing in 7th grade and remembered almost nothing about how to do it. Surprisingly, the words of my cranky teacher came back to me. Hemmed the wings so they wouldn’t gray, and hand-sewed them to the turtlenecks.
The caps were cheapo Halloween costume aviator caps that I spray painted gray – many times. They got pretty crunchy, which helped, but also shrunk, which actually turned out better. Attached snaps in place of the cheap Velcro on the straps. Cut thin strips of the shiny material and sewed into tubes, turned inside out and stuff with cotton, and hand-sewed onto the tops of caps for the “Martian Mohawk.” Bought wire and coiled it around a foam cone to get the springy shape for the antennas. Glue-gunned silver balls to the ends. Inserted the ends of the bottom coil through the cap and hand-sewed in four places to secure.
Lastly, because we wanted to look just like the show, we went for black and white instead of color. Applied the gray makeup and drew on the eyebrows, applied false eyelashes, etc. We had the black boots and bought regular Halloween black gloves.
We went out that night, of course, and were in character the whole time, prancing around talking gibberish, remembering to select a few people for the “It’s a moo-moo” line. We even paraded in front of an upscale restaurant, peering through their line of SIX windows at the patrons as they dined, shooting them with our ray guns and being generally strange. Some laughed, some were horrified.
Almost no one knew exactly who we were, which we figured would happen, and we didn’t care. Even still, everyone seemed to love the costumes, but the best part was when a 15 year old girl who came to my home for candy before we left said, “Those are the coolest costumes I’ve ever seen.” I asked her if she watched “I Love Lucy” and she screamed, “Yes! Oh my gosh, that’s who you are! I love that show!” A few adults knew who we were later that night, but this little girl “getting it” made it all worthwhile!