For our workplace’s costume contest this year, my co-worker (“Lucy”) and I (“Ethel”) decided to dress as our favorite episode of I Love Lucy: “Job Switching.” It’s little wonder why this episode was one of Lucille Ball’s favorites; I had so much fun researching ideas and watching the show to pull this Lucy and Ethel Candy Factory Couple Costume off!
Borrowing heavily from previous posts and ideas on this site, I got lab coats and chef hats from local party stores. After hemming the sleeves of the coats, the biggest challenge was trying to get the pink dye to match between the hats and coats (dyeing them pink was based off of colorized photos and commemorative dolls of this episode).
Future note to self and to others: watch carefully as you dye, different fabrics take dye very, very differently. Long story short, it took 2 bottles of dye and 1 box of dye remover to pull off a uniform color!
Finishing touches for the coats were painting the buttons with plastic fusion black spray paint and the collars and cuffs were created from black fabric with iron-on adhesive. To keep the top portions of hats ‘fluffy,’ we used cotton batting to fill up the space.
Lucy dyed her hair auburn, but there was no feasible (ie. lack of willingness) for myself to go from brunette to blonde for Ethel, so a “Taylor Swift” style wig did the trick just perfectly.
A last second costume add-on, were the Lucy and Ethel name tags we printed that morning – although technically not in the TV episode, the tags helped to better identify the costumes.
The conveyor belts we used were created from ½ inch foam board, spray painted ivory with wax paper and the chocolates (well, what chocolates we had left after my kids begged stole a few!) glued to them. A little bit of fishing line punched through the front corners and fitted around our necks worked great.
As a final prop, from searching the net, I made a sign similar to the one that was on the wall between Lucy and Ethel. I think it was the perfect finishing touch.
All of our work paid off. we ran away with the first place win for the contest!!