Edgar Allen Poe is one of my favorite authors. Like most people, I was introduced to him at an early age in English Literature class. The first thing I read was The Raven, followed by his other infamous title, The Telltale Heart. I had already read some modern horror stories at that age, and could already tell how much I loved to be scared by a good story, so Poe was a great choice.
Last year, I wanted to do the Poe costume, but my hair wasn’t long enough. So, I decided to try to do it this year. October got away from me really, and it came down to the wire: I had one day to put it together. I made it my mission to hunt down everything I needed in three or four stores: Goodwill, Dollar Tree and JoAnn Fabrics. I got the fake bird and the heart from Dollar Tree, the velvet jacket, pants and white shirt from Goodwill (all totaling less than 20 bucks), and the “ascot” from JoAnn’s for $7. The ascot was the perfect knit material: it was soft, had no pattern and it hung beautifully.
I also cut out a square from the material and sprayed blood on it for that tuberculosis effect. I found the mustache at a temporary Halloween ship for $3.50. I got the idea for the bird from another poster here: just a cheap blackbird attached to the shoulder with a “nevermore” speech bubble made out of card stock. I hot glued a piece of black fabric and Velcro to the feet, sewed on a piece of Velcro to the jacket, and voila! However, it was a bit wobbly, so for the next party, I will sew the bird directly to the jacket. Should be easy to remove.
How did I do the hair? Victory rolls! My hair is black, so it was easy to match. I pulled one roll over to the right and pinned it down in a sloppy manner, did one on the side my ear, and sort of repeated the process on the other side. I pulled my hair up in a tight ponytail and pinned that down close to the nape of my neck. (I learned how to do victory rolls from YouTube user TheCherryDollFace.) The makeup was super easy. I just mixed my regular liquid foundation with white acrylic face paint, put some rouge under my eyes and nose, darkened my brows with black eye shadow and attached a cheap mustache with Prosaide. One thing I will say about attaching anything to the area above the lip: it will move a lot, so it needs to be prepped. I used Pro Skin Prep antiperspirant, let it dry and applied Prosaide to the area and the two ends of the mustache. This has to be removed with 99% alcohol, which can be purchased at a professional costume makeup shop. I also brought along one of my cheaper copies of Poe’s writings.
The reactions: instant recognition and a bit freaked out by my mustache. One of my friends kept saying, “I swear, this is a really beautiful woman!” several times throughout the night. It kinda freaked me out, too, when I would catch myself in the mirror (holy cow, I’ve got a mustache!) which was amusing. Anyway, hope this inspires others.