My girlfriend Kristine Choy and I share a love for the 1986 film Labyrinth starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in the main roles. This film helped cement our relationship, so we felt it appropriate to dress as the characters on our first Halloween together. They go through many costume changes in the film, but Kristine’s favorite scene of the ballroom dance was what we settled on. We planned our costumes to see if we could make them on a budget and got to work!
These costumes are 100% thrift shop items. For my costume, Jareth the Goblin King, I used mainly clothing items with alterations: a black women’s short suit jacket (that I added interior pockets); a white long sleeve shirt that I sewed lace to the cuffs and along the buttons (lace was taken from a women’s skirt); gray yoga pants; wig styled to the proper hairstyle; a pendant made of a belt-buckle and leather strap; and leather riding boots (the leg portion cut from women’s high-heel platform shoes worn over a plain pair of men’s dress shoes).
The gown was more involved: the base of the top was a lace shirt onto which we sewed large felt sleeves stuffed with extra material; the sleeves are also pieces of scrap; the skirt base is a plain long white skirt that we sewed PVC pipe into at different levels to create a home-made petticoat, over it she wore a puffy skirt for volume, and a silk curtain over the entire thing. The accessories in her hair are Christmas decorations and pipe cleaners.
Labyrinth is a cult-classic film, so I feel not everyone is familiar with it. For those who have seen it, we got gushing compliments and many people asking for pictures. It made us feel good knowing our costumes were recognized. We also received many compliments and questions about how the costumes were put together. Many people enjoyed the beauty of her dress and loved hearing about how it was made. Our favorite interaction of Halloween evening was running into another couple dressed as the same characters, although in different costumes from the film!
Our costumes are truly DIY! Each one cost less than $50 in thrift shop items, but did take a lot of time and effort to put together. We spent many nights watching Halloween movies while just sewing, cutting, and getting it all put together. For my girlfriend Kristine, this was the first time she ever made her own costume, and the worry of doing so was overcome with excitement and pride once she saw the finished product. I think in the future, she’ll always want the opportunity to make wonderful costumes together!