Running in Costume: Choosing and Deciding on Your Costume (Part 2)

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Maryalicia’s Run Disney Shoes inspires this ‘Minnie Mouse’ outfit. She bought the Tutu, Shirt, Ears, and Minnie Bow off of Etsy to complete the costume.

This series was initially published by us in 2013 – prior to us moving over to our current web format. Maryalicia was a costume-running guru, and with the Holiday Half coming up, we thought we would re-post these through November. 

So now that you have checked out my blog post on ‘what to consider before running‘, now it is time to select your costume! There are so many ideas and ways to choose a costume and begin the costume process. Here are just a few ways of taking an idea and making it happen:

1. What type of race is it? Is it a themed event? Themed races are an excellent way to help you select a costume. They provide a concept and can be easier than trying to pull an idea out of thin air. Are you doing a Doughnut  run? Dress up as a cop or a doughnut. Zombie race? Race as a zombie or survivor. I myself dressed as a pumpkin for two different runaway pumpkin races.  Superhero? You know you want to be the best Superhero out there, and there are so many to choose from lately.

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Joe Dudman and Erika Matsuda at the 2009 Starlight Run. Joe said ” I’m “A cup of Joe”, and Erika is “The Queen of Caffie Nation” (get it?) That was my first and so far, only, run costume!” Joe said the only reason he has not run in costume since is not having enough time to create another fabulous costume. He said it ran very well.

2. Back to Basics!  Maybe you are creative, but not the ultimate seamstress. You are in luck.  Running in costume does not require a detailed seamstress or a rich man’s wallet, just some ingenuity and/or creativity!  You can run with accessories to create the most fabulous outfits. Accessorizing can be as simple as using your normal workout clothes and then adding arm sleeves, colorful socks, bows, hats, or hair pieces to an outfit. Maybe even jazzing up the normal running top by adding a special running skirt like Sparkle Skirts, Sparkle Athletic, or any running skirt. Pick a ‘base’ outfit for your costume and just accessorize. Sometimes you don’t have to go all out, it could be as easy as buying a hat that inspires you and making an outfit from there. Maybe you have a husband who hunts? Grab his gear and add a beard and go as someone from the Duck Dynasty Cast.

3.  Buy pre-made costumes. Don’t discount the option to buy your own. Buy a “sexy” costume and add running pants/shorts and a sports bra for females. I have seen some guys run in them too though (Just saying). A sexy costume not exactly what you are looking for? Rest assured there are plenty to buy, and you can choose from costumes that are easier to run in than others. Costumes such as ‘Where’s Waldo’, Elvis, 80’s costumes, rock stars, country girls, ect. The ideas are endless; they are pretty much ‘costumed clothes’.  However, you can purchase other costumes that are not as easy to run in, such as Santa Claus, Chewbacca, or Optimus Prime from Transformers. I say they are not as easy to run in because they can be heavier, bulkier, and/or tend to be hotter due to these mentioned reasons and made from materials that do not tend to breathe. Bulkier and heavier costumes not only can be cumbersome and slow you down, but may be more likely to chafe as well.

In the Inaugural Portland Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon I came upon a guy ‘running’ in a Kiss costume with high platform boots – they looked to be about a foot tall. He was not having an easy time with the boots, and his running was as slow as walking. However, I say running because he was picking his feet up in an attempt to continue running. My point is that any costume can be made to be more difficult to ‘run’ in.

4. Make your own. If you have time and enjoy being creative, make your own costume. You can run in modest to full costumes that you made yourself. You can make the costume simple, meaning you can make it from fun basic clothes and using a glue gun to spice them up. I have seen many Lady Bug costumes made from pipe cleaners and black dots glued on a red outfits. Or you can think outside the box by creating a costume from one? I joke about how my daughter likes the box more than the toy that came inside, but a box has endless possibilities! When I was in High School, I used a box to make myself a ‘Halloween Present’ but you can also become ‘Boxed Wine’ or a ‘Pez Dispenser’. Papier-mâché is also a wonderful tool for making intricate costumes such as a Peanut’s Character head or a Disco Ball. The ideas are limitless!

These are just a few ways to start your costume process. Have other ideas that helped you decide on a costume? How did the costume making process go?

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