Dress to Impress

These Sarasota-Specific Halloween Costumes Will Make You the Life of the Party

Don't know what to be this Halloween? We've got some thoughts.

By Kim Doleatto October 25, 2022

We lost a big chunk of Halloween prep time thanks to Hurricane Ian, and now Halloween is barrelling toward us, and, with it, the need for a fun costume. Leave princesses, Spider-Man and witch clichés behind and make a statement with these Sarasota-specific costume options that will raise the hairs on even the bravest necks and earn you treats galore.

Illustration of a woman in bloodied linen and cashmere carrying a tray of poisonous drinks.

It's poison, but don't worry, it's organic.

Image: Rob Jones

Ghostal Coastal Grandmother

You don’t have to be an actual grandmother, but you do have to break out the linen and cashmere for this look, then raise hell with a splotch of seasonal cranberry sauce (homemade, of course) that pops against the crisp whites that are a coastal grandmother's signature. A chopped finger left behind on the cutting board from slicing lemons for a tall glass of homemade lemonade is also in order. And a coastal grandmother's thriving herb garden may be sprouting hemlock to lace a mojito and summon the grim reaper. How bad is that?

Illustration of a man in a book costume with a "no" sign over the title.

Get that printed wordy thing away from my child!

Image: Rob Jones

A Banned Book

Stephen King books can scare us silly, but how about The Bluest Eye by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison? Based on some parents' reactions to it, and other commonly banned books, the fright sets in when themes or characters touch on the LGBTQ community, sex and people of color. Book restrictions escalated after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education law in March, and book purchases, donations and even fairs are barred until further notice in Sarasota County schools. Literacy... it's a scary thing.

Illustration of a man in FPL work clothes.

Can you harness power? Then come here, cowboy.

Image: Rob Jones

A Sexy Florida Power & Light Lineworker

You’re wearing an FPL shirt, a tool belt and ripped jean shorts and you haven’t slept for days, and you're the best-looking thing a power-starved neighborhood has seen in weeks. You’re the post-Hurricane Ian knight in a big white truck with a lift, and you can erase the horrors of being without air conditioning, hot showers and Netflix with your knowledge of that mysterious thing that comes from that plug thing in the wall—electricity.

Illustration of a man tourist dressed as a fisherman.

Nobody told us about the hurricanes!

Image: Rob Jones

A Sarasota Newcomer

You bought into the hype of Sarasota being one of the country's best places to live and having the No. 1 beach in the country, and you've heard about the great weather and the lack of a state income tax. Now, here you are. This costume calls for a fishing shirt (don't locals spend all day on the water?), shorts, New Balance sneakers and never a mask, even during a pandemic. Add a sunburn and a hankering for an all-you-can-eat fresh crab buffet, crab season be damned, and start dishing with locals with one-liners like, “Summer is really hot," “Why are these cockroaches so big?,” “Why can’t we feed the gators?,” and, of course, “Why is my hair so frizzy?”

Illustration of a tired teacher with stitches across her mouth.

Turning children into thought zombies Monday through Friday.

Image: Rob Jones

A Public School Teacher

You're wearing khakis and a rainbow shirt, with dark circles under your eyes and a cold cup of coffee in your hand. You're so terrifying that parents are accusing you of indoctrinating their kiddos, and they're striking back with legislation that puts teachers on eggshells and requires parents to sign off on every piece of media you might use in your curriculum. Now classroom conversations must never touch on anything potentially controversial, lest the devil be summoned to drag innocent students down to the all-consuming, burning pain of hell.

Illustration of a homeowners insurance agent with vampire teeth.

Your rates are going up, mwah ha ha ha…

Image: Rob Jones

A Homeowner's Insurance Agent 

This costume calls for pajamas because you work from home, are attached to a phone and computer and have a pair of bloodied fangs as you suck the lifeblood out of the American Dream. You're lightning fast when it comes to delivering news that rates are going up, and your sympathetic voice never skips a beat when you list the reasons why your client's home has no business being insured. "Bundle with car and life insurance to save" is the last thing your victim hears.

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