Mark's Mailbag: Halloween Costume Do's and Don't's

Mark's Mailbag: Halloween Costume Do's and Don't's - Featured Image

This month our resident advice columnist, Mark Harrod, gives us his two cents on Halloween costumes, and what you should and should not do.

 Got a question for Mark? Throw it in the pile for next month's issue here.


Halloween is coming up fast and I'm, yet again, scrambling for a costume. Got any tips?

Nashville, TN

The only real advice I can offer would be to fully commit to whatever it is you are trying to pull off. As an example of how not to do this, last year I wore a Garth Brooks World Tour inspired number and it was a true, pure failure.


Garth's hit "Standing Outside the Fire" may actually be a cautionary tale about using a rope ladder to escape a house fire.

I already possessed the physical build necessary to wear this costume, an almost identical pair of pants and boots, as well as a western-inspired shirt that a guy who works a desk job would have. I completed the look with a broken headset/mic combo and was able to borrow the requisite tan cowboy hat. Lee, I apologize. I do still have the hat. I tried several times to drop it off at your house but it would not fit in the mailbox—no matter how hard I crammed it in there.

Costume tragedy struck when bad weather moved in. My look was transformed into "displaced-rancher-turned-telemarketer" after I put on a rain jacket.

In retrospect, the rope ladder was the missing link. Had I swung to-and-fro shouting Garth Brooks lyrics, I don't think anyone would have had to ask what I was dressed as.

Oh, and another tip—If you think your costume might be in bad taste, it probably is. It's certainly not worth losing your job over; so instead, I suggest just going as TV fishing blooper hero Bill Dance.

Mark is a former lawyer who lives in Nashville. If you see a guy that looks like a former lawyer in Germantown, feel free to say "Hi." You can also find him on the internet at and @cmharrod.

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