Here it comes. Halloween in Aspen. Historically an epic night in an epic town. A night where almost anything goes and there are no limits. The gold standard. A night where reputations are made or shattered — not an innocent child’s holiday. A night where the bootless and unhorsed can mingle with the beautiful people. A time for skeletons to come out of closets and be shaken in front of anonymous others.

If the global supply chain problem has delayed delivery of your Caligula costume or the Darth Vader suit, I am here to help. I'm not even sure what's going on in Aspen this year but opportunities for you to show off should be plentiful.

People are sensitive these days, so choosing a costume can have far-reaching consequences. Changing your skin color is an easy way to make you look very different but should be avoided at all costs unless you are using a hue and tone that makes you look dead or otherworldly. Think ghostly white and grey. Just wear some ripped designer jeans and tear up a down coat and you are the living dead. Do not use makeup to change your ethnicity.

If you are a shapely female, you could color your flesh green and play Marta, the green-skinned Orion slave girl who appeared in the Star Trek episode, "Whom Gods Destroy.” With William Shatner back in the news, Star Trek themes are as fresh as ever. The other epic female alien from the original series was the stunning Shahna, a green-haired gal sporting an electronic control collar and a tin foil bathing suit. Easy costume and a real prize-winner.

Whatever you do, keep it comfortable. Simple is always good, especially as the night draws late. An octopus outfit with many moving parts may become humiliating on the last downvalley bus with everyone staring at you as your costume falls down, catching on the door and getting stepped on.

A bathrobe lifted from a ritzy local hotel, club or VRBO coupled with a hairnet, slippers and a cigarette is perfectly acceptable. Works for guys and gals. Drape a bunch of gold chains around the neck to add chutzpah.

Only the most convincing should attempt costumes with political themes. If you happen to look like Rudi Giuliani, a little runny makeup and a business suit is all you need. While there isn’t anything funny about the pandemic, if you have medical scrubs, a turkey baster and a name tag, you could be very popular as “Maccine.” Maccine has a turkey baster full of shots. Shots of tequila. People will line up for their shots, trust me.

Of the more figure-flaunting options, athletic outfits are often among the most comfortable. Racing swimsuits, gymnastics outfits, soccer players, cross-country ski racers and the like are easy to recognize, allowing you to fit right in. Vintage downhill ski suits are cool, but leave the ski boots at home. Otherwise, although you may get a laugh at first, people are going to get angry when you step on their ballet shoes or bare feet. Plus, the boots could get uncomfortable as you walk across town hoping to get into the Caribou Club. Athleisure, which everyone has, is always easy.

You have to have a lot of confidence if you are going to take on a religious costume. Any of the trappings of extreme religion — like coned hats, turbans, bald heads, top braids, robes, sashes and the like — can look realistic, but may make folks uncomfortable, especially as they are breaking the commandments, restrictions, precepts and rules that come with pretending to believe in holy stuff.

Another attention-drawing costume you can pull together at the last minute is a wolf-man or wolf-woman Q-Anon Shaman Capitol insurrectionist. Stick some horns out of that raccoon hat, paint your face like an American flag, throw on a pair of brown drawstring pants, hold a flag in one hand and a megaphone in the other and you are off to the races. You don't even need a shirt, especially if you have thick chest, back hair and a six-pack.

Lastly, if you, like me, are avoiding large groups of heavy-breathing people in tight quarters, you can go military and wear a fully functioning gas mask or a deep-sea diver suit — where your head is fully encased in a steel ball — or as a firefighter with full smoke protection. Just remember that it may be funny at home, but when you get out in public, people are going to want to poke, pull, push or play with your face covering, which can lead to fights.

Remember, it's never a good idea to get too high on Halloween. You never know where you are going to land and those social media posts can dog you for years.


Steve Skinner is here to help. Reach him at