Thursday, October 23, 2014

Easy Halloween Costume: Mary Poppins & Bert

I have been talking about Halloween for months now. Seriously, since before Frankie was born. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays (you get to dress up in costume AND you get free candy??? There is no down side—every part of this holiday is awesome), but Frank didn't grow up celebrating Halloween and was kind of wary of the whole concept. So I figured I could get him on board by talking NON-STOP about how excited I was to dress up for Halloween. (I know, lucky Frank.) I'm pretty sure every one of our friends has heard me mull over possible costumes at some point in the last 6 months.

We finally agreed to a compromise about the whole dressing-up-in-costume thing. I could understand him not wanting to dress up for trick-or-treating, since we are kind of definitely too old for that, but what if we were invited to a costume party? "Ok, fine," Frank said, "I'll agree to dress up if we get invited to a costume party."

So once we got that settled, I began crossing my fingers that we'd get invited to a costume party. Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure we had this conversation back in August. Nothing wrong with being prepared, right?

Luckily, our friends pulled through, and we were invited to TWO parties requiring Halloween costumes. The first was last Friday. I was more than a little gleeful when I reminded Frank of our deal, and he was more than a little eye-rolly at my excitement over coming up with costumes. Pretty much every costume I suggested, he vetoed (or I vetoed his suggestions). He didn't want to be Star Wars characters or animals or fairy-tale characters, and I didn't want to be historical figures. I mean, Irish pirate queens sound cool and all, but who even is Grace O'Malley? The party involved a costume contest, and call me crazy but I didn't think Grace O'Malley would be a guaranteed winner.

Finally, it was the day before the party and I was frantically googling couples' costumes, most of which were too cheesy or involved props we didn't have. On a whim, I texted Frank, "What about Mary Poppins and Bert? We already have almost all of the stuff for it" and I sent him this picture:


Luckily Frank's favorite Disney movie growing up was Mary Poppins, and I always liked channeling my inner Mary Poppins during my babysitting days, so we had a winner! The great thing about this costume is that we already had most of it in our own closets. Here is what you'll need if you want to recreate it too:

dark-colored long-sleeved shirt
dark pants
dark vest
duffer cap
black dress shoes
red bandana around the neck
black eyeshadow smudged on the face
(optional) some sort of broom

Mary Poppins:
black A-line skirt
opaque black tights
black heels
white button-down shirt, buttoned all the way to the top
red belt
red bow tie (or a red bow safety-pinned to the collar)
small black hat with some white flowers
a large bag
an umbrella with a printed parrot head taped to the handle
(optional) white gloves

We went to Goodwill Thursday night, where I found a plain black felt hat and a little wreath of white flowers. I cut up the flowers and glued them all around the hat brim, with one sticking straight up in the back. The whole family was getting in on the costume-planning fun—my mom found a red bandana for Frank and lent me the hot-glue gun, while my little sister dug up a black umbrella—but it was my dad who had the genius idea to make our own parrot head umbrella at home. He found and printed this image for me to tape to the umbrella handle:


With that, we were set. We dressed Frankie as a mini-chimney sweep in dark-colored clothes and his duffer cap. The next night, we were so excited when we won the couples' category of the costume contest! One of our friends said, "It was the parrot umbrella that did it!" and I couldn't wait to tell my dad. Such a fun night, and such a fun costume.

Now the only question that remains ... will we come up with different costumes for the next Halloween party, or stick with this tried-and-true winner? (Or really, how many different costumes will Frank tolerate?). What's your favorite easy, throw-together-stuff-from-the-closet Halloween costume?


  1. Love that your dad went to the effort of making the umbrella top! So funny!

  2. You two look great! Frankie should be a young chimney sweep covered in soot! :)

  3. Great idea! Paul and I might borrow this idea - we have almost everything for this costume!

  4. I know it's late, but your costume is awesome! :D

  5. Everything including decoration is looking wonderful dear. Did you hired party planner for planning this party or your planned it yourself? I am asking this because I also want a same party for my baby daughter.