Clothes or Costume?

The article in today's NY Times about the goths, punks, and drag queens who fit in perfectly at their places of employment - Halloween costume stores
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The article in today's NY Times about the goths, punks, and drag queens who fit in perfectly at their places of employment - Halloween costume stores
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The article in today's NY Times about the goths, punks, and drag queens who fit in perfectly at their places of employment - Halloween costume stores - while being cast as fashion misfits in the world at large struck an emotional cord with us. When we were in college, one day our across-the-hall neighbor - a very conservatively-dressed Psychology major- came knocking on our dorm room door. She wanted to know if she could borrow some of our clothes for her Halloween costume. "Something funky, you know - like the stuff that youwear," she explained. "My costume is going to be like '80s girl," she continued, while amusedly sorting through our collection of large vintage earrings, party dresses, colored tights, and tight black jeans. "Your clothes are so funny. Oh my god, can I actually wear this in public," she asked, holding up one of my most cherished thrift store finds, a tight vintage 1980s black and silver Betsey Johnson skirt. Of course it wouldn't have been in the Barnard sisterhood-is-powerful spirit to not help her out. But we have to confess, we were somewhat dismayed to have our everyday gear pronounced "the perfect Halloween costume." We'll be the first to admit that many of our college fashion choices were regrettable (an outfit that included ripped purple leggings and a leopard-print miniskirt comes to mind), but what do you do when your personal style is another girl's idea of a costume? --ALISON COOL