Easy Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costumes, Estilo Mexicano

La India Maria

So for Halloween a few years ago we weren’t sure what to do.  We had not really planned out any costumes – we rarely do – and the holiday was just around the corner.  The idea was to dress up and go out for the night, while at the same time sticking to our budget of let’s just say minimal resources.

What to do?  As the Chapulin Colorado would say, no contaban con (nuestra) austucia…or in our case, simple Mexican ingenuity.

In a matter of seconds it was decided!  I would be Cantinflas, my wife La India Maria, and Edgar a vampire, since he was the only one with an actual costume.  After raiding a few segundas – or as my mother in law calls them, “our Macy’s” – we emerged with everything we needed, except for a little makeup, which we improvised for by using some from my wife’s own collection.  Our costumes were a hit…even if only other Latinos were the ones who recognized our disfrases.

This year again, the jury is still out on what we’ll wear for the big day, but for the rest of you, ladies first of course, here are a few easy, do-it-yourself, Mexican-themed costumes that shouldn’t cost more than a couple of bucks at your local “Macy’s.”

La Chimoltufria

A classic, ‘La Chimoltufria’: aside from getting to yell in your most whiny voice all night, you can be mean an obnoxious too, just because…no questions asked!

La Chilindrina

If you’d rather connect with your inner child…you know the spoiled one that likes to snitch on everybody and anybody, and also burst into ‘llantos’ when they don’t get their way, consider ‘La Chilindrina’, another classic from the ‘Chavo del Ocho’ series.

Ugly Betty

Want something more recognizable stateside…and also a little more intellectual?  Ugly Betty can be the reason to just roll out of bed, put on whatever mismatched items of clothing you can find and go! Alternate names: Letty or Betty la Fea.

La Trevi

Y si de pelo se trata, who won’t recognize ‘La Trevi’ (shown here circa 1990’s during her ‘pelo suelto’ days, before her little stint in jail)…okay maybe the ‘gavachos’ will just think you’re an 80’s ‘chica’, but we’ll know you’re the ‘rock-n-rolera’ herself!

Maria la del Barrio

Innocent, sweet, helpless…think again!  More like sassy and ‘pelionera’, with the added excuse of ‘not knowing any better’ to get away with virtually any faux pas.  Think Little Mermaid brushing her hair with a fork at a formal dinner…and do it!

Paquita la del Barrio

Even though she may no longer be a favorite for her harsh words and lukewarm apologies, you can’t deny ‘Paquita la del Barrio’ has Halloween costume written all over her persona and personality – “Rata de dos patas, te estoy hablando a ti…”

Doña Carmen Salinas

And finally, a Doña to bring us full circle…none other than the incomparable Carmen Salinas.  Never at a loss for words and as good at the ‘indirectas’ as your momma, with a hefty helping of ‘chuntis’ all over her vocabulary…but be warned, if you take on the Doña for Halloween you better train your tongue very, very well.

Happy trick-or-treating!

9 thoughts on “Easy Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costumes, Estilo Mexicano”

  1. This post is full of genius, Juan 🙂 Not going to share the photos of you and your wife as Cantiflas y la India Maria? LOL.

    My husband loves Cantiflas, but I’m a Maria fan myself, which is strange since she reminds me so much of Suegra. (I told Suegra once before, not realizing she’d take it as an insult. LOL. She has never forgotten it!)

    As for me, I think I can pull off the Betty Suarez look. Too bad I don’t have my poncho anymore. (She wore one that said “Guadalajara” in like the first episode. LOL.)

    My husband has an ear flap snow hat and he has tried to convince the kids to go trick-or-treating as Chavito del Ocho for years, but they refuse saying, “No one will know who I am! They’ll just think I’m a weirdo in an ugly hat!” LOL. Ah well.

    And I fully support using Goodwill, etc for Halloween costumes. We even used to use things from home when I was little and I know my parents could afford to have bought costumes. It’s environmentally friendly and it’s fun to use a little imagination instead of being one of a dozen Buzz Lightyears or whatever else is hot that year.

    1. My wife barely let me take any pictures of her dressed up as La India Maria because she looked so much like her (I mean the whole trenzas on the side, crazy skirt and all), and me well I don’t even know where those pictures are anymore.

      Everyone in my family loves Maria and Cantinflas, but being called either…yeah, kind of an insult. Pobre de tu Suegra, ya me imagino su cara cuando le dijiste eso, ja ja ja!

      All thrift stores the best place to get original costumes, even non-Latino ones. One year we took a big red sweater, shortened it around the arms, painted a giant ‘A’ on the front of it, added a red cap, also with and ‘A’ on it, and had our son dress up as Alvin from the Chipmunks. The costume was a huge hit.

      And yeah El Chavo one of the ones I’ll be trying to convince him of also 😉

  2. One of the costumes that we got the most compliments on was when I dressed the boys up as Mario and Luigi (Nintendo). LOL. We already had overalls and green/red shirts, etc. Just stuck some mittens on them and drew big fake mustaches 😉

    As for telling Suegra she reminded me of India Maria – LOL, I didn’t mean she looks like her, (even I know better than that!) I meant the locuras she gets herself into.

  3. I haven’t dressed up for years, and not sure if I’ll be able to get Carlos to. He likes to pretend he’s too mature for such silliness sometimes … Vamos a ver. The niños will definitely have their photos taken though.

  4. LOL I’m the blonde “bolilla” who married into the family and various people keep calling me La India Amarilla, which I didn’t understand and they said, es como La India Maria. Ok, with that explanation, I still don’t understand but I think I’m mildly offended. Although it doesn’t make any difference since they’re going to call me whatever they want anyway. 🙂

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