Dressed to Kill

Ah, October. A time to plug in the pumpkin spice and revel in everything ghoulish, gruesome, and ghastly. For me, that means it is time once again to dust off my beloved copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s collected works of classic stories and pay homage to the master of macabre.

My copy of Poe’s classic stories, a gift to me on my birthday from my kids.

Born in 1809 and walking the earth for just forty short years, this masterful, yet struggling writer, did not live long enough to see the success of his written words unfold upon the world, and his own mysterious death continues to plague the minds of Poe fans and fanatics, evermore.

Monikered as the Father of Gothic Literature, Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of horror conjure images of morgues, murderers, and madmen. And, if you have ever had the honor to walk the streets of Baltimore, Maryland and visit the churchyard where Poe’s monument stands, you will undoubtedly feel your own sense of unsettled turmoil that this legend of literature evokes.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven.

Fall into madness with the repetitive cadence and imagery found in Poe’s classic poem The Raven, as the unnamed protagonist laments the lost of his love. Enter The Fall of the House of Usher and experience the vague and mysterious influences that plague the mind of Roderick Usher and ultimately cause his unraveling. And, let the anticipation build inside of you as The Tell-Tale Heart beats louder, and louder, and louder, within the mind of a killer.

It’s hard to believe that Poe’s brilliant collection of writing has been delighting and disturbing the minds of readers for over one hundred and eighty years, a legacy of literature that shows no signs of slowing down. Adapted countless times and woven into television shows, cartoons, movies, songs, and more, these classic tales of gothic horror are timeless masterpieces in their own right.

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine. I love the origin of this sacred celebration, the stories and the symbols surrounding October 31, and the opportunity that the modern adaption of this holiday allows for people to:
1. Be anything they choose to be without question or judgement.
2. Express creativity through innovation of dress, makeup, and repurposing of items.
3. Find a connection in being different. Different is good.

Ever since I was old enough to work a pair of scissors, I have created my own Halloween costumes from items at my disposal and repurpose them into something new. I have always enjoyed the creative challenge of using my hands to turn unexpected elements into extraordinary designs. Costumes have the ability to transport us to a different period in time, open our minds to new and wonderful worlds, and give us the opportunity to be something outside of the normal daily confines of our lives.

Thrifting is a great way to find discarded clothing and repurpose it into new life. Shop online though the Poshmark app to find great items at a fraction of the price. Or, just reach way back into your own closet. Add in a pinch of creativity and a dash of imagination. All three pieces shown here (dress, jacket, and boots) are available in my POSHMARK CLOSET and are every day or special occasion items that I thrifted and have transformed very simply but with big effect.

And, this fabulous thrifted women’s jacket was deconstructed and reconstructed into a unisex jacket fit for the season. Grommets, straps, d-rings, and locks were added to make this one-of-a-kind home made straight jacket.

Edgar Allen Poe was a master of creativity and imagination. He was ahead of his time as a writer, choosing his own path of being different than other writers and introducing the genre of detective fiction with The Murders in the Rue Morgue, while crafting stories so haunting that they have lasted throughout the centuries. Thought, imagination, and my own personal interpretation of classic literature and other Halloween movies and stories often go into the costume themes that I create each year. In the end, I may come up with a design that only beats to the sound of my own tell-tale heart, but isn’t that what this holiday is for?

What classic author or story inspires you? Tell me in the comments below!

Published by Kelly W

I'm Kelly. I am a mom of four, a full-time librarian with a fashionista alter-ego, and I live each day with kindness in my heart. I love what I do, and I'm here to share words, wisdom, and wardrobe with you.

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