I'm like a kid when it comes to Halloween, so I was a probably unreasonably giddy when our Halloween chili cook-off hosts gave me the prize for best costume Saturday night.
Strangely enough, inspiration for the Queen of Hearts theme struck less than a week before the party. Being my OCD, theme-loving self, my chili cook-off entry had to coordinate with my costume (it wasn't a requirement for the cook-off, just a Jody requirement... come on, you're not surprised).
The best chili I've had in a minute is a white chicken chili recipe that my friend Jen makes. It's actually really healthy, and it's dairy and gluten free, so using her recipe for the cook-off also meant I'd actually be able to eat my own entry without paying for it later.
As soon as I settled on the chili recipe, a light bulb went off: I'd go as the Queen of Hearts and turn the recipe into "White Rabbit Chili" (he shouldn't have been late, after all...) I've hosted a couple of Mad Hatter tea parties in the last few years, so I already had everything I needed to set up a Wonderland-worthy chili buffet station, and I knew I could pull the costume together using items already in my wardrobe.
I already had spectators with red hearts on the heels and an Alice in Wonderland storybook-shaped clutch, which I paired with a black and white striped sundress I found on eBay last Summer. The Queen is usually portrayed with a large stand-up collar, so I topped the dress with a black shantung peplum jacket with a wire-edged ruffled double collar that allows it to be molded into various neckline looks. The jacket was a clearance find from Pretty Woman, a little boutique in Bedford, Indiana, that I picked up a few years ago. I love both pieces, but I never expected to wear them as part of a Halloween costume, or to wear them together! An old pair of striped gloves, a heart shaped stretch ring, and some inexpensive heart shaped brooches fashioned into cufflinks and a necklace (the only new items I purchased) completed the look.
I didn't have a crown, so I repurposed a little black top hat using a deck of cards; a small fabric teacup in a card pattern; some red velvet roses I pulled out of a Christmas arrangement; feathers left over from another project; and a few stick on heart-shaped gems. As for makeup, I didn't want to do the blue-eyeshadowed Disney look. I ultimately decided to paint a heart around one eye rather than turn my mouth into a heart, so that I could eat and drink without wondering whether my heart was breaking. I also used three-dimensional red scrapbook gems, affixed to my cheek and forehead with eyelash glue, to add a little sparkle, and covered my face with iridescent white eyeshadow to give the red accents more dramatic impact.
I had the most fun setting up the details for the chili buffet. I made a sign using clip art; labeled shredded mozzarella as "Rabbit Dropping Topping"; and made "tea" using rabbit's feet that I made using strips of white faux fur and hot glue. A small alarm clock from a guest bedroom served as the White Rabbit's pocket watch. I even used cookie-cutters to cut little hearts out of corn tortillas, which I then sprayed lightly with cooking spray, dusted with garlic, and baked until they were crispy - a Wonderland alternative to traditional crackers in your chili. Over the top? Not in my world. Down the rabbit hole? Absolutely!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
|KDef has his own brand of clever, in the form of a different "too soon dead" celebrity each year, so we almost never coordinate costumes. But this year he was a gamer for my last minute inspiration theme and went as the Mad Hatter.|
You can get the details from last year's Vampire Killer Chili here.
I'm also linked up with The Style Crone's Hat Attack this month!