First, let's get one thing straight. Pets hate costumes.
I DON'T CARE IF YOU THINK YOUR DOG LOVES IT when you strap a Cowboy Barbie on his back, or YOUR KITTEH APPEARS TO ENJOY WEARING A PRINCESS TIARA. Someone needs to tell you, and it might as well be Cute Overload. Your pet pretty much hates it.
When we dress our pets up, it's for our own selfish enjoyment. So you might as well DO A STELLAR JOB, because your pet only benefits from a costume if that costume generates gobs of attention.
You owe your pet a damn good costume. Which brings me to the point. A LOT of you are SLACKING and/or CONFUSED out there. Think of the ANIMALS. Let me show you what's what. [Beckoning motion] First we have:
1. The Famous Human Costume
The Good: You always have to explain it. "He has a mini mohawk! He's Mr. T., SEE!?"
The Bad: Your pet still hates you if you don't step it up to make it recognizable
Exhibit A: Mr. T:
And a well-crafted Martha:
2. The Cutesy Hurl-a-Thon
The Good: You'll get a lot of "Awn, he looks adorable!" from other insane people
The Bad: Anne Geddes will come after you with enormous hedge clippers
Behold Bunny in a Lettuce Cup:
3. The Non Sequitur Costume
The Good: Often very well-crafted. Drugs and/or heavy wine use is almost always associated with each costume idea.
The Bad: Lots of WTF?...OK! reactions.
The "Mix Tape":
The "Buttered Pupcorn":
The "Rice Krispy Treat":
The "Metro Line"!?!?!?!
4. The "I Had it Lying Around" Costume
The Good: You finally clean up the house
The Bad: Your cat continues to hate you
There's the Boxed Wine Kitteh Leaf Thing:
And Aluminum Foil/Rubber Band Turtle 'Jaws';
5. The "My-pet-is-going-to-kill me-but-I'm-doing-it-anyway" Costume
The Good: Target Dog Costume Sales reach all-time high thanks to you
The Bad: Your pet kills you.
Nah, don't take the tag off. What's the point?
5. Build on Your Strengths Costume
The Good: A costume that takes advantage of and accentuates a particular pet attribute
The Bad: Your pet's "attribute" is on display (the fact he looks like a pimp cannot be helpful)
Behold the Golden Retriever Lion:
The Built-in Ewok Face:
The Fish in a Bowl that Happens to look like a Jack-o-Lantern:
The Cow-Spotted terrier:
The Suave Hedge:
The Built-in Wetsuit:
And the Dog that Happens to Look like a Pimp:
6. The Epic Transformation Costume
The Good: The pinnacle of a great costume—creative! imaginative! inspiring! Transforming!
The Bad: Everyone else instantly feels like crap when they see your genius
The Jumbo Dachshund Dog:
The Wizard of Oz:
The Croc Versus Pup: (more photos here)
The Fast Food Gang [Making gang doughnut symbol with hand]:
The Thanksgiving Turkey Decision: (That thought bubble is actually part of the costume):
And, our current favorite, the Headless Horseman:
7. The Just Plain Wrong Costume
Don't worry if costume types 1 through 6 don't encourage you. There is always type 7; just plain wrong. When in doubt, you can always create fake cleavage for your Boxer.
Huge thanks to all Sender-Inners over at the Martha Stewart/CuteOverload Costume Contest. Keep those submissions coming!
In no particular order: Oswald the Pug by kheilbrunn, The BoomBox and Mix Tape by lawlerc, Vino Paws by lvmyboys3, Elvis pup by sashimi54, Cat that's gonna kill by pastryprncess, hot dog vendor by StephanieJaxBeach, Oz by hrlollar Thanksgiving Decision by newfy, Ewok by raindropSJ, Cow by Breehan, Pumpkin Fish Tankie by piebispro, Martha Stewart Magazine by soulofart, Buttered Pupcorn by poc2u, Bulldog Pimpin' by cknlomein, Headless Horseman by newfy, Boxer St. Pauli Girl by hobie_utah Ham Dog by PaleBlue, Retreiver Lion by JeanninePC99, Terrier Scuba Diver by herrinkr and James Bond Hedgehog by jacqtav.