November 29, 2013

November 13, 2013

The Hart Foundation - Homemade Halloween Costume

It's time for that What-I-Think-Might-Be-An-Official-Annual-Tradition here on BatR, the Halloween Costume Wrap-Up. This year, my wife and I dressed up as what was probably my favorite tag team from early-90s WWF, The Hart Foundation.

The Anvil & The Hitman - 1990

The RoBeast & The RoBeastress - 2013

Up until a month before Halloween, we had been on a completely different costume course. I won't share what it is (because we may actually put it into action someday), but it had an element to it that I didn't feel we were ready to construct. Fortunately, while watching a WWE DVD about Bret Hart called The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be, the brilliant idea struck. I realized that my wife had the perfect hair to be Bret "The Hitman" Hart and I had already started growing a beard and could probably pull off a Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart goatee in time.

After dressing as man for the past two Halloweens, the RoBeastress swore she would not make it a threepeat, but I assured her that she would not need to change her hair, wear any facial hair, or suppress any of her female parts. A few days went by of her not coming up with any better alternatives, so my plan leaped off of the drawing board--we would attempt to dress up as The Hart Foundation during their second WWF World Tag Team Championship reign (circa 1990/1991).

Dreaming of gold and a longer beard. 
eBay quickly provided me with vintage 90s Bret Hart wraparound sunglasses that were in great shape. Technically, the pink sunglasses were part of Bret's solo getup (silver would have been the tag team years), but I reasoned that just having the old WWF logo alone would be close enough. I went the other way with the Tag Team Championship Belts, opting for the more accurate color and faceplate at the expense of the wrong logo--the WWF "Scratch" design, which wasn't introduced until around the time Bret left the company. It was a minor detail, but it didn't bother me.

Our floor, the site my annual painting projects. 

The Hart Foundation had several variations in their color combination those days, but we agreed on the black top/pink bottom look. The RoBeastress procured the tights and tanktops and I set about adding the stripes, hearts, and nicknames. I had never worked with that type of paint before so I did my best with the Jacquard Textile Color Fabric paints that cosplay messageboards seemed to recommend. This is where I ran into some snags. First, every art supply store seemed to be out of black and had no idea when the next delivery would be. I eventually managed to track some down though. Next, the white paint I picked up was "Super Opaque" which is probably awesome for your average fabric, but spandex was a challenge. After already painting the stripes, I realized that the white cracked fairly easily once it went on, so I vowed to paint everything on thick and then not be tempted to try anything on until the minute it needed to be worn.

Bret's better boots.
As we got closer to Halloween, it also hit us that we were going to an outside party and we were probably going to freeze our asses off. We got some extra layers for under the pink spandex, but what would we do about the tops? Here, we had to go off script a bit and scraped up some black leather jackets to cover ourselves. Now, Bret did wear a black leather jacket for a while, and The Hitman and The Anvil occasionally rocked some pink jackets, so it wasn't too much of a stretch. I also put on a winter cap with a WWE logo on it (that was free with the aforementioned DVD). Our comfort level trumped accuracy that 45 degree night.

We finished the costume off with white socks over sneakers that I painted to look like boots. Painting your own feet is tough and hurts after a while, so I'd say the Bret Hart boots came out better. Oh, there were also knee and elbow pads which were just cut up socks.

Recreating a WWF Trading Card
My badass wife. 
My beard ended up shorter than I was hoping, so I had to go with an appliance. I wasn't satisfied with the color, but we had time and money restrictions, and made due. Although the fake beard kept trying to divide itself three ways, I was happier with the look than I thought I would be. The RoBeastress put enough baby oil in her hair that it smelled for days. Personally, I think her naturally wet hair was a closer representation of Bret's hairdo, but we couldn't keep wetting her head down every hour in the cold and risk pneumonia.

The parties we attended were the Saturday before actual Halloween (I had to work the night of the 31st) but we received a fair amount of hi-fives and recognition which made me happy. My wife as Bret definitely got more attention since he had the more successful solo career of the two wrestlers in the long run. Also, she looked better in tights than I did.

Now we have a quick little rundown of our costumes for future generations to enjoy:

Finally, I should also mention that I submitted our photo for the costume contest on Collegehumor. Despite entering in the first few hours of the contest being live and soon confirming my submission via email, our photo was never put up on the site for voting. Not that we would've won, but this seemed to happen to a lot of people, so it was very lame of them. /sourgrapes