As anyone who knows me can tell you, I take Halloween fairly seriously. But however elaborate the execution of a costume might be, I tend to keep them conceptually pretty simple, dressing as flashy iconic characters like The Joker or Spider Jerusalem or Rorschach.
I’ve noticed among my friends, however, a recent penchant for what I’ll call Matryoshka costumes—not literally, of course, but in the sense that one costume is nested inside another: Jimmy Carter as a Naughty Nurse; Margaret Thatcher as a Werewolf. (I’m using made up examples to avoid spoiling anyone’s surprise here.) Possible rough approximations to this category in past years include French Kiss (rocker makeup + berets) and zombie pope/Mormon. I’m not sure whether this is the upshot of our general valorization of wry meta-ness, or just the influence of the 2004 Homestar Runner Halloween cartoon in which Strong Bad dresses as Cesar Romero as The Joker. The obvious next step, of course, is the extremely tricky triple-nested costume, which raises the question: If you wear an ironic trucker cap as part of a hipster costume, does the double negative make it sincere again?