For Halloween 2001, I dressed up as La Adelita, or a soldadera. An Adelita was a woman soldier who did things like cook and care for wounded as well as fight in the battles of the Mexican Revolution.
After searching online for photos/artistic renditions of soldaderas, I got some inspiration and started to put together my low-budget costume. Here’s what you need (and where I found my stuff):
- White ruffled Mexican blouse (you know, the kind waitresses at Mexican restaurants often wear). I found my blouse in the closet where my mom keeps all of our old folklórico trajes (costumes).
- Full-length skirt. I borrowed my flower-patterned skirt from my tía Luisa since the “peasant skirt” wasn’t in fashion yet.
- Boots. I borrowed ankle-length boots from my mom or tía Luisa. I can’t remember, it was a long time ago.
- Rebozo (shawl). I used a rebozo we had stored away with our folklórico costumes.
- Bandolier (bullet belt). I bought mine at a costume shop in Westwood. I’ve seen these on sale for $6.99 online.
- Dangly gold earrings. Once again, borrowed from my aunt or mom.
- Doll of a Mexican baby (optional). I borrowed this from my roommate.
- Morral (a woven Mexican bag). Even though you’re dressed as someone in 1910, you still need something to carry around your car keys and lip gloss.
The only cost associated with this costume was buying the bandolier. I braided my hair in two braids rather than leave it long and flowing in the wind as in this painting. I didn’t wear a hat, but you could add a large straw hat to the outfit. You can make the costume PG-13 by wearing the blouse off the shoulder. It’s only PG-13 since your skirt will still be miles longer than the skirts of your fellow female party-goers.
To make this a couples costume, you can have your date go as Pancho Villa or Emiliano Zapata. Last year, my younger brother dressed up as Pancho Villa. He called himself Pancho Vanilla, silly boy.
Now aren’t these costumes of historic Mexican figures much better than these tacky costumes of “Mexicans”?
Next up in the low-budget costume series: scarecrow.