I started the Halloween on a budget series in 2007 as a way to showcase original, sometimes culturally relevant, inexpensive and homemade costumes. Judging by the amount of hits my blog gets around this time of year, I’d say I’ve met my objective for Lotería Chicana even if I don’t follow my own advice.
When I decided I wanted to be a luchadora (female Lucha Libre wrestler) for Halloween ’09, I didn’t expect it’d be so pricey or time consuming to put together the costume. I had my mom do some sewing, but also visited 5 stores to get the items I needed.
Here’s what it cost me to become la Chicana de Oro1:
1. Tank leotard – $21 (+ $10 shipping) via Amazon
2. Cape – $10 at Wal-Mart. I know, I know… but it was the only place still open when I needed the cape shortly before the first of a few costume parties. I know capes aren’t really a luchadora thing, but I wanted something that wouldn’t make me feel so naked.
3. Mask – $4, costume shop in Westwood. Luchadores are known for wearing the full mask over the face. Luchadoras’ masks cover their faces (sometimes leaving the jaw uncovered) and snap behind the head leaving their hair showing. I didn’t want to go for either look because covering my face makes me very uncomfortable. Some luchadoras’ masks only cover half their faces, so I figured my eye mask was okay if totally inauthentic.
4. Wrestling champion belt – $5 on sale from a costume shop in Whittier. It was red/blue on gold, but I filled it in with black Sharpie.
5. Boots – borrowed from my sister
6. Wrist cuffs – borrowed from my sister’s Batgirl costume
7. Knee pads: made by my mom, fabric and elastic purchased at Jo-Ann crafts (about $10)
8. Leggings – I’ve had these in my closet for a while. The luchadoras I’ve seen wear nude pantyhose or elaborately decorated pants, but I didn’t have time for that and liked the black and gold look.
9. Gold/black sequined butterfly face mask (pinned to the back of the cape): $5 at Shelly’s Dance shop in Westwood
Total: about $65.
It was definitely not a low budget costume, but worth it. I loved my costume and have thought about re-working it in the future as some type of superhero costume. I loved that my costume was original. I didn’t see a single other luchadora both times I wore it. Also, it made me feel sexy without having to worry about showing too much at the slightest gust of wind.
After losing 50+ pounds, I wanted to show off the results of 9 months of running and eating healthier. I felt more confident in my body but not so much that I was willing to take off the cape. Still, I wasn’t hiding behind a coat, glasses and a big hat like with the Carmen Sandiego costume in ’08.
 I chose the name la Chicana de Oro because I couldn’t think of anything more original. This was before I read about the luchadoras in Love & Rockets.