Halloween on a budget: Luchadora

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.

My luchadora name: La Chicana de Oro

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.

Belt before I took a Sharpie to it Post Sharpie fill-in

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.

[1] 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.


6 thoughts on “Halloween on a budget: Luchadora

  1. I still think $65.00 it’s good for such a great costume, specially if you say you plan to use it for a superhero custom, and it’s cheap if it made you feel sexy 🙂

  2. I live right by Shelly’s! So fun to look for creative costume ideas there. But its a nightmare a few days before Halloween.

    I had a great, cheap costume when I was a junior at UCSB. I was Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet) after she killed herself. I went to a thrift store and found a flowy dress for 15 bucks, plastic sword (cut in half and inserted in my side), red marker (blood gushing out), and all for around 30 bucks.

    There was also this one time I was “white trash”. I just wore a white trash bag.

  3. You’re adorable.

    Sort of off topic, but I read (somewhere – I forget where) that luchar means “wrestle” in Mexican Spanish. I had never heard that before. I guess I just thought it meant “to fight.” Is this correct?

  4. Ahh, you read comic books, too? I’ve been meaning to check out “Love and Rockets.” Right now I’m going through “Daytripper.” I read mostly Vertigo titles, I need to branch out.

  5. April,
    Thanks! I bet the toughest part would be choosing a name and superpowers for my made up superhero.

    I didn’t mind spending the money. I’m sure I spend more for an outfit for other special events. And yeah, Halloween is a special event for me.

    Did you have a tiny bottle of poison for Juliet too? I’ve thought about doing some famous people as zombies or dead runner (hit by a car, of course), but always seems a little too macabre. Plus, I’m too lazy for costumes requiring elaborate makeup. I’ve only been to Shelly’s once, but.

    Thanks. I think that’s the case since the league is called Lucha Libre and the wrestlers are luchadores, but luchar also means to struggle/fight against. La lucha continúa = the struggle continues.

    I’ve only read the Jaime Hernández L&R stuff. If you start reading, do what they suggest on the Fantagraphics website otherwise it might be overwhelming since it spans over 20 years. The new stuff Jaime and Gilbert has out is incredible. I’ve read Daytripper, Y: The Last Man, Scott Pilgrim, Fun Home, The Pride of Baghdad and 21: The Roberto Clemente Story. They were all recommended by my fiancé who is quite the comic books geek. He knows my taste pretty well and hasn’t steered me wrong. Have you read any of Adrian Tomine’s stuff? I like him too.

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