A Wardrobe Malfunction, or Why Not to Wear A Halloween Costume to Work

Updated | Published
by VivaLasViejas VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN (Guide)

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent individual, but every now and again I have to re-learn a lesson that should've sunk in at least the second or third time I was confronted with it.

Have you ever had a Halloween costume malfunction?

A Wardrobe Malfunction, or Why Not to Wear A Halloween Costume to Work

Take the wearing of Halloween costumes. I've donned all sorts of crazy things in the name of fun, including a streetwalker outfit that almost got me arrested once, and a cowboy's gun belt that some kid stole the fake pistol out of and held it against my back, parading me around an entire carnival as if he were an Old West sheriff and I an outlaw. Embarrassing, to say the least, but I always went back the next year for more.

During the years I was in LTC management, dressing up for Halloween wasn't encouraged, so I'd wear orange-and-black fingernail polish and maybe a jack-o-lantern pin and call it good. Where I work now, however, it's not only allowed, but actively promoted by everyone from the DNS on down to the actitivities director "because the residents love it".

Well, the eight-year-old who lives inside this late-middle-aged body loves all things holiday (I am perhaps the only person on earth who owns a PLAID Santa Claus hat), so I leapt at the chance to wear my pirate wench costume from Halloweens past. It's a homemade outfit complete with a long skirt and matching sash, a white tunic top, striped socks, boots, a scabbard to keep my sword in (a real one, not one of those cheap plastic things you find in Target), and even a pirate do-rag. ARRRRRRRRR, matey!

My first inkling that this outfit was going to be trouble came when I realized that I hadn't worn any of its components in several years, and even having lost a fairly significant amount of weight in recent months, I'd forgotten that while I had changed sizes, the costume had not. The shirt hung on me like a flour sack, and the skirt promptly slid down to my hips when I put it on. Even the boots were bigger than I remembered. Fortunately, I had another white tunic top that fit me better; adding another pair of socks under the stripey ones solved the footwear issue, and I dealt with the skirt by rolling up the waistband several times and cinching the whole thing with the sash.

I had to readjust the outfit when I got out of the car, and whenever I stood up or sat down; otherwise, the costume was a huge hit with residents and staff alike. Unfortunately, however, the shift wasn't even half over before "Gwyn, The Avenger of the Spanish Main" got tired of the sword banging against her leg.........the skirt heading South and tripping her every time she pushed her med cart down the hall........the sweat dripping from under the do-rag. Actually, Gwyn was just tired, period---who knew ten pounds of costume accessories could wear one out like this?

So, once the residents' party was over and the families were gone, I decided to lose the extras and simply finish the shift in the gauzy tunic and skirt, which were at least cool and comfortable (anyone who's ever worked in a nursing home knows how insanely hot these places are).....if not terribly functional. Trouble was, once I took off the sash, I could no longer be sure of the skirt, which threatened to slide down my hips every time I exhaled. I tried a safety pin, which promptly stabbed me in the abdomen when I bent over to retrieve a used insulin syringe I'd accidentally dropped into a trash can instead of the sharps box.

"Pin it around your neck, and maybe it'll be useful," suggested the CNA who'd just seen me stumble over the hem for the tenth time.

"Can you hike it up over your chest?" offered another. I am rather substantial on top, and this seemed like the best idea yet, so I tried it. It lasted as long as I stayed seated, but once I was up and running around the floor it would begin to slip.......first down the back, then off the front. So I wound up working most of the rest of the evening with a death grip on the waistband and part of the skirt itself, cursing myself for not even thinking to bring a change of clothes and wondering why it had never occurred to me that an outfit I wore sixty-five pounds ago might not fit me anymore.

Then it happened.

I was standing at the med cart, giving direction to a CNA who isn't what I'd call the brightest bulb in the chandelier and pulling a PRN pain med for a resident whose phantom limb pain was kicking up, when I got distracted by another resident who likes to pat us "girls" on the backside. Startled, I whirled around...........and my skirt fell off. It fell off. It fell the heck OFF, landing in a multicolored puddle around my ankles and giving the flirtatious resident more than just a glance at my, um, assets.

Next Halloween, I think I'll just dress all in white and wear my nurse's cap......it may not be much of a 'costume', but at least it won't give everyone something they'll talk about till Christmas!

I'm a Registered Nurse and writer who, in better times, has enjoyed a busy and varied career which includes stints as a Med/Surg floor nurse, a director of nursing, a nurse consultant, and an assistant administrator.

142 Articles   9,977 Posts

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30 Comment(s)

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV. 5,486 Posts

We had a someone die. when the Christmas carolers came up to sing.

morte

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

ok, where do i send the bill to get my computor cleaned????...........lol..............just a homemade scrub top here about 20 years old.....but admired by several......

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience. 105 Articles; 5,349 Posts

***Snort!*** This is too funny! Reminds me of something which I dare not share on the board...

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,977 Posts

caroladybelle said:
We had a someone die. when the Christmas carolers came up to sing.

Talk about bad timing.......or is that tidings??;)

AngelfireRN

AngelfireRN, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in med-surg, psych, ER, school nurse-CRNP. Has 15 years experience. 2 Articles; 1,288 Posts

Viva,

First of all, I am so sorry, but that WAS hilarious.

I wore my Bride of Dracula outfit (that I made with my Mama at 17) to work last Friday. This is a black satin dress that drags the ground, and a matching cape lined in purple and trimmed in gold braid. I wear a hooped petticoat and heels with it so that it at least gets ground clearance. Add black lipstick and rhinestones glued to your face and you're good to go.

So, last Friday, as I am walking out of the ICU, I pass a group of rather elderly family members, and my beeper goes off. I was already getting some looks, so I quipped "Yes, I'm a technologically advance vampire".

Then it happened.

I get all tangled up in my petticoat and WHUMP! Down I go in a sea of black satin and crinoline, right there in front of God and everybody. About 6 LOLs are trying to get me up and dust me off, and I want to fall through the floor.

I went to the office and changed into my scrubs (I had thought to bring a change of clothes). I am yet black and blue all down my legs, and think that next year I may just wear my cowgirl costume and call it a day.

Hope the smart remarks have died down at work!

skittlebear

skittlebear

408 Posts

LOL!!!! Loved this story. :yeah:

Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education. 3,458 Posts

One year I decided to let my inner floozy out and wore a long platinum blonde wig to work (I also wore my clothes inside out and backwards but that's another story). After about an hour, I noticed my head and face were itching tremendously. Shortly my entire upper body was covered with hives! So much for that inner floozy!

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,977 Posts

AngelfireRN said:
Viva,

First of all, I am so sorry, but that WAS hilarious.

I wore my Bride of Dracula outfit (that I made with my Mama at 17) to work last Friday. This is a black satin dress that drags the ground, and a matching cape lined in purple and trimmed in gold braid. I wear a hooped petticoat and heels with it so that it at least gets ground clearance. Add black lipstick and rhinestones glued to your face and you're good to go.

So, last Friday, as I am walking out of the ICU, I pass a group of rather elderly family members, and my beeper goes off. I was already getting some looks, so I quipped "Yes, I'm a technologically advance vampire".

Then it happened.

I get all tangled up in my petticoat and WHUMP! Down I go in a sea of black satin and crinoline, right there in front of God and everybody. About 6 LOLs are trying to get me up and dust me off, and I want to fall through the floor.

I went to the office and changed into my scrubs (I had thought to bring a change of clothes). I am yet black and blue all down my legs, and think that next year I may just wear my cowgirl costume and call it a day.

Hope the smart remarks have died down at work!

OMG........the mental pictures are PRICELESS!!

I think you've got me beat there, Angelfire!

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 50 years experience. 3,651 Posts

Years ago only the oncology unit at my hospital had a tradition of staff and patients dressing up for Halloween. Patients really looked forward to it.

A male nurse dressed as a female nurse. White dress, stockings, and shoes. He wore make up and a wig to match his beard. A coffee filter served as a nurses cap atop the wig. Patients had fun teasing him.

Then he was called to insert a Foley on another floor because the male patient was shy about a woman doing it.

(No he didn't go. The male RN supervisor was called. He did the task and then came to laugh at the costumes on the unit.

jonesecho

jonesecho, RN

Has 29 years experience. 20 Posts

good for you. you would be fun to work with. jonesecho

gentle

gentle

Specializes in Med-Surg, Tele, DOU. 395 Posts

VivaLasViejas said:
I consider myself a reasonably intelligent individual, but every now and again I have to re-learn a lesson that should've sunk in at least the second or third time I was confronted with it.

Take the wearing of Halloween costumes. I've donned all sorts of crazy things in the name of fun, including a streetwalker outfit that almost got me arrested once, and a cowboy's gun belt that some kid stole the fake pistol out of and held it against my back, parading me around an entire carnival as if he were an Old West sheriff and I an outlaw. Embarrassing, to say the least, but I always went back the next year for more.

During the years I was in LTC management, dressing up for Halloween wasn't encouraged, so I'd wear orange-and-black fingernail polish and maybe a jack-o-lantern pin and call it good. Where I work now, however, it's not only allowed, but actively promoted by everyone from the DNS on down to the actitivities director "because the residents love it".

Well, the eight-year-old who lives inside this late-middle-aged body loves all things holiday (I am perhaps the only person on earth who owns a PLAID Santa Claus hat), so I leapt at the chance to wear my pirate wench costume from Halloweens past. It's a homemade outfit complete with a long skirt and matching sash, a white tunic top, striped socks, boots, a scabbard to keep my sword in (a real one, not one of those cheap plastic things you find in Target), and even a pirate do-rag. ARRRRRRRRR, matey!

My first inkling that this outfit was going to be trouble came when I realized that I hadn't worn any of its components in several years, and even having lost a fairly significant amount of weight in recent months, I'd forgotten that while I had changed sizes, the costume had not. The shirt hung on me like a flour sack, and the skirt promptly slid down to my hips when I put it on. Even the boots were bigger than I remembered. Fortunately, I had another white tunic top that fit me better; adding another pair of socks under the stripey ones solved the footwear issue, and I dealt with the skirt by rolling up the waistband several times and cinching the whole thing with the sash.

I had to readjust the outfit when I got out of the car, and whenever I stood up or sat down; otherwise, the costume was a huge hit with residents and staff alike. Unfortunately, however, the shift wasn't even half over before "Gwyn, The Avenger of the Spanish Main" got tired of the sword banging against her leg.........the skirt heading South and tripping her every time she pushed her med cart down the hall........the sweat dripping from under the do-rag. Actually, Gwyn was just tired, period---who knew ten pounds of costume accessories could wear one out like this?

So, once the residents' party was over and the families were gone, I decided to lose the extras and simply finish the shift in the gauzy tunic and skirt, which were at least cool and comfortable (anyone who's ever worked in a nursing home knows how insanely hot these places are).....if not terribly functional. Trouble was, once I took off the sash, I could no longer be sure of the skirt, which threatened to slide down my hips every time I exhaled. I tried a safety pin, which promptly stabbed me in the abdomen when I bent over to retrieve a used insulin syringe I'd accidentally dropped into a trash can instead of the sharps box.

"Pin it around your neck, and maybe it'll be useful," suggested the CNA who'd just seen me stumble over the hem for the tenth time.

"Can you hike it up over your chest?" offered another. I am rather substantial on top, and this seemed like the best idea yet, so I tried it. It lasted as long as I stayed seated, but once I was up and running around the floor it would begin to slip.......first down the back, then off the front. So I wound up working most of the rest of the evening with a death grip on the waistband and part of the skirt itself, cursing myself for not even thinking to bring a change of clothes and wondering why it had never occurred to me that an outfit I wore sixty-five pounds ago might not fit me anymore.

Then it happened.

I was standing at the med cart, giving direction to a CNA who isn't what I'd call the brightest bulb in the chandelier and pulling a PRN pain med for a resident whose phantom limb pain was kicking up, when I got distracted by another resident who likes to pat us "girls" on the backside. Startled, I whirled around...........and my skirt fell off. It fell off. It fell the heck OFF, landing in a multicolored puddle around my ankles and giving the flirtatious resident more than just a glance at my, um, assets.

Next Halloween, I think I'll just dress all in white and wear my nurse's cap......it may not be much of a 'costume', but at least it won't give everyone something they'll talk about till Christmas!

I'm sorry but that was absolutely hysterical. I forwarded it to a friend who needs a really good laugh.