The only sexy Halloween costume I have ever worn was during my freshman year of college — I went as a Freudian slip. I think I had the idea that wearing a sexy costume would somehow make the evening more fun, but ultimately it was fairly unremarkable by college standards. Donning a Victoria’s Secret black satin teddy with phrases like “Oedipus complex” taped to the skirt, I attended my school’s annual Halloween dance in the college center where I made out with a stranger who vaguely resembled Mr. Bean before the fire alarm went off and concluded my evening.
Thankfully, I believe the only sin of my sexy Halloween costume was its lack of originality. But in my time as an adult I’ve come across some pretty awful sexy Halloween costumes. I mean, who among us has not forgotten the sexy Handmaid’s Tale costume of yesteryear?
This year’s new and egregious sexy Halloween costume is slightly closer to home than anticipated, however. It’s sexy Bernie Sanders. Yes, really.
Sold by fast-fashion company Dolls Kill, the “Once Again Asking Costume Set” is modeled after the photo of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders attending President Biden’s inauguration that went viral earlier this year; it comes with a grey coat, a face mask and, of course, mittens. Notably missing? A pair of pants.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m always down for Jewish representation. Especially as, up until this point, there’s been a dearth of it in the sexy Halloween costume category. (Seriously, why is a sexy nun so common, but no sexy rabbi? Arguably, rabbis are the sexiest of all clergy.)
But in Bernie’s honor, I would like to lodge some complaints.
First of all, the costume set is a cool $85… Dolls Kill does know that Bernard Sanders is a democratic socialist, right? That price point is bananas! No one should be spending 85 whole American dollars on an outfit you will wear once and keep stored at the back of the closet for the rest of eternity. Maybe instead, donate that money to a charity or mutual aid fund. I’m pretty confident that that’s what Bernie would want.
What’s more, the costume set isn’t that good a representation of the meme. I realize that the description of the product says “Bernie-inspired,” but if we’re doing this, let’s actually do it. For $85 I would expect a wig, fake glasses, a folding chair, mittens that actually resemble the ones in the photo, a jacket that doesn’t look like a Snuggie that shrunk in the dryer, and perhaps even a ticket to the 2025 Presidential Inauguration.
The one part of the costume I have no problem with is the surgical mask. That’s just useful.
Finally, my last complaint. I’m no biblical scholar, but I’m pretty sure this costume breaks the fifth commandment. Remember, the fifth commandment is “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord God gives you.”
In my general interpretation, this commandment means that we should respect our elders. An example of which would be, I don’t know, awarding him the Best Jewish Pop Culture Moment of 5781. I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but reimagining Bernie in a skimpy jacket with no pants certainly doesn’t seem like honoring him to me.
The verdict: If you’re planning on costuming up for Halloween this year and would like to be the Bernie Sanders mittens meme, you could probably do a better job assembling the look on your own. At the very least, you’ll probably be more cost effective.
As for me, I’ll be staying home this year and giving pause to the 614th commandment I created just now: Thou shalt not make something sexy just because thou can.