Acting, personality key to good costume

Few people get excited about an overweight hairy man who wants to dress up as a baby, complete with diaper, bib and rattle. Maxine Lindsay does.

Few people get excited about an overweight hairy man who wants to dress up as a baby, complete with diaper, bib and rattle.

Maxine Lindsay does.

Once a year she waits for him — or other guys willing to dress up and humiliate themselves.

All in good fun, of course.

Lindsay owns and operates It’s Party Time, a costume store she usually runs out of her garage in Porter Creek.

But for two weeks in October she moves the costumes into a downtown store to accommodate the Halloween rush.

This year Lindsay hauled her 500 mostly homemade costumes to the faux-cabin on the corner of Wood Street and 3rd.

On Wednesday afternoon, at a time she calls the slow part of the day, people are still filing in looking for a costume among the racks of fairy tutus, capes, dresses and baby bibs.

One rack is filled with the full-length furry bodies of gorillas, ducks and cartoon characters like Sylvester and Tweety Bird.

Their empty, smiling heads hang morbidly from the ceiling.

Lindsay runs around the circular clothing racks pulling out costumes to demonstrate what makes a good outfit.

The key to finding the right costume is matching the clothes to the personality, she said.

Once you have your getup, you have to figure out what role you’re going to play for the night, she added.

“Some guys come in here and they want to be Zorros — they only want to be men,” said Lindsay.

“But other guys come in here and they want to have fun and let loose. If you’re a 250 pound hairy man dressed as a baby, how could you not have fun?”

Some people wander into the store with a vague idea of what they want to wear, but are reluctant to come out and say what they want, especially if it is a weird idea, said Lindsay.

“People usually have an idea when they come so you kind of have to pull it out of them,” she said, adding that once people share their desire, everybody has some fun.

“They get pretty excited and then I’m excited and we’re all excited!

“My first Halloween running the store I dressed up three guys in Geisha costumes. It was fabulous. I like dressing up men as women, especially when they’re game for anything.”

It’s Party Time is run year-round but Lindsay does most of her business in the few weeks preceding Halloween and the Rendezvous winter festival, for which she has another 500 costumes.

Lindsay bought the business in 2005 from a woman who operated it for 17 years before selling.

Looking for extra income, Lindsay, the mother of two children, was approached with the chance to buy the established operation.

“Because of my spunky attitude, she thought I’d be good for the business,” said Lindsay.

She took the chance, bought the business and has had fun ever since.

Her kids, too, enjoy the perks of having a mom who owns more than a 1,000 costumes.

“They always get to dress up,” she said. “There’s a few fairy costumes and my daughter is tickled by that.”

Renting costumes is more convenient than making one and can be cheaper than buying, said Lindsay.

“My costumes are homemade so the quality is nicer than you’d find in stores,” she said. “You can be something different every year because you’re not stuck with the bought costume.”

This year, she’s sent outfits to people in Dawson City, Pelly Crossing and Old Crow.

Lindsay’s costumes rent for $45.

A masquerade this weekend has kept traffic through her store steady.

Earlier this week, about 25 people looking for costumes crammed into the store.

In the past two weeks, Lindsay has noticed her customers are younger than in the past and they’re staying away from the traditional witches and Viking garb.

Anything retro is really popular, she said: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Big Bird, Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake.

“The costumes are all from shows they watched as kids,” said Lindsay. “Now this that generation is bar age and they’re able to go out and show-off. They’re more willing to be goofy.”

Some classic don’t go away, though.

Cleopatra and the gladiator costumes are always rented, as is Batman and any monkey-themed gear.

Zorros and vampires haven’t moved off the shelves as quickly as they had in past years.

But no matter the costume one dons for Halloween, just play the character and you’ll have fun, said Lindsay.

“This is the only time people get to dress up and get away with it. That’s a good thing, so enjoy it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Another election, another anomaly

Monday’s “double-tie” election is generating some free publicity for the Yukon as Outside news agencies scramble to find someone to interview.

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Most Read