RATIOS: The Halloween Costume Edition
Happy Halloween week! If you were like the throngs of people on Hollywood Boulevard in LA this weekend, you’ve already started celebrating. Hooray! And, if you were like 99% of the females we spotted, you were dressed as a piece of dental floss. Booooo. (And we don’t mean a ghost-y boo.)
Ok. We’re not going to try to be your mom, promise. Instead, we’d like to use the crucial decision of what to be for Halloween as an opportunity to talk about ratios: specifically, the ratio of parts of your body that are fabulously swathed in fabric/plastic/pleather/feathers to the parts that aren’t.
Let’s do a little ratio review first.
A ratio is a way of comparing two numbers or showing the relationship between two quantities. Consider these 4 photos of Sissy Spacek as the original Carrie below.
There are 3 clean Carries and 1 bloody Carrie, making 4 Carries in total. We can set up several different ratios depending on what we want to compare.
Ratio of bloody Carries to clean Carries: 1:3
This is an example of a part-to-part ratio, because we’re comparing parts of Carries (the bloody part to the clean part). As we see above, there is 1 bloody Carrie for every 3 clean Carries. The word “to” (ratio of bloody Carries to clean Carries) get replaced in math by a colon (:).
Ratio of clean Carries to bloody Carries: 3:1
We’ve just reversed what we did above, since we’re describing the ratio the other way around. For every 3 clean Carries there is 1 bloody Carrie.
Ratio of bloody Carries to total Carries: 1:4
There is 1 bloody Carrie, and there are 4 Carries in total. This a part-to-whole ratio, which is commonly expressed as a fraction, because in a fraction the numerator expresses the part, and the denominator is the whole. To write this ratio as a fraction, we just turn it on its side, to look like this:
The numerator represents the 1 bloody Carrie, and the denominator represents the 4 total Carries. So we can also say the the bloody Carries are 1/4 of the total Carries.
Ratio of total Carries to bloody Carries: 4:1
We just flipped it, like we did above. As a fraction, this would be 4/1.
Ratio of clean Carries to total Carries: 3:4
Again, we’re doing a part-to-whole ratio, where there are 3 clean Carries and 4 total Carries. As a fraction, this would look like:
Ratio of total Carries to clean Carries: 4:3
This is the ratio right above this one flipped. As a fraction, it would be 4/3.
Is this ratio stuff making sense? If not, gripe at us in the Comments below, pretty please.
Now that we’ve gotten in a quickie ratio review, we’d like to propose a target part-to-whole ratio of covered skin to uncovered skin for your Halloween costume. Because it’s impossible to come up with an exact ratio without measuring the surface area of both your costume and your epidermis, we’re gonna be super mathematical (sarcasm) and eyeball it.
To come up with our target ratio, we did some very official internet research. Guys, there are a lot of bad costumes out there.
Oh, Kim. Her ratio of costume to whole body is way too small here. We’re guessing it’s like 1:7. KK may have amazing abs and great knockers, but we fear for her should she walk down the street alone in that thing. Cover your eyes, North!
Martha, you’re drowning! Her ratio of costume to whole body is way too large. Our guess is 9:10. The good news is she’s probably keeping the surrounding areas clean, as she appears to be a human-sized loofah.
Ok, we think Rumer Willis gets it just right here. We’re guessing the costume to total body ratio is around 4:5, which we realize come of you may find a bit conservative, but she’s still totally sexy. She’s showing a little bit of décolletage, and if you snoop at her other IG pix of this same outfit, you’ll find the back’s open too. The best part is she gets to jump around and take fun and quirky photos with her friends without risking the possibility flashing the world. Rumer for the win.
Lauren Conrad seems to thrive on Halloween, and this Mary Poppins costume is no exception. Again, we’re thinking her ratio is also about 4:5, since we’re not gonna count the slight sheer quality of her tights and shirt as total and complete coverage. She’s sassy, warm enough to make it through the cold October night, and still flaunts her shape. You go, LC.
OK, we know that this isn’t technically a Halloween costume, but Marina never loses in our book (also, examples of good costumes online were superhard to find). We guess her clothes to body ratio is around a 3:5. She flaunts some midriff and leg while keeping it classic and cool, and owns it like a total boss.
What do we conclude from our findings? Aiming for a costume to total skin ratio of at least 1:2 seems like a safe bet. We want you to dress for yourself, not for predators. And hey, if dressing for yourself means rocking a ratio that’s closer to Kim’s than LC’s, then just make sure you have your version of the Kardashian bodyguards around you at all times.
Need ideas? We’re digging this Scream Queens Style piece on Rookie. Have other inspiration goldmines or photos of your own costume that hits the ratio sweet spot? We’d love to see them.
Above all: get creative, be you, and remember that less isn’t always more.
Love, The Betties