If you’re gonna dress as someone from The L Word, I recommend biting the bullet and just dressing as Shane.
Halloween is the time to embody the characters that make you the happiest. It may be controversial, but watching The L Word day in and day out for the last 10-plus years has given me one of the most consistent sources of happiness in my life. It’s not that the show is good. (It’s definitely bad.) But it’s wildly entertaining. It was revolutionary at the time. And it unites us in heated lesbian debates over Jenny Schecter. My undying love for the lesbian camp of the show is part of what drove me to try to dress up as a character a day for the days leading up to Halloween. Here’s what happened.
Monday: Goth Jenny Schecter
Photo by Showtime
Remember angel goth Jenny from Season 2? She was super into Carmen and always dressed like a creepy doll that fell in the trash. She cut off all her hair and started wearing heavy eyeliner and chokers. Also, goth Jenny was in grad school and, therefore, presumably part of the Los Angeles Intelligista/Queer Glitterati. She had a ton of catchy sayings, too. Things like, “Republicans are fucking scary,” and making long speeches about feminism.
This was the first costume I tried and it was honestly a look I’d repeat, potentially for a club night. The most important part was finding a big white furry (faux, obviously lol) jacket for peacocking/cruising in. I live in Berlin, which isn’t really a city that looks away when it comes to kooky outfits. Berliners are known to stare. So I definitely got a lot of stares… even at the queer coffee shop next door to my house. I decided to take my drink to go. It’s more of a nighttime look.
Tuesday: Tasha Williams
Photo by Showtime
You know that feeling when you know you’re failing at something so you try to push it even further and fail as hard as possible just to make an epically entertaining failure instead of just a plain old dud? Well, that definitely happened here. I was completely out of my element in my Tasha costume. I’m not believable as military personnel. That being said, I had a lot of fun with it, whether or not it’s at all reflective of the character Tasha Williams that we all know and love. Please forgive me, Ilene Chaiken.
The difficulty here was in finding American style army fatigues in Germany. I tried to get as close as possible, using an old-timey women’s official looking jacket paired with some forest themed camouflage pants. In hindsight, the combination of the two turned into more of an evil reform school matron look, especially because I got pretty creative with the eyebrows and took some liberties with my character’s facial expressions. I was a little too afraid to leave the house in this one given that even my roommates couldn’t stop themselves from making fun of me.
Tuesday (Part Two): Dana Fairbanks
Photo by Showtime
Since my first attempt at a Tuesday L Word look went so poorly I decided to do a second one later that day. I wanted to go for low hanging fruit so I picked Dana. What could go wrong? It’s just a simple Sporty Spice look minus the spice. I made a little tennis racket from paper and an old hanger since my Tennis playing roommate was out of town for the holiday. I also paired some tight gym shorts with one of those weird hooded vests Dana was always wearing and went for my evening jog in the get-up.
Given that Dana’s is a very conservative look, I don’t think anyone I passed while jogging knew I was in costume. This is my kind of Halloween costume. I was always the jerk kid who went as “serial killer” or “friend of the family” for Halloween. I find Halloween to be more of a spectator’s sport but, I found dressing as Dana a surprisingly comfortable way to embody the holiday without actually running around dressed in full regalia.
Wednesday (Halloween Night): Shane McCutcheon
Photo by Showtime
All right, I had to bring out the big guns for this one. Shane McCutcheon is probably the most iconic fashion moment of the entire show. She has influenced the looks of lesbians across the globe. I had to get this right. I spent about an hour on the wig alone. Then, there were the facial expressions. I had to practice looking extremely alluring yet interesting, and ultimately just plain sexual. It was all very hard. The outfit itself, though, was easy. She basically just wears a vest with pants at all times, especially in the first few seasons.
I also decided to really hit the town this time since it was my last night as an experiment. I went to a queer Halloween party at Silverfuture, a hip local queer bar in the Neukolln neighborhood of Berlin. It was packed and the air was heavy with smoke (since smoking indoors is still a thing here). I weaved through the crowd and surprisingly got a lot of pleasant looks. One girl even grabbed hold of my arm and drunkenly cooed, “Oh, I looove Shane. She’s so cool.” I honestly felt a little bit like a rock star. Maybe it was, in part, because I made such a terrible Shane that people seemed to take pity on me and applaud my effort. But, I also detected a reasonable amount of sex appeal gleaning from the outfit itself. It makes sense. People want Shane and they want things that remind them of Shane. I felt like a nerd who took off their glasses and, suddenly, became the most popular girl in school. Of course, being me, I left around 9:30 pm. But, not before sharing a cigarette with the cutest girl ever who was in a Sailor Moon costume.
All in all, if you’re gonna dress as someone from The L Word , I recommend biting the bullet and just dressing as Shane. The general concept of Shane is essentially dyke-bait and everybody loves dyke-bait. But whoever or whatever you ended up dressed up as, I’m glad you got your queer self out of the house and, hopefully, had a ton of fun. Happy Halloween!