“‘Course, I’m mad about animals, but raccoons and cats become a little boring. I mean, for too long a time.” – Little Edie Beale
“And you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape. So I think this is the best costume for the day.” – Little Edie Beale.
I usually prefer to put together costumes with thrift store finds and items from my own closet (or a little DIY project), so I never have to worry about wearing the same exact thing as anyone else. With my multiple trips to thrift stores, how could I resist putting together a Grey Gardens Little Edie Beale costume? Little Edie Beale was a very innovative dresser; her style is iconic and an inspiration to many designers and fans of the documentary. She worked with what she had, and she had a lot of fun with it. There are so many ways to put together a Little Edie Beale costume, but the biggest part is to make sure you have some sort of head scarf or a sweater to wear over your head, always secured with a brooch (it’s in the back for the second look). I went with a retro swimsuit layered over a turtleneck and tights, a safety pinned “skirt” (she often wore items in a way they weren’t originally intended), and a faux fur coat inspired by the main image from the documentary. Best part? It’s a two-parter – I lost the coat and the “skirt” for a flag dance costume. Have you seen Grey Gardens? Little Edie eventually moved to Florida, where she continued to swim in the ocean every day until her passing, decades after the documentary came out. I love knowing that she eventually got out of Grey Gardens, the way she always dreamed she would.
Special thanks to Kitty Boos for being such a great cat model. Isn’t he a cutie? I love the one where he’s like, “Mom, I’m done. Let’s go.”