The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

“Thou Shalt Spend” – Halloween 2018 as Ashley Tisdale circa 2004

I’m currently laid in bed as I write this blog post, I’m ever-so-slightly hanging out of my arse despite getting a full English breakfast at Wetherspoons. However, last night was a rather fun night. Why? Well, because it was our Halloween night out of course! And I have to say, it has left me feeling a little bit tender today.

As you know, I do love my fancy dress and this year would be no exception to the rule, but what would I go as? This was something I pondered over for quite some time. Last year I went out dressed as circa 2004 Michael Jackon and I was pretty pleased with how my outfit came together considering it was quite last-minute.


View this post on Instagram


Happy Halloween #Shamone #MichaelJackson #thriller #2005michaeljackson

A post shared by Harry J Bartlett (@harryjbartlett) on

I knew I wanted to go as a celebrity again but I couldn’t decide which one I should go for. It needed to be funny and a good pop culture reference. I tried to convince Tom to join me in dressing up so we could both be ‘White Chicks’ but he wasn’t feeling it – maybe next year. I also thought about getting us both to go as Lizzie McGuire and Isabella’s ‘What Dreams Are Made Of‘ outfits… Again, he said no.

Patsy Stone and Edina Monsoon, 90’s Night @ Falmouth University. Circa 2012

And then it hit me – I needed to return to 2004!

No, not in a spiritual, time-travelling kind of way. But 2004 has some truly iconic moments and looks (as proven with my MJ look). I realised that duo costumes are difficult when I’m the only person wanting to commit to a look. That’s when I decided that I should be 2004 Ashley Tisdale – more specifically, the ‘Thou Shalt Spend‘ Ashley Tisdale!

If you’ve been living under a rock or you’re just not into browsing dreadful outfits, let me fill you in on why Ashley Tisdale left a legacy of grim red carpet looks in the 00’s. Some would even go as far to say as the greatest decade for fashion! (Mainly me, I love the crazy outfits – why can’t people dress like this nowadays?)

Who could forget such legendary looks like these?

Or how about these ones?

I know, they’re utterly spectacular. What can I say, there’s just so many things to analyse in each one. The flats, the ankle bracelets, the sequined skirts over bootcut jeans, the desire to carry a large bag to a red carpet event – it’s all fabulous! But there is one look that stands tall and proud as her greatest outfit to date. Of course, I’m talking about the ‘Thou Shalt Spend‘ look.

Just look at it, it’s a thing of pure beauty! An ironic t-shirt with a metallic font, a tragic scarf, a denim skirt with a floral embroidered patch, some form of fury messenger bag, stripy knee-high socks and a pair of Ugg boots – yes, this is an outfit she wore to an event! And it was going to become my next magical look!

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you my 2004 Ashley Tisdale / Thou Shalt Spend masterpiece!

I know, it’s a work of art what I have managed to create. But please, hold your applause. After I posted the look on Instagram, I noticed it started to get a decent few likes. Success, people seemed to like it. I have to say, the best possible scenario for this costume for me would be getting some recognition from Ashley Tisdale herself… And guess what happened – she saw it! My friends brought to my attention that Ashley had actually posted my picture on her Instagram story! How crazy is that?! She seemed to enjoy it which was the best part.

I think it’s fair to say that this was a pretty successful Halloween! Wig: Hair City, Leeds Top: RedBubble Scarf: Vivienne Westwood Skirt: ASOS Socks: Topman Boots: George

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top