Hot Halloween Costumes for 2011
Stay tuned for Halloween costumes Halloween may feel a bit like channel surfing this year.
According to retailers, popular Halloween costumes could be pulled right out of the TV Guide, with shows like "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones" inspiring many.
The most common theme, however, has been zombies, which shouldn't surprise fans of AMC's "The Walking Dead."
The undead have unseated vampires, which dominated recent Halloween seasons, says Ressa Tomkiewicz, Halloween "spookswoman" for Party City's more than 600 stores across the country. More than 2.6 million American adults and children plan to dress as zombies this year, according to the National Retail Federation's, or NRF's, 2011 Top Costumes Survey.
"I think people are ready for something new and different but still on the dark side -- something a little scary, a little gory," Tomkiewicz says.
However, with the continuing economic turmoil, the scariest thing for some partygoers might be their bank account balances.
Still, consumers surveyed for the retail group stated they planned to spend a little more to celebrate Halloween this year -- more than $72 on average, up about $6 from 2010. Respondents say they would pay $40.81 on average for costumes for themselves, their kids and their pets, about $3 more than last year.
Men: box-office hits and the classics Many men will look to the box office for Halloween costume ideas, picking up big-screen superhero costumes such as Captain America and the Green Lantern, says Tomkiewicz.
Captain America and Thor have also been popular among the men coming into Chicago Costume's stores, says general manager Courtland Hickey. Prices for a Captain America get-up at Chicago Costume range from $21.25 for a kit with a mask, gloves and a stick-on T-shirt emblem to $99.99 for a prestige version with more accessories.
"Guys are easy," Hickey says.
He says others start with a basic outfit, such as a SWAT officer or convict, doctor or firefighter, and then have some fun personalizing it -- covering a lab coat with blood, for example.
Tomkiewicz says the frugal customer might consider purchasing a zombie makeup kit to revamp a costume worn in previous years. A rock star costume could easily be transformed into a zombie rocker with some strategic face paint and fake blood.
A few guys might enjoy donning a bowling shirt a la Charlie Sheen and playing the "Malibu Maniac" role for a night, says Heather Siegel-George, a vice president of Las Vegas-based HalloweenMart.com. The complete costume runs $29.99.
Women: flirty or zombie or both Women have lots of options in a wide range of prices, Hickey says. Those who are hunting for something flirty might select a corset-backed outfit, which he says offers a personalized fit and attractive look.
Corsets might seem like a natural fit for costumes such as the "Black Swan"-inspired corset and tutu, which costs $699 at Chicago Costume and is embellished with red lace and feathers. A plainer version of the costume is also available for $199. And Hickey says now even superheroes such as Batgirl and Wonder Woman come in corset styles.
For those seeking to marry their desire to be desirable with their inner zombie, there are a number of choices, says Siegel-George, including a $59.99 "zombie housewife" wearing a minidress and a "zombie nurse."
Lady Gaga has continued her Halloween costume popularity streak this year, says Siegel-George, although sales of Katy Perry get-ups -- complete with a blue wig -- have also been high.
Tomkiewicz says women seeking more modest alternatives could check out the 1920s flapper outfits from "Boardwalk Empire" or recreate the look worn in "Game of Thrones" with a costume from the medieval era.
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