As aisles upon aisles of patio furniture, barbeque grills and swimming paraphernalia are ripped from the shelves of big-box stores or no longer the toast of the online town, the attention turns from summer to fall, more specifically a question that looms large over men, women and especially kids: What am I going to be for Halloween?
Stores have already prudently begun stocking shelves pumpkins and plenty of bags of mini, bite-sized candy to welcome trick-or-treat guests of all ages and thus the rambunctious retail season between Halloween and the holidays commences.
Much like fashion, Halloween costumes are somewhat cyclical in nature as far as popularity goes but old, reliable fare finds its way onto our radar each year. This year, those same Halloween staples seem destined to devour the consumer, no matter if it is for kids or kids at heart.
Superman, Batman and a host of other superheroes loom large as some of the more sought after costumes each year. The fact that the aforementioned "Man of Steel" and "Dark Knight" have experienced wild success at the box office certainly doesn't hurt their overwhelming popularity, either. It's also worth lumping the likes of Iron Man and Pirates into the mix -- not the ones who play in Pittsburgh but rather the sea-faring, wise-cracking ones made famous most recently by the ultra-talented Johnny Depp and his Jack Sparrow pseudo-heroism.
Other common, albeit timeless, option for any age is a simple ghost, witch or princess. The latter, thanks to the magic of Disney and its incredible film lineage and remarkable marketing, won't be disappearing from Halloween wish lists any time soon.
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This year brings new contenders to the Halloween throne as well, most of which are inspired by television and movie. Zombies are seemingly all the rage thanks to movies such as World War Z and Zombieland before it or the immensely popular television show "Walking Dead."
Dressing up like a dragging, undead corpse seems just about as popular as any other costume choice.
One delectable dilemma of sorts is trying to decide where to buy your costume. Do you choose a retailer right around the corner? That probably bodes well for those last-minute shoppers, although don't expect to find much selection but rather a picked-over plethora of products.
Online shopping for Halloween costumes easily is your best bet and there certainly are plenty of worthy shops to choose from, including HalloweenExpresss.com, CostumeDiscounters.com and CostumeExpress.com. Most reputable online stores offer a vast selection of costumes, masks and make-up and typically will match pricing with anything you find, whether it is on the web or at a physical store.
Accessories for specific genres and time periods might require a little more hunting.
For example, period pieces, whether a specific movie like the recently released "Great Gatsby" film, resonate with the consumer as well as customers clamor for costumes straight out of popular periods such as the 1920s, 1960s and 1970s.
The "Great Gatsby" film has inspired plenty of women to opt to go as a "flapper," similar to the lead female character from the movie. Finding just the right costume won't be difficult but the accessories often leave a lot to be desired. One desirable retailer in this regard is JolieUSA and their expertly crafted and spot-on headbands. In fact, the Jolie USA web site is not only filled with terrific headbands but also include various bows and jewels that fasten into a pony tail. They're unique design puts them at the forefront for vintage, realistic Halloween accessories or just something fun, flirty and cute to wear with just about anything.
From fun to frightful, the soon-to-be scary season is slowly creeping upon you and just remember: have fun with Halloween and don't be afraid to pick a costume or theme that speaks to your creativity or simply stick with something horrifyingly simple.
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